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15 Stress Free Packing Tips

Packing…you can’t vacation without it! But who really enjoys it? Some people, I suppose, but I think it’s safe to say that most of us do not particularly look forward to it.  Check out these stress free packing tips that may make the process a little less daunting for you!

a woman packing her suitcase
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Photo by Vlada Karpovich on

15 Stress Free Packing Tips

1.) Always Use a List

When packing for an upcoming trip using a list can make the process easier and help ensure you don’t forget anything! Using a list can also help you narrow down what you need to prevent overpacking. Make a list or use a premade list available online (there are plenty). Go over it once, go over it twice. Make sure that you have everything you need. If not, purchase it early. This will prevent last minute shopping, something that is bound to cause you unnecessary stress.

2.) Roll Your Clothing Instead of Folding It

Rolling your clothes will save you lots of space in your suitcase and will also allow you to pack more clothing items if necessary. Packing cubes is another great option, as they help to compress your clothing, saving you extra room in the suitcase.

3.) Familiarize Yourself with TSA Regulations

Knowing the regulations beforehand will prevent you from packing something incorrectly and thus prevents having your items confiscated at the airport and prevent you from being held up. The TSA has a checklist on their website that might prove helpful to you as you pack for your next adventure.

4.) Always Bring a Trash Bag in Your Suitcase

In the case that you are outside and unable to find cover or have to walk outside for whatever reason and the weather is less than optimal the trash bag can help protect your luggage and belongings by creating a waterproof barrier.

5.) Use Zip Lock Bags for all Toiletries.

If bringing items like shampoo, conditioner, lotion, etc. keeping them in a plastic ziploc bag can help prevent damage to clothing and other items. You can also use zip lock bags for electronics. This will allow better organization and also offer some protection for the electronics.

6.) Keep Essentials in a Carry-On Bag

If there is something that you will need while traveling, make sure it is readily available. This will prevent you from having to search through suitcases to find the item that you need and save you time and stress. It will also provide extra protection for your valuables, knowing that they are right there beside you and reduce any anxiety you may have worrying about your items getting lost.

7.) Shop When You Get to Your Destination

There is likely to be some sort of store at your destination that you will be able to purchase essential items from. Do some research. Find out what options will be available. Grocery stores? Drug stores? And plan for it. If you are able to get items at your destination you will not need to pack them, thus saving you room. I would also recommend a little planning, making sure that you don’t overbuy there and end up with extra items that you didn’t use to have to either throw out or bring back with you, potentially costing you extra baggage fees.

8.) Plan Your Outfits

Planning your outfits will give you an idea of exactly what you have for each day. This will prevent you from packing extra clothing that you may not need. Instead of packing shirts and pants separately, pack them as a pair to avoid bringing too many or too few of one.

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Photo by Lum3n on

9.) Bring Some Detergent and Wash Your Own Clothes

One of the best stress-free packing tips is to bring your own detergent and wash your clothes while away. Pack a couple outfits depending on how long the trip is. Maybe not ideal, but you can always handwash clothing pieces in the sink with soap and hang them to dry. This will prevent you from having to pack an outfit for each day, as you can wash and re-wear. Staying in an Airbnb or VRBO is also a great option, as these are more likely to have laundry facilities onsite for you.

10.) Keep a Travel Bag with Essentials

To avoid having those last-minute items to pack (such as a toothbrush), keep a travel toiletries bag that contains duplicates of those items. Everything will be all set for you and you won’t have to worry about forgetting one of those last-minute items.

11.) Pack and Unpack

While it may be a pain to pack, and then unpack, and then repack, doing so may help you eliminate items you don’t really need as well as help you catch items that you may have forgotten. This is something that I do at least twice for every trip that I take. It takes some extra time, but it does save some stress later on.  

12.) Use a Dryer Sheet to Keep Everything Fresh

While this won’t save you space, it will keep everything smelling fresh and help you avoid that old suitcase smell. Simple things like this can make your journey that much more enjoyable and stress-free.

13.) Double Up

Use bags for more than one purpose. For example, if you have a purse and a backpack-combine them. If you have a child combine the diaper bag with your backpack. It will prevent extra fees and will give you less to carry onto the plane. You can always pack an extra backpack in your suitcase (empty and flat) that you will be able to use once you get to your destination.

14.) Keep All Your Travel Documents and Valuables in Your Carry On

One of the best stress-free packing tips is to keep all valuable items and items that you will need quick access to in your carry-on bag. This will make them readily available and also decrease the chance of them getting lost/stolen.

brown leather duffel bag
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Photo by nappy on

15.) Always Leave Some Space In Your Suitcase for Souvenirs.

Chances are you will most likely be spending at least a little bit of money on souvenirs. Be sure to leave some space in your suitcase for them to prevent having to pay extra luggage fees to the airline on your return trip.

Stress Free Packing Tips: Printable Packing Lists

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