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packing hacks

7 Hacks for Staying Organized While Traveling


Cleaning up your packing act is easy with the proper accessories.

How to Stay Organized While Traveling

This year, make a simple travel resolution to stay organized with these seven handy items.

Elastic Grid Organizer

packing hacks

Stop tangling up your chargers, camera cords, memory cards, and electronics in your carry-on compartments. Keep all your electronics and travel necessities accessible with a packable elastic-retention organizer like Cocoon’s Grid-It. The varying elastic lengths allow you to organize everything from portable cameras and charging banks to tiny headphones, gum, hand sanitizer, and lip balm.

Seat-Back Organizer

packing hacks

Family road trips are a blast until you realize you need something you packed away in the trunk. Keeping everything you’ll need in sight is simple with a seatback organizer. Autoark’s insulated multi-pocket version has a main bag that’s big enough to fit drinks and snacks inside, and outer compartments for all your smaller necessities.

Hanging Toiletries Bag

packing hacks

Anyone with a hefty toiletries bag knows how hard it is to keep all those tiny travel items organized and accessible. The solution is a hanging version—you can hang it open at the hotel in order to see all your toiletries at once, and still zip it up and stash it away when you need to. Mowham’s unisex toiletry kit is durable enough to also be dubbed an outdoor organizer. It has high-density, water-resistant fabric and clear lining that lets you see inside its biggest compartments while it’s hanging.

Plastic Bags

packing hacks

Simple plastic baggies come in handy for many packing situations—dirty clothes, wet items, carry-on liquids, jewelry, etc. Whether you grab a handful of Ziploc kitchen baggies or invest in reusable multi-sized ones like Travelon Packing Envelopes, it’s not a bad idea to keep some stashed in your travel suitcase.

Satchel or Money Belt

packing hacks

Using your everyday purse or wallet while you’re traveling might not be a good idea, especially if it’s oversized or full of unnecessary items. Get a designated small satchel or discrete money belt to use on your travels—this will force you to prioritize what you need, leave the rest at home, and make you less susceptible to theft. I’m a fan of small cross-body satchels with secure zippers like Tumi’s Voyageur Tristen Crossbody. Secret pouches that can go under your clothes or a coat also work well, like Zero Grid’s Neck Wallet, if you want something stealthy and light.

Packing Cubes

packing hacks

A trusted work horse in organizing your travel bag is packing cube sets. I’ve used durable eBags packing cubes for years to separate clothes by type and to keep my toiletries and accessories separate. Packing cubes are the easiest way to turn your suitcase into a compartmentalized closet, and make unpacking at your destination incredibly simple.

Underwear Bag

packing hacks

The only way to pack underwear is to awkwardly attempt to fold it, fail, ball it up, and stuff it in the corner of your suitcase, right? Wrong. Underwear bags are a life-changing travel accessory, especially for women packing bras and other intimates that can get lost or damaged in a stuffed suitcase.

Mochithings’ Underwear Pouch v2 has a zippered section perfect for stacking bras or other undergarments, plus small top-flap compartments and a detachable zippered pouch. All your tiniest necessities will be at your fingertips when you need them, and not buried or tumbling out when you open your bag.

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Associate Editor Shannon McMahon writes about all things travel. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

Editor’s note: This story was originally published in 2016. It has been updated to reflect the most current information.

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