Going on trips can be a lot of fun, but packing all of your things is a chore. It seems like there is never enough room in your suitcase, it’s hard to know what you should take and what you should leave behind, and even when you do narrow it down and get everything in, you worry about the integrity of the items that you packed. If you struggle with packing before a trip, check out this list of 53 tips to make your packing experience go just a little smoother. Be sure to utilize some of these tips and don’t forget to share this list with a fellow traveler!
1. Fill Up Your Boots
Packing smarter is all about utilizing available space in an efficient manner. Filling your boots is a perfect example of this. They take up a lot of space in your bag, but when you fill them with other items, no space is being wasted.
2. Jewelry In Pill Containers
Packing small and delicate things, like jewelry, can be a real chore. They tend to get lost or ruined when they are haphazardly thrown into a suitcase. To avoid this, try filling a pill container with your favorite rings and broaches. That way, they’ll always be protected and you’ll know exactly where they are when you need them.
3. Keep Your Essential Items In Your Carryon
There’s nothing worse than landing at the airport and finding out that the airline has lost your checked bag. However, this setback can be made easier if you keep all of your essential items with you in your carryon–things like wallet, passport, glasses, etc. That way you have what you need to make it through until you are reunited with the rest of your things.
4. Make Your Luggage Easy To Spot
No one likes spending more time than they need to in a crowded airport. One way to help you get out of the airport sooner is by making your luggage stand out. Try covering it with stickers or tying on colorful ribbons. Make it easy to recognize when it comes out at the baggage claim so you can grab it and go.
5. Roll Your Clothes
One easy space-saver is rolling your clothes instead of folding them. Not only will you have more room to work with, but it will also help mitigate wrinkles. Once you start doing this, you’ll never go back to folding your clothes again.
6. Put A Binder Clip Over Your Razor
Razors can become damaged when packed away carelessly in your bag. Not only that, but they can cut and damage other times in your bag as well. To avoid this, try putting a binder clip over the end of your razor as protection.
7. Slide A Belt Through Your Collar
If you are traveling for business, looking sharp is important. But it can be hard to avoid wrinkles and creases in your shirt collars when you pack them away. To keep this from happening, try sliding a rigid belt under the collar of your work shirts. That should keep it nice and protected from wrinkles.
8. Refill Travel Bottles
Only taking as much as you need is a good thing to strive for when packing. So when it comes to shampoo and conditioner, there’s no need for an entire bottle. Instead, pack a small travel-sized bottle and be sure to refill it the next time that you are headed out on a trip.
9. Pack Dryer Sheets
Things can get smelly in a suitcase if you are traveling for long enough. After all, you have to put your sticky socks somewhere, right? Try putting some dryer sheets in your pack to keep it smelling fresh even when it’s filled with dirty clothes.
10. Pack Your Cables In A Glasses Case
Cables can be a hassle to pack. They always get tangled and sometimes they even get damaged from all the jostling around. To avoid this, try packing your cables in an empty glasses case. That way they will stay protected and organized for when you need to use them.
11. Label Your Suitcase “Fragile”
This is an important one. You should always be labeling your luggage fragile even if it’s not. You never know how other people will handle your stuff, so by putting a “Fragile” sticker on your bag, you can at least hope that the airport workers handle it with a little more care than usual.
12. Keep Bottles From Leaking
I’ve had bottles of soap explode in my bag before and it’s not fun. It makes a mess and usually stains your bag for good. To avoid this, be sure to put any and all small bottles into plastic bags before packing them away.
13. Bring An Empty Water Bottle
We all know that you can’t bring full water bottles through security… but you can bring empty ones. Make sure to pack an empty bottle or two so that you can fill it up once you are through security. This will save you both time and money.
14. Store Cash In Empty Sunscreen Bottles
Theft is often a part of traveling. To help minimize this risk, try hiding your money in unique places. Everyone expects to find your money in a spare wallet or a pocket in your backpack or pants. Get creative with where you hide it–empty sunscreen bottles is a good option.
15. Use A Button To Keep Earrings Together
Earrings are so small and easy to lose when you are traveling. And if you don’t have both of them, then you may as well not even have the one. To avoid losing them, you can hook each earring into the holes of a button to keep them together.
16. Put Dirty Shoes In A Shower Cap
Having dirty shoes can be tough when you are traveling. You need to pack them up but you don’t want them getting the rest of your clothes dirty as well. The easiest way to avoid this is by bringing along a shower cap. Just throw your dirty shoes into it before packing them back into your bag. That way, all the dirt and grime is isolated to the bottoms of your shoes.
17. Bring Activities For Your Kids
If you’ve ever traveled with kids, then you know how restless they can get. To help keep both you and your kids from going insane while you wait in hotel rooms and airports, try bringing along a binder full of activities for them to do. Coloring pages work great, as do puzzles. You’ll be glad you brought this one along.
18. Keep Your Jewelry From Breaking
Necklaces are so easily bent and broken when you travel. To help keep their chains from breaking, try placing them between two sheets of Glad Press’n Seal. The sheets should keep your necklace in place and stop breaks and kinks from happening.
