Packing cubes are a fantastic way to pack efficiently because they prevent wasting space, they improve organization and they make things so much quicker to pack and unpack. Similarly, they’re a solid solution to separating your clean clothes from your muskier items. Also, they act as an effective barrier to protect the rest of your stuff if something liquid spills in one compartment.
Use Shoes as Containers
Shoes are a necessity on vacation, and if you’re wanting to wear more than one pair, they’re a necessity that take up vital space in your suitcase. Thankfully, you can easily compensate for this by using them as storage. Use every bit of available capacity by stuffing things like socks or hairbrushes into your shoes to make maximum use of each thing you pack.
Put Your Belt in Your Collar
It’s so disheartening when you pack your nicest, smartest clothes in preparation for a lovely, scenic dinner on a vacation you’ve had booked for what feels like a decade, and then you unpack your dinner shirt and realise the collar has lost its shape and has been squashed beyond recognition. Thankfully, there’s a very simple hack for that; slip your belt through your collar. Enough said.
Leave Space for Gifts and Souvenirs
It can sometimes feel like our kindness and generosity is being punished when we go on vacation, purchase a few souvenirs for ourselves and our loved ones, and then realise we can’t fit them in our suitcases. This can be resolved by simply planning ahead. When packing for your vacation, leave a realistic amount of space to store some purchases you might make and you’ll easily get rid of at least one source of stress.
Stuff Your Hats to Preserve Their Shape
Taking a hat on vacation is way more difficult than it has to be. You either have to wear it while you’re travelling – which means it just becomes yet another thing to juggle – or you have to pack it away and it resurfaces from your suitcases a crumpled, unrecognisable wicker mess. Pack your socks, underwear and vests in your hat to help it keep its fuller shape.
Downsize, Downsize, Downsize
Most vacations only last a few weeks at most, and it’s very likely that you’ll overpack and return home having not used/worn a good portion of the things you took. Vacations are temporary, so adopting a minimalistic lifestyle while you’re away is totally doable. Take airline-approved liquid containers for your toiletries and only take a few pampering items, for example jewelry, makeup, accessories and scents.
Try to pack everything regarding personal hygiene, beauty and health into one bag. Just one bag. If you can’t, it’s likely you’re packing too much and won’t use all of what you take anyway. It makes packing, unpacking and organising your things at each destination far easier and quicker; it reduces waste and overspending; and it creates more space for one extra outfit or souvenir.
Pack Clothes in Your Carry-On
It’s such a simple trick but solves so many problems. Putting an some extra socks, vests, underwear, toiletries, shirts – literally anything – in your carry on will not only save a lot of space in your luggage, but it will also give you the option to put more layers on while traveling, change your clothes in case of a spillage, refresh yourself if you’re experiencing a delay. There are no downsides to this hack!
Package Your Shoes
Not only do shoes take up a disproportionate amount of space in your luggage, but they can also run the risk of making the rest of your stuff either dirty or stinky. Try to put them or wrap them in something like a plastic bag or a shower cap to lessen the amount of chaos they can create while you’re traveling.
Keep in Mind That Shower Supplies Are Often Provided
It’s a controversial but true reality that the shower gels and shampoos provided by nice hotels are perfectly fine. They really are. They might not be as pricey, widely lauded or recognizable as your personal staples, but for the sake of a couple of weeks and saving you extra space in your luggage, they’ll be fine. They smell nice enough, they’ll keep you clean, they’re so affordable they’re free, and they’re another thing you don’t have to worry about packing and organizing.
Plan Your Outfits Ahead of Time
It takes away a lot of the spontaneity of traveling, granted, but planning your outfits ahead of time will help you stay organised as you pack efficiently without wasting space by throwing in clothes you might wear but you might not, or a weird shirt that doesn’t go with anything else you packed so won’t get worn anyway. You get the picture. Have in your mind a good idea of what you’ll wear and when you’ll wear it and what you’ll wear it with and it will make packing so much more simple.
So much of the stress of traveling comes from the weight limit airlines put on your luggage. As if trying to condense the entirety of your possessions into a week’s worth of necessities wasn’t stressful enough, you also have to contend with making sure your suitcase isn’t even slightly above the weight allowance. The good news, however, is that you can at least do your packing in an informed way and avoid a shock when you check in with a luggage scale. They’re portable, affordable, accurate and very simple to use.
Research the Climate
Although weather forecasts aren’t totally reliable, if you’re going away for a short amount of time then do some thorough research about what the weather will be doing at your destination. Check multiple sources and if you can get a rough idea of things like temperature and humidity, you’ll pack much more efficiently and use up far less space with unnecessary layers.
