1. Overpacking: Layout every outfit you plan to take two days prior to traveling, then revisit the day before to ruthlessly edit down choices. Take digital snaps of each outfit to remove the guesswork.
2. Wrinkles: Fold items and slip inside plastic dry-cleaning bags or separate with tissue paper to cut down on crease-causing friction.
3. Jewelry: Avoid tangles and dings with a soft, compact jewelry case. But don't check it - keep it safe in your carry on.
For a trip where you plan on shopping, roll up and pack an empty zippered cloth bag. Use it to stow dirty clothes, or better yet, to hold the can't-pass-up items you grab along the way.
I'll add a few: buy travel sized products and empty trial size bottles if you plan to carry on. Sephora has a great little set in an airline approved bag for $18.00. Also, some of the biggest things in my suitcase where always my hair tools. I bought a travel sized case of hot rollers at Target for $14.00 and they are 1/4 the size of the rollers I use everyday! I also invested in a travel sized ceramic straightener for $25. Now, the quality of these two and the results isn't as good as my day to day tools, but the room it saves was worth it! Most hotels provide a hairdryer these days so that has helped.
And when picking out luggage, a few more InStyle tips:
4. Hardware: Handles, zippers and pulls should ideally retract or lie close to the suitcase's surface to avoid getting snagged in transit.
5. Fabric: Ask your salesperson for luggage with a tight-weave exterior, like coated canvas, that will resist abrasion, rips and tears.
6. Wheels: Choose rubber, which absorbs shocks and rolls smoothly on most surfaces. Hard plastic is noisy and less durable.