Roll your clothes to pack a suitcase

I took your advice on what to pack for Europe.  For the most part anyway, you know I had to rebel a little and wear comfortable shoes for all the walking.  But the number one tip I took from all of you was to pack light.

We did.

suit case

Each child had a carry on and a backpack, {the awesome luggage we bought at Costco} and that was it.  The backpack was full of things for the 25 hours of travel each way: a Nintendo DSi for each kid, bubble gum, a coloring book and sketch pad, colored pencils, Skullcandy headphones, fruit leather and almonds, granola bars, and in Charming’s case a handful of Hot Wheels cars.

I was counting on the fact that each kid would have a T.V. with Nick Jr. at their disposal, and I was right.  Hallelujah.


Anyway, the only way I was able to pack a month’s worth of clothing into a carry-on for each kid was to roll their clothes as I packed them.

I can’t even tell you what a difference it made.

So: roll your clothes as you pack them, hope for mini T.V.’s across the Atlantic, give your children each a Benadryl, and you’re set.

{you didn’t hear about the Benadryl from me.  also, I’m not your mother or your doctor, so take my advice for what it is: free}

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Hello there! I'm Allison Czarnecki, founder + editor of Petit Elefant, a blog all about style on a budget for every part of your life: style / home / travel / family. I do a lot of how-to beauty + style tutorials, travel posts, easy recipes, home remodel projects, and cool DIY crafts you totally want to try. I'm super happily married (to a hot Polish immigrant) and am the mother of two kids, a daughter and son, all of whom are featured here on the regular. We live in the country but we're a little bit rock + roll. Welcome!


  1. Jenny :

    My kids are going to Alaska for two weeks and I haven’t even thought about packing yet…You want to do it for me?

    • Allison :

      Totally. I’m a pro.

  2. emma :

    ha! benadryl! lol works every time! ;)

    • Allison :

      I’m not kidding, I’m a convert. Amazing.

  3. Emily :

    Your rolls of clothes look so much better than mine do. :) Benadryl backfired the last time we tried. :(

    • Allison :

      I’ve heard of Benadryl backfiring, and I’m so grateful it didn’t on us. That would have been one very very very long flight.

  4. Aja :

    I always, always, always roll my clothes when I pack. No matter where I’m going or for how long. I’ve taken to rolling things I put in drawers, too. Such a space saver!

  5. Julie :

    I TOTALLY rolled my clothes on my last trip (saw the tip on the Today show) and I actually had tons of extra space. LOVE it and I’m converted!

  6. dgm :

    I consider clothes-rolling one of the best travel ideas, and I’m always surprised to learn how many people don’t do it. But don’t go thinking that makes me an efficient traveler, because I will check luggage on a one-hour flight to San Francisco. However! We just completed a trip to Ireland and I managed to pack only three pairs of footwear. Yay, me!

  7. Whitney :

    I love your site! I just found it via pinterest. I was in need of cost effective, home made gift ideas, and I repinned several of your suggestions! Thank you! You can never start your Christmas shopping too early ;)

  8. cheap reuable bags :

    I love your site! I always roll my clothes when I pack. No matter where I’m going or for how long.