Travel Organization Tips to Make Traveling Easy

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There’s a lot that can go wrong when you are traveling. And a lot of those things you can’t control – airlines, traffic, overbooking, natural disasters or illness. But you can make travel less stressful with these travel organization tips. Never worry about losing confimration numbers, forgeting to pack an essentail item or messy suitcases again!

Travel Itinerary Organization

travel organization tips - organize travel itinerary

The first travel organization tip is keeping track of travel confirmations. You never know when you’re going to need a flight number, a hotel confirmation number or details of your car rental.

Before you start to think about what to pack or how you’re going to fit everything into your carry-on, take a few minutes to organize your travel itinerary.

There are several easy ways to organize your travel itineraries:

  • Print – either print your confirmation emails or write the relevant details on a piece of paper or index card and store it in a plastic folder.
  • Email – create a folder in your email for each trip and file all the related travel emails to that folder. That way when you need to find something, you can easily go to that folder in your email.
  • App – There’s an app for everything and travel itinerary organization is no different. TripIt quickly organizes all your travel confirmations into a single itinerary that can be used across multiple devices and shared with traveling companions. All you have to do is set up an account and forward the travel confirmations to a TripIt email address. The basic service is free. There is a pro version that would definitely be worth the small investment if you are a frequent flier.

Packing List

Travel organization tips. Travel packing list for adults, babies, toddlers, kids and teens

While a packing list is the second travel organization tip, it is a must-have for any organized traveler. Packing lists not only help you remember to pack everything you need when you are heading to a destination, but they also help you remember to pack everything back up for the trip home.

I created the Ultimate Packing List printable with just about everything you need to pack when traveling and some blank lines for any specific needs you have.

The Ultimate Packing List is more than just a checklist. A column for quantity ensures you have the right amount of clean underwear (and other items) for your trip.

It also includes a printable Packing List for babies, toddlers, kids and teens. Whether your kids are old enough to pack themselves or you are packing for them, this list will help make sure you’re little ones have everything they need.

To make sure you don’t leave anything behind, put the packing list in your luggage to double check when you are packing up to return home.

Carry-On Essentials

Since many airlines have restrictions on the size of your carry-on luggage, you’ll want to maximize the space you have. But this travel organization tip isn’t just for air travelers. Even if you are going on a roadtrip, you’ll want to have a small bag with essentials for easy access.

You’re carry-on essentials are going to vary depending on if you are traveling for business or vacation, with kids or without, a long trip or a short one.

travel organization tips - organize carry-on

In the Packing List I created there is a detailed section for carry-on essentials but in general your carry-on should include:

  • Something to entertain yourself and your kids: books, magazines, toys, games or videos downloaded onto your electronic device
  • Travel comfort accessories: a light jacket or sweater, travel blanket and pillow
  • Valuables: money, credit cards, jewelry, electronics, camera
  • Travel documents: driver’s license/ID, passport, visa, itinerary (if you elect to bring a printed version)
  • Snacks, gum, empty water bottle (to fill after security)

Don’t forget about the TSA 3-1-1 rule for liquids and gels. Any liquid, gels or aerosols must be 3.4 ounces or smaller container and fit in a one-quart resealable bag. Each person is allowed one bag. This rule doesn’t apply to baby food, formula or breast milk.

What to Carry-on When Traveling with Baby

When traveling with a baby or toddler, what you pack in your carry-on becomes even more important. You’ll want to make sure you have all the necessities to keep your little one happy in the airport and on the flight. While a well-packed carry-on bag won’t guarantee your little one is happy for the entire trip, it will make traveling with a baby or toddler easier.

A carry-on for your baby should include:

  • Diaper essentials: diapers, wipes, cream, changing mat, hand sanitizer, plastic bags to dispose of dirty diapers or hold soiled clothes.
  • Feeding essentials: breast milk, formula, bottles, bib, burp cloths, baby food jars, spoons (make sure to have extra in case one drops), snacks.
  • Soothing items: blanket, stuffed animal/lovey, pacifiers, teething toys, other toys or small books to entertain
  • Change of clothes (for baby and you)
  • Infant pain reliever and fever reducer and any other medicine for baby
  • Travel first aid kit. I always recommend taking a first aid kit when traveling but it’s especially important when traveling with kids.

Check with the TSA policies for traveling with babies and toddlers to make sure you follow the proper procedures.

How to Organize Luggage

Sure, you could toss everything into your suitcase and be done. But then you’re stuff would be a jumbled mess when you arrive.

You can check out my complete list of travel organization secret weapons but here are a few of my essentials:

Packing Cubes

Hands down, the single best travel organization accessory is packing cubes. These cubes really don’t seem like they would be that revolutionary but trust me, they are! I used to dread packing before discovering packing cubes. They help me organize while I’m packing, once I arrive at the destination and when I’m packing up to return home. They also make it super easy to unpack by quickly distributing the packs to the proper room or drawer.

travel organization tips

Hanging Toiletry Bag

Countertop space is typically at a premium when you travel. A hanging toiletry bag or dopp kit is essential for keeping your personal care items organized and accessible.

Travel Organization Must-Have: Carry-on Bag

Each airline sets their own size requirements for carry-on bags so be sure to check with your airline before packing.

I love Amazon Basics underseat luggage because it can fit so much stuff and it has several pockets to keep your luggage organized. Best of all, it has wheels with telescoping handle which makes it so much easier to get through the airport.

Another great carry-on bag is a weekender backpack. This backpack has a ton of space and organizing pockets.

travel organization tips

Travel Organization Tips Recap

  1. Take control of your travel itineraries. Whether you prefer print or electronic itineraries, keep them together and in an easy to access spot.
  2. Download and print the Ultimate Packing List for you and everyone in your family. Use the list while packing and then put it in your suitcase so you can mark off each item when you are repacking to come home.
  3. Pack your carry-on with essentials. While the term typically refers to flying, it still applies for road trips. You’ll still want a small bag with essentials close by.
  4. Organize your luggage with the best products. Having packing cubes, a hanging toiletry bag and the best carry-on bag will make packing and staying organized while traveling so much easier.
Travel Organization tips to stay organized while traveling

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