It’s that time of year again! The new season of The Bachelor premieres tonight with fan-favorite and former soccer pro Juan Pablo taking center stage as 25 lucky ladies get in line to win his heart, and InStyle got the first look at what they brought along in their suitcases. Before the show began taping, we asked the contestants to share their packing conundrums and strategies with us. Having to pack for a variety of climates and for an unknown amount of time, these women braved the scary side of packing — as evidenced in previous seasons, everything from bikinis to winter coats could be necessary for their journeys. Click through to see how these five new bachelorettes squeezed and sealed all they needed into suitcases for this journey, then tune in tonight on ABC at 8/7c to see who accepts Juan Pablo’s first roses.
Cassandra Ferguson, Former NBA Dancer
Suitcase Count: two, a carry on and then a big purse thing.
Packing Strategy: I just threw [my shoes] in there without the boxes and put tissue paper around them so they wouldn’t scuff. And then as far as the clothes I just crammed them in there. I have to say though if we go somewhere cold I’ll probably suffer. I would rather pack more bikinis then a big winter jacket so that’s what I did.
Nikki Ferrell, Pediatric Nurse
Suitcase Count: Too many! I had five checked, and a carry on and a garment bag. I like to have options and I like to maybe be prepared too much.
Packing Strategy: There was a lot of frantic packing going on. Trying to pack what could be [any] weather for an unknown amount of time was pretty stressful. I used the vacuum seal bag technique so I vacuum sealed all my clothes. My mom rescued me from the packing problems. At one point I was just so overwhelmed, I was in a pile of socks and underwear just balling and she’s like “what is your deal?” and I was like, “I don’t know I can’t fit it all in!” so that’s when we went and got the vacuum seal bags. I am probably not going to wear even like a fraction of this, but I have it in case I might want to.
Victoria Ware, Legal Assistant
Suitcase Count: Two. The packing list was a little more like “bring everything,” so I kind of brought everything I could possibly need. But I still think I didn’t bring enough.
Packing Strategy: I just tried to bring a lot of basic stuff that I can mix and match. I’m the worst at packing usually and normally just throw everything in the suitcase, but this time I actually sat down and tried to figure out outfits so that I wouldn’t get here and have crazy things.
Lucy Aragon, Free Spirit
Suitcase Count: One (ish). I only have one and a half suitcases and then I have a bag for my shoes. I actually travel really light. I lived in France for eight months, I went to boarding school and I just had one bag. I had more for this than for school. I have definitely done a pretty extensive amount of traveling over the years.
Whatever is your biggest [item], jacket or shoes, wear those on the plane because then you don’t have to have them in your bag. I always do that.
Sharleen Joynt, Opera Singer
Suitcase Count: Three. To be honest I don’t have as much as I am supposed to maybe, but I came from Germany so I had to have a system where I’m able to move. So I have a really big one for clothes, a backpack for clothes and then a medium sized one for heavy body products and hair appliances.
Did you have to stop over on your way from Germany to get more clothes?
Well I have a million cocktail, sort of medium non-performance dresses that have been living in New York at friends apartments so I stopped in New York on the way and got them. Some reinforcements.
Plus, see Emily Maynard’s favorite looks from The Bachelor with Sean Lowe!