For me one of the things that help me sleep easy at night is organization. I love to be organized! And that most definitely doesn’t stop when it comes to my traveling if anything that is probably where I am the most organized. It never started out this way but fast track a few years into my travels through trial and error I have pulled together the ultimate packing tips list for myself and it would be selfish of me not to share this with you all.
I personally think organization is important when it comes to packing, it saves a lot of stress and hassle and means you can spend more time traveling and having fun, and the more time to travel the better right?
Below I have conjured up 15 tips to help with your packing (and I threw in just a few general travel tips into the mix for ya) which will help enhance your travel experience. You can use as many or a little as you like but I can assure you each one of these has come in handy for me at one stage or another!
1. Packing cubes. So to begin I will enlighten you with the wonder that is the packing cube, they are a must for me when it comes to packing and that may end up being the case for you too! They help to compact all your clothes nice and tight to save room, they also fill out your pack nicely and keep everything organized ready for you to get too when needed.
2. Along with the packing cubes, to make sure you use them to there full potential it is best to roll your clothes as opposed to folding them. Doing this will not only keep your clothes from creasing as much, it will fit more and also be easier to locate singular items.
3. Use hard sunglasses cases for your cords. I purchased my own at my local $2 shop and it has been the perfect place to keep all my charging cables and memory cards. With its hard protective cover and small compactness, it is the perfect and one of the most affordable options to keep those niggly cords organized!
4.100ml carry on sized travel bottles. Most commonly found in discount stores and online stores like eBay and Amazon which I have linked if you were interested in checking out. These are a great option for holding liquids. The squeezy bottles help to make it easier for you to get the products out and the 100ml size works for the maximum amount for carry-on so you could save space in your main pack by transferring some of your products into these and chucking them in a clear bag in your carry on for quick access. (I generally put my most used products in so I can use it on long haul flights and have it ready to go quicker as opposed to have to search through my main bag for it).
5. If you are packing shoes what I tend to do is roll up my underwear and socks and slot them inside my shoes (making sure they are nice and clean of course). This is just a nice way to maximize the use of your bag space so you can fit in an extra couple of pairs of those nice fuzzy bed socks of yours.
6. Now this isn’t a packing tip necessarily but I had to throw this one in cause this tip was a game changer for me, having been a vegetarian for many years now it was a pleasure to learn that when ordering vegetarian on long-haul flights (along with other specialty meals) you are first in line to get your food! Whether you are a vegetarian or not, if you don’t want to wait too long for you airplane food to arrive go veggie!
7. Multiple small bags and pouches are your best friend when it comes to organized packing! I have a small toiletry bag, another zip up material pouch for miscellaneous things, a small make-up bag which has multiple compartments for holding my hair clips/ties, small hair scissors (to save spending loads in a salon to get a trim), nail clippers and a nail file. I also have a small purse with a cross body strap (cross-body straps are great for minimizing the risk of pickpocketing) to hold important things like my wallet and phone and another small (and I mean very small) backpack to hold the same sort of stuff.
8. Always and I mean ALWAYS take photos of your bag/bags and all your important documents. Send them to your email, save them on your phone, send them to a close friend, whatever, just do it! Those photos could really come in handy if you lose something.
9. Following up on the last tip having a photo of your bag is great for locating it if it gets lost but also another great tip is to customize your bag so it stands out from others. Throw a tag on it, stick a couple cute patches on it, wrap a bow around the top… you get it. Doing this minimizes the risk of accidentally grabbing the wrong bag on the conveyor belt when yours looks exactly the same, what a nightmare that would be and I’ve definitely known people to have had that happened!
10. Tote bags are a must! great to use for shopping, laundry, as a day bag and it is also good for reducing the use of those nasty plastic bags. And totes are super cute too!
11. Get yourself a Travel Adapter ASAP. Back in the day, I was given one through a fellow traveler friend and boy did it make travel life so much easier! So be sure to get one! (p.s be sure you get one with your visiting countries on it, they do vary)!
12. Make sure to pack earplugs and an eye mask and have them easily accessible in your pack. Especially if you plan on staying in lots of hostels like I do, in that case, I’m giving you no choice! Unless you don’t mind blissfully dozing off to the sound of snoring and strobe light effects from the lights being switched on and off every 5 minutes then be my guest!
13. Another great packing tip is to throw out your old bulky towels (or donate) and get yourself either a microfiber towel or a Turkish towel. This was for sure one of the best things I did on my travels, both types are thinner and easier to pack and also much faster at drying. I have had both but personally prefer the Turkish towels, although expensive I find they are a much better texture than dry my body much better than microfiber towels and can double as a cute beach towel or something along those lines so start looking for one now! I promise you-you won’t look back!
14. This tip is for all my fellow readers out there and that is ditch the bulky books and get yourself a Kindle! I must say I do still prefer having a physical book to read but sometimes carting around books is not ideal when you are traveling so a kindle is a great option to hold all your books in one place!
15. And finally today I leave you with a final tip of mine and that is to make sure you pick up a couple TSA approved locks to use on your luggage. I make sure to keep two in an easy to find a spot in my pack ready to use to ensure no one gets in my bag in a hurry! We don’t need those kinds of dramas on our travels if we can help it! Plus lots of hostels offer lockers for bags but no locks (or they do at a price) so be sure to come prepared with your own!
Now if you have made it this far, I congratulate you, I know it is a lot to take it but I promise you even just one of these tips will benefit you on your travels cause they sure did for me! Now get out there and get organizing!
-Tayla Harter, Wandering Harter