The Ultimate List of Packing Tips & Tricks

Being a travel agent, I have tons of packing tips and tricks. I’ve compiled a list of things that you should be doing every time you travel! Leave a comment below if you have any to add to the list! It is forever growing. 🙂

packing tips

General Packing Tips

  • PACK LIGHT! I know you’ve heard this a million times before, but seriously, do it. Airlines charge fees for overweigh bags and you want to have enough room to bring home souvenirs! You also want to be to travel with your luggage comfortably.
  • Going along with packing light, pack your suitcase… then take everything back out and remove half. Yes, HALF! Then repack again. If it is still too much, do this step again. I promise you, you’ll thank me later!
  • Don’t forget the 3-1-1 rule for liquids in your carry-on.
    • 3: All containers MUST be 3.4 oz (100 ml) or smaller.
    • 1: All liquids, gels, aerosols must be placed in a single, quart-size, zip-top, clear plastic bag.
    • 1- You must take this bag out of your carry-on and put it in a separate bin when going through security. (please note: a lot of airports don’t enforce this rule, but it’s good to follow just in case)
  • If you want a creative way to bring back more souvenirs, get yourself a duffle bag that zips up into itself. You can purchase these at Walmart for as little as $7.
  • Roll your clothes rather than fold!
  • Put your clothes in packing squares. Packing squares help hold all your clothes together so you don’t have to worry about them shifting around in your suitcase and getting even more wrinkled. These have saved my life when traveling. They keep clothes together and I can easily organize and find where each piece of clothing is inside.
  • Bring a travel-sized bottle of wrinkle release and thank me later.
  • If you plan on locking you luggage, make sure all locks are TSA approved or they will be cut off. I seriously recommend bringing an extra lock with you as sometimes TSA can be assholes and cut your lock anyway. (RIP beautiful brand new coral TSA approved lock. I still miss you.)
  • If you’re going to be gone a long time, I recommend investing in some storage bags that you can roll the air out of. Stick your dirty clothes in these bags and roll the air out to save space. Not only is it space-saving but it also keeps your dirty clothes from stinking up your bag. Win-win!
  • If you plan on going swimming at all, bring a plastic bag or leak proof bathing suit pouch. That way, if your bathing suit is still wet and you need to move on to your next destination, you don’t have to worry about the rest of your clothes getting wet or moldy.
  • Wrap any booze (wine bottles, beer bottles, liquor bottles, beer cans, etc) you buy overseas inside your clothes and deep in your luggage. If you brought a towel, this makes great padding. The last thing you want is the airlines handling your baggage all crazy and you get home to clothes soaked in red wine and broken pieces of glass. Seriously, pack well.

International Packing Tips

  • If traveling out of the country, make sure you bring copies of your passport. In the event that you lose your passport for some unforeseen reason, this will make it easier to replace. Keep one on your persons, one in your bag, and give one to someone back home.
  • If you are traveling to a resort in the Caribbean, you do not need to pack a beach towel as they provide this for you. You may want to bring plastic bags to keep items in when at the ocean or pool. I recommend bringing a waterproof camera (or waterproof camera case) with you as they can be very expensive once you are already at your destination.

Domestic Packing Tips

  • Bring copies of your ID if traveling in the US. I recommend leaving one at the hotel and keeping one with you when you go out. You could also leave a copy with a friend or family member back home too.
  • If you don’t mind spending the extra $15 or so, invest in a duplicate ID. That way, if your purse were to get stolen while out and about exploring, you have another ID back at the hotel waiting for you. You never know when something like this can happen, and it’s always better to invest in the ID and be safe than be sorry you were too cheap and didn’t!

 Tips I Probably Shouldn’t Tell You – But I Am!

  • Those 3-1-1 bags are good for more than just toiletries. YOU CAN PUT BOOZE IN THEM. Wait, what?! Yes, ma’am, you heard me right. Fill that sucker up with as many airplane bottles as you want. This is COMPLETELY LEGAL and I do it all the time. If you’re lucky enough to sit by me on your flight, I may even share. 😉
  • Bring two 3-1-1 bags. Wait, what?! Okay, so I’m probably going to get in trouble for this one, but hear me out. If you go through security and have a purse AND a carry-on, you can easily get away with having two 3-1-1 bags since TSA isn’t checking who has what bag when it is going through the scanner. I’ve tested this theory, and it works. (Just don’t come crying to me if it doesn’t for you– no promises or guarantees!)



  1. krstaten | 22nd May 16

    “Roll your clothes rather than fold” was one I learned on my most recent road trip and it changed EVERYTHING. But there was plenty for me to learn from this. Thanks for sharing!

    • Katie | 22nd May 16

      Yea! It’s such a lifesaver. Sometimes jeans are easier wrapped around the rolled clothes too!

  2. Ashley | 22nd May 16

    Great tips! We don’t travel very often but when we do I always find myself scrambling to get everything together.

  3. rebecca | 22nd May 16

    I like the idea of bringing the space saving bags with you for dirty clothes.

  4. Vivi.m | 23rd May 16

    I have gotten in trouble so many times for those liquids. I keep forgetting!

    • Katie | 23rd May 16

      It is so hard sometimes! But if you remember, try the trick where you bring two so you have double the amount!

  5. Dionna Chambers | 24th May 16

    I love this article! Haha. You can put booze in those small TSA Approved containers! You are the best. TAKEAWAY: PACK LIGHT!

    • Katie | 3rd Jun 16

      That is MY FAVORITE tip! Someone told me that once and it suddenly made sense to me why they call them airplane bottles to begin with. 😉 You can either pour some into the 3-1-1 bottles OR just take regular airplane bottles. As long as you’re 21, they won’t say anything (and honestly, they don’t even check who has that bag to even know if you are 21).

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