Double Up Your Hand Luggage as Your Beach Bag
The many bags you have to take on a vacation seem like an unavoidable use of space in your luggage. Beach bags for relaxation, clutch bags for evenings out, secure bags for being a tourist and then big, spacious bags for carry on luggage. This is a lot of bags to try and pack, but it can be simplified by doubling up your beach bag and your carry on bag by finding a nice, spacious, secure bag that will work effectively on both the beach and at the airport. Capacity is the most important thing to consider, then appearance, but as long as you have an open mind, you’ll realize you can make multiple uses out of one object.
Pack Versatile Shoes
Footwear is one of the biggest space wasters in your luggage, so the more you can condense your shoes into the most basic necessities, the better. Don’t limit yourself by thinking that evening shoes, beach shoes, tourist shoes and traveling shoes all have to be different. Invest in a pair of comfortable yet fashionable shoes that can be worn for long stretches with multiple outfits and you’ll reduce the amount of footwear you’re packing by half.
Plastic Wrap Your Liquids
Prevent any disastrous lotion leakages in your luggage by simply covering the tops of your toiletries’ bottles with plastic wrap and then screw on the cap as usual. It’s a little bit time consuming but it’s an affordable way to make sure your belongings stay nice and dry and none of your liquids are wasted while you’re traveling.
Roll Your Clothes
It really is astounding how much space we waste purely because of packing incorrectly. Don’t fold and lay your clothes flat in your suitcase, just roll them tightly and compactly and they’ll fit into much smaller spaces while also lessening the risk of getting crumpled.
Limit Your Hair Products
It might be a controversial opinion, but you don’t need to take all the hair products and equipment you have with you on vacation. Most hotels have hairdryers and most hairbrushes do the same job, despite how they’re marketed. You’re going on vacation to relax and escape any stress, so if you’re spending even one second on worrying about how your hair looks or how it’s styled, you’re missing out on your own vacation. Take a hairbrush, some mousse and either some straighteners or curlers, and that should be it.
Wear Your Heaviest Clothing While Traveling
The hack that solves multiple problems simultaneously is to just wear your heaviest clothes while traveling, especially if you’re flying to your destination. Not only does this save space in your suitcase, but it also increases your packing capacity and reduces the risk of exceeding the weight limit of your luggage. Also, traveling by plane can be very uncomfortable, so wearing your heaviest clothing can mean wearing your comfiest, warmest clothing. There are basically no downsides to this.
Travel With Your Heaviest Book
Readers will know the struggle of wanting to take multiple books on vacation to enjoy, but having to navigate the sheer weight of them and all the space they take up. The simple solution to this is to take your heaviest, bulkiest books with you in your hand luggage while you’re traveling. It might be quite annoying if they’re not the books you’re reading at the time of your flight, but if you can, then try and coordinate when you’ll read them with when you’re on the plane.
Do Some Laundry
Even though vacations aren’t usually associated with doing laundry, sometimes you’ve just got to do it. A simple trick would be to take a few laundry pods with you in your luggage and research nearby laundry facilities at your destination. This means you won’t have to take as many clothes with you because you’ll get to re-wear the same outfits, and it will prevent your suitcase from smelling from your dirty clothes.
Pack Your Outfits in the Order You’ll Wear Them
Although it might seem like an unnecessary measure, this hack will save you time and stress. Simply pack your outfits in the order you want to wear them so you can do your packing in a strategic, efficient way and minimise any mess you create. Similarly, doing this means you’re less likely to have clothing go unused in your suitcase because each thing you pack will be there intentionally.
Limit Yourself to One Bulky Piece
Refrain from packing more than one bulky piece of clothing. Depending on your destination, you might not be packing any bulky clothes, but if you are it is important that you carefully consider what must be packed and what can be worn while you’re traveling. This means that if you insist on taking more than one huge sweater, then you should wear one of them in transit and minimise the amount of space in your suitcase is used by unnecessarily large clothes.
The smell of our clothes should be a priority for all of us, regardless of whether we’re on vacation or not. However, there are some who believe that going away means disregarding all responsibilities, including hygiene standards. It’s unavoidable that our clothes will start to get a bit stinky and gross after being stuffed in a confined space for hours, if not days on end. However, what isn’t avoidable is how we solve that problem. By simply spraying our suitcases and their contents before traveling, we avoid any nasty odors when unpacking at our next destination and are provided with the possibility of getting multiple uses out of the clothes.
Photograph Your Clothes Before Packing
This might be quite time consuming, but it will save you a lot of stress in the long run. Take a picture of all your things laid out clearly before packing and use the photo to make sure you know what you’ve packed and what you’re missing, so you don’t forget anything before you leave for your destination.