10 Tips to Pack Smart

By Amanda Little

There are two kinds of people who travel: those who pack light, and those who wish they did. If you over-pack or just have trouble sorting through what you want to bring, you may want to keep in mind some of these tips and tricks to not only pack light, but smart too.

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Stock up on Ziplock bags.

Lightweight storage.

Always have different sized plastic bags with you! They come in handy for food storage, prevent leaking inside your bags, can separate dirty clothes, and more. Pack toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, sunblock and other liquids in Ziplock bags to prevent them leaking on your clothes.

Bring along a garbage bag.

Put in an outside pocket, just in case.

Packing a large, clean garbage bag can quickly save you or your bags from unexpected rain. It can become an emergency poncho, a tarp, or even a laundry bag.

Roll, don't fold.

Save space for your souvenirs!

Rolling your clothes together will leave you space in your suitcase, and not for more clothes! Having more space might tempt you into packing 'extras'. Avoid throwing in last minute T-shirts, pants, leggings, or shoes. You want to avoid bulk, so bring the jeans, ditch the heels.

Make a list.

Planning is key.

Write out a list of all the things you need to bring, then lay it all out in front of you. Go over everything again and cut the things that aren't necessary. And finally, look at all of your outfits, and put one back.

Separate jewelry.

For events where you want to add a bit of flair.

Press n' seal plastic wrap can keep bigger items from tangling together, but for smaller items, you can separate them by threading chains through straws. Keep your studs together by attaching them to buttons through the holes, and keep track of your rings with a daily pill case! The bigger and more expensive jewelry though, you might want to leave home.

Re-use plastic bags.

For business or formal attire.

Keep your clothes from wrinkling while traveling. When packing your nice clothes, lay them out on a plastic bag and fold it up all together. The plastic throughout will prevent creases.

Re-purpose a shower cap.

Nobody wants mud on their clothes.

Keep your clothes clean while traveling. Tuck the bottoms of dirty or used shoes into a shower cap. It keeps them together, protects your clothes, and leaves the tops of the shoes open so you can stuff them with socks, underwear, or other small items.

Freshen up with dryer sheets.

Being on the road isn't always glamorous.

Keep everything fresh. Layer a few dryer sheets in with your clothes to keep everything you're wearing smelling fresh and clean...even if it isn't.

Keep it bottom heavy.

So your bags don't fall over if you let go.

Pack the heaviest items in your bag closest to the wheels of your suitcase. This will make it easier to maneuver your luggage, and make it less likely to fall over. It's also a good idea to have your email address along with your home address on your luggage.

Don't forget to charge!

And make sure you have an outlet adapter.

You never know when the next chance to charge your phone or laptop may be. You don't want to miss out on a photo or be unable to reach out to coworkers. Carry an external battery pack, or plug in when you get the opportunity.

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