Travel Hacks TRAVEL TIPS

Travel Packing Hacks – The Ultimate “How to Pack your Bags Better” Post

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Love it or hate it, you ain’t going nowhere without packing your bags first. I used to love packing my bags for a new adventure. However after travelling the world solo for a year, living out of your suitcase soon becomes less a novelty and more of a burden – unless you pick up some travel packing hacks along the way. Now into my second year of full time travels, I thought it best to share what I’ve learned in the ultimate blog post for How to Pack your Bags Better. Get ready, its a long one!
packing hacks

How to Pack your Bags Better?

The suitcase

Lets start at the beginning. The importance to having a good suitcase is beyond words, especially if you plan to do more travels in the future. In my years travelling I’ve had many a suitcase, but the day my “lightest suitcase in the world” decided to break on me in the middle of the street in Hamburg, Germany, I knew it was time to invest. I got my hands on a samsonite hard case – the best decision I had ever made. While they are a small investment, you’ll be glad you took the leap of faith. If you’re budget conscious, shop around for an alternative brand but definitely stick to a hard case – they’re worth their weight in gold.

Planning to Perfection

Its easy to get carried away when planning your travels and leaving packing to the last minute (I’m a prime candidate too, don’t worry). But plan in advance and you’ll thank yourself later. Ask yourself: What will the weather be like (only a quick google search away)? How long will my items last me (1, 2, 3 weeks) until I need to do my laundry? What do I need and what am I taking ‘just incase’? Its better to leave behind anything you don’t think you will use and in the worst case scenario, buy that item at your destination. Its better to have space in your luggage than to overpack – no one wants to pay excess baggage fees!

Carry On vs. Checked Luggage

If you’re going on a short (2-5 days) holiday, you might want to consider taking carry-on luggage only. Most airlines will allow for 10kg of carry-on luggage, and taking this option will mean you can avoid waiting for your bags on the other side. This is great if you’re travelling to a hot beach destination where the items you will need are light, but if you’re off to the snow I’d think otherwise. If you plan to check your luggage, its important to still consider what you pack in your carry-on luggage. With so many travellers zipping in every direction these days, lost luggage is not uncommon. Pack what you’ll want on the flight AND a spare outfit, just in case. Items to consider (WOW LOVES): Frends headphones, Olympus PEN E-PL7, Gigi New York StationaryFuji Film Instax Camera.


See the Youtube Video:

Travel Packing Hacks

Now for the good stuff!!! Here’s a list of the top travel hacks I’ve learned for packing your travel bags.

Use Clingwrap to Stop your Jewellery from Tangling

Tired of spending precious travel moments untangling your jewellery? Fear not! Use x2 strips of cling wrap to hold your jewellery into place. Simply place a your necklace on one strip of clingwrap, layer another strip overtop, and voila! Tangle no more.

Put a Shower Cap over Shoes for protection

Whether you’re aiming to keep your clothes clean or your favourite shoes protected, separation is simple with something you’ll find a second use for: a shower cap!

Use the Inside of your Shoe as Storage Space

It may seem an obvious one, but it will soon save you oodles of space. Whether its delicate items you wish to protect or simply placing socks and underwear inside a shoe, this little trick is bound to save space by the end of your packing (especially if you pack as many shoes as I do)!

Rolling vs. Folding

Ahhh, the age old debate! Its true that rolling your clothes will save space and prevent your clothes from wrinkling, but is it worth the extra time? The choice to roll or fold is totally up to you and depends on your preferences, but a great trick is to do both. Roll the clothes you wish to keep wrinkle-free and fold the thicker items like sweaters.

Place cords/chargers in a Sunglasses Case

Probably the most important items to travel with in the 21st Century are your laptop and phone chargers. Tired of losing them? Place your cords and chargers inside a sunglasses case to prevent them from tangling as well as knowing exactly where to find them when you open your case.

Use a pill compartment for small jewellery items (rings, earrings)

Place your small jewellery (rings, earrings) inside a pill compartment to prevent losing them in your bag.

Put fragrances inside a sock first

Ever arrived at a destination to find your expensive perfume/cologne now creating a misty aura through your entire suitcase!? Prevent spillages and breakage by placing your fragrances inside a sock first to protect them.

Pack the Larger, Heavier Clothes at the Bottom

It may seem simple – but this is one of the best tricks to know exactly where everything is. With your large and heavy items at the base of your suitcase, you’ll be able to see more of your items without shifting anything around inside your case.

Put your Underwear in last in spare spaces

Last but not least – the one item you’ll never forget – should go into your suitcase last! Place your undies in small spaces and gaps at the last minute to a) save space and b) have easy access to a fresh pair of knickers when you arrive.

