Do you feel like your packing skills could use a refresher? Whether you’re gearing up for a long trip or just hitting the road for the weekend, these packing hacks can help streamline your packing process and save space in your bags.
Are you planning a trip and not sure what to take with you? Don’t worry, this article will help you decide what to bring with you on your trip.
The first thing you’ll need to consider is the type of trip you’re taking. Are you going on a leisurely vacation or are you traveling for work? If you’re traveling for work, you’ll need to pack different items than if you’re going on a vacation.
Next, think about the climate of the area where you’re going. If you’re going somewhere warm, you won’t need as many clothes as if you were going somewhere cold.
You’ll also need to think about the activities that you’ll be doing on your trip. If you’re going hiking, for example, you’ll need to pack different items than if you’re just going sightseeing.
Some people just throw their stuff in a suitcase without any rhyme or reason. But that’s going to waste a lot of luggage space!
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How to pack your suitcase
Perhaps the most important thing when it comes to packing is learning how to organize your clothes. There’s very little space in luggage so you’ll need to save space where you can.
One of the oldest tricks in the book is to roll your clothes. This travel packing hack might not be shocking as it’s been a well-known strategy for years. However, many people still aren’t familiar with this simple trick to get more space in your luggage.
There’s also some debate as to whether or not rolling clothes is better than folding to save room in luggage.
This hacking lifestyle blog claims that folding usually results in differing shapes and sizes of garments. Consequently, your suitcase is filled with inefficient space gaps.
On the other hand, rolling seems to save space. “Because of their small, narrow shapes, you can fit more clothes this way,” says the source.
Just be prepared to take out your clothes and hang them right away when you arrive at your destination. You might still need to iron some of your finer going out for dinner clothes.
Plastic bag hacks
The one knock on rolling your clothes is that even though it’s a good travel trick, it may not be easy to find specific clothing items. Especially if you’re going to be living out of a suitcase for a while.
An easy hack for this is to bring a handful of extra large Ziploc bags. You can have one bag for active-wear shirts for hikes and bike rides.
Another bag can be for bedtime clothes. Pack all of your similar items in zip lock bags. This is especially useful for smaller items that can get lost in the bag.
Having a few plastic bags on hand is also great if you have to pack a wet bathing suit. It’s also good to put dirty shoes in bags so they don’t touch your clean clothes.
Clothing and shoe hacks
Shants (pants that easily unzip part of the leg and turn into shorts) are a smart thing to bring on trips. High-end outdoor recreation brands such as REI and Columbia sell hiking pants that can quickly transform into shorts.
With shants, you don’t need to pack too many pants nor too many shorts.
If you have a favorite bulky sweater, bring it with you on the plane. Bulky sweaters are difficult to roll and take up extra space in your suitcase.
If you have no room in your carry-on, pack your bulky sweater in a big canvas bag within the personal bag size limit. You can use the canvas bag if you go food shopping or buy souvenirs.
But if those options don’t work, you can always tie the bulky sweater around your waste before you board. Same is true for bulky hiking boots. Either wear them on the plane or tie the laces to your carry on bag.
Suitcase Packing Tips
When packing for a trip, it’s important to pack light. It also helps to have a packing checklist so you don’t forget important items.
Here are some tips for packing your suitcase:
- Bring clothes that can be mixed and matched so you can create several different outfits.
- Include clothes that are versatile and can be worn in different weather conditions.
- Pack lightweight and wrinkle-free clothes.
- Ask yourself if you’re definitely going to wear or use each item. If you’re in doubt about a specific item, don’t pack it.
- Pack a few accessories to help dress up your outfits.
- Bring travel sized toiletries and other essentials that fit in a small toiletry bag. You want these items in a carry on so the won’t get damaged or lost.
- If you’re going on a long trip, pack a small bag with all the essentials (i.e. bathing suit, sunscreen, sunglasses, map of the area).
- Weigh your suitcase after packing to ensure you won’t have to pay fees when you put it on the luggage scale at the airport. If it’s going to be close remove your heaviest items from your suitcase and see if you can wear or fit them on a carry on bag. It also helps to have a lightweight suitcase.
- If you are running out of space, you can always leave your basic cosmetics at home. It might be easier to buy travel size containers of toothpaste, toothbrush, soap and shampoo at your destination.
- Wrap fragile items in bubble wrap. It’s also best to keep these items with you rather than in checked luggage.
- Pack a mini first aid kit so you’ll be prepared should you have an accident along the way.
Space Saving Packing Hacks
Packing cubes are one of the most recent travel packing hacks. If you have an engineering mind or loved playing Tetris, you might enjoy packing cubes.
They are lightweight and you can zip them up. The purpose of them is to compress your clothes into tighter spaces.
Like a large Ziploc bag, using a packing cube is a way to keep your items organized. Rather than digging through your suitcase looking for your last clean pair of socks, you’ll know immediately where to look with the cubes.
The downside to the cubes is that you have to buy them. And they’re certainly more expensive than plastic baggies, which hopefully you have at home and reuse.
The higher quality cubes are mesh, which make it easy to see what each cube contains. Immediately upon arriving at your hotel, you can take the cubes out.
You can even leave the cubes on your desk in the hotel room rather than having to take the time and unpacking everything in drawers that probably don’t get cleaned too often. I love packing cubes and I think you will too!
Travel Hacks for Flying
Sometimes, luggage gets lost. Hopefully, not lost permanently, but at least doesn’t arrive at the intended destination. This could be a disaster for any pre-planned trip like a well-laid-out Switzerland itinerary.
Therefore, it’s always best to pack at least one change of clothes in your carry-on. Obviously, if you take medication you can’t do without, bring it on board with you.
You should also have an empty water bottle that you can fill up after going through security. You’ll save money because you won’t need to buy an expensive bottle of water at the airport.
Don’t feel like dealing with packing clothes? Then unfolding them, ironing them, packing them in a dirty laundry bag, and then having to wash them when you get home?
And don’t forget after you wash your dirty clothes, you have to put them away.
If you can relate, here’s the ultimate of travel packing hacks for lazy people….
Only pack a couple changes of clothes. Then, when you arrive at your destination, look for a Salvation Army or Goodwill store.
At second-hand stores like these, you can buy shirts for a dollar or even less. If you’re going fishing or hiking or just knocking around, you can essentially rent a wardrobe for $10-$20.
Then, when you’re done with your trip, donate the clothes back to the second-hand store.