Genius Packing Hacks for Travel

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I’ve admitted before that packing used to stress me out. While I was almost always looking forward to the trip, I wasn’t looking forward to packing. But that’s all in the past. Now, I use these genius packing hacks for travel and the best travel organizers to pack smarter, faster and stress-free.

Use a Travel Packing List

This is an obvious travel packing tip but one I think many people skip because creating a packing list can be daunting. But I’ve done the hard work for you by creating the Ultimate Packing Lists. There one list for adults, one for babies and toddlers and one for kids and teens.

It’s a comprehensive list but it also includes blank lines for any specific needs you have.

Clothes – Simplify What You Pack

I used to be an over-packer and my husband still can be at times. It can be hard to be realistic about what you will need. To prevent over-packing, pack clothes in neutrals or complimentary clothes so you can mix and match them into different outfits.

Also, be prepared with layers to handle fluctuating temperatures. Even if you are going to a warm destination, wear or pack a light jacket or sweater for cooler indoor environments, such as the airport or restaurants.

Don’t Forget About Shoes

When planning outfits, don’t forget about the shoes. Shoes can be bulky, taking up precious space. How many pairs of shoes you need to bring will depend on the type of trip you are taking, what activities you’ll do and the weather.

Try to keep the number of shoes to a minimum. Avoid packing shoes to go with just one outfit, unless it’s for a special event. Consider packing flats that can go with a casual site-seeing outfit but also goes well with a dress in the evening.

And speaking of shoes, always pack them in a separate bag or compartment to keep the dirt from getting onto your clean clothes. If your luggage doesn’t have a separate area, use a plastic bag or a shoe bag designed specifically for this purpose.

Space Saving Packing Hacks

  • Roll your lighter-weight clothes instead of the traditional way of folding. It not only saves space but also reduces wrinkles.
  • Wear bulkier items. Planning to pack athletic shoes? Wear them and put the smaller flats in the luggage.
  • Use all available space. Store socks inside of shoes. Bringing an extra purse? Fill it with small items.
  • Use compression bags (like vacuum storage bags without the need for a vacuum). The compression bags will save space but not alter the weight so be sure to use a luggage scale if you are flying.
  • Pack only essential toiletries. Plan to use the hotel’s products, especially for bulky items like a hairdryer. Buy travel size products or invest in a reusable travel bottle set so you can transfer your toiletry items from larger bottles.

How to Pack Luggage

Whether you’re packing a backpack or rolling luggage, put the heavier items on the bottom (the bottom when the bag is sitting upright). This not only prevents the heavier stuff from squashing lighter items but it also makes it easier to carry or roll your luggage.

Keep Your Luggage Organized

Organized luggage is not only important when packing but also while you are traveling. Living out of a suitcase can be hard but I found one product that revolutionized the way I pack and stay organized.

Packing cubes are such a simple product that can make such a big difference. I reference them in a lot of articles because they are so awesome for travel organization! I know this sounds silly but these simple cubes changed the way I pack and are essential to staying organized at my destination.

They are invaluable whether each family member gets a cube or you use multiple cubes to sort outfits or types of clothing. The packing cubes are like a traveling drawer. They keep your clothes organized in your suitcase and you can easily transfer the packing cubes to the hotel’s dresser drawer or lay them out on top of a desk or couch. All your clothes stay neat, organized and easy to find.

Packing a Carry-On Bag / “Go” Bag

A carry-on bag isn’t limited only to flying. Even if you are going on a road trip, it’s a good idea to have a “go” bag. A “go” bag is similar to the carry-on bag in that it includes essential items you need to have readily available.

The travel packing list I created has a specific section just for carry-on bags.

In general, a carry-on or go-bag should include something to entertain, travel comforts, travel documents, valuables and snacks. It can also sometimes be a good idea to pack any clothes that you will need immediately on arrival, such as a jacket or swimsuit.

Sign up for the packing list below and check out Stay Organized While Traveling for more details on carry-on essentials.

Keep Toiletry Bag Stocked

It’s easy to forget toiletry items because they typically need to be packed at the last minute. On the morning of a trip, I usually have my toiletry bag and packing list sitting on the counter. I add each item after I finish using it and check it off the packing list.

A fantastic option for frequent travelers is to have a stocked toiletry bag ready to go. Just buy double your toiletry items (or travel-sized versions of all your products) and keep them in your toiletry bag. This way you don’t need to worry about packing your razor or toothbrush the morning of your trip because a second set is already packed and ready to go.

Just do a quick inventory before you travel to make sure you have enough left of each product.

Car packing hacks

If you’re driving to your vacation destination, then you might wonder, “What should I pack for a road trip?” or “How do I organize my car for a road trip?” Check out How to Pack a Car for a Road Trip for answers to these questions and more.

Travel Organizers

Packing for travel isn’t just about how and what to pack but also using the right travel organizers. I’ve highlighted a couple within this article. To see the rest check out the Best Travel Organizers.

What are your packing hacks for travel?

Do you have any travel packing hacks that have had a big impact on how you pack? I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below.

Genius travel packing hacks including free packing checklists.

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