12 smart travel packing tips and tricks

Hate to pack? You aren’t the only one!

Are you thinking for days what to take with you on your holiday but still can’t really decide? And then you end up with a bulky bag, yet still half of the stuff you wanted to take with you is lying on your bed? OK, and what to do now?

We, at Refundor, are travellers ourselves. And we know how that feels. To lighten the burden you might be having we’ve decided to share some of our best tips and created this list of smart travel packing tips, which, we hope, will help you to pack faster and more efficiently.

12 smart travel packing tips

Are you wondering what is the best way to pack a suitcase or rucksack? Here are 12 smart travel packing tips that might help you!

1. Create a packing list

Never start packing without a packing checklist unless you are a very experienced traveler! But also experienced travellers forget things so a packing list is a must!

2. Roll your clothes

When packing a suitcase, roll your clothes! It is really more space effective, as it helps to reduce size of your luggage at least a little.

To see how to roll your clothes the best way check this article on WikiHow: How to roll your clothes.

3. Use packing cubes

Roll your clothes and put them tightly together in packing cubes. This will help you to save space in your luggage.

There are different packing cubes available out there. The best packing cubes for jeans, jackets and hoodies are large and extra large packing cubes. T-shirts can be packed in medium packing cubes. Small and extra small packing cubes are perfect for underwear and socks.

Garment folders, special, envelope-like, packing folders, will keep your shirts, dresses and trousers folded neatly and wrinkle-free.

Your shoes can also be also can packed into a packing cube. However, a special shoe bag is a way better option for such purpose since this kind of bags are water, sand and dirt resistant.

Take a spare packing cube or a laundry bag for your dirty clothes.

4. Wear your bulkiest items of clothing on the plane

To save space in your luggage wear bulky footwear and clothing such as jeans and hoodie on the plane. Probably it will be cool on the plane, and you’ll need something warm to wear anyway.

5. Plan ahead, and take only clothes you’ll definitely need

Take clothes that you’ll definitely need and don't pack “just in case” clothes.

Also don’t pack an outfit for every single day. You’ll be able to wash your clothes during your trip, as laundry services are available everywhere.

6. Keep electronics and cables in a separate pouch or organiser

Keep your electronics separated from the rest of your stuff. Thus you’ll be able to locate them in your luggage quicker.

You can use any large pouch to pack your electronics and cables, but we recommend to buy a special electronics organiser.

Shoes, clothes and accessories - Packing for a trip

7. Keep your liquids separated, and don’t bring full size toiletry bottles

Pack your toiletries in a plastic resealable ziplock bag to protect your carry on and clothes in it from leaks and spills.

Pack toiletries in a special toiletry bag before putting them in your checked luggage.

To prevent leaks add a layer of cling-film or a Scotch tape to the neck of the bottle before replacing the lid. 

Don’t forget that you aren’t allowed to bring full size toiletry bottles on a plane:

Under the current rules, you can carry as hand luggage, liquids in individual containers with a capacity not greater than 100 ml and contained in one transparent re-sealable plastic bag of a capacity not exceeding one liter. Liquids cover gels, aerosols, pastes, lotions, liquid/solid mixtures and other items of similar consistency, such as drinks, toothpaste, soups, syrups, perfumes, shaving foam, etc (Source: ec.europa.eu.)

Even though you are allowed to put full size toiletry bottles in your checked luggage we would recommend you to buy travel size toiletries or just fill reusable travel bottles.

8. Pack essentials and a change of clothes in your carry on / personal item

It’s important to keep a change of clothes in your carry on bag just in case your checked bag gets lost.

Don’t forget to pack travel essentials, such as sleep mask, earplugs, water bottle, power bank, warm socks, hand sanitiser, wet wipes, snacks etc., in your carry on! Read more about travel essentials and what to pack in hand luggage here.

9. Take a packable duffel bag or backpack

Take with you a packable duffel bag or daypack in case you want to bring gifts and souvenirs to your family and there’s no more space left in your luggage.

10. Don’t bring books, get an e-book reader

To reduce size of you luggage don’t bring any books. Take an e-book reader with you instead. If you can’t afford to buy one for now, opt for paperbacks instead of hard covers.

Also you can read e-books on your smartphone or tablet. You just have to install an e-reader app and purchase or download some free books.

11. Buy lightweight luggage and carry on bag

You don’t want your luggage and carry on bag to use up much of the weight allowance! When buying a suitcase pay attention to its weight, even more so if your are shopping for a carry on, and it will be your only piece of luggage.

12. Use digital luggage scale

No one likes to pay excess baggage fees or re-pack right before check-in. To avoid it use a digital luggage scale to check if your baggage doesn’t exceed the weight limit.

Get yourself a digital luggage scale with a tape measure, so you can also measure your bag once it has been packed!

A woman with her suitcase - Smart travel packing tips

How to pack a suitcase for 2 weeks

We believe the less you take with you the better your holiday! How’s that? Because it’s liberating to travel light. Not only it’s easier to use public transportation with lighter luggage but also it’s easier to choose what to wear - there’s so little stuff in your bag you can decide very quickly!

The best way to travel is with a carry on only. You don’t have to check in your bag, thus saving your time, as you won’t need to stand in a queue to check it and to collect it at your destination. And it’s way more easier to travel around just with one piece of luggage.

Is it even possible to travel with a carry on only? Yes, it is! And what to pack for holiday?

Actually it’s very easy to pack a carry on luggage. Yes, it takes a little planning ahead but it’s worth it! With planning, you’ll take only the stuff you’ll need instead of kilos and kilos of clothes that you won’t even have time to wear!

To help you with planning and packing we’ve made this minimalist packing list.

1. Clothes:

  • 1-2 pairs of trousers or shorts / ladies will pack extra dress or skirt;
  • 4 cotton t-shirts;
  • 1 long sleeve;
  • 6 pairs of socks;
  • 6 pairs of underwear;
  • 1 pair of flip flops;
  • 1 buff/bandana – scarf, face mask and a beanie – 3 in 1;
  • 1 pair of swimming trunks / ladies: 1 pair of swimsuit or bikini;
  • 1 pair of lightweight running / walking shoes.

2. Other things to bring with you:

  • Carry on essentials;
  • Sunglasses;
  • Rain cover for your luggage;
  • Small dry sack for your passport, phone and wallet;
  • Compact microfibre towel;
  • Travel size toiletries;
  • Nail scissors or clippers, nail file;
  • Basic medicines – painkillers, anti-diarrheal medicines, throat lozenges, band aids, etc.;
  • Tablet and / or e-reader;
  • International travel power adapter;
  • Headphones or earbuds;
  • Powerbank, chargers and batteries for all your electronics;
  • Pen and a small notebook.

Happy travels!