Through the years there have been trips when I didn’t have the time to pack and just tossed everything in a huge suitcase that ended up being overweight, and I would still be missing something! When I take the time to plan and pack my whole trip goes smoother because I’m prepared. These 11 highly effective packing hacks will help you whether you’re the last-minute over-packer or a detailed carry-on packer.
Also packing a tote with essentials can be a challenge. Read my post here The Ultimate Travel Tote Checklist for more on that!
It takes time, but I promise you when you do this your packing all comes together instantly! Either try on the entire outfit, included all accessories or lay it all out on the floor as I have. Then when you get ready for dinner after you have enjoyed skinny margaritas by the pool all day, you just pull out your outfit options and get dressed! I started doing this when the new instant Polaroid cameras came out, but you can use your phone also! Trust me this is a game changer!
2. Cotton Pads For Makeup
I had stopped bringing expensive makeup pallets when I traveled because the powder would crack and break every time! However, I started placing a cotton ball or pad over the powder, and this hasn’t happened since.
3. Power Bar
This travel hack is genius! For international travel, toss a power bar into your luggage. You will only need one adapter and be able to plug-in six devices to the bar. Happy kids and parents!
4. Straws for Necklaces
I love delicate necklaces! However sitting there getting a knot out of it right before dinner while your husband is impatiently waiting is the worst! Feed the chain through the straw and fasten on the end. Use two straws for long necklaces, cut one in half for bracelets. Love this packing hack!
5. Oven Mitt
Ok, you’re getting ready to leave the hotel on a busy morning. You curled your hair because pictures will be a part of your day. Now your curling iron is hot, and it cannot go into the luggage! Wrap a cold, wet washcloth around the hot barrel for a quick cool then stick it into an oven mitt. Oven mitts are built for handling the heat. The mitt above has silicone outside and I just wrapped it completely around the barrel.
6. Roll Your Clothes
You’ve probably heard this before but I do it a little differently. I lay all of my dresses, tops, and jackets on top of each other, then roll them into a single long burrito. Then I place this on one side and bottom of the luggage. For my exercise clothes, I roll those separately or place them in a packing pod.
7. Cosmetic Samples
I’m not crazy about transferring liquid into travel size containers. However, I know the there isn’t anything on Sephora or Nordstroms floor they won’t give you a pretty large sample of. From Tom Ford scents to La Mer foundations, no need to bring the entire container. Start stocking up on samples when your out shopping and you won’t have to grab them last minute before a trip.
8. Plastic Wrap
There is always a sunscreen, lotion, or mini shampoo that you pack and pray it will not leak! Just place a piece of plastic wrap over the opening and screw on the lid and you will not have to worry about that. The hack also works with the hormone creams in the twist up dispensers!
9. Straw Hats
A straw hat is a must-have on a sunny vacation! Just turn it upside down, put it close to your rolled up clothes (Hack Number 6) so the brim does not get wrinkled and pack the inside with small soft items. If you have two hats just place one over the other.
10. Beach pouch
Use a cute beach pouch as your bathroom bag. Just unpack it when you get there and you have a usable clutch.
11. Sunglass Cases
I never use the large hard cases that you get with designer sunglasses. They are too bulky for my purses and if I do try, I never get past the first week putting them away into that big case. I like soft cases that I can also clean the lens with. However, they are perfect for your phone cords and chargers!
I would love to hear your packing hack in the comments below!
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