19. Use Your Shoes As Protection
Keeping delicate items from breaking while traveling can be a challenge. So instead of just tossing things like glasses and bracelets into your backpack, try shoving them into a pair of shoes instead. Shoes are a great way to keep delicate items protected and you will also be utilizing your packing space efficiently.
20. Snack Bracelets And Necklaces
Once again, this one is for the parents out there. To help keep your kids occupied, try making them edible snack bracelets. That way, they always have something to snack on everywhere they go.
21. Sock Protection
Socks are good for more than just keeping your feet warm. They are also great at protecting valuable things when you are traveling. And the beauty of sock protection is that the more fragile something is, the more socks you can use to wrap it up in.
22. Mint Container Storage
When you are finished with your mints, don’t throw away the container. Save it and reuse it as a small storage container for your odds and ends when you travel. They work great for spare change and jewelry.
23. String Your Necklaces Through Straws
Damaging your necklaces when you travel is not fun. To keep this from happening, try stringing them through straws to keep the chain safe and protected. This should stop any chain knotting or tweaking during travel.
24. Use Dry-Cleaning Bags
If you want to keep your clothes from getting wrinkled during travel, try putting them in a dry-cleaning bag. The bag will keep the clothes from creasing and help protect them as well. Just slide your favorite jacket into the bag and then fold it like you normally would.
25. Bundle Your Clothes
If you are short on luggage space and you don’t mind a few wrinkles, consider bundling your clothes together. Make sure to separate your piles by type of clothing–shirts, pants, etc.–and then fold them over into one big bundle. You can separate and organize them upon arrival of your destinati0n.
26. Tuck Socks/Underwear Into Your Bras
Bra cups can become easily damaged when they are packed away. To keep this from happening, you can shove socks and underwear into the cups of your bras. This will help support them and maintain their shape.
27. Use Cloth Bags For Your Delicate Clothes
No one likes to ruin their clothes. One way to help keep delicate clothes protected during travel is to store them in cloth bags before you pack them away. These same bags can be used later for other things like storing your dirty laundry or packing souvenirs for your return.
28. Contact Lens Case For Makeup
Once again, only packing what you need is essential during travel. Rather than bring huge bottles and containers of makeup, why not try bringing only as much as you will use while you’re gone? Transfer whatever amount you need into the contact lens case and slide it in the pocket of your travel bag.
29. Use Cotton Pads To Protect Pressed-Powder Compacts
With all of the jostling that takes place while traveling, your makeup can take a beating. For pressed-powder compacts, in particular, try placing a few cotton balls into the container to keep the pressed-powder from cracking and breaking.
30. Put Your Curling Iron Into A Potholder
A hot curling iron and cause some serious damage to the other items in your suitcase. To avoid this, try storing the curling iron in a potholder when you travel. It will help you remember where it is and it will keep your other items protected.
31. Storing Big Hats
Keeping the right shape of a hat is crucial. If you have to pack it away, your best bet is to put it at the bottom of the suitcase and fill the crown with socks and other clothes to help support it. Be gentle with your bag and take it out as soon as you can.
32. Tissue Paper To Minimize Wrinkles
Keeping wrinkles out of your clothes when traveling is tough to do. One trick is to put tissue paper in between each article of clothing. This is supposed to keep wrinkles from forming and keep you from having to iron your clothes once you reach your destination.
33. Tic Tac Storage
Storing small things like hairpins can be tough when you are traveling. But if you have a small container, then packing them away is no problem. Try using an old Tic Tac container to store your hairpins and other small items in.
34. Q-Tips In Medicine Bottles
Q-Tips can be another tough one to store. They usually come in packs of hundreds and no one needs that many q-tips while on vacation. Instead, try packing away as many as you think you’ll need in your medicine containers. That way, they’ll stay organized and clean.
35. Pre-Coat Some Cotton Swabs With Your Makeup
Makeup can take up a lot of room in your bag. Rather than bringing all of your containers, why not pre-coat your favorite eye-shadow colors onto a few cotton swabs and then store them in a sealing plastic bag? That way, the bag will keep them moist for when you are ready to apply them to your face.
36. Put Your Makeup Brush In An Old Glasses Case
It’s easy for things to get unorganized in a suitcase, but maintaining organization makes all the difference. Instead of having your makeup brushes floating around a makeup bag or just shoved into a pocket, try storing them in an old glasses case so that you always know right where they are.
37. Stack Your Bras
Bras can take up a lot of space in a bag. To utilize your bag-space efficiently, try stacking your bras together. This will minimize the space that they use up and will also help support the cups and keep them from being damaged.
38. Plan Your Outfits
Rather than just throwing a bunch of clothes in your bag, try thinking about which clothes specifically that you want to wear. You can plan out your outfits day by day and pack them together in order to keep from packing clothes that you won’t even end up wearing.
39. Fill Eyedropper Bottles With Toothpaste
A tube of toothpaste can last you months. So why would you bring an entire tube on a two-week vacation? If you don’t have any travel-sized toothpaste containers lying around, try filling empty eyedropper bottles instead. They will carry enough toothpaste for the duration of your trip.
40. Pack Two Tops For Every Bottom
Many travelers agree that packing two tops for every one bottom is a good way to go. This is because you will usually change your shirt daily, but your pants can go for two or three days without needing to be changed. This allows you to mix up your outfits without packing too many clothes.