16 Hacks for Smarter Packing From the Pros

16 Hacks for Smarter Packing From the Pros

This post originally appeared on All You.

Take the stress out of traveling with these smart packing hacks from our panel of expert travelers: Expedia Viewfinder travel bloggers Trish Friesen and Beth Whitman, and Flavie Lemarchand-Wood, travel content editor for priceline.com.

Start With a Plan

• “The first step to packing light is cutting way down on what you think you need. It might help to lay out everything you want to bring, then cut it in half (or more).” – Trish Friesen

• “Make a list with the number of days you're gone, your trip style (urban, beach, or camping), and what you'll need. Planning is the most essential ingredient for packing light.” – Trish Friesen

• “Write down (and try on) five mix-n-match outfits within a similar color palette. The combination potential of five outfits gives you more than 25 days of different clothing content.” – Beth Whitman

• “Download reliable weather and travel booking apps before you even leave the house. Priceline.com’s free mobile app is perfect for last-minute deals on hotels and rental cars—either near the airport or on the road.” – Flavie Lemarchand-Wood

Make the Most of Your Space

• “When considering which clothes to pack, the key is choosing multipurpose pieces that are wrinkle-free, pack down small, and can be mixed and matched.” – Beth Whitman

• “If a cold weather destination is on the itinerary and packing bulky winter clothing is a concern, you have a few options. First option, wear the largest item (winter coat, snow boots) while en route so that it doesn’t take up luggage space. Pack items that layer well so you can grab a matching cardigan when it cools down. And my top choice, purchase ultra-light down outerwear and roll it instead of folding it.” – Flavie Lemarchand-Wood

• “Limit your shoes. (To the shoe-obsessed: You can still "work it" on the travel runway with three well-selected pairs.)” – Trish Friesen

• “Ship gifts ahead! You still have time to find free shipping for holiday gifts online. Or, think gift cards. With so many options, there is something for everyone on your list. For a personal touch, write a nice note to accompany the card. Remember that it’s presence, not presents that matters.” – Flavie Lemarchand-Wood

Bring the Right Tools

• “Having the right bag is key! While big luggage is tempting and perfect for packing for every scenario imaginable, you will pack for the bag you have. Ask yourself 'Am I really going to wear that?' Getting a smaller bag will force you to pack efficiently and thoughtfully.” – Flavie Lemarchand-Wood

• “Shoes double as space-savers. Packing socks into shoes can save space and keeping belts in them can prevent from creases or warping while en route.” – Flavie Lemarchand-Wood

• “Eyeglass cases protect and organize. Cases can be repurposed to keep travel-sized toiletries from being crushed or to hold miscellaneous items that often get lost in bags: Q-tips, hair ties, and bobby pins.” – Flavie Lemarchand-Wood

• “Save the plastic covers from new bedroom sheet sets. They can serve as emergency kits for loose items like kids games and crayons and make it easy to grab when your bag is already stowed in the overhead compartment.” – Flavie Lemarchand-Wood

• “To keep electronics organized, use padded packing cubes. Sea to Summit carries a variety of sizes and colors of these cubes. I usually have one cube for electronics and another cube for power cords, SD cards, camera batteries, and a flashlight.” – Beth Whitman

• “Packing cubes also are great to organize socks and underwear. Tom Bihn has a wide variety of packing cube options for these kinds of items.” – Beth Whitman

• "If you have clothes that need to stay free from wrinkles, put them in a packing folder, such as those from Eagle Creek.” – Beth Whitman

• Plus: Vacuum-sealed storage bags are available at many retailers and make great space-savers in your luggage, especially when it comes to bulkier clothing. Don't forget to take into account that fitting more clothes into your suitcase—no matter how compact—can also make it heavier!

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