Summer may be singing its swan song, but there’s still time to get out of town while the gettin’s good. Packing a suitcase intelligently is the top priority for an effortless getaway—it’s hard to dash for a connecting flight or climb five flights of stairs to a hotel room with a view when you’re schlepping a suitcase the size of a double-decker bus. And there’s something crazy satisfying about zipping past the bored horde at the baggage carousel.
So when we came across a formula for the best way to pack a suitcase to max out wardrobe options and space, we were all in. Not only do we love a system for doing anything better, it applies to a trip of any length of time. (If you’re taking a vacation of longer than a week, you may have to do laundry. No big thing. With Shout wipes, you may get away with a few more days yet.) Limits are surprisingly liberating—there’s a reason fashion editors only wear black—and sticking to them for a few days is easier than you might think.