10 Summer Vacay Packing Hacks

10 Summer Vacay Packing Hacks

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of an upcoming vacation, but sometimes the stress and aversion to packing can sour the mood before you even step out the door. I've found a few of the most life-changing packing hacks from the world’s most seasoned travelers to help you to eliminate your packing woes. 
Belted Maxi Dress

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of an upcoming vacation, but sometimes the stress and aversion to packing can sour the mood before you even step out the door. “Am I forgetting something?” “Do I really need twenty-one outfits for a seven day trip?” If only there was a way to ease the hesitation around packing so you can just look forward to the main event- an enjoyable vacation. As an anxious packer myself, I’ve gone searching and found a few of the most life-changing packing hacks from some of the world’s most seasoned travelers. So whether you’re gearing up for a three-month cross-country trek or a relaxing weekend at the beach you’ll be able to eliminate your packing woes by learning how to pack like a pro. 

 1. Microfiber Towel

Pictured: Decathlon, Microfibre Pool Towel Pink

Anyone who has packed for a beachy vacation knows how much precious cargo space a big, fluffy beach towel takes up in your already-bursting suitcase. Investing in a compact, microfiber towel will totally change your packing game. These ultra-thin, super absorbent towels take up about as much space in your bag as a t-shirt but boast all the dry-ability of the fluffiest towel. Their real selling point is how quickly they dry so you’ll never end up with that impossible to get rid of mildew odor from packing damp linens ever again. Microfiber towels can be found at any camping or outdoor goods stores and they come in sizes ranging from face cloth to bath sheet so you could basically pack your entire linen closet with plenty of room left for souvenirs.

 2. Mesh Beach Bag

OdyseaCo, Mesh Beach Bag

If you’ve ever brought a backpack to the beach, you’re likely still finding grains of sand on anything that has since seen the inside of that bag. Leave nature where it belongs by packing a mesh bag to bring all your beach toys, towels, umbrellas, flip flops, etc. When it’s time to go,  just throw everything back in the bag and watch as the truckload of sand you were about to carry home with you magically sifts through the bag and back onto the dunes where it belongs.

Bonus tip for damp, sandy toes. Pack a bottle of baby powder to sprinkle on your feet before putting your shoes back on. The baby powder will dry up all the wet sand so you can brush it off easily. Never track unwanted sand into your car or hotel room again.

3. Bring A Power Cord

If you’re traveling abroad, you’ll likely need to bring a power adapter to plug in your electronics at the hotel. Rather than packing half a dozen different adapters for your phone, laptop, headphones, etc (or having to make a charging schedule spreadsheet), bring a simple power cord. You can use your one power adaptor to plug in the power cord, then use all your regular plugs for anything that needs to be plugged in. No more prioritizing who needs their phone more. Full charge for everyone.

 4. Roll your Clothes



@jillcomesclean I was on a roll with this one 😉 #travellife #packing #organization #BenefitOfBrows #organizedhome ♬ I Can Feel It v3 - Nick Sena and Danny Echevarria

Extra baggage charges are a sure-fire way to put a damper on any vacation. Take insider-information when it comes to packing like a professional. Flight attendants love to share how they can pack for a three-week trip in just a standard, carry-on sized suitcase, effectively eliminating any baggage fees altogether (if they had to pay for baggage). I’ve personally implemented this hack in my own travel life and I’ll never go back to folding again. Not only will you be able to pack more outfits and save money, but you’ll also avoid those sharp fold lines and wrinkles you see when you unpack folded clothes after a long travel day.

5. Keep an Extra Outfit in your Carry-On

Luggage gets lost, flights get canceled, and accidents happen. If your checked luggage doesn’t arrive with you, don’t get stuck wearing the same sweaty, soiled clothes for days on end (or buying an oversized gift shop t-shirt as a bathing suit cover-up). Always have an extra outfit in your carry-on for when the inevitable happens. If your bags are lost at least you’ll have a couple of items to rotate between until your bags are found.

 6. Put Your Shoes to Work

Image: Shutterstock

Before packing cubes and suitcases with built-in compartments there were shoes- the original space divider. Don’t let any space in your suitcase go to waste. Use running shoes and other close-toed shoes to store socks, delicate items, or as an extra layer of security for valuables in case someone unexpected manages to find their way into your suitcase.

 7. Pack a Laundry Bag

If you’re going on a trip with multiple stops, there’s nothing worse than packing your dirty clothes in with the clean clothes you’ll be wearing in the coming days.. Since lugging your way to a laundromat isn’t usually at the top of anyone’s travel checklist, pack an old pillow case or a plastic garbage bag to use as a make-shift laundry bag on to go. That way, when you need to repack, whether it’s to head to a new location or to go back home, you’ll have an effective odor-blocking barrier between your dirty clothes and the ones still available to wear. If you forget to pack a bag, many hotels have dry-cleaning bags in the closet that work perfectly to house those gently worn items.

 8. Wrap Liquids in Plastic Wrap

Image: TheShirleyJourney

We’ve all had the toiletry mishap of a shampoo bottle opening and slowly seeping throughout our entire suitcase. Add an extra layer of security by unscrewing the caps on any spillable toiletries and wrapping plastic wrap around the bottle before screwing the lid back on. That way, if any mishaps do occur, you’ll be able to rest assured that the spill will be contained and you’ll arrive with a bag of dry clothing, and all the (usable) shampoo you intended to arrive with.

 9. Wear Your Heaviest Gear on the Flight

There’s nothing more stressful than getting to the check-in desk and finding out your bag is too heavy, leaving you to sprawl out on the airport floor frantically rearranging items in hopes of getting under the weight limit or facing exuberant overage fees.. Avoid extra charges for heavy luggage by wearing your bulkiest clothing on the flight, like jeans, sweatshirts, and high-top sneakers. You're going to save so much space and weight in your suitcase and you’ll be well-equipped for the typically glacial temperatures inside the cabin.

10. Download Maps Before Venturing Out


@digital_bromad #traveltips This comes in so handy and has always been something I have done before leaving the country #travel #internationaltravel ♬ original sound - Austin Abeyta

While not exactly a packing hack, this trick has saved my wandering soul in many unfamiliar cities. If you’re traveling out of the country and don’t plan on purchasing an international data plan, just open up the map application on your phone while you’re still on hotel Wi-Fi. Even after you leave the security of an internet connection, you’ll still be able to use GPS to track where your little blue dot is traveling throughout the city (even if your phone is on airplane mode to avoid roaming charges). Stick a pin in your hotel, and any other locations you’re hoping to see so that you’ll always know where you need to get to. 

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