20 Effective Packing Tricks And Travel Hacks That Will Make Every Trip A Bit Easier

1.Roll every outfit into a bundle to prevent wrinkles and make it easy to grab ready-to-go outfits while you're traveling.

Suitcase full of rolled clothing

Not only does this method make it easy to grab a pre-meditated outfit quickly, but it also helps with the packing process. By rolling an entire outfit into one bundle, you won't be stuck with a top and pair of pants that don't go together or under-pack things like socks and underwear.

Plus, rumor has it, rolling both prevents wrinkles and saves on space.

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2.Leave the linen at home and stick with wrinkle-proof fabrics.

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Those linen pants may exude the beach vibe you have in mind, but by the time you arrive at your destination, they'll be creased, and it'll take a day (or some mid-vacation ironing) to get them wrinkle-free. You're better packing fabrics like rayon, lyocell, polyester, and spandex.

3.Channel some capsule wardrobe energy while you pack.

Monotone clothes on a rack

If you want to pack light, one of the best things you can do is bring items that could serve multiple purposes — for example, a scarf can serve as a beach sarong, a way to cover your shoulders in a religious building (or to prevent sunburn), a beach blanket, and a wrap for storing your dirty clothes.

Another thing to consider is color. If you keep it monotone or stick to complementary neutrals: black, white, and grey, you can pair that white T-shirt with both a black jacket and a grey cardigan.

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4.So you don't get too bored with your capsule wardrobe, pack a few fun accessories that don't take up much space (think: scarves, jewelry, and sunglasses).

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A basic colored capsule wardrobe is probably not ideal if you're going on a beach vacation that calls for bright colors or traveling to fashion-driven cities like Paris. If that's the case, bring along a couple pieces of statement jewelry, a colorful scarf, or a pair of cute sunglasses.

5.If you're going somewhere cold, bring a jacket that folds down into nothing.

Person near the water in a down jacket

Leave the wool peacoat at home and opt for a jacket that packs down tight. Down is always a good option, as is the merino wool blend used in the lightweight Ibex Wool Aire Hoodie — a personal favorite.

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6.If you're traveling for longer than a week, pack with the expectation that you'll do a load of laundry on your trip.

Colorful landromat

Packing 14 outfits for a two-week trip just isn't sustainable. If you'll be traveling for over a week, pack your bag knowing that at some point you'll need to do a load of laundry. Don't forget, laundromats (and laundry services) exist all over the world, so it won't be hard to navigate.

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7.Limit yourself to just one (maaaybe two) dressy outfits.

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Remember, you're on vacation, so chances are you'll be donning a swimsuit coverup or sweatpants most days. With that in mind, limit yourself to just one or two dressy outfits (bonus if you can capsule-wardrobe your way into bringing a few staples to create two looks).

8.Pack your socks into your shoes and use smaller clothing items to cushion things like hats, heels, and collared shirts.

Woman packing a suitcase

The space inside your running shoes or floppy beach hat will be wasted if you don't stuff it full of smaller clothing items. This method can also protect a structured hat from getting bent or a collared shirt from losing its shape.

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9.Put your shoes in shower caps or a plastic grocery bag before packing them in your suitcase.

Open suitcase with a pair of shoes on top

The biggest benefit of this trick is that it will keep your clothes from getting covered in the dirt and mud on the bottom of your shoes. The disposable shower caps you get at hotels are perfect, but if you don't have any on hand, throw each pair of shoes in a plastic grocery bag and tie a knot.

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10.If you're flying, wear an outfit that's security-friendly.

Pair of slip-on shoes on blue carpeting

Ever tried to get through airport security with a pair of high-tops? The task of unlacing them at the airport security conveyor belt and then rushing to lace them up on the other side will send your stress level soaring. The trick is to wear clothing that's easy to get on and off, think slip-on sneakers (with socks, so you don't have to brave the grimy airport floor) and a jacket that you can slip off easily.

Leave the jewelry and belt for another day.

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11.Put a spare outfit (and essential toiletries and medications) in your carry-on or personal item.

Person packing a suitcase on the bed

If you're flying and checking a bag, you need to be prepared for a.) flight delays and b.) lost baggage. Packing a spare outfit (think yoga pants and a tank top) and bringing things like face wash and a toothbrush will make you feel infinitely better as you gear up for travel day No. 2. (It goes without saying that keeping medications with you at all times is vital.)

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12.Max out your personal item when flying.

Woman wearing a backpack in the airport

Pack your purse in your suitcase and use a backpack or duffle bag as your personal item instead. Not only will you be able to bring more, but you can use it as your in-flight go-to. Put things like your phone charger, a sweatshirt, neck pillow, snacks, and a water bottle inside it and stow it under the seat in front of you for easy access.

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13.If you're flying and checking a bag, make sure to weigh it before you get to the airport.

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Repacking your bag on the floor of the airport (or worse yet, paying extra for a "heavy" bag) is totally degrading. Avoid the drama by weighing your bag at home before you get to the airport. And if a scale isn't available to you, bring along a canvas shopping bag to stuff any overflow in.

14.Create a toiletry go bag.

Woman puts products into a container

This is a game-changer in terms of efficiency. Go out and buy travel-size products or containers to put your at-home products in and then put everything — think travel toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, lotion, face wash, etc. — in a bag and stick it under your bathroom sink. When you're packing for a trip, all you have to do is grab the bag and go.

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15.Create an on-the-go sleep bag that has everything you need to fall asleep anywhere.

Woman sleeping with her neck pillow

Like the toiletry bag, putting together a sleep bag in advance will save you time when it comes to packing day. Put things like earplugs, an eye mask (I swear by the one from OstrichPillow), and a neck pillow in a little bag and throw it under your bathroom sink. When it comes time to pack, you'll be ready to go.

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16.Bring an empty water bottle and snacks.

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When you're traveling, you never know what the day will bring. An energy bar, a bag of pretzels, and a water bottle will help you get past things like flight delays, rescheduled buses, and traffic.

17.Bring a reusable shopping bag that can double as a day bag.

Woman in the aisle of a grocery store

A reusable shopping bag (my favorite is the canvas variety) can work as a day bag and will also serve you well at the grocery store. They pack up small and never go unused (in my experience, at least).

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18.Make sure your passport, wallet, and phone are easily accessible throughout your travel day.

Woman wearing a fanny pack

Traveling can be high-stress, so chances are you'll be pulling out your phone to check confirmation numbers and time, and grabbing your passport or ID to get through various checkpoints.

A great way to keep all these high-touch items close at hand is to put them in a fanny pack, small purse, or to wear a jacket with zippered pockets.

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19.Use a packing app or make a list on your phone so you can jot down things as you think of them.

Woman looking at a packing list on her phone

There's nothing worse than showing up on vacation only to realize you forgot something — especially if it's something you know you thought about packing multiple times.

It really helps to start a packing list early and to have it easily accessible — which is why using an app (like PackPoint) or keeping a list in your phone is so helpful.

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20.Take photos of your luggage — and potentially the stuff you packed — in case your baggage gets lost or damaged and you have to file a claim.

Damaged teal suitcase

It's impossible to prove that the handle on your suitcase wasn't broken or the fabric on your stroller wasn't torn before you dropped it with the airline. To protect your belongings and help your case if you have to file a travel insurance claim, you should take photos of everything before you go.

Another tip is to drop an Apple AirTag in your bag to help find a bag that disappears.

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