Over to you! Do you have a travel packing secret you can share with readers? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below! 

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    packing and shipping Lakeland
    April 19, 2016 at 3:11 pm

    wonderful tips you have shared about packing the bags. whenever I plan a trip, then I usually get confused what to pack or what not pack.

    but you have shared impressive tips which make me aware the steps of packing.

    February 18, 2016 at 4:12 pm

    Really useful tips! The tip to use a cling wrap to stop jewelry from tangling is really awesome! One more thing that can help to keep jewelry organized is a straw. Loop necklaces and bracelets around a straw to keep them organized. Another amazing tip I liked is of placing cords/chargers in a sunglasses case.

    leslie tucker jenison
    January 4, 2016 at 5:40 am

    I love your blog! I travel a lot and I finally opted to create a set of “travel makeup” as well as a small set of items such as shampoo, conditioner, face wash, etc., all in 1 oz leakproof containers housed in a clear TSA-friendly zipper case. I check them to replenish upon returning. I use Eagle Creak lightweight packing cubes for clothing and computer cords. I almost NEVER check a bag. I pack a very basic wardrobe that dries quickly and carry packets of washing liquid so I can do laundry in the sink. Three undies and socks, a waterproof shell. That’s it. I travel with a very basic Eagle Creek carry-on roller bag. I have had it for 10 or more years and it is as good as the day I bought it. Hope this helps!

    December 1, 2015 at 5:13 pm

    I am not really good in traveling. My mom is the only one who always prepare my luggage whenever I have a trip. Well, your tips will surely help me a lot to do packing of my things.

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    November 23, 2015 at 5:06 am

    […] Here's some more good packing advice from the author of World of Wanderlust, Brooke Saward. […]

    Essie Woods
    October 30, 2015 at 1:46 am

    These are such amazing tips. I like the idea of folding the clothes. I never did it. Thank you so much for sharing your packing ideas. Greetings

    Ann Lawrence
    September 10, 2015 at 11:50 pm

    Fantastic tips! I am going to be 2 weeks in Paris. I found your blog just in time. I checked the weather and rolled my clothes. Thank you sooo much for sharing this article. Best regards!

    Olive Brown
    August 26, 2015 at 10:06 pm

    Great post! Really! I’m so glad I found it. I’m preparing for my first longer trip with my boyfriend and of course I’ve already freaked out about the packing. I’m a person who ‘don’t bring just-in-case items’ and if I need something I don’t have in my suitcase I buy it. Loved your video and the ‘hats’ hint, I would never think about packing my hats this way, and it’s so simple. Thanks for this article, I’m so glad I found your useful tips, despite I’ve done packing million times, it’s always good to learn something better and easier. Greets!

  • 6 things you should take out of your suitcase right now | WORLD OF WANDERLUSTWORLD OF WANDERLUST
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    May 27, 2015 at 12:44 am

    Ladies, don’t blush but I found using panty liners a good way to keep your undies cleaner longer. Walk with a bunch of them !

    Footprints Teaching Jobs
    May 23, 2015 at 8:28 am

    These are awesome packing tips, I use many of these myself when travelling the world. I especially recommend the ‘no checked luggage’ and ‘don’t bring just-in-case items’, that advice will serve you well whether you’re going for a one-month jaunt (I often travel all over on local transportation and need to keep it light – there’s simply not room for big suitcases with unneeded stuff for this way of travelling) or even if you’re undertaking a life changing but not permanent move – like the teachers I work with who go abroad from the States to teaching jobs in UAE. We tell them “the more stuff you’re taking with you, the more stuff you’re bringing back”.

    Beverly Lorens
    May 14, 2015 at 11:37 pm

    So cool packing advices in this blog! Thank you for sharing! I am going on a vacation next week and I had no idea what to bring with me and what to leave at home. You helped a lot!

    Hellen Hensel
    April 7, 2015 at 3:39 am

    Awesome tips.
    Pack is never so easy, but with some planning you can make it easier.
    Really useful post, I will start to follow you for sure! 🙂
    Thank you!

    March 4, 2015 at 11:04 am

    These are really good tips Brooke. I like to pack Ziplocs and a laundry bag as well so that my dirty clothes don’t touch my clean ones.

    February 28, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    Great tips!
    I am a big fan of ziplock bags, I put anything that is likely to leak in its own small ziplock bag and always have spares of all different sizes. I also stuff socks, sports bras inside my sneakers and always take a power board with me!

    February 26, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    Hi Brooke, your tips are genius! I’m excited to find out that I already done most of the things you wrote these past few years, ,,yeeaaiii 🙂
    Anyway, I prefer to fold my cloth and put in a vacuum bag (vacuum bag is like a magic, reduce the volume of my cloth significantly and no wrinkle at the same time!!)
    Love the idea of using shower cap as shoes protector,,will try!

