Our Top 14 Packing Tips to Help Say NO to Overpacking!
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If you’re heading out on a trip, you’ve got to check out our favorite packing tips first!
Calling all travel enthusiasts! 🗣
Many people have been traveling now more than ever compared to the past two years. It may have been so long that you’ve forgotten the best way to pack! Have no fear because we’re sharing our favorite and helpful packing tips.
✈️ Hip Tip: Check out our helpful 15 travel tips for when you’re ready to book your trip.
Now, we’re fast-forwarding to the week of your trip! Woohoo! All in all, traveling is a fun escape and should be an effortless process whether it’s for work or a getaway. Now it’s time to pack…which doesn’t have to be stressful if you follow our tips!
Here are some packing tips that avoid overpacking and unorganization:
1. Make a check-off list before packing 📝.
Even if you’ve somehow procrastinated to where you’re packing the night before, don’t panic! Make a list of everything you’ll need so you can stay organized.
Your packing list should contain everything you need for a trip & what you still need to buy. This avoids any last-minute packing or forgetting any essentials, so make sure you start your list a week or two in advance. If you aren’t sure where to start your list, try using an online packing template like this one.
“One thing I always do to keep my packing minimal is making a list of what I need! I always think about how long I’m gone and write out how many of each clothing item I need for the week. This way, I’m careful not to overpack! Also, I never take too many pairs of shoes — they take up so much space, and I always find myself wearing my favorite/most comfortable pair!” – Alli
2. Avoid packing your bulkier items and wear them on the plane instead.
Make sure you’re wearing your biggest items to the airport! Yes, that bulky jacket and huge pair of sneakers are your new airport attire! You can also always tie your jacket around your waist if you don’t want to actually wear it.
3. Unless bulky, roll when packing up clothes!
Rolling your clothes save a ton of room and give you that extra space you may need. For more delicate clothes (i.e. satin and silk), roll them around a piece of packing paper to avoid wrinkles or creases. I wouldn’t roll bulkier clothing like sweatshirts or jackets because rolling will only have the opposite effect on large items!
“Rolling clothes are super helpful. Typically, I can fit way more as opposed to folding!” – Sara
4. Utilize those packing organizers!
Packing cubes and organizers basically serve as the travel version of a drawer. It separates all your clothes while keeping them organized! It’s light and versatile, guaranteeing maximum space while packing. Plus, unpacking is even easier!
Compression bags are another clever way to get a similar versatility when it comes to packing. It’s usually slightly cheaper and perfect for bulky items that would take up too much space in a typical packing cube.
“Packing cubes in general are super handy to have. They are lightweight and group various essentials together like toiletries and clothing. Since each category is in separate bags, it’s perfect for organization. I would keep swimsuits in one, cords for electronics in another, shoes in the next, and so on!” – Lina
5. Based on the weather, pack by outfit!
You don’t want to pack for a sunny vacation just for it to rain the entire time! Keep an eye on the weather and plan what outfit to wear each day. You can always mix and match your outfits, too, so you have room to bring home some souvenirs, too! This way, you save time and don’t overthink when choosing outfits.
“I always check the weather where I’m going and plan outfits accordingly. Staple pieces are key and can create lots of mixing and matching and cut down on the amount of clothing/shoes you’re packing.” – Sara
6. Speaking of packing by outfit, keep your suitcase even more organized with a shoe hanger.
Simply pack one outfit per pocket including everything from underwear to socks. This works perfectly for kids’ clothes and could help teach them planning skills (like not forgetting socks 😉) plus it gives them the freedom to pick their own outfits while on vacation.
If you plan on using one organizer for everyone, consider allotting one row to each person and adding name tags. (Note that adults may need to use two pockets – one for a top and one for a bottom since they are bigger.)
Not only do you avoid overpacking, but this hack also prevents you from digging out of a messy suitcase all week as you can just hang it directly on the door of your hotel room! 🙌🏼
Get a visual of this hack on YouTube!
7. Freshen up your suitcase with some dryer sheets.
No one wants a musty-smelling suitcase! Lay some dryer sheets out when traveling to have your clothes smell fresh and clean. You can also leave dryer sheets in suitcases to keep them smelling fresh while you’re awaiting the next trip.
