One of the things you’ll want to learn when you’re traveling a lot is how to pack quickly and efficiently. Packing every week for different weather and durations, you will learn what works best for you and your circumstances. Here are some general tips to get you started.
PACKING AND ORGANIZING TIPS
- Lay out all the things you think you want to take and then take away a few things. Ask yourself what you could do without. Pack as few items as possible. Make sure you have a little extra space to bring home souvenirs.
- When packing, put heaviest items toward the wheels of the luggage.
- Roll your clothes instead of folding them. It will save you so much space.
- Use packing cubes such as these. Or you can use organizer boxes that will easily transfer to hotel drawers. If you prefer to organize by outfit, you could use mesh bags like these.
- You can also pack things in your shoes to save space.
- Put your belt in the collar of your dress shirt to keep it from losing it’s shape.
- Depending on where you go and where you’re staying, a swimsuit might be a good bring!
- A good ratio for outfits is packing two tops for every one pair of pants.
- Use transparent bags for small items so you can easily find them instead of digging through your bag.
- Bring extra ziploc or reusable bags of a variety of sizes. The gallon sized you can use for a wet swimsuit or dirty clothes.
- Put a dryer sheet or two in your bag to keep things smelling fresh.
- Cords can get messy. Use binder clips or wire twist ties to keep wires neat and untangled.
- Use an eye glass case to store cords in.
- If you forget a charger, ask the hotel front desk if they have one. They usually have lost and found ones or extras laying around. If they don’t, remember, they are cheaper to buy at a nearby store or the gift shop at the hotel than they would be at the airport.
FOOD AND DRINK
It’s always helpful to keep some healthy snacks around. You never know when you’ll be stuck without a chance to get something to eat. And many people don’t want to spend your hard-earned money on expensive airport food. For more tips on this, see an article we wrote about staying healthy while traveling.
But for some quick Ideas:
- Pack some quick snacks like protein bars, pretzels, veggies and hummus, apple slices, string cheese, or salami.
- Put a frozen sponge in a sack with your food to keep food cool. The sponge will absorb most of the extra liquid as it melts.
- Pack a reusable water bottle or two and stay well hydrated.
Many people end up packing far too many pairs of shoes for their needs. We suggest keeping it simple.
- Flip flops even if it’s winter, you may want to just use them to roam the hotel quickly.
- Flats that are comfortable to dress up or down. Or men’s business casual to dress up or down.
- Workout shoes.
- Boots if needed for winter.
- If you’re worried about shoes dirtying your luggage, use a shower cap, shoe bag, or hotel laundry bag to store your shoes.
TOILETRIES AND TINY THINGS
Toiletries are always a tough one, especially if you’re packing makeup and hair products. They are bulky, they tend to leak, and travel-sized can get expensive when you’re flying several times a month. Here are some of our favorite tips for organizing your toiletries.
- If you can, use the hotel shampoo, conditioner, body wash and lotion.
- If you use bar soap, wrap it in a hand towel or wash cloth before packing it.
- Use the hotel’s hair dryer if available.
- Instead of packing face wash, use travel makeup wipes, or put one wipe for every night you’re away in a Ziplock bag to keep them from drying out.
- Start purchasing more solid items, instead of liquid.
- If you use a liquid, try using a contact case for foundation, face serum, face lotion, eye cream, etc.
- Buy quality reusable travel bottles like these, that won’t leak.
- If you have liquid of any kind, always, always seal it in a bag. When the pressure changes, things tend to explode and ruin all kinds of things like your clothes, shoes, or suitcase.
- Use an eye glass case for makeup brushes.
- Use an old medicine bottle for bobby pins, q tips, or jewelry.
- Use buttons to keep track of your earrings.
- Use straws to keep your necklaces from tangling. Or use press and seal plastic wrap for necklaces.
- Pack a travel sized wrinkle spray so you don’t have to iron when you get to your destination.
- Use a garment bag or an old dry-cleaning bag to keep your dressier clothes wrinkle free. Or you can cut a small hole in the center-bottom of a large trash bag and stick your hanger through it.
- Take a plastic bag, breathable laundry bag or pop up laundry bin wherever you go.
- In a pinch, you may want to travel with some travel detergent, and possibly a travel washing bag to wash some items if necessary.