Packing for a long trip is always such a balancing act. On the one hand, you want to make sure you’re prepared for anything. On the other, you don’t want to overpack and end up overloaded. Space management is the name of the game, and that’s doubly true on an extended road trip. Preparedness is obviously even more important out on the open road, yet you’re limited by how much stuff you can fit into your car. To help you out, we’ve got some packing hacks you can use to make the most of the space you’ve got.
Roll, Don’t Fold
Our mothers lied to us. All this time, we believed folding was the only way to store our clothes. We practiced our folds to perfection, making our dressers look like the meticulously stacked shelves at a department store. Rolling your clothes instead of folding it will not only help you save space, but also help to prevent wrinkles. And it makes it easier to dig through your luggage without having to pull everything out and mess up your organization.
Vacuum Clothes in a Bag to Save Space
Another great way to save space when packing up clothes is to make a DIY vacuum-sealed bag. You can use pretty much any garbage bag to do this. Just wrap the opening around a vacuum hose and suck all the air out. The bag will tighten around your clothes and get it all nice and compressed, making it much easier to fit into your luggage!
Contact Lens Container for Makeup/Beauty Products
A nifty alternative to bringing full bottles of every cosmetic you need, contact lens containers are the perfect size to carry just that little bit of lotion or cream that you might want on the go. They’ll save much needed space in your luggage, and are great for throwing in your purse to have as a backup on the go. Just don’t confuse them with your actual contacts!
Shower Cap for Packing Shoes
It’s always good to have an extra pair of shoes for emergencies on a trip. But storing your shoes in your luggage can get everything else in your bag dirty, and you won’t always have the opportunity to clean your shoes off properly before storing them. Bring a shower cap to wrap around your shoes before storing them to keep the rest of your stuff nice and clean.
Latex Glove Over Toiletries
We’ve all had the experience of reaching into our bag of toiletries only to find that everything is coated in shampoo or lotion because a bottle got squeezed while en route. To prevent this, get some latex gloves (like the kind that they use in hospitals) and wrap one around the lid of each bottle you are trying to protect from spilling. Use a rubber band to secure, if needed. If the lid comes loose and spills out, the glove will protect the contents of your bag from any unnecessary mess.
Earrings in Buttons
Nothing is worse than finding only one earring from a pair you want to wear for the day. Especially if you are out on the road and not sure if you dropped it somewhere, never to be found again. To keep your earrings paired together so they don’t get lost at the bottom of your bag, you can use any extra flat buttons you have on hand. Just add each pair into the thread holes of a button, and they’ll never be apart from their partner.
Reusable Zip Ties
Zip ties are obviously great to have for wrapping up phone chargers and other cords when packing. But they’re also just great multifaceted tools to have with you out on the road. You can use them as a makeshift luggage lock, to reseal open bags of food for freshness, or make hooks for hanging things. Reusable zip ties are even better, since they can be loosened so that you don’t have to cut them to unwrap your things, and you can still use them when repacking your belongings at the end of a trip. Stash a couple of these bad boys in your purse, and you won’t regret it.
Whether you’re going to the beach, drying off after a shower, or just want to soak up the occasional spill, microfiber towels are a great on-the-go option. They’re much thinner than a normal cotton towel, which will save you some much-needed packing space. They also dry much faster than normal towels, so you can pack up and keep moving when you need to. They may not be as absorbent, but they wring out quite easily to make up for it. Pro-tip: The smaller hand-sized towels work great for removing makeup as well!