    February 26, 2015 at 2:37 am

    Wow, this is a really good post for anyone who is new to travelling and wants to be organised!

    February 25, 2015 at 2:38 am

    Thanks for the useful tips! I like the cling wrap part and the perfumes in socks part.

    Characters & Carry-ons

    Meg Roberts
    February 24, 2015 at 8:31 pm

    These tips are so great! I use a few of them already but sometimes when I’ve left packing until a couple of hours before I’m due to leave all sense of organisation goes out of the window and everything gets thrown in haphazardly!

    I absolutely love the tips for jewellery storage! Without exception I always end up with a tangled mess of neckalces and then never wear any of them while I’m away as I don’t want to untangle them! And earrings just get jumbled up in an old drawstring gift bag and again never worn.

    I’ll definitely be using these tips for my upcoming trip to New York – space is going to be in high demand for all the shopping I intend to do out there!

    Meg xx

    February 24, 2015 at 4:21 am

    I think it’s also important to know how to pack your shoes right – especially your high heels. I wrap the heels in plastic so that they don’t scratch anything or break under 20 kg pressure of clothing.

    I also think it’s important to prepare a good base in your suitcase, so I always pack folded jeans first at the bottom of my suitcase, which is cheap and, therefore, doesn’t have a hard cover. Jeans and pants will make it a bit stronger, and it will also be easier to put everything else on top once the surface of the bottom is smooth! Hope I made myself clear!

    Jessica @ The Belle Voyage
    February 24, 2015 at 2:48 am

    These are awesome tips! I love the cord / sunglass case one. Genius. My other favorite tip is to pack plenty of dresses – saves a ton of space and easy to dress up or down!

    February 24, 2015 at 12:29 am

    I am planning to pack for a month long trip to the UK in a medium sized carry on suitcase. Not sure that is a realistic goal, but I’ve always been a light packer so I will do my best. I need all the help I can get. Thanks for the tips.

    Jake Ryan
    February 23, 2015 at 11:15 pm

    I’m all about the carry on no matter how long I’m away for.


    February 23, 2015 at 9:57 pm

    Thank you so much for the tips! They are actually really helpful!

    February 23, 2015 at 9:42 pm

    Overpacking is a nightmare. I always carry a lot of things…
    Anyway the idea is to buy a small suitcase. This is your limit – only essentials can be squeezed there 🙂
    Bartek from Gdansk, Poland

    February 23, 2015 at 11:55 am

    Thanks for the tips,

    Erin Scherer
    February 23, 2015 at 11:16 am

    Lovely blog! I am traveling to several countries this year, and could definitely use this packing advice.

    Adventurous Appetite
    February 23, 2015 at 11:16 am

    These are some great tips! Thanks for posting. Even after traveling the world for 4 years (going on 5), I have the hardest time. I ALWAYS overpack. Will use some of these hacks for Thailand next month 🙂

    Erin Scherer
    February 23, 2015 at 11:15 am

    Thank you Brooke! Love your blog and I appreciate your tips!

    steph / absolutelyfuzzy
    February 23, 2015 at 10:58 am

    Nice blog! And great tips – Love the sunglass case tip! Though in a pinch I’ve used empty toilet rolls and they work fine too. I almost always get them tangled up otherwise!

    February 23, 2015 at 9:21 am

    Lovely tips! Packing is always really fun to me but somehow I always manage to forget something on the “need” list

    February 23, 2015 at 8:33 am

    Love your list. Especially the extra space in shoes. How on Earth I have not even thought about that?!

    Travel blogger at

    Stephanie Rogers
    February 23, 2015 at 8:29 am

    Best tips ever!! I’m trying to pack light for my trip to India and will be trying to use all of these! Great post.

    February 23, 2015 at 7:42 am

    Perfect timing! I’ll be traveling very soon and need to be very calculated in my packing process! Thanks for the tips!

    February 23, 2015 at 5:59 am

    I always seem to go from one extreme to another- packing too much, not packing enugh! One day I will learn!

    Jessica C. (A Wanderlust For Life)
    February 23, 2015 at 5:49 am

    I’ve never gone for the hard case but have been seriously considering it recently. That and packing cubes. You live and learn, right? I’m a big fan of only using carry-on bags for trips up to two weeks. Any longer, and I would have to take a regular-sized suitcase. Samsonite is a good brand, so I’ll look into it! Thanks!

    jade bevan
    February 23, 2015 at 4:16 am

    Great post !!!

