Travelling is fun, but packing for it isn’t. It’s definitely a challenge knowing that you’re going to be away from home and you have to fit everything in a piece of luggage or two. Regardless of the length of your trip—may it be a short business trip or a two-week backpacker trip to Southeast Asia—you should know how to effectively organize your things and optimize the limited space you have.
Yeah, everyone knows, it’s a doozy! Now, turn that frown upside down because there’s some hope for you. Read on for 13 packing hacks that will help you on your next adventure.
Plan Your Outfits
Get to know the itinerary of your entire trip. Where are you going? What activities will you be doing?
Plan what you’re wearing for each day that you’re traveling. This ensures that what you have taken with you is appropriate for the things that you will be doing and the places you will be visiting.
Roll Your Clothes instead of Folding Them
When you fold clothes, you stack them on top of one another inside your luggage. If it’s a suitcase you’re using, they’ll most likely end up wrinkled. The reason for this is that, when you pack, the suitcase is lying flat on the floor and so are your clothes. When you pick the suitcase up, your neatly folded clothes get dragged down.
Avoid the Suitcase (If You Can)
There’s nothing wrong with suitcases apart from the fact that they’re extremely rigid. Now that may be good if you’re traveling a long distance, but they don’t give you the flexibility of shape. Canvas backpacks or duffel bags, for example, have space to bulge for the things you need to bring. Plus, they’re more mobile and less bulky.
Bring Travel-Sized Toiletries
Don’t take your home shampoo and toothpaste to your trip. They’ll just consume unnecessary space in your bag.
Buy travel-sized proportions of your favorite brands. They may look small, but they’ll last you for days. Or you have the option of buying small plastic bottles and filling them with your own body or face creams and other toiletries.
Keep Your Toiletries in One Place
Put your toiletries in one bag. It’s handy as it stores all your needed toiletries in one place. To avoid spilling, put a small patch of plastic between the bottle and the cap. If you’re afraid of having glass bottles broken, you can stuff them inside your socks for padding. You can also show your personality here by getting a toiletry bag with a quirky design or print.
Separate Your Accessories
Don’t you just hate it when your earrings are missing or your necklaces get tangled? You can use a pill organizer to put all your rings and earrings in.
Meanwhile, a piece of straw is useful to organize your necklaces. Some people usually just stuff them in the pockets of their bags, but if they fall out of place, you’ll have a hard time finding them.
Prepare a Health Kit
A pharmacy isn’t always available when you’re on the road or in a foreign country. Prepare your own health kit so that you’ll have medicine or first aid when you need them. In case of a severe headache, an unexpected fever, or a bad case of food poisoning, you can just conveniently pop a pill or apply ointment.
Socks inside Your Shoes
If you’re bringing a lot of footwear to your trip, stuff your rolled-up socks inside the soles of your shoes. Not only will you save space in your luggage, but you’ll also prevent your shoes from deforming.
The socks help retain the shape even when they’re squished under the weight of all your other things. Wrap your shoes in an old shower cap as well so that they won’t dirty your clothes.
Bring a Plastic Laundry Bag
Planning a trip to the beach? Better bring an additional plastic laundry bag for your wet clothes. It’s a hassle to wait for your swimwear to dry before you can put them back in your bag. Or if it’s just a day trip, you’ll certainly have no time at all.
If you have any plastic bag with you, you can stash your dripping clothes right away.
Keep Your Electronic Chargers with You
In domestic or international flights, your carrier may lose your luggage, and it may take some time before you can get it back. That’s why it’s best that you place your electronic chargers, a shirt, and an underwear in your carry-on bag. In the off chance that this does happen to you, you can sustain yourself for a day or two while waiting for your luggage to be returned.
Only Bring the Essentials
In other words, pack light. Nothing ruins a trip more than the stress of having to bring a heavy suitcase or multiple pieces of luggage does.
When you overpack, you’ll go home with the regret of not having used every item that you brought. This means that you’ve lugged around useless items that you could have just left at home, which leads to the next hack.
Take Out Half of What You’ve Packed
Now, this seems counterintuitive since the purpose of putting them inside your bag in the first place is the intent of using them on your trip. Ask yourself, do you really need to bring two pairs of shoes or that same shirt but with a different print on it?
Packing is psychological. You are most likely to overpack because you think that you’ll absolutely need all the items that you plan to bring.
Unpack Right Away
To avoid further wrinkling your clothes, unpack as soon as you get to your hotel room. If there are hangers in the closet, use them especially if you brought polo shirts or dresses. Doing this saves you time for the remaining days of your trip since you’ll no longer be scrambling around, looking for clothes in your luggage, if they’re already neatly arranged in the closet.