The 2021 packing hacks that will make packing a piece of cake
You can see it now: rest, relaxation and just good old fun. Wouldn’t be great to skip directly to the part where you can enjoy all these things and not have to worry about packing? While we can’t do your packing for you and spare you the trouble, we did put together the ultimate packing guide: a lift of travel hacks that will make your life easier.
Without further ado, here are +40 travel hacks that will change the way you travel:
1. Scan/ photograph all your important documents
Photograph or scan all your important documents and save them on your phone. Do the same with any booking confirmations you might have. If anything should happen, then you‘ll be happy to have a backup solution.
2. Put shower caps on your shoes
Packing shoes can get tricky. No matter how well you wash them, it still feels a bit gross to put them together with your clothes. Completely avoid the “yuck” factor by putting a shower cap around the soles of your shoes. Now you know that your clean clothes will stay clean.
3. Put together a basic first aid kit
Bring with you any medication you might be required to take, as well as some basics. It’s a good idea to have some pain killers, cough drops, stomach pills and motion sickness tablets. A holiday essential: plasters. Absolute life-savers. Also, don’t forget to pack your preferred contraception method.
4. Binder clips for your headphones
Headphones have a special talent for becoming a knot of wires as soon as you slip then inside your pocket. Spare yourself the exasperated sighs by wrapping your headphones around office binder clips. They’ll stay tangle-free and you’ll have saved a half an hour of your life.
5. Cotton swab to protect cosmetics
This happens way to often: you open your cosmetics bag only to see your blush crumbled in a thousand pieces and now everything is pink and dusty. Place a cotton swab inside your compact cosmetics and save yourself the trouble and the money.
6. Get a universal charging station, packing hacks
This is perfect for people who use a lot of gadgets (so, basically all of us) or if you’re traveling with a group. Now no one has to fight over charging time and you can always have all your gadgets charged at all times.
7. Take a credit card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees
At home this is probably not something you think about, as most cards charge a small transaction fee or none at all. However, when you’re abroad these fees can add up, so check before you leave which card would save you the most money.
8. Pack your jacket inside-out
If you have any fancy evenings planned on your holidays, then pack your jacket inside out to prevent it from wrinkling.
9. Bring plastic and zip lock bags
You wouldn’t think this as a necessity, but it’s amazing how helpful and versatile they can be. You can keep your dirty laundry, wet swimsuits or towels, or protect any electronics from sand while at the beach.
10. Save space for holiday souvenirs
It’s understandable that you want to use up all available luggage space. But you will probably want to buy a bunch of amazing souvenirs (maybe a bottle of that delicious Italian wine or some local delicacy). Suddenly your suitcase if stuffed and you can’t zip it up anymore. To avoid this, plan some luggage space for your holiday purchases from the moment you pack to leave.
11. Skip the shoes
Shoes are the bulkiest items you can pack on your trip, so don’t go overboard on how many pairs you take with you. One pair of extra-comfy shoes and another, maximum two pairs should be more than enough.
12. Cosmetics at a minimum
Another way you might trick yourself into over-packing is by thinking you need a lot of cosmetic products. But you can actually have a good skin care routine with just a few basic things. So be extra strict when packing your cosmetics bag, you’ll save a lot of space for more important things.
13. Roll your clothes, packing hack
There are a few ways to pack your clothes, but many people swear by rolling their clothes instead of folding them, as this keeps creasing to a minimum.
14. Keep your valuables in your hand luggage
Keep any gadgets, important documents or jewelry in your hand luggage. Better safe than sorry.
15. Bring adapters
If you’re traveling abroad, it could be that the power outlets at your destination will have a whole different design. Before you leave, pop by the store and get yourself a universal adapter.
16. Pack any fragile items in bubble wrap
To make sure all your fragile souvenirs arrive in one piece, wrap them in bubble wrap. You can pack some with you before you leave.
17. Check the forecast
Packing guide: You’ve checked the forecast five days before your trip and it was sunny all day every day, so now naturally you only pack T-shirts. But despite meteorologists’ best attempts, the weather can often be surprising, so check the forecast again the night before you leave. Also, no matter what it might say, pack one light jacket just in case. You never know.
18. Categorize clothes by day
Most people sort their clothes by types of clothing. Jeans at the bottom, jackets and sweaters above, T-shirts on top and then underwear wherever there is space left. However, this is a sure fire way of messing up your bag from your first day on holiday. Before you know it, you’re left with a messy pile of clothes in your suitcase and you still can’t find that top. Try this: pack your clothes in individual plastic bags by day. This way you’ll always have your next outfit within reach.
19. Add a change of clothes in your carry-on
We all hate when it happens, but it happens: your checked-in luggage got lost on the way and won’t be arriving until the next day. Instead of staying in your travel clothes or spending money on buying new ones, make sure you pack some in your carry-on. So if worse comes to worse, you have a back-up plan.
20. Skip the towels or buy travel towels
If you’re staying at a hotel or AirBnB, you’ll definitely find towels there. If you’re more comfortable bringing your own or if you’re going backpacking, buy a travel towel. They’re really light, but very absorbent and take up virtually no space.
