Travel Hacks for Packing
by Daniel | Last Updated June 21st, 2019
Travel Hacks for Packing to Make Your Journey Stress-Free
Vacations are supposed to be the moment where you can release all of your pent-up stress. Unfortunately, traveling can produce an entirely different kind of stress that feels just as hard to escape.
Most of this stress is derived from a lack of preparation. All too often, people pack way more than they need to while leaving out items they didn't realize were essential to their day-to-day lives until it is too late. Forgotten things, over-packed suitcases, confusion at the airport about what should be checked baggage and what can be carry-on—all of this stress can ruin a vacation before you even get off the ground.
With Luggage Guru, I strive to ease your stress by equipping you with the knowledge you need to trot the globe like a pro. Today, the topic in the spotlight is travel hacks for packing. I've compiled an arsenal of packing hacks in my years of journeying. These tips are sure to save you time and contain the chaos that comes with travel preparations.
Invest in a Durable Luggage
Without secure and durable luggage, traveling wouldn’t be possible. Unless you plan on buying an entirely new wardrobe at your destination, you should invest in high-quality luggage, backpacks or even a luggage set.
We recommend choosing a hard-shell suitcase so you can ensure that all of your items are adequately protected. Choose something expandable just in case you shop and need the extra room for your returning flight.
Although it’s a matter of preference, four-wheel luggage is generally easier to maneuver. Wheels that spin 360 degrees make it much easier to navigate without having to lug a resistant suitcase behind you. For reviews of some of the top luggage brands in the USA, read my comprehensive guide by clicking here.
Don’t Forget a Laundry Bag
Inevitably, some laundry will collect as your travels unfold. You won’t have the luxury of a laundry basket like you do at home, so don’t neglect to stick a mesh bag in your suitcase that will act as your hamper for the trip.
By doing this, you can separate all of your dirty clothes from the clean ones. If you don’t have a mesh bag on hand, a pillowcase will work too. Just make sure it’s something flexible and compact so you don’t waste space in your luggage.
Check Your Damage with a Luggage Scale
All too often, travelers sacrifice a few articles of clothing or a pair of shoes due to fear that they’ll be over the weight limit. Much of the travel-related stress you may experience can be due to the absurd fees associated with an overweight suitcase.
Instead of making it guesswork, purchase a luggage scale and weigh your suitcase prior to embarking on your travels.
Make Use of Hidden Space
To maximize your suitcase’s potential, you have to pack tactfully. There’s probably more space in your suitcase than you know, and it’s up to you not to waste that space by being a lazy traveler.
Stick any small items you plan on bringing into shoes or hats. If you’re bringing perfume or cologne, try and stick it between layers of clothing. Aside from saving space, this will also keep it secure and ensure that it doesn’t burst while you travel.
Traveling and walking go hand in hand. Unless you plan on a sedentary vacation, you should have a comfortable pair of shoes so you can explore your destination freely. Traveling should be an adventure, and foot/leg pain can take a stab at your enjoyment.
Insoles are cushioned inserts that can help you avoid blisters and keep your feet comfortable. The added support will make even your most uncomfortable pair of shoes feel like a cloud. To discover some of the best insoles on the market, read our review for travel insoles here.
Packing toiletries is always tricky because you want to avoid spillage in your suitcase. If you don’t have a secure toiletry bag, your items can cause a mess in your luggage and stain all of your clothes. This will seriously rain on your parade.
To bypass this, store your shampoo, toothpaste, and soaps in a water-resistant toiletry bag. You want something that is compact but sizeable enough to carry all of your essentials. Click here to discover some of our top toiletry bag picks.
Roll Instead of Fold
Folding your clothes is the traditional route, but it can actually waste more space than it saves. Instead of folding your clothes when packing them, roll them. While it may sound weird, it actually prevents wrinkles and allows you to pack more.
Rolling your clothes allows you to optimize your suitcase space and stay organized. Doing so will leave more space on the top of your luggage and minimize the amount of space left on the sides and edges.
