If there’s one thing you should know about me, it’s that I am always going to the limit of the package. You can count on me to throw every piece of underwear I own into my bag regardless of whether the trip is for three days or three weeks. What if I can’t decide between two shoes? OK, I bring both of them – maybe a third if. If I have a desire to bring something, I will put it in my bag somehow. So when I decide to live in a suitcase for a month next summer, I know I’ll need all the tips and hacks I can get. Of course, I came in limit the need for guidance. I’ll bring nine pairs of pants on a weekend trip if no one stops me.
I have spent the last few months reading travel blogs and carefully watching the backstage of TikTok to gather any tips and tricks, I think I have found everything I need. For context, I will be traveling outside of the country and moving from place to place frequently, so the packing tips and supplies below are tailored to that experience. However, anyone who wants to plan and prepare for their future travels will find what they need in this collection of must-haves. Here is everything I used to live without anything for 34 days:
Here’s the first and probably most emphasized tip I got from my research: Avoid any rolling bags. Obviously, this guide is designed for backpackers like me, so it may not apply to other types of travel. If you’re staying in one place, don’t plan on traveling long distances, or can’t carry a backpack, then a duffel bag will work just fine.
However, if you have windy travel plans like I do, a backpack is a must have. This type of bag makes it easier to travel and usually has more storage space than your average carry-on. In addition, it leaves your arms free to carry a small bag if needed. After all, wheeling on crowded streets or in bad weather can be a pain in the ass, so a duffel backpack is the way to go (and at a good price for all your years of travel ahead).
I’m very familiar with trying to keep all of my piles folded and separated in my bag, but I don’t think it’s gone well. Everything just becomes one big pile of chaos, and my bag feels more cluttered and full than it needs to be. To make things better, I use storage cubes to save room and make everything easy to find, saving myself a lot of time and unnecessary stress.
Both of these options from Amazon also come with a pull-on laundry bag to help ensure that your dirty clothes don’t get lost among your clean ones (or even worse – smell all over you).
The bag changes every day
In an ideal world, I would be able to bring normal tote bags, purses, wallets, and fanny packs. But alas, I think finding one bag that can do it all is the best decision for the best storage. After much research, I have landed on this shoulder bag from Baggu. It’s neutral but still cute, can be dressed up or down, not too big or too small, and zips closed to make sure everything stays nice and secure. In addition, the material allows it to be folded and placed in a bag if necessary. A big kiss.
My first plan was to keep my passport in the side pocket of my bag and hope for the best. But when I thought about it further, I decided it wasn’t the best idea. Instead, I rely on a passport holder that has pockets for all my other cards, so I can keep everything in one place. The last thing anyone wants is to leave their credit card or any other form of identification behind while traveling, so this is a great little thing to have handy.
I’m that person who doesn’t bring jewelry because it’s too much of a hassle or throws everything in a plastic bag and prays nothing gets messed up. Knowing that I need to pack some gear this time around, I’m looking for non-core organizers to keep everything in order. Fortunately, I found these metal scrolls took up very little space, giving myself the freedom to bring in as many additional pieces as I wanted.
The toilet seat is hanging
If you’re like me and have tons of makeup, hair and skin products that you don’t want to sacrifice, a toiletry bag is the gold standard. Because these options have a clear bag and show everything in front of you, you can say goodbye to digging without anything for dirty products. Additionally, these bags have enough space to hold most toiletries, but the bag itself is less than a foot wide and tall when folded. You’ll never go back to an ugly makeup bag again.
Other important personal matters
Although the decor in the bathroom will be different for everyone, there are a few things that I think every traveler can benefit from. First of all, I didn’t think about a big room and hair in a bag until I saw a girl mention it on TikTok. I choose the smaller ones rather than allowing a little extra room that I know I’ll thank myself for later.
If there’s anything in this packing tip you take to heart, let it be this: Bring a microfiber towel. They are very foldable, very dry, and cover you for outdoor swimming or showering. Grab one for your hair and one for your body—because you now have 100% room for both.
Twisted cords are always annoying but more so when you are travelling. That’s why this portable charger that you can order from Amazon is an interesting one. It has four different types of wires, so you can charge almost any electronic device you can think of without pulling out a million different ones. In addition, the charging case is very thin and small, so you can easily keep it in your pocket or put it in your bag before you go out for the day.
If you are traveling abroad, a universal power adapter is another essential. Many countries have different shapes and sizes of sockets, so your adapter may not fit. You don’t want to buy a new plug that will restore the space once you get there, so invest in one of these to save you trouble forever.
As a great way to keep your essentials while traveling, AirTags are truly a travel essential that can save lives. Putting one in your bag, bag, or passport holder allows you to keep an eye on your belongings and makes it easier to find if something is unfortunately lost. Keep calm knowing that you will use everything you have left.