I have been on vacations where I jump from one hotel to the next, constantly packing and unpacking. Things get lost in the shuffle, or I can’t seem to find what I’m looking for because my bags are a mess. This can be stressful and may even be the reason some choose not to travel. Fear not! I have a list of 10 things I personally use to keep myself organized on vacation, and I’m sure they can help you too!
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1. Packing Cubes
I have used these packing cubes for about three trips now and I don’t know how I ever traveled without them! These cubes make it easy to pack before vacation and stay organized during! I typically use one for pants, one for shirts, one for pajamas and swimwear, and one for everything else. I only allow myself to pack as much as I can fit in the cubes, and nothing more. It has been a great way to limit myself and stop myself from over packing. During vacation, I just open up the cube I want, take my item out, zip it back up, and I’m done! No need to completely unpack, and therefore no need to re-pack!
2. Compact Laundry Bag
This laundry bag folds up into a built-in compartment half the size of your average cell phone. It’s easy to throw in your suitcase and provides an organized way to store your dirty clothes. If you plan on doing laundry during your trip, this is much easier to bring to the laundromat than a suitcase. Even when I don’t plan on doing laundry, this bag keeps me organized on vacation by keeping my clean and dirty clothes separate. Every traveler needs one of these.
3. Hanging Toiletries Bag
This bag is really a time saver. I organize the sections in a way that makes sense to me, then fold it up and throw it in my suitcase. When I get to my destination, I simply unfold it and hang it on a towel rack! Just like the packing cubes, I never really need to unpack with this toiletry bag. I use what I need, and put it back in the pocket I got it from. It really comes in handy when you are staying at a hotel with little or no counter space in the bathroom.
4. Jewelry Organizer
Ok, so this is not actually a jewelry organizer, but it gets the job done! This pill organizer is small and helps me keep my necklaces separate so they don’t get tangled. I also use it for small earnings. I put this and my larger jewelry into a compartment of the hanging toiletry bag so it’s all together.
5. Silicone Toiletry Jars
I use face wash and moisturizer that is too thick to be squeezed out of a normal travel-sized tube. These small jars are a much better alternative fore me. Although I still use typical travel tubes as well, these have made taking and using thicker products easier. Being made of silicone makes them easy to clean and I never worry about them breaking or spilling.
6. Backpack for Plane and Adventures
This backpack is comfy and not too big. This is the perfect size for an airplane carry-on and it has a built-in dry pack for adventures at your destination! The padding along the back makes it easy to wear all day if you need to. I use this bag regularly now, not just on travels. Any time I go hiking or kayaking I make sure to bring this backpack because it is sturdy and I know the dry bag works really well.
7. Small Travel Bag
Wherever you go, you need some sort of bag to carry necessities. Pickpockets can be a concern in many places, so I recommend wearing a cross-body bag as it is more difficult to take off. I have also worn these bags under my clothes so someone could not cut off the strap and take it. I used this kind of bag in both India and France, and it was perfect! The larger bag (though still small) can fit everything you need for a typical day. The main pocket also folds over and has a zipper on the end for added security. The smaller bag is really just a wallet when you open it. It has pockets for a phone, passport, cards, and money which is perfect if you ant to stay organized on vacation. If that is all you need, this bag is for you!
8. Thin Wallet
With a small purse comes a small wallet. I only bring the essentials: ID, debit card, a credit card, cash (both my currency and the currency of my destination), and a passport (if needed). I keep this wallet in a secure part of the travel purse, preferably in a pocket deeper in the purse or in a zipper pocket. Keeping everything together in this wallet helps me stay organized and sure that I have not lost anything important. At the airport I keep this in hand as it also spots for a phone and boarding tickets.
9. Backpack Organizer
During my last flight I was frustrated with how difficult it was to find anything in my backpack! I just found this backpack organizer which I got to help solve this problem the next time I travel. While I have not used it yet, I have high hopes! It also flattens and expands which makes it easy to store. Honestly, I am really excited about the water bottle holder on the inside. Maybe it’s just me being clumsy, but when I use the outside bottle holders on backpacks they always seem to tip over and fall out. I’m excited that this holder will keep bottles upright so I can put them in my backpack without worrying about spilling.
10. Hanging Clothes Organizer
This clothing organizer is great for a shorter trip or business trip. This clothes organizer fits perfectly into a carry-on suitcase and hangs in any closet. The downside of this organizer is the space it takes up. I personally couldn’t fit enough for more than a long weekend.
Anna’s Pick of the Week:
This may not help keep you organized on vacation and it looks goofy, but hear me out! Last year I went to Australia and it took over 24 hours to get there. My mom had bought this for me and I thought I would never use it but threw it in my carry on anyway because it’s small. This was honestly the BEST thing to help me sleep on the airplane! I put the tray table down, blew this up, and I was out! It’s shockingly comfortable and allowed me to rest my head without worrying I would end up on a stranger’s shoulder.