21. Check if there is any possibility to wash your clothes there
An important packing hack, especially if you’re going on a longer holiday, it’s simply impractical to pack an outfit for each day you’re there. Sometimes it’s simpler to do a load of laundry. Check if your hotel offers a laundry service or if your AirBnB host might have a washing machine you could use. In certain cities there are still laundromats, so do a quick Google search before you go.
22. Buy travel size toiletries
Instead of bringing your regular toothpaste, get yourself a travel-sized one. Same goes for most personal care products, as this is a fantastic way to save some space.
23. Prepare for any special activities or events
Nobody likes last-minute panic-shopping so don’t put yourself through that, be prepared.Are there any fancy dinners involved, or will you go to a theme party? Perhaps a hike-or two planned? Make sure you keep in mind any particular activities in your schedule and pack appropriately.
24. Don’t pack stuff you’ll find at your destination
Whatever items you can find at your destination, buy at the destination instead of bringing the ones you have at home. You don’t really need to bring a shower gel with you.
25. Plastic wrap under the bottle cap to prevent spillage
We all know the feeling of dread as we first open our suitcases and anxiously check if anything spilled and ruined all our clothes. Most often than not, whatever can spill, will spill (thanks, Murphy!) So put a bit of plastic wrap under the caps of your bottle to avoid any shampoo-related disasters.
26. Stuff your shoes packing hack
Packing shoes takes up a lot of space that you could otherwise use. That can become a problem especially if you have only one carry-on bag. Make sure your use your suitcase to the max by stuffing your shoes with the socks you will take with you. Done, no more wasted potential.
27. Skip the “fragile” tag
This is a hack that has been buzzing around the internet for quite some time: marking your suitcase as fragile will ensure it gets handled with extra care by airport staff. The truth is, it doesn’t make much of a difference. Your best bet is to pack any fragile items in your carry-on or, if you don’t have that option, to use lots and lots of bubble wrap.
28. Beeswax to waterproof your stuff
This environmentally friendly solution is a great way to waterproof your shoes, jacket or backpack. Simply rub the beeswax on them and you’re good to go.
29. Download free digital tour guides
There are many free walking tour guides out there which can save to your phone and use while on holiday. Now you can explore at your own pace and save up money.
30. Download the google maps for offline browsing
This is a great feature to save up on data when your traveling. Save the map of the city on your phone for easy browsing. Plus, you can mark all the places you want to visit, so you can more easily decide on where to go to next.
31. Thread your necklaces through straws
Avoid your necklaces getting knotted up together by threading them through a regular straw and closing it. You save space in your luggage by not taking a jewelry box with you and all the unnecessary annoyance that comes with trying to de-tangle it.
32. Lightweight backpack
Instead of packing bulky bags or beach totes, get yourself a lightweight backpack. They’re incredibly practical and, when folded, can easily fit inside a jacket pocket.
33. Buy a refillable water bottle, packing guide
By the end of your holiday, you will have spent a small fortune on water. Budget your holiday smarter by getting a refillable water bottle. You’ll save money and feel good about choosing an environmentally friendly option.
34. Save all the attractions on a Google Maps
Mark all the sights you want to see on your Google Maps. This makes planning the day’s itinerary much easier, as you can quickly see which attractions are close to each other and not waste time going from one side of the city to the other all the time. Our tip: also mark nice cafes or restaurants next to these places, so you don’t waste time finding a decent place to eat.
35. Avoid wrinkled clothes with plastic file folders
This hack is super useful for clothes that wrinkle easily. Simply fold your shirts as you normally would and then put them inside a plastic file folder. Without all the wiggle room, your clothes will stay wrinkle-free for longer
36. Line shirt collars with belts to keep them stiff
A nice, crisp collar is what makes a shirt look good. Prevent yours from bending at odd angles by placing a leather belt on the inside.
37. Wear bulky items on the plane
A convenient packing hack, this is a great way to save space in your suitcase. Wear any bulkier items you might need (pullovers, jackets, hoodies or boots). Now you have extra room for all the souvenirs you will buy on holiday.
38. Double check baggage allowance
It’s quite annoying, but different airlines have different size restrictions for the bags they allow on board. Some allow you bring a purse along with your carry-on, while others don’t. Double check the airline’s policy before you leave, so that you don’t have any unpleasant surprises at the bag drop-off.
39. Travel Safely during the Coronavirus Crisis
Wearing the mask is mandatory in almost all countries, prepare and anticipate. Take with you enough masks and hydroalcoholic gel in travel size (100 ml). For the more considerate, you can also bring a thermometer and cotton gloves.
40. Travel insurance
Today, taking out travel insurance is very important. In case of cancellation or change for your transport tickets or for the reservation of your accommodation, you will be covered. And above all, you will be sure not to receive unexpected medical bills.
41. Useful tips during the pandemic
To prepare for any eventuality, you can widely use the GetYourGuide app to manage or cancel your reservations free of charge in case of unforeseen events. You can also download the COVID-19 app for the country you are visiting. And finally, you can use Google Maps for real-time information on restaurant and bar opening times.
What to do if you packed too many things?
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Going on holiday is more relaxing when you’re prepared for any situation. However, there’s thinking smart and then there’s over thinking. Check back in with us for more travel packing hacks and info. We make sure that there’s nothing left for you to do but to enjoy yourselves.