Travelling is a life-saver to get away from everyday routine but packing is a pain. Regardless of the effort to make the suitcase lighter and thinking of just bringing the essentials, there is not enough space. For all of you who have trouble packing, here are 50 travel packing hacks that will get you through packing. Don’t be stressed about your next travel because these hacks will save space and make your suitcase organized. It might even make the whole process enjoyable!
1. Pill containers for jewelry
Keep your jewelry in a pill organizer container while you are traveling. Not only do pills containers prevent small jewelry items like earrings and bracelets from getting lost, but they are also great for organization, hence the name. You can even plan ahead and split up your jewelry day by day.
2. Essentials go in the carryon
It’s important to pack all your essential items like glasses, electronics, bank cards, etc in your carryon. That way if your main suitcase does happen to get lost or delayed, you’ll still be able to survive. It’s a good idea to throw a few pairs of spare underwear and clothes in your carryon on as well, just in case.
3. Make your luggage stand out
Add some unique flair to your luggage like a brightly colored piece of yarn or sticker. Anything that makes your luggage stand out more will make your life easier when you are trying to spot your suitcase on the conveyer belt in baggage claim.
4. Roll your clothes
Folding all your clothes neatly can take a long time. Sometimes it’s better to just roll them up instead to streamline the packing process. Everything is likely to end up creased and wrinkled anyway, so why not? It will save you a bit of space as well.
5. Use a binder clip for your razor
Blades on razors can easily get damaged or slice other items in your suitcase while traveling. Put a binder clip over the blade in order to protect it. Just make sure to hang on to the binder clip throughout your trip so you can pop it back on as necessary.
6. Place belts inside shirt collars
Place belts inside shirt collars that you want to keep from getting creased. Not only will a belt help keep the shirt collar shaped nicely, but it will also save you space in your suitcase.
7. Refill travel sized bottles
Small travel sized items like shampoo or lotion are typically priced a lot more expensively than their full-sized counterparts. Hang on to empty travel sized bottles that you buy so that you can refill them in the future. Sometimes hotels give these out complimentary too. Even if you don’t need them at the time, save them for later use.
8. Bring dryer sheets
Don’t worry! You don’t have to do laundry while you’re on vacation. However, packing a few dryer sheets in your luggage can help keep everything smelling fresh, especially if you have any dirty clothes mixed in there.
9. Keep cables in glasses cases
No matter what you do, cables seem like they always get tangled when traveling. To prevent this, store your headphones and small chargers in a glasses case. It is so much better than having them loosely floating around your bag.
10. Fill your boots
Space is a luxury. Unfortunately, shoes and boots take up a lot of it. Help reclaim some space back by filling your boots with socks or other small items. When packing, no empty space should go unutilized.
11. Fragile stickers
Depending on what you have packed, it may be useful to put a fragile sticker on the side of your suitcase. If an airline employee spots the sticker, they are likely to handle your bag more gently than normal. In theory, they will also place your bag on the top of the pile in the aircraft, meaning it will be one of the first ones to come back out when you arrive at your destination.
12. Prevent bottles from leaking
You never know when pressure changes are going to cause bottles to leak in your bag. Help prevent leakage by placing a layer of plastic wrap over the top of the bottle before screwing the lid on. Additionally, you can also store all liquids inside a ziplock baggie as a secondary safety measure.
13. Pack an empty bottle
Another smart move is to pack an empty water bottle in your carryon. Once you get through security you can fill it up at one of the water fountains. This will save you from having to waste money on the overpriced drinks they sell in the terminal.
14. Store money in a sunscreen bottle
Theft in hotel rooms is common. Instead of placing your money in a spare wallet or pocket of your backpack, empty out a sunscreen bottle and put your bills and change in there instead. Criminals will never suspect it. Just make sure not to accidentally throw the bottle in the trash!
15. Use a button to keep earrings together
Earrings are easy to get separated from one another. Attach both of them to the holes in a button to keep one or the other from randomly disappearing. There is nothing more annoying than being left with only one earring.