    I love your blog

    would love to know your thoughts on my new post Jadiee’sLittleBlog



    I have also shared your blog with my friends 🙂

    Have a nice day


    February 23, 2015 at 3:56 am

    I always keep the cheap shower caps from the hotels. I use them for everything from wet bathing suits to covering the bottom of shoes. They come in so handy. I now use a purse divider covered with the shower cap I’m using for cosmetics. It stands up in the bathroom and I like all the little pockets for stuff.

    February 23, 2015 at 3:13 am

    great ideas! I travel a lot and I’m terrible at deciding what and how to pack!
    My best tip is when I’m planning to wear something different every day, I pack my outfits together in layers – My flight home outfit at the bottom, working up to first outfit at the top. This makes it easily accessible without having to rummage through my case every day and end up with a pile of cresed clothes at the end!
    I’m new to blogging so I would love it if you checked out my blog?
    – x

    February 23, 2015 at 2:33 am

    Cords in a sunglass case? What a brilliant idea! I also do quite a bit of travelling and take a large tote bag as my purse on board with my laptop, a change of shirt/underwear, jewelry, reading material. I use the plane time to log into my travel diary to make notes of what/where I’ve just seen and done while its fresh. Also, I usually wear the coat, jeans and biggest shoes I’m taking and then don’t have to pack it.

    February 23, 2015 at 1:52 am

    YES!!! Thank you for the cling wrap idea! I have been definitely trying to get better at packing and these are some great tips! I am a roller not a folder 🙂

    Carina Teixeira
    February 23, 2015 at 1:21 am

    Great tips Brooke! I will use some of those tips soon!

    February 23, 2015 at 1:19 am

    I really needed this, so thank you!
    A tip of my own is to bring things that you won’t want to bring back with you again. For instance, I always bring makeup and beauty products that i need to through out anyways, and it’s the same for my clothes. That way I also got more space for shopping when traveling (;

    February 23, 2015 at 12:42 am

    Great tips!

    One thing I do is to stuff my socks into the trekking boots I am carrying. Saves loads of space!

    Didem from

    February 23, 2015 at 12:40 am

    Just what I need as I’m travelling to the UK Tuesday and still need to pack!
    Thank god for World of Wanderlust haha, thanks Brooke!

    Yasmin x

    Tessa / Bramble & Thorn
    February 22, 2015 at 8:41 pm

    I desperately want to buy myself a Samsonite case, they look so great for travelling!

    Tessa at Bramble & Thorn

    February 22, 2015 at 6:59 pm

    This post has the best tips, next time I travel I am definitely referring back to this

    February 22, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    Couldn’t agree with this more my sleeping bag liner was a life saver when I discovered mould on the bed sheets in on of the hostels I stayed in. They’re pretty compact and don’t take up much space so it’s always in my bag if I’m backpacking.

    February 22, 2015 at 5:41 pm

    if you’re going the hostel/backpacker route always pack a spare pillow case and sleeping bag liner – they don’t take up much space but work wonders if you’re staying somewhere questionable, hygiene-wise. Plus a plastic bag for your dirty knickers – everyone else can be worn at least twice!

    I’m slowly getting the knack of packing but I find the best rule of thumb is to pack things that match, avoid anything white and have at least one nice outfit that you can pull out if need be.

    February 22, 2015 at 5:26 pm

    I’m very hygiene conscious so I wouldn’t store my knickers any old how 😡 I’d always place them nicely folded in a bag for all the clean ones! and I didn’t know the cling wrap one exists – might just try that next week when I travel! 😀

    February 22, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    The jewellery in cling wrap is a fantastic idea!

    February 22, 2015 at 4:41 pm

    every time i go overseas, i tell myself, pack only the essentials. BUT i do sometimes go way overboard. I might need that cute dress or it might get cold! I am currently planning my trip to Bosnia again where i will be spending most of the time in Mostar volunteering and traveling around on days off. Still not sure if i should take my big suitcase and leave it with family in Sarajevo and only take essentials with me as i can always come back to Sarajevo in a bus or just get a really good 60-80L backpack that i take with me. Its hard with a 20Kg allowance, and i always buy heaps of chocolate to take back to sydney. Last year i took back 8kg back just on Milka chocolates! I love the cling wrap idea, i had a necklace get all tangled, and i lost patience trying to separate it, and didnt wear it that trip.

    February 22, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    These are great tips! For every trip I go on, I tell myself I will become a better packer. But inevitably I wait till the last minute, throw everything I need into a suitcase, and have no sense of organization when I arrive! I’m leaving next weekend for a week in the Philippines, so I will definitely take your advice to heart! My favorites are the clingwrap for your jewelry (my jewelry is forever tangled when I travel!) and sticking things in your shoes to save space (it’s not that obvious, because it never occurred to me before!) Thanks for a very useful post!