Other than dealing with travel delays, packing might be the worst part of traveling. And I nearly always leave it to the very last minute. So, while I usually forget at least one thing, I can at least credit myself with being a fast and efficient packer. These are my four favorite packing hacks:
#1: Pre-pack your toiletries:
Packing toiletries was always such a nightmare for me. Finding a bunch of small bottles amongst the mess I call my bathroom is not likely to be successful. Instead, I keep a separate bag of toiletries pre-packed and ready to drop in my suitcase when it’s time to get out of town — basically, duplicates of everything I use for my daily routine. This includes things like: a spare toothbrush, travel-sized toothpaste, travel-sized face wash, face lotion, regular lotion, a razor, and basic make-up supplies. I even throw in a few face masks because you never know when you’ll need one. Not only does this save you time, but it’ll also prevent you from forgetting things!
#2: Use packing cubes:
I read plenty of articles about packing cubes before I was ready to actually give them a try. They do work though! Packing cubes help keep me organized during the packing stage and ensure I have everything I need. And once I arrive at my destination and inevitably throw everything around the room, I’ll use one of the packing cubes for dirty clothes so nothing gets mixed up. This is a great way to stay organized during your entire trip.
#3: Wear your heaviest items:
I love to pack light and very rarely use my large suitcase. One of my favorite packing hacks for traveling light is not actually packing some of the largest items. Instead, I wear them! Airplanes are usually cold anyway, so the more layers I have available, the better. If I’m bringing boots, I wear them to the airport. And if I’m going somewhere cold, I’ll wear my heaviest jacket on the plane. It’s especially handy to use as a blanket during the flight.
#4: Invest in a suitcase that does more for you:
Choosing the right suitcase is one of the best things you can do to make traveling easier on you. Other than some of the basics (e.g., smooth, sturdy wheels and ample space), plenty of suitcases now offer things like charging ports and built-in scales. One of my favorites is the charging port because it’s one less thing I have to pack (or rather, one less thing for me to forget).
#5: Pack everything you want to bring, and then remove a few things:
Let’s be honest, you don’t need four outfit options for each day. You’re never going to wear it all, and it’s going to feel like a big waste when you get home. Focus on packing things that go well with anything and don’t bring more than you actually need. I like to wear neutrals when I’m traveling because 1) they look good with anything and 2) they take great photos.
#6: Don’t forget to make or use a packing list:
Last but certainly not least is the packing list. If you don’t already have a packing list, make one for your next trip. Keep it in a file on your laptop and next time you have a trip, pull up the same list. You can make edits to tailor the list for each trip, but over time it will accumulate all of your must-haves. Make it your list instead of pulling up generic lists for each trip.
What are your favorite packing hacks?
Share your favorite tricks and tools for packing in the comments!
And now that you’ve saved time packing, you can focus on dealing with jet lag 😉