Traveling is an essential part of life.
And whether you travel for work or for pleasure – for a 2 day break or for a 2 week vacation – packing is a necessity. And you need to do it right.
You need to pack enough clothes for your trip but you want to avoid excess baggage fees so you'll need to utilize all your available space. And when you get to your destination, you want your clothes to be wrinkle free and undamaged – if you've got a meeting a couple of hours after you land, you won't have time to press your clothes.
Gentlemen, I travel a lot. And I know you guys do too. Over the years I've learned how to pack my case like a pro and I want to share this knowledge with you. I've put together 10 awesome travel hacks that will change the way you travel forever (and hack 2 is my favorite!).
Travel Hack #1. Keep On Rolling
From childhood, we've been taught to fold our clothes. But rolling them is a great way to save time and space. You can stack your rolled clothes neatly and tightly together in your suitcase, meaning you will fit more of them into the available space.
The great thing about rolling your clothes is that you'll also avoid wrinkles because you're not folding or creasing anything. And you won't have to waste precious time trying to pack your clothes up like origami.
Travel Hack #2. Collars & Belts
This travel hack is a game changer! How many times have opened your suitcase to find your shirt collars squashed flat? Annoying, isn't it? The solution – use your belt as a makeshift collar stiffener.
Roll your belt and place it into your shirt's open collar space. The rolled belt will keep your collar rigid and in shape.
Packing the right clothing is essential. But how do you pick the best travel shirt? By checking if it meets our 13 criteria. Read our article – 13 Tips For Finding The Perfect Travel Shirt.
Travel Hack #3. Shoes & Socks
Shoes – particularly those made from softer leather – can squash, deform and crease under the weight of other clothing in your case.
So how do you ensure your shoes keep their shape and don't come out of the case looking like they've been run over by a truck? Roll your socks and pack them tightly into your shoes to keep them rigid. You should be able to get 2-3 pairs in each shoe and you'll also free up more space in your case. You'll never need to pack a shoe tree again!
Travel Hack #4. Shoes & Shower Cap
There's something about putting a pair of shoes into your case beside your clean clothes that just doesn't seem right. Inevitably your clothes will come into contact with your shoes and inevitably they'll get dirty. My solution is to buy a pack of shower caps and place your shoes in them.
The elasticized band around the cap will keep them from slipping off. The plastic shower cap will stop the dirt transferring to your clothes in transit and you can re-use the caps time and time again. (Not on your head, obviously.)
Of course, you need to know what shoes to pack in the first place. Read our guide to the best travel dress shoes.
Travel Hack #5. Keep Your Energy Levels Up
Modern smartphones drain batteries fast. Domestic flights are at least an hour long and international flights are at least 2 hours long. Add this to the hours you spend in the airport and couple it with the fact you may also be using your phone for work – and you may well arrive at your destination with your phone completely drained.
You can avoid this unpleasant possibility by buying a portable phone charger. They're inexpensive and they will fit easily in your pocket so you can use them on the move. A portable phone charger can be the difference between finding your hotel in a foreign country or sleeping on the streets, using your carefully rolled clothes as a pillow.
Travel Hack #6. Avoid Crossed Wires
Few things in life are as irritating as pulling a jumbled bundle of headphones wires from your travel bag and then spending the next 2 weeks trying to straighten them out. I've never been able to figure out how – just 2 seconds after putting them into storage – they become such a mess. (If you know, let me know in the YouTube comments!)
Avoid this annoyance by purchasing a large binder clip and wrapping your wires neatly around the metal prongs. Then use the closed clip to keep your ear phone buds in securely in place.
Travel Hack #7. Prevent Leaking Fluids
Try as you might, there's always one toothpaste tube or moisturizer which leaks in your bag. For a long time, I suspected baggage handlers were secretly opening my luggage and unscrewing the caps very slightly but I've recently learned the real reason behind this.
When a plane climbs to higher altitudes, the air pressure inside the cabin reduces. This means the volume of the air trapped in your cream or toothpaste expands and this air can push open the cap, squeezing the contents out.
To stop this unwanted leaking, cut a piece plastic-wrap into a small square and place it over the opening on your cosmetics before screwing the top back on. This creates an additional protective seal and eliminates unwanted spillage.
While we're on the subject of skin care, check out my good friend Aaron Marino's all-in-one skin care system. (And use code RMRSHABITS20 to get 20% off your first order, which includes FREE U.S. shipping.)
Travel Hack #8. Stay Hydrated
You need to keep hydrated but airport security won't allow you to take more than a thimble-full of liquid through. One option is to spend an extortionate amount on water when you get into the departure lounge. But there is another way… take an empty clear water bottle to the airport and through security, and then fill it from the taps after you get through.
Never pay for water in the airport again!
Travel Hack #9. Layering Clothes
The layering method of packing is a great way to help minimize wrinkles.
Lay your open case out on its back. Now place your pants and jackets flat in the centre but leave the ends sticking out over the edges of the open case. Next, lay another item on top, this time facing the other way.
Carefully fold the ends of your clothes over and into the centre of the case – one by one – so the items become interlocked.
You'll want to watch this article's 10 Amazing Travel Hacks video – this one is tricky to understand but easy to master.
Travel Hack #10. Get a TSA Luggage Lock
If the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) need to access your luggage, they have the power to remove your locks by any means necessary. And they won't worry about using bolt cutters. You've probably already got a lock on your case but is it TSA approved?
Only luggage locks approved by the TSA have a universal master key that will open the locks and only the TSA have a copy of this master key, meaning they they can gain access to your luggage without damaging your belongings. And they can secure it again when they've finished.
Of course, you want to make sure you've got luggage that is worth securing in the first place. Read the RMRS guide to business travel luggage bags here.
So there you have it. Use my 10 Awesome Travel Hacks to pack more items in your case, reduce damage to your clothes and to save yourself time and money.
So now you know how to pack right… but are you packing the right clothing? Your luggage space is limited. So you need to make sure you have clothes for every likely eventuality.
There's nothing worse than realizing a pair of trousers you've packed don't work with the shirts you threw in at the last minute…. did you know that you can make 120 Outfits From 14 Pieces Of Clothing?