Bringing the right things with you and packing smart could be quite challenging when travelling. Especially if you’re going to stay in your destination for a longer period. Or if you’re going to change the climate completely. After travelling at least once per month for the last few years, I wanted to share with you some of my best travel packing hacks that will hopefully help you to pack smarter for your next trip.
My Best Travel Packing Hacks
*This post was created in collaboration with Laundryheap. It’s a laundry service you can use when travelling. And definitely one of my best travel packing hacks!
#1 – Pack light!
If I could give you only one advice for when it comes to travel packing it would be to pack light. It often happens you don’t wear half of the clothes you brought with you. Or that you don’t wear those fancy shoes at all. It’s also much easier to get around the airport or to come to your hotel if you have only one smaller piece of luggage with you.
Pick a backpack or a smaller suitcase you’re going to take with you and make it a measurement for how many things you are going to pack.
#2 – Choose the right type of luggage
That’s leading to my next point. Pick up the correct kind of luggage for your trip. I love to travel with a backpack only when travelling on a plane or on a train. Or with a nice firm suitcase if I’m going on a road trip with a car.
Rolling luggage – It’s perfect because you can pack your things nicely and they won’t wrinkle. It’s also excellent if you have more stuff with you to avoid having many smaller bags. However, this is not the best choice if you’re going to walk a lot to come to your hotel or if your destination is well known for its cobbled streets.
Backpack – Recently I’ve bought myself a larger backpack that is just the right size to be taken as a carry on into the aeroplane. I love it because it’s quite spacious. But I don’t have to pay and wait for my luggage at the airport. It’s also much easier to find my way and stroll around the city with it on my back.
*TIP: When buying the bags, I would always go with the lightest possible solutions. And it’s so important both for the backpack and the rolling suitcase. You’ll feel any extra kilo of the luggage when travelling. So, why not save some of the weight on the bag itself?
#3 – Plan your outfits
If I’m going on a trip that is up to 5 days long, I would usually plan my outfits for all those days and pack accordingly. However, if I’m travelling for longer than that, I would take clothes that matches together in a style and colours, so I can combine them easily. Neutral tones are your friend here!
Think about a type of holiday you’re going to. Do you need any sports clothes? Will you be going to the beach or a swimming pool? Are you going to attend some event for which you need fancier clothes?
*TIP: Don’t forget to pack something comfortable for the evening when you’re at your hotel.
#4 – And try to make them fit with one or max two pair of shoes
When knowing what kind of clothes you are going to wear, you can plan the shoes you’ll need, too. I wouldn’t take more than two pair of shoes and will try to plan the outfits for which I wouldn’t need more than that.
*TIP: A pair of shoes which is always super handy to have are flipflops. You can wear them as slippers, or if you just have to quickly pop at the reception or to get to the hotel swimming pool.
#5 – Wash your clothes along the way with Laundryheap
This is an excellent service I’ve discovered recently but would love to know about before my two weeks-long searches for places related to Van Gogh when I was travelling with a backpack only. It’s also an excellent service when you’re travelling for business and have to dry clean or iron your more delicate clothes.
I am always up for packing light, but it often means you’ll have to wash your clothes somewhere along your trip. Laundryheap is an excellent service for that. You can use their website (check it out on a link here), pick the service you would like (washing, dry cleaning, ironing etc.), a number of items you need to be taken care of and where would you like your clothes to be picked up. The driver picks up your things at your hotel or accommodation, and they will be brought back cleaned and dried within 24 hours.
It’s also quite useful to use their service before the actual trip. I’ve used it before my big trip to Croatia. We’ve come back from Belgium just a few days before it, so I ordered some of my clothes to be cleaned and ironed before the next trip. It made all the packing so much easier, and it’s one of my favourite and best travel packing hacks now.
*TIP: Guys from Laundryheap were so lovely to offer a special discount to the Culture Tourist readers. Use code ‘BLJ7NLA’, and you’ll get 7 euros off your first order!
#6 – Wear your heavier items while travelling
This one sounds so obvious, but it’s definitely essential. Wear your most massive shoes and the bulkiest jacket while travelling. It’s going to save you a lot of room in your bag!
