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15 Best Travel Packing Tips and Tricks (+Packing List)

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    We’re sharing our best travel packing tips and tricks.

    As of 2022, we have been traveling extensively for 10 years. So, we know a thing or two about packing for travel, and about packing light — we mostly travel with a single carry on backpack each. We know the struggle, when you can’t decide what to take and what not to take, how to not forget something that really is important, while leaving unnecessary stuff at home. What helps, though, is having a plan.

    That’s why I’m sharing with you some of our best packing tips.

    So you can have a plan, too.

    A person making a plan
    Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

    15 Best Travel Packing Tips and Tricks

    These are our top tips for packing.

    Save this list, so that you always are prepared.

    1. Invest in Good Luggage

    If you are traveling often, it’s very important to have good luggage. Not only it’s important that your luggage is durable but also easy to use and comfortable.

    If you are looking for a new backpack, invest in a travel backpack with sturdy shoulder straps and durable zippers. If you are an avid hiker, we recommend to buy a good hiking backpack with smart design, good back support, as well as good suspension and ventilation systems. If you prefer traveling with a suitcase, look for a sturdy suitcase with quality 360-degree spinner wheels and a durable telescopic handle.

    Pay attention to the weight of your luggage!

    And if possible buy a lightweight suitcase or backpack. You don’t want your luggage use up too much of the weight allowance. Especially if you are traveling with a carry on only!

    Pay attention to the weight of your luggage! And if possible buy a lightweight suitcase or backpack.

    2. Research and Plan Ahead

    What the weather’s like? Is there a chance of rain? If yes, then how many rainy days? Is there a pool at your hotel, or a beach nearby? By researching and answering these (and other similar) questions you’ll be able to decide what clothes and accessories to take with you and what to leave behind.

    Take only clothes you’ll definitely need.

    Leave “just in case” items at home!

    Also you don’t have to pack an outfit for every single day, because everywhere you’ll go you’ll find a laundromat. Hotels, hostels and guest houses offer laundry services as well. Mostly it’s easy to wash clothes while traveling.

    3. Create a Packing List

    It’s one of our top packing tips for travelers. Have a plan.

    Doing stuff is so much easier when you are following guidelines! Packing is not an exception! Create a packing list before you start to pack your bag. Review the packing list several times, so you don’t forget any important items. It can be a list on a paper, I use notes on my phone, and it can also be a special app.

    See our packing list below!

    4. Use Packing Solutions

    These things make life so much easier! I love packing cubes.

    There are special packing solutions for your clothes and footwear: packing cubes, garment folders and shoe bags. Use them to keep your clothes and footwear organized. Pack small items, such as underwear and socks, in smaller packing cubes, whereas large items, like, jackets and jeans, can go in large packing cubes. Medium packing cubes are perfect for T-shirts and sundresses. Pack your shirts, skirts and trousers in garment folders – envelope-like packing folders which keep clothes folded neatly and wrinkle-free.

    Separate your footwear from the rest of your stuff in order to protect it from dirt and sand. Special shoe bags are sand, dirt and water resistant. This means they will keep mud, moisture and sand contained. Not only packing cubes and other packing solutions keep everything contained in an organized manner, they also help to save space.

    Get a travel laundry bag for your dirty clothing.

    How to pack a suitcase to maximize space? Use packing cubes. Period.

    Toiletries in a toiletry bag
    My travel toiletry bag

    5. Keep Your Toiletries in a Toiletry Bag

    In order to protect your clothes from leaks and spills, keep your toiletries and makeup in a separate ziplock bag or in a TSA-approved toiletry bag. Not only it will protect your clothes but also will help to stay organized. Also with a toiletry bag (or a zip-lock bag), you’ll be able to find your liquids quickly and remove them from the bag at the airport security check.

    If you are traveling with a checked bag and a lot of toiletries and makeup, invest in a sturdy large size toiletry bag.

    6. Travel with Travel Size Toiletries

    Alternatively buy toiletries at your destination. It’s even better.

    When you’re packing, remember that you aren’t allowed to take full-size bottles on the plane in your carry on. You can only put them in your checked luggage.

    You are allowed to bring a quart-sized (1 L) bag of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes through the checkpoint. These are limited to 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less per item. This is also known as the 3-1-1 liquids rule. Source:

    If you are traveling with a carry on only, a set of travel size bottles is what you can bring with you. Another, and also better option, is to buy toiletries at your destination.

    7. Keep Your Electronics and Cables in an Electronics Organizer

    Just like with the toiletries and shoes, keep your electronics separated from the rest of your stuff. For this purpose, you can use any large zippered pouch, packing cube or even a toiletry bag, or you can buy a special electronics organizer.

    Whether you are traveling or not, keeping all of your small electronics organized using an electronic organizer makes life so much easier.

    8. Take a Packable Daypack with You

    Have you ever heard of packable daypacks?

    These are lightweight backpacks made for day trips and sightseeing. Usually they are made of thin yet durable material. And the best thing is that they are… packable. You can easily fold such a backpack and pack inside itself. They usually have a pocket that they pack down into. For hiking, though, a durable hiking day pack (women’s hiking daypacks) is a better option.

    Take a packable daypack with you and unpack it at your destination, to take it on day trips or sightseeing trips. Also a packable daypack can come in handy if you end up buying souvenirs for your family and friends, and there’s no space left in your luggage.

    9. Take a Laundry Bag or Extra Packing Cube

    Take an extra packing cube or a laundry bag for your dirty laundry.

