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20 Travel Hacks To Help You Pack Like A Pro

From overly heavy backpacks to suitcases that won’t close, packing is a challenge for every traveller. Anyone who’s ever had to lug an overweight bag on a backpacking trip knows that packing well can make all the difference to how much you enjoy your trip. There are a few secrets of the trade that you come to learn when you’re a frequent flyer.

Here are some packing hacks to help you pack like an expert.

#1 Roll your clothes

Are you are roller or a folder? This is the big question for any traveller and my advice is to roll all of your clothes to keep them from getting too crushed. It’s also a great way to pack more into your bag than you ever thought possible.

#2 Take out 30%

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Once you’ve packed your bag, take out a third of the clothing. You know you won’t wear them all and there’s no point carrying around untouched items.

#3 Stock up on contact lens cases

For short trips, buy small plastic contact lens cases at any pharmacy as they’re perfect for storing small amounts of cosmetics such as moisturiser, sunscreen or make up foundation. The screw-top lids are also great at eliminating the possibility of a burst bottle in your toiletries bag.

#4 Also throw in a Turkish towel

 

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These are light and convenient and ideal to have on hand for any impromptu swimming opportunities you stumble across on your journey.

#5 Seal bottles with plastic wrap

If you do need to carry larger bottles of toiletries, try removing the lid and sealing the open top with a piece of plastic wrap before putting the lid back on. It’s cheap, simple and an easy way to avoid the drama of leakages.

#6 Pack scarves

They weigh practically nothing, take up little room and have a thousand different uses, from a blanket to a towel, fashion accessory or extra padding… the list is endless.

#7 Pack a couple of disposable shower caps

 

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These can be taken from hotels or bought cheaply in pharmacies, and are a smart way to cover up dirty shoes before throwing them in your bag.

#8 Use your socks

Protect breakable items by slipping them inside a (clean) sock for extra padding before packing them in the middle of your bag.

#9 Focus on tops

Keep a bit of variety in your portable wardrobe by packing more tops than bottoms. One pair of jeans can go a surprisingly long way when you pair it with a variety of tops, which are lighter and take up less room in your bag.

#10 Store cords in a glasses case

Put old glasses cases to good use as a storage case for small power cords and earphones. It will stop them getting tangled and make you feel way more organised.

#11 Take some plastic straws

Thread fine jewellery or chains through a plastic straw to stop them getting tangled or damaged.

#12 Dress bulky

 

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Lighten your load by wearing all of your heaviest items of clothing (think boots, coats, fleece jumpers, you get the picture). It will free up much needed space in your bag – and might save you having too much carry on if you’re flying to your destination.

#13 Have a laundry bag

Keeping your dirty clothes separate will make the rest of your bag feel much fresher – and remind you when it’s time for a wash.

#14 Take snap-lock bags

These are the bomb and you should throw in a selection in different sizes. You’ll be amazed at how many different ways you’ll find to use them, from separating toiletries to storing a wet swimming costume.

#15 Go bottom heavy

Put all the heaviest items in the bottom of your bag, especially when you’re using a wheelie suitcase.

#16 Pack a soft carry bag

 

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A soft bag, similar to a book bag or tote, can be used as an alternative to your day pack, or as a shopping bag, beach bag. Even, at a pinch, an overnight bag for any impromptu side trips.

#17 Tag your bag

Take the stress out of finding your bag on the luggage carrousel by marking your case or pack with a bright and distinctive scarf or ribbon.

#18 Forget the soap

It’s super heavy to carry yet easy to find soap along your travels – even shampoo can do double duty.

#19 Fill your shoes

 

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When space is at a premium, fill your shoes with anything from socks (obvious) to underwear or swimwear. Added bonus? It will stop your shoes from getting squashed in an overfilled bag.

#20 Add some tissue paper

Wrap a few sheets of tissue paper in and around any items you want to keep nice for any special occasions. Those thin plastic bags from dry cleaners work well too.

Check out backpacking hacks no one tells newbies while you’re here.

Check out Qantas flights to begin your next adventure.

(Lead image: Kevin Grieve / Unsplash)