Travel Packing Tips and Hacks to Help You Pack Like a Pro

girl sitting in trunk of car after using travel packing tips

Packing well for a trip can be just as important as choosing the right destination. Forgetting key items on vacation can be a nightmare, and depending on the type of trip, replacing those items can be expensive and difficult. Following is a list of travel packing tips, including what to pack for a trip and the best methods for packing. And, always remember the #1 packing tip from travel experts: pack light.

Pack Essentials First

  • You can pick up a toothbrush at the airport, but you won’t get far if you forget your passport! The first thing you should do when packing is make a list of essential items and pack them in a prominent part of your bag so you won’t forget them. Be sure to include photocopies of important documents like your passport, spare cash in a local currency and a first aid kit.

  • If you purchased travel insurance for this trip, remember to pack your Policy/Description of Coverage with your other important documents, so you have the insurance details and contact information on hand in case you need assistance.

  • We recommend that you print this vacation packing list so you don't forget anything, and, since cruise vacations are a bit different than other trips, here’s a cruise packing list.

Realistic Travel Packing Tips

  • Considering the steep fees being charged by many airlines for checked baggage, try to cut down your packing list and just bring carry-on. Recent studies show travelers only wear about 33% of items they pack, so really think about whether you need that pair of high heels or down jacket when you pack.

  • Pack clothes that can be layered and mixed and matched. Also, find out if your accommodation has laundry machines that you can use, so you can pack less.

  • Check the weather forecast for your destination, as well as local customs for clothing guidelines when deciding what to pack for a trip.

  • Take along plastic bags for laundry, wet swimsuits or dirty shoes.

  • Bring an empty, soft bag for souvenirs, and leave a little extra room in your luggage.    

Also read: How to Keep Your Bags and Valuables Safe While Traveling

Travel Packing Hacks

  • Pack heavy items, such as shoes and toiletry kits, before the more delicate ones. Place them along the suitcase's spine to balance weight at the bottom.

  • Roll your clothes rather than folding them or use vacuum compression bags. If you don’t have compression bags, just put the clothes in a large Ziploc bag, squeeze the air out and seal it shut.

  • Stuff socks, rolled-up belts and other small items into shoes to save space.

  • To reduce wrinkling, turn jackets inside out and fold them in half with tissue paper or dry-cleaning bags. Layering plastic bags or tissue between clothes also helps prevent wrinkles.

  • Line the bottom of your suitcase with your trousers and let the legs hang over the outside edge of the suitcase. Then pack the rest of your travel gear with the lighter materials on top. Wrap trouser legs over the pile; they'll keep their crease.

  • Save space and avoid buying pricey miniatures by emptying your favorite products into reusable travel-sized plastic bottles, which can be bought in most large pharmacies.

Packing Tips for Flying

  • The TSA website details what items can be carried on or checked.

  • Check with your airline regarding what you can carry on the plane as rules and regulations change.

  • Pack important medications, documents and a change of clothes in your carry-on bag, just in case your checked luggage is lost or delayed. 21.6 million bags were mishandled in 2016- that’s about 40 bags a minute! Many travel insurance policies include coverage that can be helpful if baggage is lost or delayed, including plans offered by Generali Global Assistance.


If you run through these travel packing tips before your next trip, you should be well on your way to a breezy vacation with much less hassle.

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