TRAVEL: Luggage Packing Hacks

TRAVEL: Luggage Packing Hacks

How to Pack Lighter, Smarter, and Faster

No matter how much you try, it is difficult to get everything that you think you will need into your suitcase. Here are some packing tips that will help reduce clutter and get you where you are going faster and more efficiently.

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Keep a Packing Checklist

“I keep an ongoing list in my phone of items of my absolute essentials to pack for every trip (charger, cleanser, bathing suit, daily sunscreen, etc.). It makes last-minute packing a lot less stressful because there’s always a checklist for reference.” — Katie Fish, Fashion Market Editor (Travel+Leisure)

 

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Use Packing Cubes

“There’s not much that makes me feel like an organized human as much as dividing my belongings into color-coded cubes. It’s so wonderful to know exactly where everything you brought is as soon as you unzip your suitcase. Plus, you can very easily move your packing cubes into the drawers of your hotel dresser and instantly be done unpacking and ready to go.” — Richelle Szypulski, Assistant Digital Editor (Travel+Leisure)

 

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Pack In-flight Essentials in a Separate Pouch

“I have a small zippered pouch that I always put in my carry-on bag — in it I stash all the things that I want to keep with me on a flight (headphones, earplugs, EmergenC, phone, wallet, etc.) so that when I board I can just pull that pouch out, toss it into my seat, and then place my carry-on in the overhead bin, quickly and efficiently.” — Nathan Lump, Editor in Chief (Travel+Leisure)

 

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Pack by Outfit

“There’s nothing more annoying than struggling to stuff everything back into your suitcase at the end of a trip only to realize you didn’t even wear half the clothes you brought. That’s why I started strictly packing by outfit — not individual item — and only letting pieces I had a plan for make the cut. I’ll take a skirt only if I know I’m bringing a top and shoes that I would wear with it, and I’ll think about the activities on my itinerary and what I see myself wearing while doing them. I hate checking a bag but love clothes, so being realistic and planning ahead is key.” — Nina Ruggiero, Senior Digital Editor (Travel+Leisure)

 

Dopp Kit Sephora Favorites Travel Essentials Beauty Toiletries

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Keep a Prepacked Dopp Kit

“As my collection of skin-care products continues to expand (I’m not 20 anymore), so has the time required to sort through it all — at the last minute, with my Uber to JFK honking downstairs. I recently started keeping a separate Dopp kit stocked with travel-size duplicates of all my essentials. This means I can just grab my toiletries and go, with no risk of forgetting some crucial cream or spray — plus it gives me an excuse to go nuts on all those cute mini items in line at Sephora.” — CB Owens, Copy & Research Editor (Travel+Leisure)

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Bring Half of What You Initially Packed

“When I went on my first international trip, I was advised to pack everything I’d like to take with me — and then remove half of it from my suitcase. I find this really helps in terms of figuring out what I actually need for a trip and bringing just the essentials.” — Elizabeth Preske, Digital Editorial Assistant (Travel+Leisure)

 

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Choose a Soft-Sided Bag

“Packing in a soft-sided weekender or duffel gives you the flexibility (literally!) to shape your bag to what you’re packing instead of the other way around. My canvas overnighter takes on a different shape depending on what I need it to hold and will squish, even when packed almost beyond its means, into spaces a hard-sided roller bag just won’t go. I hope my current bag will last forever but I’m eyeing this simple weekender from Makr as its eventual replacement.” — Skye Senterfeit, Photo Editor (Travel+Leisure)

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Have a Ready-to-go Health Kit

“After going on international adventures and suffering food poisoning, sudden fever, cuts and scrapes, terrible bug bites, and other ailments — and then having to navigate a foreign pharmacy — I’ve learned to always pack a small medical kit. I keep a toiletry bag ready to go stocked with Band-aids, Neosporin, pain relievers, cold medicine, medicine for stomach trouble, itch relief ointment, antibiotics (you can ask your doctor for an emergency prescription before you travel), and ear plugs (life savers on long-haul flights and trains). And if you never have to use it, all the better!” — Karen Chen, Digital Producer (Travel+Leisure)

Store Jewelry in Plastic Wrap
Store Jewelry in Plastic Wrap
Chain necklaces and bracelets can tangle easily. Try placing your jewelry in between sheets of press and seal plastic wrap to keep everything together and prevent tangling.
Or
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Separate Jewelry With Snack Size Bags

“Buy ‘snack size’ plastic bags for packing necklaces. To prevent tangling, give each one its own bag and fasten the clasp.” — Kathy Roberson, Copy & Research Chief (Travel+Leisure)