#7 – Wear layers if you’re travelling to a destination with different climate
Living in the Netherlands, I’m often travelling to destinations with warmer weather. This May, there were 8 degrees Celsius in Amsterdam on the morning of my flight. And, I was going to Verona where there were 25 degrees that same day.
My best travel hack for that kind of situations is to wear layers. I love wearing a sweater (remember the tip no 6) and bigger shoes, so it’s easy just to take it off and stay in a light t-shirt. The thing I love doing is to have sandals on a top of my bag, and change shoes once I’ve landed.
#8 – Roll your clothes, don’t fold it
This one is a golden tip definitely! I used to just fold my clothes and put them in a suitcase before. But, what I’ve learned along the way is that, if you’re going to roll them, they take less space. And, more importantly, they don’t wrinkle as much. You can also easily fill in any gaps between your items that way.
*TIP: Put a lavender bag into your suitcase. Your clothes are going to smell great. And it’s also said the smell of lavender is calming. Perfect for travelling, right?
#9 – Bring your cosmetics in a transparent bag
I love cosmetics, and I am never travelling without it. I have a smallish transparent cosmetic bag in which I’m always taking my cosmetic kit. I love having a transparent one because it makes it quick and easy when I’m passing the control at the airport. But, it also helps me to see everything I have inside.
I’m avoiding carrying the full-size perfume or face cream, so I’m always keeping the cosmetic samples I’m getting with purchases. They are the perfect size for travelling.
*TIP: I’m usually not having a first-aid set when travelling. But, I always have one or two Paracetamol pills in my cosmetic bag.
*You can read more of my travel beauty tips on a link here!
#10 – Don’t pack any shampoos or shower gels
Almost every hotel will have a shampoo and a shower gel in a bathroom provided, and there is really no need to bring the full size products with you. They could always leak all over your clothes, and that’s something no one wants to happen.
*TIP: If you’re not sure there are going to be any toiletries provided in your accommodation, you can always buy them at a local supermarket or at the airport.
#11 – Left some room for shopping
This is one of my best travel packing hacks. Especially if you’re going to a destination that’s well known for the shopping. You’ll probably like to buy something and bring back home with you. Well, definitely leave some room for that!
#12 – Have your valuable things in your carry on
If you’re travelling on a plane, your luggage could get lost. Or, even worse, your items could get stolen. That’s why ALWAYS have your valuable things in your carry on with you all the time. I’m usually having a smaller purse or a backpack in which I’m having my passport, wallet, phone and other valuable things I have to have with me while travelling. I also love to put in my more expensive jewellery.
*TIP: If you’re bringing your laptop with you, I would definitely pack it in your carry on, as well!
#13 – Make a list with things you have to pack in the last moment
There are some things you’ll only be able to pack on a day of a trip. Toothbrush, comb and cosmetics are a perfect example. These are also the things I usually forget to bring with me. That’s why I started making a last-minute-things list with things I have to put in my bag on the morning of the trip.
This also goes for some snacks or a water bottle you’re going to have with you while travelling. If those things have to be in a fridge over the night, it’s good to put them in a list, too.
#14 – Have a smaller bag or backpack you’ll be having with you in destination
Having a cute backpack or a smaller bag you’ll be having with you every day during your trip is very important. I always have a small backpack, without any zipper, so no one can open it while I’m busy sightseeing. It’s also the perfect size for my phone, wallet, camera and a water bottle.
Think about the best kind of an every-day-bag for the type of your holiday and a destination, and don’t forget to bring it with you!
*TIP: When mentioning the water bottle, pack your own reusable water bottle. You can easily refill it wherever you go. And you won’t need to buy numerous plastic water bottles. It’s excellent for both your wallet and the environment.
#15 – Don’t forget you can buy almost anything in your destination
Well, having this on your mind makes packing much less stressful. In nearly every destination, you can buy whatever you need. So, don’t worry if you’ll forget something. Or, if you don’t have enough space in your bag for those toiletries. You can definitely buy them once you’re there!
Packing doesn’t need to be stressful at all. And it’s definitely a great part of the journey, too. What are some of your best travel packing hacks? Let me know in the comments below!
*This is a sponsored post created in collaboration with Laundryheap. All reviews and opinions expressed in this post are based on my personal view.