16. Put dirty shoes in a shower cap
The last thing you want to do is get dirt from the bottom of your shoes all over your clean clothes. Placing the soles of your shoes inside a shower cap before packing them will solve this annoying problem. The elastic on the shower cap will hold it in place.
17. Fill a binder with activities for kids
If you are traveling with youngsters, print out a bunch of kids activities and games online and store the pages in a binder to keep them busy in the airport and on the plane. Things like blank coloring book pages and Mad Libs work great.
18. Keep jewelry from breaking
Keep delicate necklaces and other pieces of jewelry from breaking by placing them in between two sheets of Glad Press’n Seal. This self-sealing plastic wrap will hold the necklaces in shape so they don’t accidentally get bent into weird positions in your suitcase.
19. Shoes to protect delicate items
The space inside shoes is also great for protecting delicate items. Instead of randomly tossing your sunglasses in your carryon or luggage and hoping they survive, tuck them into a pair of boots instead. This will keep them from getting damaged in transit.
20. Edible snack necklaces
Combine arts and crafts with functionality and work with your kids to make edible snack necklaces. Simply string a bunch of pretzels, Fruitloops, or other snacks with holes in them together. Then as your traveling, the kids can slowly munch away on them.
21. Socks for protecting things
Slipping small perfume bottles or sunglasses into socks is a great way to protect them. If it’s something really fragile, you can even use multiple socks. You’ll still have to be careful about where you place the socks in your suitcase though.
22. Mint containers
Empty mint containers work great for storage of small items. Things like loose change and jewelry fit inside the containers perfectly. Just make sure to wash and dry them off before use to get rid of any leftover sticky residue.
23. Thread necklaces through straws
String your dainty necklaces through plastic straws to keep them from getting tangled up. Cut the straw to the appropriate size for the necklace so that you can close the clasp on each end and hold it in place.
24. Dry cleaning bags
Pack any clothes that you don’t want to get wrinkled inside plastic dry cleaning bags. This will do wonders for keeping any creases and wrinkles from settling in. Put the item flat inside the bag and fold it up as you normally would.
25. Bundle clothes together
If you are short on space, consider bundling all of your clothes together instead of folding or rolling each piece individually. For example, put all shirts on top of each other and fold them all at once into one neat bundle package. You can separate them again on arrival.
26. Tuck underwear into your bra
Help the cups of your bra maintain their form by tucking underwear into them. This will hold them in shape and prevent them from getting creased. Socks work for this purpose as well.
27. Cloth bags for delicates
The cloth bags that come with new purse or shoe purchases are good for storing delicates while traveling. Bras and other delicates fit into them perfectly. After you arrive, you can then use the bags for storing dirty laundry.
28. Contact lens cases for makeup
Instead of packing big bottles of creams and makeup, consider transferring only the amount that you actually need into contact lens cases. A lot of products are pretty bulky and bringing only what you will use on your trip will save a lot of space.
29. Cotton pads in pressed powder compacts
Pressed powder compacts often break apart when the containers get banged around while traveling. Put a cotton pad or a few cotton balls in the container with the compact to hold it in place and keep it from crumbling. The cotton cushioning will absorb some of the shockwaves.
30. Potholders and curling irons
To protect your curling irons, put them inside a pot holder or oven mitt. Then roll the potholder around them for maximum protection. You can hold it in place with a rubber band.
31. Large hats
If you are trying to maintain the shape of a large hat, the best place to put it is at the bottom of your suitcase. You should also stuff the crown of the hat with socks, scarves, or other small clothing items.
32. Prevent wrinkles with tissue paper
Another hack for preventing wrinkles is to layer tissue paper in between clothing items. This will save you from having to re-iron your clothes once you get to the hotel.
33. Tic Tac containers for hairpins
Hairpins can be stored inside empty Tic Tac containers for easy access. They are the perfect size and will keep your hairpins from getting loose in your bags or getting lost.
