Photo Credit: STIL on Unsplash
Let’s face it. Other than unpacking + washing after the trip, packing can also be quite a nightmare, even though the excitement of going on a vacation often overwrites that stress. Worst thing – I always forget at least one thing! Therefore, for any trip that lasts more than a week, I need to start packing one week ahead (obviously not an efficient packer but why am I writing this haha). 😛
Over the years, I’ve learnt some pretty useful packing hacks – how to best organise my luggage, how to avoid excess baggage fees, and a few easy tricks to help me remember the little items I’m most likely to forget. These are my ten favourite packing hacks on how to pack lighter, smarter and faster. Check them out! ➡
1/ Keep a packing checklist
I always keep a packing checklist in my computer for items of my absolute essentials to pack for every trip (chargers, facial cleanser, daily sunscreen, medicine, maps, etc.). It makes last-minute packing a LOT less stressful because there’s always a checklist for reference. Most importantly, it helps me remember the essentials that I might forget. If you don’t have a checklist, consider making one now!
2/ Pre-pack your toiletries
I usually don’t use hotel toiletries because I’m a fussy person (unless they’re luxury brands haha). Therefore, packing toiletries can be such a nightmare for me. Finding a bunch of small bottles at the very last minute is unlikely to be successful too. Instead, I always keep a separate bag of toiletries pre-packed and ready to drop-in my luggage – basically, duplicates of everything I use for my daily routine.
This includes things like: toothbrush, travel-sized toothpaste, floss, travel-sized face wash, make-up remover, toner, moisturizer, sunblock, hair conditioner, a tweezer, and basic make-up supplies. I even throw in a few face masks because you’ll never know when you need one. Besides the time-savings, it also prevents me from forgetting things! 😉
3/ Buy cosmetics samples
As I’ve mentioned above, finding small bottles can be difficult. Hence, the easiest way is to buy cosmetics samples. I often stock up my Korean skincare and make-up products from RoseRoseShop (I’m not affiliated with them), and they sell all sorts of cosmetics samples at amazing prices. Hence, I find it easier to use these samples than re-packing them into travel-sized containers.
4/ Use packing cubes or travel organizers
Photo Credit: Qoo10 Style Degree
Wow, this is my #1 travel must-have! I’m a sucker for all sorts of travel organizers (who else is? 😆 ). They keep me organized during the packing and easier to use than regular cosmetic pouches or wash bags. They often have a mesh front and are made out of very light waterproof material which allows packing of a lot of items without bursting apart.
I’m not a fan of clothes rolling, I prefer to fold my clothes flat and pack them into packing cubes. And I pack my clothes by days, instead of by types. What do I mean? Well, I’ll pack the clothes for the first 2 days into one cube, and every subsequent 2-3 days into separate cubes (depending on its size). So, during my travel period, I’ll open only one cube at a time without disturbing the rest of your clothes.
The best thing about travel organizers is – they come in various colours, shapes and sizes. They are perfect to compartmentalise your clothes. I always have a separate one to keep smaller items such as undies and socks, and a spare one for dirty clothes so nothing gets mixed up. If you haven’t try it, I highly recommend that you do.
5/ Invest in a luggage that does more for you
Choosing the right luggage is one of the best things you can do to make traveling easier. Other than some of the basics such as sturdy wheels, durable handles and ample space, plenty of luggage now offer extras such as charging ports and built-in scales. One of my favourites is the built-in scale (prevents over-packing and excess baggage fees).
6/ Re-check and remove a few things
Photo Credit: STIL on Unsplash
Let’s be honest, you don’t need new outfits daily during your trip. You’re never going to wear everything you pack. I always do one round of checking after I pack. Every time when I do this, I can definitely remove a few items that I don’t think I’ll need for my trip. That way, I can reduce some space and weight off my luggage too. In general, don’t bring anything for the sake of having or just in case. 💡 A small bottle of fabric freshener could be your best friend if you intend to re-wear your clothes plenty of times.
7/ Skip the toys
No! 😮 Your kids might scream if they hear this, haha. I usually pack my tablet loaded with games and videos into my carry-on baggage for the flight. I’ll also pack a small plushie (for sleeping, Edison not me haha!) and a book in the luggage, that’s it! The purpose of vacation is to go out and do things together, so the kids don’t need a bunch of toys at the hotel to keep them occupied.
8/ Buy perishable and disposable items when you arrive
Milk, snacks, sanitizers, diapers etc. can all be bought at your destination. I only pack two days of supplies at most (in case I don’t have time to buy on the first day). And this way I don’t have to lug these items around the airport.
9/ Deal with your cords and chargers
Don’t just throw them in, please… 😮 For my cords, I roll them up and secure them with a binder clip or clothes peg so they don’t come unrolled in transit. And I put them all into a travel organizer. This keeps them from getting tangled, and I know I have them all in one place whenever I go. Easy peasy, neat and tidy – am I right?
10/ Pack your in-flight essentials in a separate pouch
I have a small zippered pouch that I always put in my carry-on baggage. In it, I stash all the things I want to keep with me on a flight (such as headphones, sanitizer, wet tissue, some cash, etc.) so that when I board I can just pull that pouch out, put it onto my seat, and then place my carry-on in the overhead bin quickly.
Remember, you’re traveling to spend time with your family and to share new experiences with the kids. None of you are going on a fashion show. They don’t need all the luxuries of home to have a good time, and new clothes to wear every day. Packing light will help you go faster and give you more time to spend together. Even if you forget something, I’m sure you can always buy it when you get there (unless you forget your passport! LOL). 😀
What are your favourite packing hacks? Share your favourite tricks and tools in the comments! I love to hear from you too.