5 Ways to Keep Clothes Wrinkle-Free in Your Suitcase, According to Travel Experts
You won't have to bother with the iron or steamer if you follow these pro packing tips.
Even if you have time to get the wrinkles out of your clothes once you arrive at your hotel or Airbnb, there's no guarantee there will be a decent iron or steamer—or any at all, for that matter. But when traveling, wrinkled clothing is one of the most common conundrums people face. This is especially true if you fall into the category of travelers who pack their suitcases to the brim. Luckily, all hope is not lost. According to travel experts, there are some simple ways to keep your clothes wrinkle-free in your suitcase. Read on to hear their five best tips.
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Roll and bundle your clothes.
You've probably heard this one before: Instead of folding your clothes, roll them. This is true, but it's not that simple.
For items like trousers, t-shirts, blouses, and dresses, "start by laying the item flat on a surface and then fold each side in towards the middle," explains John Smith, textile designer at Leather Skin Shop. "Roll from bottom to top until you reach the neckline."
Allen King, travel professional and founder of Aqua Surf, also uses what he calls the "bundle wrap" method of packing your rolled items.
"This way of wrapping begins with your least wrinkle-prone clothing at the center of the bundle, and the most wrinkle-prone clothing ends up on the outside," he says. "You basically create a brick of clothing that won't allow for a lot of movement in your suitcase, which is what causes most wrinkles."
And, of course, always put heavier items on the bottom of your suitcase so they're not crushing your lighter-weight items.
Fold in bulk.
If rolling isn't for you, Smith likes to fold multiple pieces of clothing together to create fewer wrinkles.
"For pants, fold them in half length-wise with one leg on top of the other and then fold them in thirds. For t-shirts and blouses, stack multiple pieces together to reduce the amount of folding necessary."
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Layer tissue paper or dryer sheets.
Whether you roll or fold, several of the experts we consulted suggest laying tissue paper between your clothes.
Anton Radchenko, founder and CEO of Air Advisor, explains that friction is what causes the most wrinkles, and putting smooth pieces of tissue paper between clothing items can prevent it.
"Place tissue paper inside the sleeves of long-sleeved shirts, and fold additional loose tissue paper sheets on top and in between," he says. For even more wrinkle defense, he suggests lining the edges of your suitcase with tissue paper, too.
Alternatively, you can use dryer sheets. "They are a great way to reduce static, which can cause clothes to become wrinkled and bunched," notes Stuart Lewis, travel agent and editor of Travel Scoop. "Simply placing a dryer sheet amongst your clothes will help to keep them from sticking to each other, thus reducing the chance of wrinkling."
Use dry-cleaning bags or packing cubes.
Simple, plastic dry-cleaning bags do a world of good in safeguarding against wrinkles.
"The breathable plastic material used in dry cleaner bags helps keep moisture away from your clothes, trapping heat and keeping them from becoming misshapen while they're stored. It's especially useful for delicate fabrics like silk and linen," says Liz Smith, co-founder of travel blog That Florida Life. Plus, it alleviates friction between items.
For something that may help you organize your suitcase better, John Smith likes small packing cubes or vacuum-sealed plastic bags. "The cubes will also help you stay within your luggage weight limit because they can be compressed easily when packing," he points out. "Think of them as an extra layer of protection for your clothes."
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Pack a bottle of wrinkle-release spray.
Wrinkle-release sprays are a quick, easy, and inexpensive way to get rid of wrinkles when you don't have access to an iron or steamer.
"When you arrive at your hotel room, lay out your clothes on a flat surface. Hold the spritz bottle 8 inches away from the fabric and apply the spray in a sweeping motion, being careful not to saturate the clothing," says Henry Schultz, founder of Salty Endeavors Scuba Center. "Use more spray on thicker or more wrinkled fabrics. Gently pull and smooth out the wrinkles. Hang your clothing to air dry."
As a bonus, your clothes will smell nice and fresh, too!