8. Bring an all-inclusive first-aid kit!
Anything can happen on vacation, so it’s always good to be prepared. Dollar Tree and Target have amazing first aid kits with Band-aids, gauze, antibacterial ointments, tweezers, and antiseptic wipes. Everyone has different medical needs, so you can refine them periodically by what you or your family need. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. 🤕
Other things that may come in handy:
9. Grab some Ziploc bags for packing away smaller items.
These are holy grails for storage! Whether you want to separate your items, bring snacks on the go, or put your electronic cords in one place, it can be extremely helpful to carry around some spare Ziploc bags.
Toiletries are likely to spill or overflow, especially due to the pressure if you’re flying. Ziploc bags can come to the rescue and avoid anything spilling on your other belongings!
10. Have a portable power bank at hand.
Some airplanes actually do have built-in outlets, but it’s not the norm. Somehow when we travel our battery goes from 90% to 10% in an hour. 😂 Traveling is when you need your battery the most. If you’re not interested in battling your way to finding an outlet in the airport, it’s best to purchase a portable charger!
Hip Tip: If you’re flying by plane, make sure you put the power bank in your personal carry-on and NOT in your checked-in luggage as they are prohibited in cargo transport.
11. Pack your toiletries last.
It’s so easy to buy too many toiletries or worse…forget them! Utilize any full-size products you have and fill up empty containers. This way, you aren’t buying mini versions of stuff you already own. You can keep these containers and repurpose them. If you have beauty boxes full of samples, you can use those instead, too!
Keep an eye on the ounces of each product as well. When flying, all toiletries have to be under 3.4 ounces unless you check your bag. Full-size items like deodorants and some perfumes are actually already TSA-approved, so you don’t need to buy travel versions of those items.
Some toiletries you need up until the hour you leave! Set them aside as you finish using them so you’ll get a better understanding of what you do and don’t need.
“For toiletry essentials, I always pack those right before I leave. As I’m getting ready, I set aside each thing I used so I know I won’t forget it, and everything else stays.” – Sara
12. Bring along an empty reusable water bottle.
When most domestic destinations have safe drinking water, why waste the money on plastic water bottles when you can just take a reusable one? Fill it up post-security at the airport or even ask the cafes if you feel uncomfortable using water fountains. This packing tip is environmentally friendly and a great way to save.
These Brita water bottles have a filter inside… how convenient is that!?
“Before leaving for the airport, I fill up my water bottle and drink it on the ride. I make sure I finish it before hitting the security line and fill it up right after so I’m ready to go before boarding. This ensures I get plenty of water before the flight to avoid dehydration or headaches, and then I can avoid the $5+ water bottles at the airport shop. It’s a win-win!” – Emily
13. Use a carry-on to instinctively limit overpacking and make flying a breeze!
Collin’s favorite travel tip is to always use a carry-on instead of checked luggage. Not only does it zip you through your travels quicker (see ya later, baggage claim!) but it also forces you to be mindful about your packing.
If it’s a short trip, my Hip teammate Alli mentioned that she always travels with a duffel bag since it’s even easier to maneuver and takes up less space. There’s only so much you can fit, so you’ll think twice about stashing in that extra bulky cardigan you know you won’t end up wearing. 😉
14. For longer trips, pack your carry-on inside your checked bag!
This packing tip is only for long trips you intend on bringing home goods and souvenirs. If you’re planning on grabbing a ton of stuff from your adventures, pack your belongings inside a carry-on. Then, pack the carry-on inside the checked bag, using the extra space around it for more must-haves.
Many international airlines will give you a complimentary carry-on space, so utilize it! This is especially great for week-long vacations or when you’re visiting a long-distant family member. It’s basically two suitcases for the price of one.
“When I travel to Germany every year, I put my empty carry-on into my checked suitcase. On the way back, I have a full suitcase because my mother sends me home with things that I can’t get over here.” – Chrissy, Hip reader
Don’t know where to go for your travels? Visit these cheap family vacation spots all over the US!