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How to Pack for an Extended Stay

How to Pack for an Extended Stay

Whether it’s for business, pleasure, a move or any other sort of adventure, packing for an extended stay is a tough endeavor. It can be overwhelming and frustrating to find the right balance between must-haves, nice-to-haves and just-in-case items, especially with all the new travel regulations and insane baggage fees.

Even if you plan to avoid the baggage claim carousels by skipping the checked bag, you are left with the daunting task of fitting everything you will need into a carry-on. Take a deep breath and allow InTown Suites to help you get ahead of the game with a few useful tips on how to pack for an extended stay:

Making a packing list is the first step in packing for an extended stay. 1) START WITH YOUR TRIP IN MIND.

What types of clothing and personal items are you going to need on your trip? Do you need to dress for work, for fun or for travel? What is the typical weather of the destination you are traveling to for your extended stay? Planning your wardrobe based on the details of your trip and destination is an important first step in being prepared.

*PRO TIP: Most of us are last-minute packers, but if we just took a few extra days to prepare, we could cut down on not only the frustration that packing can cause but also the amount of stuff we pack. Start making a list of everything you need and want to bring on your trip before you even begin the packing process. This will help you avoid forgetting the essentials and prevent packing the impulse items.


Once you know the type of clothing you’ll need, start pulling everything out you wrote on your packing list — anything you think you’d like to bring or have access to during your stay. It’s okay to pull out more than you are actually going to pack at this stage. We’ll work on lightening the load later on.

Begin forming outfits and determining which tops and bottoms work well in multiple arrangements. A good rule of thumb — each piece you bring should go with at least two other clothing items. Start removing anything that only works with one other piece in the pile. Those items aren’t versatile enough and you don’t need them taking up precious space in your luggage.


Pick basic colors and cuts that are more likely to match multiple things in your suitcase. Choose bottoms in black, beige, navy or denim that are easily paired with different tops. Keeping a neutral palette will allow you to mix and match your tops and bottoms, creating even more outfit options. Plus, shirts take up less room and weight than bottoms, so it’s easier to bring a few additional tops.

*PRO TIP: Change up your outfits with accessories. Jewelry can quickly jazz up the look of an outfit, taking you from day to night, and it takes up minimal space in your suitcase. For men, it’s as easy as bringing a few different ties and pocket squares for your blazers.


Layering is a great way to save room in your luggage and create even more outfits. Instead of packing bulky sweatshirts or sweaters that take up a lot of room, bring smaller, lighter items like cardigans, tank tops and undershirts. These items can be layered for warmth or worn separately in warmer temperatures.


When packing for an extended stay, it’s important to bring clothing that’s simple to care for and doesn’t easily wrinkle. Go through the clothing you’ve selected, and continue to minimize the pile by removing the things that are the least versatile — i.e. anything that needs ironing, hand washing or special care before wearing. In the end, aim to make roughly 20 outfits by mixing and matching 10-15 tops and bottoms.



It’s time to make some deep cuts. Most of us will throw items into our bags “just in case.” Sometimes these items make sense, like rain boots for a destination known for rain, but if you find yourself trying to justify bringing a particular item, it’s better to leave it at home. Often these items simply waste space and are likely going to be unused during your trip. Worst-case scenario, you can always buy what you need if the situation arises.

Narrow down your shoe selection to just two parirs. It will save you space and weight when packing for your extended stay.


Footwear is always a challenging item to pack, and most people end up bringing more than they really need. Even worse, shoes are some of the heaviest and bulkiest items to pack. We recommend limiting yourself to two pairs of shoes.

First, pick a pair of shoes you can dress up, like nice flats or heels for women and loafers or dress shoes for men. Then, pick a pair of casual shoes for everyday use — think quality sandals, slip-ons, sneakers and so on. Lastly, decide if there is a unique type of footwear you may need for a special activity, like hiking boots or running sneakers. Bring those along as well.


It is likely you already have the luggage picked out that you will take on your extended stay, but don’t forget to consider the weight of your suitcase. Whether you are checking a bag or planning to bring a carry-on, airlines have strict weight limits and extreme fees for every pound you go over those limits. Choosing lightweight luggage will give you more weight for the items you plan on packing in it.

Check out this article to help you select the best lightweight luggage for your extended stay.


Now that you have narrowed down your packing pile and selected the right luggage, we have a few final tips to help you pack each item neatly into your suitcase.

  • Skip the toiletries. Chances are you’ll need more toothpaste and shampoo than what’s allowed in your carry-on, and bringing full-size bottles in your checked bag will quickly add weight. Plan to stop by a pharmacy to buy what you need upon your arrival.
  • Don’t fold your clothing, roll them. Rolling clothes saves space in your luggage, allowing you to bring more. This method of packing also helps to prevent wrinkles. If you are packing for a business trip, we don’t recommend trying to roll your suit coat and pants. Pack these items in a garment bag, which is allowed as a carry-on by most airlines.Rolling your clothes save space when you are packing for an extended stay.
  • Remember the 1-2-3-4-5-6 Rule. If you are still struggling with narrowing down your packing pile, try this helpful packing trick. Bring 1 hat or accessory, 2 pairs of shoes, 3 pairs of pants, shorts or skirts, 4 shirts, 5 pairs of socks and 6 undergarments. This list should give you enough wardrobe options to last about a week.
  • Keep it fresh! Since you are packing your shoes in the same bag as your clothing, try adding dryer sheets or a scented sachet to your bag. This will keep everything inside your luggage smelling fresh and clean.
  • Treat your suitcase like a puzzle. You’ll want to take advantage of every square inch in your suitcase. You can accomplish this by stuffing your shoes with items like socks and mittens, packing your coiled-up belt in the collar of your shirt and storing cords and cables inside a glasses case to keep them tangle-free and organized.
  • Avoid leaks. Pack any liquid or gel items like lotions or liquid makeup into zip-top bags. This will help prevent any spills or leaks on your clothes.
  • Plastic bags can be a lifesaver. It never hurts to have a few extra plastic or zip-top bags on hand. You never know what you might need them for. They come in handy for things like storing shoes (and keeping dirt off the rest of the items in your suitcase), wet bathing suits, laundry that needs to be washed and so on.
  • Compression bags are magical. Eagle Creek makes an amazing product that turns packing into a cinch — the Compression Sac! All you do is pack, seal, roll and stretch. It’s that easy and you can squeeze a little more into your bag!
  • Pack more with Marie Kondo. The rolling method (mentioned above) is a smart way to pack your clothes, but another great packing technique is the Marie Kondo method. You can fit even more into your suitcase by folding your clothes into little squares that stand up perfectly. Save the rolling method for bigger items and those that tend to wrinkle.


Depending on the length of your stay and the size of your luggage, you will probably have to do a load or two of laundry during your extended stay. By choosing accommodations that have on-site laundry facilities, you can save yourself time and money in this endeavor. You’ll avoid the cost of dry cleaning services and the time to drop off, wait for and pick up your items. Having convenient access to a washer and dryer can also help you extend the life of your limited wardrobe.

To help make packing for an extended stay even simpler, check out these two convenient packing lists we created:

Premium suites have been completely renovated from top to bottom.11) CHOOSE THE BEST EXTENDED STAY.

Now that you have a game plan for how to pack for your extended stay, do you know where you will stay? InTown Suites has nearly 200 locations across 22 states in the US. Each of our extended-stay locations offers convenient on-site laundry facilities, and each suite has an in-room kitchen, super-fast Wi-Fi, HDTV with premium channels and affordable rates.

You’ll have the best extended-stay experience at InTown Suites. Find your perfect suite today!