Overpacking, toiletry spills and a lack of organization can add undue stress and annoyance to travel, but finding the right packing items and accessories ahead of time can feel like an unnecessary hassle. We decided to help you out by asking two people who make their living on the road for their top tips and tricks.
Both travel pros we spoke to emphasized one thing: Organization is key to a successful packing experience. And if that means investing in accessories like packing cubes, itâ€™s well worth it. Traveling is chaotic enough, so why add to it with an unnecessary mess?
Nicole Kleist is a freelance travel writer who often has to hit the road at a momentâ€™s notice to follow a story. â€œI lean heavily on packing cubes because they keep my suitcase from looking like a tornado swept through,â€ she said. â€œI especially like using them for my shoes and dirty underwear.â€
In an effort to keep things simple, she tries to plan her outfits for each day in advance. â€œIt keeps me from overpacking and also makes getting dressed throughout the trip less of a hassle,â€ she explained. If that seems like too much work, she suggests â€œpacking neutral colors so you can mix and match everything you bring along.â€
Kleistâ€™s biggest tip? â€œDonâ€™t overpack shoes! Itâ€™s the easiest way to lighten your load and you wonâ€™t end up wearing all of them.â€
As a professional touring musician, Drew Citron echoed Kleistâ€™s advice on organization. â€œI keep my show looks in a completely separate garment bag than my hotel and travel clothes,â€ she said. â€œItâ€™s all about compartmentalizing what I need when I need it, so I use separate bags for separate things.â€
Citronâ€™s top tip: Pack more underwear than you think youâ€™ll need. â€œI pack every piece of underwear that I own â€” that way I know that if we donâ€™t have a chance to do laundry, Iâ€™ll be good on that front,â€ she said. You never know what challenges the road will bring, and running out of underwear is never good.
Keep reading for some of the best packing cube options, garment bags, tech travel solutions, accessories and more. If you approach packing like itâ€™s a game of Tetris, and you might actually even enjoy it.
A set of compression cubes
A travel undies organizer
A universal international adaptor
A set of refillable toiletries containers
A set of five packing cubes
A handy tech case
A beauty bag
A shoe packing bag
A chic set of packing cubes
A portable phone and computer charger
A travel-friendly garment bag
A rugged, weather-proof packing cube
A packable travel laundry bag
A stylish dopp kit
A super-comfy travel neck pillow
A reusable water bottle
A pack of antibacterial wipes