    It’s always nice to keep dirty clothes away from the clean. Also you’ll be able to locate the dirty stuff faster if it’s in one separate bag.

    Laundry bag and sunglasses
    A folded laundry bag

    10. Roll Your Clothes

    You see it a lot when reading about carry on packing tips.

    It really helps. We use the same tactic with packing cubes. Roll your clothes and put them tightly together in a packing cube, and you’ll save precious luggage space! Super easy. Super helpful.

    11. Pack a Lightweight Microfiber Towel

    Travel towels are so much better than regular bath towel.

    Well, of course, nowadays and in most hotels, you don’t even need your own towel. However, if you’re a budget backpacker, or an adventurer, it still super easy to end up in situations, when you have to have your own towel. So, to reduce weight and bulk of your bag, leave the fluffy towel behind! And pack a lightweight microfiber travel towel

    They are extra lightweight, take very little space and dry quickly.

    12. Wear the Heaviest and Bulkiest Items on the Plane

    To save money, you may decide to travel with less luggage.

    Many airlines now allow only one piece of luggage, when you buy the cheapest ticket. You can always wear the bulkiest clothing and shoes on the plane to save space in your luggage. It will be cool on the plane due to air conditioning, and you’ll want to wear something warm anyway.

    13. Use Luggage Space Wisely

    Start with packing large items such as shoes and packing cubes.

    Pack a laptop and an electronics organizer with electronics and cables in it.

    Pack a toiletry bag. Then pack the rest of the stuff.

    Make use of every inch — put small items, such as microfiber towel, eye mask, manicure set, pencil case, etc., in little free spaces in your bag. You can also put some items in your shoes! Just don’t forget about them later.

    14. Don’t Bring Books, Read Books on Kindle

    Books take up a lot of space and make luggage so, so heavy!

    Especially if you travel with more than one book!

    If you are an avid traveler (and reader, too) get yourself an e-book reader! For example, Kindle can hold hundreds of books and weights less than 9 oz (255 g). Such a gadget will definitely help save your back! We have been reading e-books for almost a decade now. It’s very convenient to have a chance to take all your library with you. And also the buying process is so much easier with e-books. You buy them online and can start reading immediately.

    15. Pack Essentials in Your Carry On

    Electronics. Change of clothes. Other essential items.

    No matter if you are traveling with a carry on only or with checked luggage and a carry on, take your absolute carry on essentials with you on a plane! Put all of your electronics in your carry on, too. If you are traveling with a checked bag, pack one outfit change in your carry on or personal item!

    Just in case your luggage is delayed or lost.

    Electronics and a carry on bag
    Photo by Andrew Neel from Pexels

    Minimalist Packing: International Travel Packing List

    Now let’s look inside our bags.

    Minimalist Packing List for Females: Clothes

    • 1-2 pairs of pants or shorts;
    • 1-2 long sleeve (depends on the weather);
    • Cardigan (depends on the weather);
    • Dress or skirt (depends on weather; wool dress for cooler climate);
    • 1 pair of leggings (can be worn with a wool dress);
    • 5 pairs of socks;
    • 4 pairs of T-shirts;
    • 6 pairs of underwear;
    • 2 bras;
    • 1 sports bra / hiking bra;
    • Flip flops;
    • 1 pair of lightweight walking shoes or sandals (depends on what you are wearing on the plane);
    • Shawl;
    • Swimwear;
    • Pajamas;
    • Lightweight rain jacket.

    Trip Packing Checklist for Him: Clothes

    • 1-2 pairs of pants or shorts;
    • 1-2 long sleeve (depends on weather);
    • Cardigan (depends on weather);
    • 5 pairs of socks;
    • 4 pairs of T-shirts;
    • 5 pairs of underwear;
    • Flip flops;
    • 1 pair of lightweight walking shoes or sandals (depends on what you are wearing on the plane);
    • 1 buff /bandana;
    • Swimwear;
    • Lightweight rain jacket.
    Woman packing her suitcase
    Photo by Vlada Karpovich from Pexels

    Trip Packing Checklist: Accessories and Other Things

    • Carry on essentials;
    • Rain cover for your luggage;
    • Small dry sack for your documents, passport, phone, wallet;
    • Sunglasses;
    • Compact microfibre towel;
    • Travel size toiletries;
    • Nail scissors or clippers (ladies – manicure set, or at least nail file);
    • Medicines – painkillers, anti-diarrheal medicines, throat lozenges, band aids, etc.;
    • International travel power adapter;
    • Pen and a small notebook;
    • Powerbank, chargers and batteries for all your electronics.

    “Must-Not-Forget” Items

    • Passport;
    • Money;
    • Credit cards;
    • Boarding passes;
    • Onward / return flight (at the passport control you might be asked to show a proof of onward travel);
    • Other tickets;
    • Address of your hotel;
    • Hotel bookings;
    • Travel insurance;
    • Travel forms or passenger locator forms (if needed);
    • Vaccination certificate (required in some countries).

    What To Wear On a Flight?

    • Slip on shoes in summer, and boots if it’s spring, autumn or winter;
    • Warm socks;
    • Comfortable pants (for ladies – running tights or leggings);
    • Cotton T-shirt;
    • Hoodie or sweater;
    • If it’s cold outside (and at your destination), and you wear a coat, take it off before boarding the plane.

    Is there anything you would add?

    Featured photo by Timur Weber from Pexels

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