Hey guys! I’m excited for this post because it deals with two things that I love- something fun and something weird. The fun thing? Traveling. The weird thing? Packing. I know, I know. Loving packing??? I’ll admit that it stresses me out, but there is something so exciting about putting your belongings in a suitcase knowing that in a matter of hours, you’ll be heading towards somewhere new, somewhere familiar, somewhere adventurous, etc.
I have recently been trying to take on the massive challenge of packing everything (or mostly everything) in a carry on when possible to avoid fees and also to avoid losing my luggage. (That happened to me for the first time last summer and it was a terrible thing. Long story short, I thought my luggage was stolen after delivery but really it was in a utility closet. Yeah. Crazy.).
I don’t know how much you travel or how much you pack, but if you’re anything like me, taking advantage of space is a must. So, today I’m going to talk about space saving tips when packing a suitcase, plus, a few of my little travel essentials that make a world of difference
- Roll your clothes.
This is one that everybody advises on, and that’s because it works. When it comes time to pack your clothes, little rolls of fabric take up way less space than a large stack of plainly folded items. I like to roll all of my clothes, and I even “double roll” some items horizontally and then vertically if they’re small and don’t wrinkle or matter. I also took some of my blouses and stacked them together and then rolled them, and it made things a little more space conscious.
- Use plastic bags to prevent wrinkles.
There is nothing worse than pulling your clothes out of your suitcase only to find them a wrinkly mess and you without an iron. I use plastic shopping bags folded in my clothes which have worked pretty well at preventing wrinkles, and they can double as laundry bags, trash bags, shoe bags, etc. while you’re traveling, so that’s a plus! It doesn’t prevent wrinkles from forming 100%, but I can see a difference. You can also try dryer sheets, which will also make your clothes and suitcase smell nice!
- Place your shoes on the perimeter of your suitcase.
Unless you’re packing a lot of heels, putting your shoes around the edge of your suitcase saves space. Also, making sure that the soles are facing away from your clothes will ensure that they won’t get your items dirty. I always take some plastic bags just in case, though. Usually, I put my tennis shoes, sandals, and flats around my luggage and I hardly noticed that they were there!
- Consolidate items with small bags.
I have a lot of spare makeup bags collected for when I travel, and I always reserve one for certain items. For example, I have one for all of my face products (face wash, moisturizer, wipes, etc.), one for all of my makeup, one for all of my makeup brushes…you get the idea. It keeps things a lot more organized, and it keeps things a little more compact. Bags are sometimes easier to get to fit in odd places as opposed to a bunch of loose items too.
- Pack makeup and toiletries before or as you go.
I know that this isn’t space saving, but it has been helpful to me. I like to pack my makeup the day of, as I go along to make sure that I have everything accounted for. So after I use an item, I put it into my makeup bag. The same thing usually goes for toiletries such as face products or my toothbrush. Just make sure you actually pack the bag. I once left my face wash, makeup remover wipes, and toothbrush on the bathroom counter and left for ten days. I resorted to washing my face with Dove bar soap. My skin was not happy. At all. If you feel that you may forget something by using this method, you can also pack everything the night before and then use them the next morning out of the bag to make sure you have all of your items. It’s kind of like a trial run.
These are some of my tips to save space when packing. Whether in a carry on or full size suitcase, I’ve found that these things really work and help keep me organized. I love opening up a suitcase and having everything look neat and in place. I know it’s a lofty goal to make things look nice, but I sure like trying.
Now for the travel essentials! They may seem small, but they really do make a big difference when I travel. Besides obvious essentials like chargers, a jacket, and some Tylenol, these are things that I like to keep handy on the plane. They are usually in my purse or backpack.
- Antibacterial Wipes/Hand Sanitizer
I’m sure most of you have heard the horror stories on germs on a plane. I’m not too obsessive about it, but having some hand sanitizer or antibacterial wipes on hand are definitely helpful especially if you’re sitting and can’t get to the bathroom to wash your hands.
- Oil Blotting Sheets
Planes are really dry, and personally, my face likes to show it. Once I step off a plane, I literally look like someone sprayed Pam on my face. I used to take powder on board with me, but oil blotting sheets are less bulky and easier to use in a rush. I got a huge pack of Ulta brand ones for a great price!
- Eye Drops
Again, planes are really dry. My eyes react to this by getting really red, and I always feel really self-conscious of it. Plus, they usually feel dry or sore too especially if I’ve gotten up early to catch my flight. I like to pack some redness reliever drops to use once I land. I get mine from Walmart for less than a dollar, and let me tell you, they work like a dream! It sounds like a product to be skeptical of, but they are seriously a life saver for me.
Depending on what shoes you’re wearing or how much you know you’ll be walking, packing a pair of lightweight flip flops or sandals in your bag is a good idea. I try to travel with closed toed shoes because they are warmer and I once heard that they are safer in the event of an emergency landing (Bonus tip? Paranoia? You decide, lol). I like to opt for a comfortable pair, but you never know when a pair of shoes will become uncomfortable while walking to baggage claim or customs if it’s an international flight.
- Protein bar, granola, etc.
Is it just me or do you get hungrier when traveling? Even if I have a bite to eat before leaving, I’m usually always starving by the time I reach my destination. I like to pack a bar of some sort or a quick snack to keep my hunger at bay while I get to eat again. I may or may not have recently packed some left over fruit snacks that I got for my nephews. I also may or may not have been really looking forward to eating them. (I did.)
Last but not least, I always travel with my Bible. When I was a teenager, I was taking a flight to New York and was pretty nervous about traveling. My mom advised me to pack my Bible to feel safe. It’s something that I do every time I travel now. I know that I don’t need it to be safe, but it’s something that I like carrying close to me when I travel. Plus, I use it for my quiet time, so I bring it along anyway!
I hope that these were helpful tips for you guys! I know some of them were a little obvious, but I think anything helps when trying to make the most of packing and travel. Let me know what some of your best-kept packing secrets are and what essentials you like to take a long on a flight. Snack suggestions are also very appreciated because this girl right here loves snacks. Lol! I hope y’all are having a wonderful day! Happy traveling 😉