Looking to cut down on travel clutter? Need to dump that extra suitcase to save sky-high airplane checked baggage fees? Just wish you were more organized when traveling? Whether flying or driving trips, cruise ships or camping trips – I almost never travel without these ten items. Perhaps they can help you travel more efficiently too!
1. An “Organization Friendly” Shoulder Bag
A crucial item whether traveling by train, car or airplane! An all-time favorite is the Timbuk2 Classic Messenger Bag. These bags are designed with traveling in mind. So many pockets to stash -and not loose – essential items. These bags even include a clip to attach keys – very handy when you need to stash car keys for a week. And, plenty of room left over for snacks, kids’ clothes, and whatever else your day trips might demand. The Timbuk 2’s wide shoulder straps also make it a comfortable “all-day” travel bag.
2. A Bathroom Toiletry Organizer
A well designed toiletry organizer is essential for any trip, large or small, from camping trips to luxury trips. The LLBean Personal Bathroom Organizer is a favorite for it’s ease of use, multiple divided compartments, and removable hanging shower caddie. The bag’s hanging hook enables easy bathroom placement practically anywhere – on a shower rod, a door hook, even a tree branch! No more bathroom sink clutter with this organizer. And it even comes with it’s own mirror.
Traveling with the family? Then two Organizers are better than one! Put the kids’ supplies in one, yours in the other. Frequent the gym back home? The small Organizer also makes a great gym bag essential.
3. Space Saver Travel Bags
No suitcase should be packed without these handy bags – especially when traveling by airplane! Packing clothes into bags such as the Samsonite Space-Saver Bags can easily cut down on suitcase space needed, possibly eliminating an entire suitcase! And with airlines charging even more for checked luggage, the one-time purchase of a set of space saver bags quickly off-sets that extra checked bag fee.
Here’s a few ideas on how to more efficiently use space saver travel bags.
- Travel plans have you staying in several hotels? Separate clothes for each segment of the trip into different travel bags. Helps keep hotel clutter down, as well as ensure you have clean – and matching – clothes for the entire trip!
- Traveling with kids? Split their clothes into their own bags. No more mixed up – he took my socks – clothing battles!
- Pack a “daily bag” with everyone’s clothes for each individual day of the trip – then pull out each day’s bag of clothes and you are good to go in a flash.
- Sending kids to camp? Space saver bags are also great to help keep them organized when you can’t.
Tip – Don’t buy space saver bags that require a vacuum. Buy the bags that simply require being rolled to squeeze out excess air. And where to buy these oh-so-handy travel bags? Most larger department stores that have a travel section, as well as Target and Walmart. Shopping online? Check out Amazon’s selection of travel space saver bags.
4. Carabiner Clips
They aren’t just for mountaineers any more! Carabiner clips are quite inexpensive, come in all sizes, and can be ever so handy when traveling. Safely stash nearly anything in travel bags, backpacks, purses, even belt loops, with carabiner clips. Here’s several ideas of how you can use carabiner clips for all sorts of travel needs.
- Thirsty? Attach a water bottle to a bag or backpack.
- Don’t fear the pick-pocket. Clip a wallet safely inside your bag.
- Don’t loose the car keys! Clip car / house keys safely inside a pocket or bag.
- Need medicine on the go? Clip a travel pill container to a belt loop – they tuck safely and discreetly into the pants pocket.
- Don’t be left in the dark. Clip a travel sized flashlight inside a day bag.
- Hiking for the day? Clip a hand-held GPS to a belt loop. Or perhaps a pocket knife.
5. Water Bottles for Everyone
Empty of course if you haven’t cleared airport security! But once past security check-points, fill em’ up and you are good to go. And, with a carabiner clip, it’s easy to keep that bottle close at hand, yet not loose it when racing to catch the next flight. Camelbak water bottles go the distance – and look good too!
Another idea – fill an extra water bottle with snacks for on-the-go hunger pangs. The bottle keeps the snacks fresh and uncrushed. Then once at your destination, fill ‘er up with your favorite liquid! Also a great idea when travelling with kids. Tip – if you plan to load the bottles with snacks, one suggestion is to purchase wide-mouth bottles. Makes it easier to get the snacks in and out.
6. Drink Powder Packs
Don’t like water? Just want “something else” to drink? Then bring along your favorite drink in powder form. Powdered drink singles are very easy to throw into an empty water bottle, purse, or pocket. Three favorites nearly always found in our travel bags are Gatorade Propel and G2 packets, and Crystal Light on-the-go packets.
7. Extra Zip-loc and Storage Bags
These bags can be used for just about anything! Stuff several baggies of different sizes, including the extra-large size, into a side pocket, and see how many uses you find on your travels. Here’s several ideas to get you thinking.
- Beach bag organization – sun tan lotion in one, snacks in another, keys and wallet in their own bags. Use carabiner clips for safe storage!
- Protect electronics while sitting by a pool.
- Traveling with damp or dirty clothes? Drop into a baggie until the next destination – keep other clothes clean and dry!
- Pack snacks to bring along for the day’s travels.
- Safely store – and not lose – small trinkets purchased along the way.
Traveling by plane? The quart-sized zip-locks are perfect for carrying TSA approved liquids through airport security.
8. Waterproof Bags
Heading to the hotel pool, or a sandy beach? Worried those precious electronics won’t survive? Don’t be! Pack a few waterproof bags in different sizes, then when a “wet-scene” demands it, put your electronic entertainment inside – and bring that Kindle and phone with you. Waterproof bags like those made by Aquapac are easy to pack, easy to use, and don’t have to cost as much as the items you intend to protect.
Tip – if you do plan on taking an electronic device into the water, you may want to invest in a higher end waterproof bag. But for most of us, we simply want to protect our “water-sensitive-stuff” from the dripping wet child running by, or the sand-digger eagerly building sand-castles next to our beach blankets.
9. Travel Size Pill Containers
Need medication on the go, but those full sized pill containers a bit cumbersome for that all-day hike? Handy, inexpensive waterproof travel size pill containers can solve that dilemma. They are especially handy for long flights! Load the pills needed for the day in the travel container- add one extra just in case one falls out – stash in a pocket or purse – using a carabiner clip of course! Then tuck the larger pill container safely away in your carry-on luggage.
10. Laundry Detergent Singles
Cut down clothing clutter and plan a mid-trip laundry hour. Cruise ships, most hotels, RV parks, and camp grounds provide on-site laundry facilities, making it easy to do a load of laundry while everyone is settling in for the night – or getting ready in the morning – or sitting by the pool. Bring along laundry detergent such as the easy-to-pack Tide Boost Pac – just be sure to pack them in a sturdy zip-lock bag. Or fill a ziplock bag with enough powder detergent for a single load. One recommendation – don’t pack liquid detergent!
That’s it! Get ready to pack for that next trip – and with these items and ideas, cut down on travel clutter, keep more organized, and require less suitcase space. So long as you can leave behind that Imelda Marcos sized shoe collection, that is.
So what’s your “must have” travel item or travel tip? Let us know in the Comments section below.