19 Small Ways To Make Packing For Your Next Trip A Breeze

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1.Start with a packing list. Think about how many days you’ll be there, what the weather is supposed to be like, and if you’re really going to wear that really awesome pair of five-inch heels you’re tempted to bring.

This list breaks down everything you could possibly ever need for any different kind of trip—even things you might not think of. While you aren’t going to pack everything on the list, it’s nice to see everything visually written out so you don’t end up forgetting to add your toothbrush or another necessity.

Promising review: “We travel frequently and have two children. As any parent knows, packing for yourself and your children can be overwhelming— especially for trip longer than a few days. I have found this list to be a lifesaver, and I also give it as a gift for other traveling families. It is easy to plan, organize, and list out items that are easily forgotten. You can also list the quantity of each item needed. There’s a variety of clothing options and space to add more. As my children reached their pre-teen years, I have been able to make them their list on these sheets and then they can use it to do their packing. I just show them how to highlight each item after it has been packed so it is easy to see you took that one off the list. Overall, this is a wonderful purchase and has likely saved me many forgotten items!” —Mike D

Get it from Amazon for $7.

2.Separate your clothing for each day into packing cubes. That way, when you get there, you don’t have to spend five minutes to find the shirt you planned to wear with those cute shorts.

Promising review: “I love these!!! I couldn’t believe how much more I could fit in my suitcase with these bags. I got seven dresses in one pack! Plus, it was great when I got on my cruise because I could easily find things and unpacking was great. I would definitely recommend!!” —4N6Psych

Get a set of five from Amazon for $26.99 (available in eight colors).

3.Or just put all your clothes in a shelving system, which makes packing and unpacking SO much simpler.

The shelf is 17.25 in x 11.25 in and will fit in any 20 in or larger suitcase.

Promising review: “I’ve been using this for about two years to organize my carry-on. I travel 2-3 days a week to Boston, and this thing is amazing. It takes me literally seconds to both pack and unpack. To unpack, I simply pull-up and hang in the hotel closet. It collapses wonderfully and weighs next to nothing. If you are a constant jet-setter like me this is a must if you don’t check bags. It was totally worth the cost from my standpoint.” —RP

Get it from Amazon for $34.06.

4.Put a separate dirty laundry bag in your suitcase so you can easily keep any smelly clothes away from the ones you didn’t end up wearing.

Bonus tip: Add a dryer sheet to the bag to prevent any unwanted odor.

Promising review: “This is one of my favorite travel companions. I never knew what to do with my dirty clothes, and I always hate when they touch my clean clothes. It folds so nice back to it’s original shape.” —CBELL

Get it from Amazon for $7.99+ (available in four colors).

5.Fill a clear TSA-approved bag with all your toiletries so you don’t look like a noob with your liquids all through your carry-on bag when you get to security.

Promising review: “This bag held surprisingly more than expected. I put tiny travel jars for my skincare creams and other small toiletries in it with room to spare. I definitely feel like it was easier to pack and was also easy to grab out of my bag for security. It feels sturdy with nice, thick vinyl. The double zipper moved easily, and I was pleased that it opened completely for ease of getting the items I needed out of it.” —Mrs M Tate

Get it from Amazon for $12.86 (available in 11 colors).

6.Invest in multipurpose products. For example, if you like to curl and straighten your hair, try a 2-in-1 device to cut down on what you need to bring.

Promising review: “Don’t be fooled by the tiny price or size, this little baby is serious. If you are looking for a small travel option rather than lugging your big straightener and giant curling iron around the world, than I think you’ll love this. It performs really well, turning my frizzy wavy hair into a smooth and sleek style. The curling iron option also creates shiny, silky lasting curls! Its easy to transition between both. I also like the grippy handle and the fact that the curling iron clip is a different color than the straightening bars because that helps me see how I should be maneuvering it around. The voltage goes up to 240m so you are good using it internationally without a converter (but you will need an adapter just to fit it into various foreign outlets). At this price, definitely give it a try and flaunt your tresses abroad.” —Christine

Get it from Amazon for $28.99 (available in black and white).

7.And don’t forget a cover so you don’t have to worry about putting a still-warm device into your luggage (because your hair is always the last thing you do before heading out the door).

Promising review: “This is MUST for travel. You can put in a hot/warm flat or curling iron and good to go. It also protects them and has a pocket on the front for brushes. This is one of my favorite things from Vera Bradley!” —JulesA

Get it from Amazon (available in 17 patterns) or Vera Bradley (available in 11 patterns) for $25.

8.Put your shoes in designated organizer bags because their treads are seriously so gross and you don’t need that dirt going anywhere near the clothes you want to wear.

Promising review: “I was afraid these were going to be low quality and flimsy, but they are not. They are also large enough for my ankle boots to fit into. What I really like about these is that they have a plastic peep section so I can see what shoes are inside at a glance. It’s very convenient. I debated a lot about what brand to buy. I’m glad I choose this one.” —Melissa

Get a set of five from Amazon for $8.88 (available in medium and large and in four colors).

9.Add a few Tide travel sink packs to your toiletry bag so you can wash any items you want to rewear and pack less all together.

Put a few items in the sink with a packet, and you’ll have clean items in no time.

Promising review: “This is just the best. When I travel I pack lightly and take quick-dry clothing. I wear the same clothes over and over, so I use the Tide packs to wash in the sink.” —Bea

Get a pack of two from Amazon for $5.99.

10.Fill some travel bottles with the products you love and use every day. That way you’ll (hopefully) still have great hair days on your trip.

