9 Ways to Hack When You pack - Halsell | Royalty free photos & videos

9 Ways to Hack When You pack

Travel tips that will make your life easier

By Simply Madeline on Dec 04, 2018

As someone who spends way too much time packing and unpacking, I’m left thinking, “there has to be an easier way” and while there is so no “app for that” there are a few easier ways you can pack smarter and not harder. Here’s what I’ve come up with after many trips and stressful late night packing sessions.


1. Make Lists

First things first, you have to think ahead. I definitely think you should plan your packing out a few days before hand if at all possible. The best way to do this is make lists! (Can you tell I am severely type a?) Here’s why and how I do this. I like to plan out my specific outfits for trips; for many reasons that I’ll get to later, but to sum it up it’s the most efficient way.

If you can think ahead about what items you will need for your different looks, then you’ll know what jacket you need to get dry cleaned before hand, what loads of laundry have to be done and which shoes could use a little clean up. Tackling this list ahead of time cuts down on a TON of stress. Believe me, I’ve been up at 2 am, scrubbing my white tennis shoes, and waiting for those jeans to finally be dry before I can shove them into my bag. It’s not fun and it doesn’t have to be that way!

So that’s my reason why I make lists, and here’s how I make lists. Make a few separate ones, I like to keep them on my phone so I can add to them whenever things pop into my head during the day. Ya know, when you see a cute Instagram post about the perfect barefoot beach and you remember, you’ll need your favorite swimsuit cover up for your vacation. I also separate my lists to 3 categories: outfits, carry on and toiletries/personal items. This way you can pack in sections and not stress about forgetting something.


2. Put Your Heavy Items in the Bottom of Your Bag

This is always something of an after thought for me. I will get everything packed and ready, zip up my suitcase, stand it up on its wheels aaannnd splat, its on the floor. I’m not sure how I always manage to do the exact opposite of this and make my bag incredibly top heavy but, I’m just talented like that. Load your suitcase with all your heaviest items close to the wheels of your suitcase. Do as I say and not as I do and you’ll be able to roll your bag much easier and navigate your way through the busy airport with out having to actually lug your luggage.


3. Plastic Wrap Your Way to a Clean Toiletry Bag

We’ve all been there, you finally arrive at your hotel, exhausted and ready for a nice shower and that long awaited slumber. Only to open your bag and find that your shampoo has exploded all over everything in your toiletry bag. Now you’re just extra grumpy having to clean off all the surprisingly slimy shampoo off your tooth brush, deodorant and just about everything else that shouldn’t have shampoo on it.

Save your self the cranky hotel bathroom nightmare and individually wrap your bottles in plastic wrap. If you’re flying strictly with a carry-on, TSA might give you a second look when they see this, but personally I’ve never been stopped!


4. Organize Your Bag by Outfit

Ok, this tip might seem strangely like the first one, but I promise, its not! Not only should you put a little thought into your outfits before hand but you should pack your bag by outfits at well. Place the first day outfit on top and the last day outfit on the bottom for the easiest access.



5. Use Packing Cubes

Step up your outfit planning and use cubes to organize them! These things are seriously a blessing from the heavens! They are flexible and come in different sizes so you can keep virtually any bag organized. With these cubes you can put a different outfit in each one, this saves you from digging through your bag for the right item and unfolding/wrinkling everything in the process.


6. Put Belts in Your Collars

This one goes for all the collared shirt wearers out there. Packing a collared shirt is a pain, the collar always gets messed up and who wants to spend that vacation time ironing out all your collars? Not me. Put your wrapped up belt into your collar to keep it in place! Simple concept really, all the retail stores are way ahead of us with though little plastic rings that come in the shirt when its folded and on display. This is also a space saver and who doesn’t like creative use of space in their luggage?


7. Keep Your ID and Passport in Your Outside Pocket

This may seem like an obvious tip to most, but I swear every time I’m at the airport I see someone fumbling around for their passport and boarding pass. Even after the long security line! So lets just say it again, keep your ID handy! I normally fly with a smaller carry on bag that has wheels, it has an outside easy access pocket, here I keep my passport or ID, phone, boarding pass and my wallet. This way its easy to grab when going through security, buying some coffee before the flight and boarding the plane.


8. Global Entry

If you haven’t signed up for global entry or at least TSA pre check yet, you need to. Its well worth the time to fill out the paper work and get your fingers scanned. Global entry also comes with TSA pre check so if you travel internationally you’ll get two in one. What is global entry you ask? To put it simply it’s a way to make security a breeze. When you go through the TSA Pre-check line, you wont have to take your shoes or jacket off.

You don’t have to pull your liquids out of your bag and the line is so much shorter, probably because there’s not hundreds of people scrambling to take their shoes off. With Global Entry, you’ll be able to use a quick kiosk to check your passport when you get back into the states. It cuts out the whole process of someone standing there asking you “did you bring A-Z back?” it saves you so much time and hassle. Its such relief to have this because at the end of your international trip you’re normally tired, probably in a much different time zone than you woke up in and just want to get home. 


9. Dryer Sheets for Freshness

Last but not least, this one I find a little silly but truly makes a difference. If you place a few dryer sheets in your suitcase you’ll smell like fresh laundry rather than the inside of your suitcase, which last time you took a trip, it carried back all your dirty laundry… dirty laundry that was zipped up for hours… So if you think about it, you could really use that floral smelling dryer sheet to help you out on your next trip.

Article by Simply Madeline

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