Bundle packing: Learn it, love it.

Earlier this year, I took off for an eleven-day trip to Japan with only a small carry-on, which is impressive solely for the fact that I packed four pairs of pants, sweaters, a dress, shirts and socks and warm pajamas, boots, sneakers, more shoes, two coats, books, a hair dryer, travel iron, adapters and an extra backpack. By the end of the trip, I had traveled all around Tokyo, and I was still mostly marveling at my little carry-on. “Did you see how much I fit in there?” I asked my friend at the Tsujiki tuna auction, the Tokyo Dome, the Mitsukoshi department store and somewhere on the Kyoto Philosopher’s Walk. “I bet I could have packed another coat.”

If you’re already a good light-packer, this isn’t a big deal. If you’re like me — with no ability to look at a weather forecast, consider the length and nature of your trip, and put relevant items of clothing into a bag — bundle-packing is a revelation. You can just throw in half your wardrobe and you’re off, carry-on stowed neatly in the overhead bin.

Here’s how you do it:

1. Get a carry-on. 2. Do this. 3. Pack shoes, camera and whatever around the bundle. 4. Your 3-2-1 Ziploc goes in the front compartment or in your Personal Item. 5. Done!

Apparently, if you pack light, your clothes won’t wrinkle, but I’ll never know.

Happy Thanksgiving travels (a little early).