Mini travel-sized bottles are so cute, but my hair is so sensitive that I know it’s not going to look good if I just buy random travel-sized products at the stor. These bottles let you bring what you already know and love with you.

Promising review: “I’ve taken these on about five trips so far. They’ve endured air pressure and altitude changes from flying and have spent quality time in a hot car. Not even a hint of a leak so far—I love it. These are soft, durable, and seal well. They were easy to fill, as the mouths are relatively wide. They dispense well, though I’ve yet to test them on something with an extremely thin consistency. So far, I’ve filled them with lotion, shampoo, conditioner, sunscreen, and hair gel. I would buy again.” —Ahvienda Kotura

Get a set of six from Amazon for $10.99+ (available in five colors).

11.Keep a hand-held scale close by so you don’t have to worry about having to pay overweight bag fees. Let me tell you, I’m a pro at packing a suitcase to 49.5 pounds with one of these babies.

Promising review: “This luggage scale is so handy and is great for weighting your luggage. I was a little concerned before I got it because I wasn’t sure how accurate it would be. When I used it when I went on vacation, it was dead on to what the airport said, so I highly recommend this. Plus, it’s easy to pack in your bags.” —Teresa Daniels

Get it from Amazon for $8.99.

12.Use a garment folder so you know that your shirts will be wrinkle-free exactly when you need them.

Promising review: “This is a fabulous product. I’ve used it for a couple of years now on long overseas trips and for short overnights. For overnights and short trips, I can pack the items I need and slip it into my shoulder bag. For longer trips, it fits into my bag and keeps my clothes tidy. When I’m checking into a place I’ll be for a few days, it’s very quick to unpack. When staying someplace overnight or that has no drawer or closet space the Eagle Creek fits easily on a shelf or just leaned up against the wall. It’s really a great idea.” —Kirk

Get it from Amazon for $27.99+ (available in three sizes).

13.Organize your cables and cords with twist ties so you don’t end up with a jumbled mess in your carry on.

Promising review: “These things are SO great! As a frequent traveler, all of my charging cords and headphones get very tangled up all the time from constantly taking them in and out of bags. Plus, this adds for a disaster mess inside any bag! I saw a coworker using these little guys, decided to try for myself, and my bags are now much more organized! I use them for my my numerous charging cords. Such a great thing to have! Even great to use for headphones if you are someone like me who carries a pair on you at all times! Keeps them from getting tangled inside your purse or pocket! Highly recommend.” —Kristina C.

Get a set of 12 from Amazon for $19.99.

14.Bring a portable rain hood if you’re tight on space and don’t want to sacrifice your too-cute, but somewhat impractical coat for a rain coat – this way you can have both.

All it is is a hood attached to a vest you wear under *any* jacket to protect yourself (and your hair) from whatever the weather has planned.

Promising review: “I am headed to Europe this summer with just a backpack. This is a great way to pack light but still be ready for unexpected showers. It is easy to put on and will pack up well. I love this product.” —Krista

Get it from The Grommet for $24.95.

15.Keep some multipurpose tubs in your carryon bag to fill with snacks and any other small knick-knacks you may need.

Promising review: “I love them. They stay closed in my bags, and open just easily enough when you push the sides. I use them when I travel for vitamins, pills, stuff like that.” —Sanuk

Get a three-pack from Amazon for $7.99.

16.Keep all your important travel documents (and ID and passport) in a RFID-blocking travel wallet.

Promising review: “I make many trips to Canada, and this case lets me keep all my necessary items in one place. It easily holds my passport, cash, and cards that I only need when I travel. Therefore, it’s easy to just leave it all in one place and grab it again for the next trip. It makes packing easy, and I never forget anything. Plus, the product looks great and is durable.” —Brian Rogers

Get it from Amazon for $13.99+ (available in 36 colors).

17.Add an organizer to your purse to transform a bag that’s usually a black hole into one of the most organized parts of your life. You’ll be able to grab your headphones or chapstick in seconds. Yes, I said seconds!!

Promising review: “LOVE LOVE LOVE this felt organizer! It’s strong, yet lightweight and has many, many pockets to stash and organize the contents of my bag. I use mine for when I travel and need quick access to my items. My only issue is that I should have chosen a color other than black because my tote is black, my organizer is black, and most of my items are black! Buying the green would have offset my items deep inside the tote. Other than that, I LOVE LOVE LOVE!” —Kathy D

Get it from Amazon for $12.50+ (available in three sizes and 11 colors).

18.Throw in a travel-sized umbrella because getting stuck without one is just something that shouldn’t happen to you on vacation.

Promising review: “This umbrella is so lightweight and small enough to fit in my handbag! It also feels sturdy, but I have not tested it out with windy and rainy conditions yet‚ just rain! I would recommend this if you want something that will fit into a small handbag when you go out and you don’t know what the weather will be like.” —Leanne

Get it from Amazon for $14.99 (available in 24 styles).

19.Use a collapsable water bottle so you can stay hydrated without spending approximately $100* on a water bottle at the airport.

Okay, that’s an exaggeration, but it sure does feel like you’re spending that much.

Promising review: “I am very happy with this water bottle. I purchased it because I needed a travel water bottle that wouldn’t take up too much space. It collapses to fit perfectly into my purse. I was able to pack it, and use in airports and throughout my recent trip. It seals well and is easy to clean. Now, each of my kids want one for themselves.” —Elaine S

Get it from Amazon for $16.99 (available in six colors).

Reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity.

Wanderlust not satisfied yet? Check out more travel products, like the best carry-on bags you can get on Amazon, travel accessories for long flights, and the best places to buy luggage online.

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