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4 Packing Must-Haves for Easy Travel

Packing. People seem to either love it or hate it. I am the type of person who loves it, but only if I’m able to stay organized. I can’t stand an overflowing suitcase, where everything is mixed together. Often a suitcase is nice and tidy when you first pack it but then a tornado seems to take over by the end of your trip. You can’t find that cute sundress you packed for your last night out (or you found it, but it’s a wrinkled mess), your dirty clothes are mixed with your clean clothes, and your toiletries have leaked. Just typing this intro causes me stress!

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Here are my 4 packing must-haves for easy travel. There are simple, pretty inexpensive, and make packing for any kind of travel a breeze. Whether you’re planning to backpack Europe, sleep under the stars at a local campground, or road trip around the USA, these products will help you stay organized.


4 Packing Must-Haves for Easy Travel

1. Packing Cubes


Ah… packing cubes. If you don’t have these, you are seriously missing out. I’m not exaggerating. They radically transformed my packing style several years ago. They are an organized person’s dream come true and the item the not-so-organized-person will be pleasantly surprised by.

Why? You can fold or roll your clothes and then store them in these cubes for compact, organized travel.

Several companies make packing cubes, and I’ve tried a few, but these ones by Eagle Creek are my favorite. They are reasonably priced, flexible, breathable, and great quality. I’ve thrown them into my backpack, my carry-one, and even my daughter’s diaper bag. I’ve had them for years and they still are in near-perfect condition. There are cheaper options of there, but keep in mind that some fabrics (vinyl!) don’t breathe or hold up as well.

I’ve used them for years, but my husband didn’t think they were necessary. I recently helped him pack for a business trip and used my cubes in his suitcase. He is now a believer. 🙂


2. Silicone Travel Sized Bottles

I’ll never forgot my class trip to Washington, DC, in 8th grade. I was shocked at how many of my friends packed full-sized bottles of shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and body lotion (it was 2004 and we were 13 years old, so picture all the old school Bath and Body Works collections). Talk about a waste of space and weight! I asked them why they didn’t bring travel sized items, and they said they didn’t know they existed. Ha! It still makes me laugh.

You can, of course, purchase small travel-sized items at the store. I prefer not to do this, because the products I use often are not an option, and I don’t really want to use different products just because I’m traveling. Instead, I like to use reusable silicone bottles with the products I already use and love.

Why silicone? I’m not a fan of plastic for multiple reasons, but when it comes to reusable travel bottles, I find that the plastic ones are cheaply made and puncture easily.

I purchased these silicone bottles in 2014, and they are still going strong. Any bottle can potentially leak, but I’ve never had a problem with these. They are flexible and well-made. My husband has a set too.

Note that your lodging may provide toiletries, particularly if you’re staying in a hotel. If you’re ok using different products during your trip, look into what they offer to avoid packing items you don’t need.

Tip: When packing liquid items, cut out a square of plastic wrap (or cut a square out of a ziplock). Place the square in between the bottle and its lid. This will prevent leaking.


3. Dry Bags or Mesh Laundry Garment Bags

Ok, basically, you need a place to store your dirty laundry. My husband and I use either dry bags or mesh laundry garment bags, depending on the type and the length of the trip.

Dry bags are great if you’ll be getting dirty, wet, sweaty, etc. They’ll keep the junk and stink inside and off of your clean clothes. They do, however, take up more space in your bag when they are full. They are more expensive than other options but can be used for several other purposes (we use them almost weekly when we go kayaking).


Mesh laundry garment bags are nice because they are not bulky and don’t take up any extra space in your bag. You wouldn’t want to throw a muddy pair of pants into one of these, but they work great for basic laundry. If you’ll be washing your laundry while you’re traveling, they are also great for keeping your clothes contained in shared machines (and free from a random stranger’s hair and lint). If I’m going on a larger trip and run out of packing cubes, I’ll occasionally use some of these to organize my clean clothes as well. Mesh garment bags are super inexpensive too!



4. Jewelry Organizers and Small Pouches for other Small Items

Do yourself a favor and put everything you pack into something- a little pouch, bag, etc. Your bag will be so well-organized, and you’ll be able to find everything. Why pack it if you won’t be able to find it?

If you’re planning to bring several jewelry options, I am a fan of this jewelry case. It’s sleek and will keep everything from mixing together. If you’re planning on only bringing a few pairs of stud earrings, something smaller will work great.

I have a few sets of zippered bags similar to these. They all match (yay!) and come in varying sizes. I change up what a put in these bags depending on the nature of my trip, but I always use them.


Happy Traveling!

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