Roll Your Clothes
Roll Your Clothes
 Rolling your clothing rather than folding it is one of the best ways to maximize luggage space. Additionally, rolling can help prevent wrinkles and creasing!
Pill Cases for Smaller Storage
Pill Cases for Smaller Storage
Small compartments in pill cases can be perfect for organizing smaller items that would usually get lost such as rings, cufflinks, or lose change.
Reduce Clothing Wrinkles
Reduce Clothing Wrinkles
Dry cleaning bags can be used to prevent creases from setting in. Just lay the clothing down flat inside of the bag and fold like normal!
Store Shoes in Shower Caps
Store Shoes in Shower Caps
It can be difficult to pack shoes without letting the dirty soles touch everything else in your bag. Try wrapping shoes in disposable shower caps to prevent this!
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Check the Hotel Closet

“In the closet of most high-end hotel rooms, you’ll find draw-string fabric bags for laundry and shoes. They’re semi-disposable, but fantastic for packing. Trust me, using them to separate shoes and dirty laundry will totally transform your return-journey packing experience.” — Flora Stubbs, Features Director  (Travel+Leisure)

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Pack Your Favorite Toiletries in Travel-sized Bottles

“Instead of relying on hotel shampoos and soaps, pack your favorite products. Nalgene has a cheap, simple travel kit that allows you to fill a few bottles with your own body wash, shampoo, and other toiletries. It’s TSA-approved, spill-proof, and comes in a translucent carrying bag, so you don’t need to worry about getting through security.” — John Scarpinato, Assistant Editor (Trave+Leisure)

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Store Items Inside Shoes
Don’t let the space on the inside of your shoes go to waste either. Use the space to store your socks or other small items to make the most of your limited space. (Swifty Team)
Keep Fragile Items Safe
Keep Fragile Items Safe
Items that are fragile or easily breakable can be packed in between soft clothes or even inside of socks. This will help to protect them from bumping up against other items. You can also purchase inflatable bags, especially if you plan to transport wine often. (Swifty Team)
Contact Lens Case Storage
Contact Lens Case Storage
Packing full size bottles of products takes up a lot of space, especially for shorter trips when you will not need all that much. Use a contact lens case for storing travel amounts of lotions, creams, and foundations instead. (Swifty Team)
Plastic Wrap to Prevent Spilling
Plastic Wrap to Prevent Spilling
Try putting plastic wrap onto the top of bottles before screwing the cap on to give an extra layer of protection. If the cap opens up, there is still the plastic layer to prevent leakage. (Swifty Team)
Use a Binder Clip as a Razor Cover
Use a Binder Clip as a Razor Cover
Traveling with an uncovered razor can be dangerous, especially if you are rooting around for items at the bottom of a dark bag. Try using a binder clip as a cover for your razor to prevent it from scraping against things in your suitcase or cutting you. (Swifty Team)
Use Air Compression Bags
Use Air Compression Bags
Air compression bags for clothing or other bulky items can significantly reduce the amount of space that they take up in luggage. They also tend to prevent wrinkles which is nice too. (Swifty Team)
Tote for Dirty Laundry
Tote for Dirty Laundry
Keep an empty tote in your luggage to put dirty laundry in to separate it from any clean clothes for the trip home. (Swifty Team)
Store Hair Pins and Clips in an Empty Mint Container
Store Hair Pins and Clips in an Empty Mint Container
Hair clips and bobby pins are easy to lose, especially in a suitcase. Store them in an empty tick tac container to keep them all in one place!  (Swifty Team)
Put a Cotton Ball into Powders
Put a Cotton Ball into Powders
Movement inside of a suitcase can make powder makeup prone to breaking apart. Stick a cotton pad or cotton ball inside of compacts to prevent the product from breaking up. This helps protect the mirror inside as well. ((Swifty Team)
Store Makeup Brushes in a Sunglasses Case
Store Makeup Brushes in a Sunglasses Case
Keep all of your makeup brushes in one place by storing them in a compact sunglasses case.(Swifty Team)
Use Buttons to Keep Earring Pairs Together
Use Buttons to Keep Earring Pairs Together
It can be difficult to keep earrings with their pairs. Try putting a pair of studs through the holes of a button to keep them together! Buttons can either be on clothing in your bag, or on lose buttons that can be stored in a pill container. (Swifty Team)
Mix and Match Clothing
Mix and Match Clothing
Bring clothing pieces that can be mixed and matched for multiple outfits. This will keep you from having to pack as many clothing items. (Swifty Team)
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Straw necklace
String the ends of a dainty necklace through straws to prevent the chain from knotting and tangling. (Cosmopolitan)
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How to fold bras when packing
Help your bras maintain their shape while also saving space by stacking your bras on top of each other, folding them in half, and tucking your underwear inside. Stuffing your underwear inside your bras will prevent the cups from folding inward and help extend the life of your bras beyond your trip. (Cosmopolitan)
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Underwear folding gif
Fold your underwear instead of just wadding it up and stuffing it in your bag, which can take up a lot of space. (Cosmopolitan)
ImageCosmopolitan
Shoe bag bras suitcase
Protect your delicates from the rest of the items in your bag by tucking them inside the little cloth bag that comes with a new pair of shoes or a new handbag. (Cosmopolitan)

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