34. Medicine bottles for q-tips
Empty medicine containers like those that Advil comes in are nice for storing q-tips, cotton swabs or other makeup applicators. Prescription pill bottles work great as well.
35. Pre-coat cotton swabs with makeup
If you are only going on a short trip, instead of bringing all your eye shadow with you, simply pre-coat the ends of a few cotton swabs with your preferred shades. Then store them in a plastic sandwich bag. If sealed, the bag will keep the eye shadow moist until you are ready to apply it.
36. Makeup brushes in a sunglasses case
Store makeup brushes or other small beauty items inside of a slim sunglasses case. This is great for keeping your items organized and easily accessible. No longer will you have to dig all through your bag to find the makeup brush you are looking for.
37. Stack bras
Stacking bras together takes up less space in your suitcase. Place several of them on top of each other and then fold the straps into the center. It will also help the cups to hold their shape.
38. Organize outfits by day
Instead of bringing tons of clothes and deciding what to wear later, it’s better to plan specific outfits for specific days ahead of time. To make things easier, you can even put each day’s outfit in its own resealable plastic bag.
39. Eyedropper bottles for toothpaste
There’s no need to take an entire tube of toothpaste if you’re just going on a trip for a week or so. If you don’t have any travel-sized toothpaste tubes lying around, just fill up an empty eye dropper bottle instead. It will fit enough toothpaste to last for your whole vacation.
40. Pack two tops for every bottom
While you’ll likely want to change tops daily, bottoms should be good for at least two days and wearable with different outfits. A good rule of thumb is to pack two tops for every bottom. This will give you some variety without going overboard.
41. Pack clothes inside out
Not only will packing your clothes inside out help eliminate wrinkles, but it also serves to protect your clothes from stains should any sort of accident happen. If any makeup or liquids get loose inside your bag, at least only the inside of your clothes will get touched.
42. Pack heavy items near the wheels
If you are going to be rolling your luggage, it’s important to consider weight distribution. Packing the heaviest items closest to the wheels on the bottom of the suitcase will make it so that it rolls easier. A top-heavy suitcase will tip over more frequently as well.
43. Use a transparent bag for toiletries
Keeping your toiletry items in a see-through bag will make it easier to find things when you need them. Instead of digging through everything looking for a specific item, by using a clear pouch you will know exactly where the items you want to get out are located.
44. Bring a laundry bag
Mixing dirty clothes in with your clean clothes is a good way to get everything smelling funky. It’s important to bring a big trash bag with you to put your dirty clothes in once you wear them. That way you can keep the clothes you’ve already worn and your clean stuff separated.
45. Bring a small backpack or tote bag
Many people already use backpacks as their carryon bag. However, if you don’t have one with you it is smart to at least bring some kind of tote bag with you. That way if you go on any day trips you’ll have something to carry all the supplies you need in (towels, sunscreen, bug spray, maps, etc).
46. Choose the right size suitcase
Try and choose a suitcase that is the correct size for what you are bringing. You want everything to fit snuggly without it being so full that the zippers want to burst. On the other hand, if a suitcase is too empty, everything will shuffle around every time the suitcase gets moved.
47. Bring a sarong instead of a beach towel
A sarong is multipurpose and takes up a lot less space than a big bulky towel. You can lay out on it, use it as a wrap, use it as a blanket, and dry off with it! Sarongs are awesome.
48. Bring a few different sized plastic baggies
You never know when you will need a resealable plastic bag. They are good for putting your phone and valuables in while you are at the beach to keep sand and water off them. They can also be filled with ice at your hotel and used to keep your lunch chilled while out and about. You can even put your lunch itself in the plastic bag.
49. Elastic bracelets
Elastic bracelets are great as they can double as hairbands. They are also good for holding items together. Elastic bracelets come in handy more often than you might think.
50. Leave room for souvenirs
Remember to leave a little space in your bag in case you want to bring a souvenir back with you. You never know when you might see something you want to buy. If you don’t have room in your suitcase and you have to ship your souvenir back home separately, it is going to cost you big time.