Pack Your Bag Like a Boss!!
Who here likes packing and wants to learn how to pack like a rockstar? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller (Insert cricket chirping and tumbleweed rolling here)? Okay, if you do like packing, seriously, kudos to you. I HATE it. I save it until the last minute always since I dread it so much.
And I dunno about you, but I always pack WAY more than I need. You know, like that pair of platform sneakers that I haven’t worn since 2001, I might need those while hiking through the Andes Mountains, obviously. Or that dress that is WAY too tight but I still try and squeeze into (while almost breaking the zipper), well I might need a dress to woo my future husband that I’m gonna meet in Italy (I saw the Lizzie McGuire Movie, it could happen). Not really selling myself as someone who knows how to pack like a pro, am I? Well, let’s just say that I try and learn from my packing mistakes.
Because the end result of my best packing efforts is that I have 10,000 things that I then have to schlepp around with me while I visit elephants in Thailand, and that is just no fun. The bag just gets super heavy (I would actually leave stuff behind while backpacking in China because it was just too much stuff to drag around) and you have no room for souvenirs, which is all you really want when you’re away, like that pair of alpaca leg warmers that you just have to have but will never wear again (This ALWAYS happens to me. I get suckered into buying the latest fashion trends of the country I’m visiting, and just never wear them again, like those elephant harem pants I bought in Thailand that make my butt look huge and are WAY too small because everyone in Thailand in Tiny, yeah, what was I thinking? In case you were wondering, these are not the best travel hacks for packing your suitcase).
So to keep your bags light and your clothes squeaky clean in your suitcase, here are some of my tried and true, best vacation packing tips. This way you can make room for all those souvenirs that you just have to have but that you will never use again once you get home (I hope I’m the only one who does this. I always tell myself, NOT this trip and then I always end up buying all this random stuff anyway. Hence my need for some quality travel packing tips). So, without further ado…
14 Best Ever Packing Tips
1. Make a Packing List
Making a list, checking it twice… Okay, you know how the rest goes but that’s not the direction this post is going in. But on a more serious note, vacation packing lists are key. I always try and write down ONLY what I need and stick to it (that’s the hard part). This way, I stop myself from over-packing or forgetting something I actually really do need. And if you do (gasp, shock, horror) forget something, STAY CALM! They have stores there. Don’t stress).
2. Roll it up (Like a Fruit Roll-Up)
Instead of folding your clothes, try rolling them up. This is one of my best packing techniques. Not only does this save room in your suitcase, but it prevents your clothes from getting wrinkled and you from looking like a hobo. To save even more room, try rolling your clothes, placing them in a gallon size, ziplock bag, and then squeezing all the air out (This is in place of the vacuum sealer than I don’t have because I’m not that fancy). You can also stuff small items, like underwear and socks, in your shoes to save even more room. Remember, every little bit of space saved helps!
3. Hell no, Stains Must Go!
This is the worst. You have an awesome top that totally makes your boobs look amazing, but then you pack it and it gets all stained by the bottom of your gross ass shoes (where’s that how to pack a carry on guide?). Been there, done that, and it sucks. However, the good news is that there is an answer, and it’s not buying duplicates of everything you own. Thank God because ain’t nobody got a trust fund for that
Instead, another one of my favorite packing for vacation tips is to try rolling all your light colored clothes inside out. Next, place a shower cap on the bottom of your shoes to prevent stains. Don’t have a super cool shower cap handy? Psshh, no problem. Try wrapping your shoes in a plastic bag instead. This way you can pack more than one pair of shoes and still have clean clothes when you arrive.
4. Packing Cubes for your Clothes
Yeah, not gonna lie, I have no idea what a packing cube is. Sounds pretty cool though. And apparently, all the cool kids are doing it so if it helps you, go for it (Okay, I HAD to look it up and apparently they help separate your items and allow you to find things more quickly). Okay, now I actually know what these are and this is one of the many super easy packing tips for vacation.
5. Rule of Three
Always pack too many outfits? Keep it simple, stick with three shirts and three pants. Then all you have to do is mix and match them to create new outfits and you get a total of nine outfits with minimal packing (Don’t worry, you can wear clothes multiple times on vacation, I won’t tell. And leave the jeans at home since they’re bulky and retain odors. And no one wants to smell like a hormonal, 13-year-old boy while on vacation. NOT a good look).
