Packing for vacation never seems to get easier, especially because you often have to pay to check luggage these days. Even if you've taken several transatlantic flights, you may still struggle to fit all of the clothes you need for international travel in one bag.
To perfect your packing method before your next journey, check out these travel tips and tricks.
New uses for old things
- Don't spend 30 minutes digging around the bottom of your bag for that pair of earrings you wanted to wear to dinner. Use a daily medicine container to keep your jewelry sorted, safe and secure. With at least seven separate squares to hold various accessories, you'll be able to get gussied up in a flash.
- With limits on how much liquid you can bring in your carry-on bag, packing all of the necessary cosmetics might seem impossible. Instead of toting bottles or tubes of foundation and concealer around on your trip, squeeze some into an old contacts case. Depending on the length of your trip, that should be the perfect amount of makeup so you look fresh the whole time.
- Keep the dirt and germs on your shoes away from the rest of your belongings with a shower cap. Simply place your shoes in a disposable cap with the soles facing down so any grime that comes loose during travel is isolated in the shower cap.
- Avoid cutting your fingers on the razor you threw in your bag with a binder clip. Fasten the clip around the head of your razor so the blades are covered when you aren't using them.
- Wrap your chargers up and secure them in an old sunglasses case. This will keep all of your device necessities in one place and prevent the cords from becoming tangled in your bag.
- If you have delicate necklaces that you're worried will end up in knots, slide pieces of plastic straws on either side of the clasp. Once you latch the necklace, the chain will have a sturdy buffer from the rest of your luggage.
- Buy a pack of Tic-Tac ® then eat the entire thing so you can store bobby pins and hair elastics in it. Your hair accessories will all be in one place and you've made your own bobby pin dispenser. Wrap hair elastics around the container so they're easy to find when you're getting ready in the morning.
- You can bring your hair straightener or curling iron along for the trip and keep it safe in a modified pot holder. You won't have to wait for the hot styling tools to cool down before throwing them back in your suitcase if they're wrapped in the insulated fabric.
- Instead of folding your clothes, try rolling them. This will take up less space in your bag and prevent them from getting too wrinkled.
- Stuff all of your socks in the shoes you pack to take advantage of the room.
- To keep your bra cups from getting crushed, stack them together and place folded pairs of underwear in the cups to fill them out.
- When you plan which clothes to bring, find pieces that can be mixed and matched to create an array of outfits. While shirts may become dirty or sweaty in a day, you can likely wear pants more than once.
- Consider using vacuum-sealed bags to compress your clothes in a full suitcase.
Additional packing hacks
- If you anticipate a lot of souvenir shopping, make sure you leave room in your bags to tote your purchases back home.
- Pack an extra pair of clothes and the essentials in your carry-on bag in case the checked luggage gets lost. You don't want to be stuck without your glasses or medicine if you have to wait a day to receive your suitcase.
- Even if you think you know every item you need, make a thorough and detailed packing list to ensure that nothing is forgotten.
- Have a plan for isolating your dirty clothes, especially if you're heading out for adventure travel. A garbage bag for those outfits and a few dryer sheets can make your luggage smell fresh regardless.
- To prevent liquids from spilling in your bags, place a piece of plastic wrap inside the caps and screw them on tightly. This additional seal will keep shampoo and conditioner from soaking into your clothes.
- Make sure powdered makeup and cosmetics don't crack and spill when they're banged around en route. Put cotton balls inside all of the products before you leave so they have a protective cushion.