Be Cautious with Jewelry and Valuables
To prevent damage to your valuables, be extra careful when packing your jewelry. To avoid a tangled mess, store dainty bracelets and necklaces in tiny Ziploc bags. To pack earrings and rings, place them in a pill organizer.
If you have anything especially valuable, it may be a safer bet to leave it at home. When you are traveling to an unfamiliar location, you run the risk of losing things or having them stolen.
Wear Your Bulkier Items
Say you plan on bringing one thick jacket. That is the equivalent of a few T-shirts. Instead of filling your suitcase with bulky items, wear them to make space for more clothing.
Not only does this packing tip save space in your suitcase, but it keeps you warm. Planes tend to get cold, so you’ll want to have the added layer on your person.
Make a Checklist
Making a checklist is an easy way to feel more prepared with minimal effort. Simply listing everything you know you need before packing will make it much easier when it comes time to. It will also help you avoid forgetting something important.
Use Packing Cubes
Packing cubes can be a lifesaver when you need a space-saving solution and an easy organization hack. Packing cubes are usually labeled to help you decide what to put where. All you have to do is stick your items inside.
Not only does it keep everything organized, but it looks much more aesthetically pleasing than a suitcase full of unkempt clothing.
Create a Health Kit
It’s all too common to get sick when you travel. This is simply due to the change in atmosphere. To avoid catching something, I recommend bringing an assortment of immunity-boosting vitamins with you. Here are some of the best ones:
· Vitamin C
Use Sample Sizes
Sample sizes are ideal for traveling because they’re TSA-approved. If you opt for these instead of your normal-sized toiletries, you won’t have any issues when passing through security. Moreover, you’ll create space for more important items.
Mark Your Suitcase as Fragile
Unfortunately, baggage handlers don’t always treat your suitcase with care. This is because they deal with a lot of baggage on a daily basis and need to work quickly. To prevent damage to your luggage, consider placing a fragile sticker on your bag.
Ideally, this will deter the handlers from being too harsh with your bag. While it’s a gamble either way, it doesn’t hurt to have the added assurance.
Put Valuable Items in Your Carry-On
You should always stick your valuables in your carry-on since it’s the bag that will be on your person at all times. Your checked baggage could be delayed or even lost, so store the stuff you care most about in your personal bag.
While you won’t be able to fit everything important in there, always have your essentials with you so you can make do on your trip should something happen to your luggage.
Cover Your Shoes with Shower Caps
If you don’t cover your shoes, they will roll around your suitcase and dirty your clothes. You can purchase designated dust bags for your shoes. You can also use shower caps if you don’t have any dust bags on hand.
This will keep your other items safe and your suitcase clean. Unprotected shoes can cause damage to other items in your luggage and even lead to a nasty odor.
Tape Your Toiletries
As I mentioned earlier, toiletries can be tricky to pack. One way to avoid a mess is to tape your toiletries before you pack them. If you purchased new toiletries for your trip, leave them in the original packaging. Most products come with safety seals.
Pack What You Know Your Hotel Won’t Have
Not all hotels have all the amenities you need during your stay. Here are some travel essentials your hotel may not provide for you:
· Hair dryer
· Nail file
· Lotions and creams
If you’re staying at a nicer hotel, chances are they will provide these items. If you’re unsure, simply call your hotel prior to your stay and ask.
Pack Heavier Items at the Bottom of Your Suitcase
To distribute the weight in your suitcase more evenly, pack heavier items at the bottom. This tip will save you the hassle of having to lug around a top-heavy suitcase.
This tip may seem small, but it can make a world of a difference while navigating the airport. Aside from that, you’ll need to transport your luggage to wherever you’re going. Don’t waste more time than you need to by making your suitcase hard to manage.
Keep Everything Fresh
Your suitcase may begin to smell if all of the items in it are packed tightly. To avoid this, pack dryer sheets in between your clothing so it smells fresh once you open it.
Another travel hack is to put hotel soaps in your suitcase. Not only will your clothes smell great, but you’ll be greeted with feelings of nostalgia from your vacation once you open your suitcase.
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Welcome to LuggageGuru!
My name is Daniel and I am a full-time world traveler and constantly on the move.