7 Helpful Hacks for Hassle-Free Packing

It’s summertime.  Finally, the travel season is here!  Whether you’re loading your trunk for that weekend road trip or stowing luggage into that tiny overhead bin, in matters of both cost and convenience, efficient packing is an absolute must.  To help ease your packing pains, we’ve compiled a list of seven tried and true packing tips to get you on the road for a great vacation season.

1. Get Organized

What’s the weather going to be like?  What activities do you have planned?  Make a list of each day that you plan to be away and next to each date write the forecasted temperature and any planned or likely activities.  This will provide a practical base from which to strategize your outfits, shoes, and even your hairstyle for every day that you’re away.

2. Pack Light

In the wise words of Erykah Badu, “pack light.” Depending on the length of your trip, it may be entirely possible to skirt extra fees and avoid baggage claim all-together by packing as efficiently as possible.  Packing light will save you money, time and precious energy.

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3. Consider a Capsule Wardrobe

Once you’ve made your list, think through your wardrobe choices. Consider selecting mixable, matchable pieces with coordinating colors and textures.  With a bit of layering and a little creativity, every piece of clothing can lend itself to several different looks.  This also makes it easier to leverage a couple pairs of shoes and a few accessories across several outfits.

4. Roll it Up

Instead of folding clothes into your suitcase, try rolling them.  Folding your garments long ways and rolling them into tight little buns allows you to fit more items into a smaller space and makes it easy to stack and pack and utilize every little section of your bag or suitcase.

5. Vacuum Bags Are Your Friend

I get it.  Sometimes you just need options. If you are going on an extended vacation or just want to flex several different looks on your trip, consider purchasing vacuum storage bags. Reasonably priced and widely available in general merchandise stores like Target and Wal-Mart, these reusable, plastic wardrobe bags allow you to compress your wardrobe into airtight, waterproof containers to fit as much as 3 times the stuff into your luggage.

6. Remember the Golden Rule

If your flying, remember the 3-1-1 rule. The TSA allows for you to bring liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes through the security checkpoint if they are packed in 3.4-ounce containers. All of these liquids must fit into one quart-sized bag, and you are allowed to bring only one bag per traveler.  Three-ounce containers of liquids, gels, and pastes, packed into one bag, per one person – 3-1-1.  Remember this golden rule and save yourself a hassle.

7. Max Your “Personal Item”

Most airlines allow for one free carry-on bag and one personal item. Now that you’re fully equipped with tips to make the most of your carry-on, don’t underestimate the power of a well strategized personal item. Play your cards right and your backpack, purse, or laptop bag can stow all your necessary sundries, toiletries, and whatnots, leaving more room for clothes in your carry-on.

Apply these helpful hacks and prepare for the hassle-free vacation of your dreams. Happy travels to you!


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Ebony is a media consultant, editor, and writer for online magazines such as Cuisine Noir, Blavity, and Teen Vogue. She's a museum connoisseuring, hostel loving, wanderlust junkie who lives for new travel experiences. Learn more about her work at naomiteneaustin.com.