Monday, June 13, 2016

8 Packing Hacks to Help You Pack Smarter

Packing: an annoying but necessary part of travel. Between going on trips and traveling home from school multiple times a year, I can certainly attest to how difficult and stressful packing can be. But I've also learned some handy tricks over the years that make packing much easier and more efficient ~ and I'd like to share them with you today.

Here are 8 packing hacks that I've learned and used that will really, truly help you pack better and smarter!

1. Roll your clothes.
Most people have heard of this packing hack by now ~ and it's popular because it actually works! Rolling your clothes, as opposed to folding them, really does save you a lot of room in your suitcase. I used to be skeptical of this technique, but once I actually tried it, I realized what a lifesaver it is!

2. Stuff things inside your shoes.
If you're packing shoes in your suitcase, don't let them waste space with their awkward shapes! Instead, take advantage of the pockets of empty space inside of them. You can easily stuff small objects, socks, or rolled-up shirts into your shoes. This resourceful hack really helps you utilize every ounce of available space in your bag!

3. Bring clothes that all go together.
I think we've all been guilty of over-packing when it comes to clothes. It's easy to do, and it wastes space in your suitcase big time. To avoid falling into this trap, I suggest being smart and intentional about the outfits you bring. Select several pieces from your wardrobe that are versatile and can easily be mixed and matched. You don't have to pack a million different tops and bottoms in order to pull off cute outfits during your trip. Instead, pack a small amount of items that can go together in lots of different combinations.

4. Wear your bulky items.
I'm talking coats, sweatshirts, boots, sneakers ~ those big, bulky clothing items that take up a lot of room in your suitcase. Instead of stuffing them into your bag, just wear them during your flight (or in the case of a sweatshirt or jacket, at least carry it on your arm). It might be a bit of a pain, but it will save you from wasting some precious space in your bag.

5. Put plastic wrap over the openings of bottles of liquids.
I learned this magical packing hack on Pinterest (where else, right?). You know how your liquids always explode in-flight? Spare yourself (and your suitcase) from that major annoyance by putting plastic wrap over the openings of your bottles. Simply take off the lid of the bottle, lay a small square of plastic wrap over top of the opening, and screw the lid back on. And problem solved! The plastic wrap will prevent your exploding liquids from leaking all over your bag!

6. Divide books into different bags.
I speak from experience as a literature major who flies to and from school multiple times a year: books weigh a lot. If you're traveling with multiple books, don't put them all in one bag, but instead split them up ~ i.e., put some in your suitcase and some in your personal item. This will disperse the weight of your books evenly between your bags, and you won't have to worry about carrying a super heavy bag through the airport or your checked bag exceeding 50 pounds.

7. Pack jewelry in your glasses case.
I do this all the time when I travel! If you have glasses (like me), put jewelry, especially earrings, in your glasses case. By doing this, you'll not only be utilizing the extra space inside your glasses case, but you'll also be placing your small, easily lost jewelry items in a contained space. I usually put my contact case in there too, since that's also a small object that I need to keep track of.

8. Don't bring items that you'll have access to at your destination.
For instance, when I go home for breaks, I don't bother packing shampoo, toothpaste, saline solution, etc. because I know I'll have all that stuff available to me at home. If you're staying at a hotel, consider using the shampoo, soap, etc. that they provide instead of bringing your own. Or if you're making a longer stay somewhere, consider buying those kinds of things at a drugstore when you get there.

Do you have any packing tips?


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