6. Dryer Sheets
Another one of my great vacation packing tips and tricks is using dryer sheets. So random but so helpful!! Pack these fresh smelling, little nuggets of modern technology into your luggage and you won’t have to worry about all your clothes smelling like dirty sneakers. See, now you’re clean, pristine, and ready to live the dream.
7. Ziplock Bags for all those Loose Electronics
This is another one of my vacation packing ideas that is kind of like the Cube thing in #4, but it’s pretty important so I’m gonna mention it again. Grab some Ziplock Bags and put all the items that are similiar to one another in one Ziploc bag. So for example, pack all your electronics in one Ziplock Bag (Phone charger, camera charger, adaptors, headphones, etc. Put all this stuff in the middle of all your clothes so that nothing gets broken when your bag is jostled around), and all your journey home items in another bag (house keys, parking ticket and car keys), etc. Do this until all your items are organized and easy to find. So no more pulling everything out of your bag just to find an adapater. it’s the worst when you have to unpack your entire bag and you haven’ even left for vacation yet. Yup, the struggle is real.
8. Cotton Wool for Makeup
I am really not a fashionista and NEVER pack make up when I travel, but this tip is for all the ladies out there who are WAY more stylish than me. To prevent your pressed powder or eye shadow from cracking in your luggage, try placing a cotton wool pad in between the pressed powder and the lid for added protection. I’ll just pretend like I’m doing a no make up Monday but just every single day.
9. Don’t bring the Entire Guidebook
This one is way too difficult for me, (Because I want to see everything and actually really
like reading/studying guidebooks. And travel blogs are sup[er helpful too) but for those who can, try leaving your whole, bulky guidebook at home. Instead, make photocopies of the pages you need and just bring them with you instead.
10. Seal your toiletries
This has happened to me SO many times. You get to your final destination and all you really want to do is get your sleep on and then BOOM, you open your bag and shampoo is everywhere. This pile of sticky doom is just sitting there, waiting to for you when all you really want to do is sleep. To avoid this worst case scenario, try adding a thin layer of cling wrap to the top of any bottles that hold liquids. Once you do this, place the top back on the bottle and then tape the gap where the lid meets the container. Do this and you’re ready to be a travel packing roackstar.
11. Wear All Your Heavy Items
To reduce the weight of your luggage and give you more packing space, try wearing heavy items like jackets, boots, and sweatshirts on the plane. This way, you won’t have to take up precious space in your luggage with these bulky items. That and let’s be honest, planes can be freaking freezing. I mean my last plane ride made me feel like I had purchased an economy seat in the refrigeration car. So sometimes wearing bulky items actually keeps you warm. That or you can roll them up and use them as a pillow. That’s how us travel experts win at life. Kidding by the way. I use the term expert loosely.
12. Choose Quality Luggage (I prefer a backpack or a Backpack with wheels)
Not all luggage is created equally so choose wisely. And if you have a hard time spending money on great luggage, just treat it as an investment in the quality of your travel experience (Seriously, I have had wheels fall off my cruddy rolling bag and it really
puts a damper on your vacation as you attempt to heave and ho your luggage all over God’s green Earth). I try and go for luggage that I can carry by myself, so a medium-sized, backpack usually works for me (I put locks on the bag so no one steals my stuff). If I’m going the rolling bag route,I try to get a hard top, dark colored bag so that my bag doesn’t get scratched and show all the dirt that is all over the place.
13. Razzle Dazzle ’em!
Always label your luggage with a luggage tag, in case it gets lost. Also, try adding some colored ribbons or stickers to your luggage so that you can easily find your bag among the endless sea of black bags at baggage claim (No one wants to get into a brawl by accidentally taking someone else’s bag. Never a great way to start or end a vacation).
Or just be like me and always use a carry on. I work full time so I never want to waste my precious time waiting at baggage claim for a piece of luggage that may never come. Still wiating for my lost luggage from 2007. If you see it, let me know.
That’s it kids! Those are all my mildly brillant travel packing ideas. Hopefully these pro packing tips will help you pack for vacation like a pro. If you still have trouble, no worries cuz sometimes I still have to sit on my bag if I want it to close. And If you’re sobbing with grief because this article over, not to worry! Just check out this super fab article on how to pack your carryon like an expert.
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