14 Ingenious Packing Tips From People Who Travel For A Living

Ahh, organization.

There’s nothing we travelers love more than a good packing tip. Once learned, a DIY travel hack (like rolling an entire outfit into a tiny ball) can change the way you pack forever.

Nobody knows more about efficient packing than people who travel for a living. HuffPost asked a variety of road-focused workers, from business consultants to flight attendants, for the one trick they swear by for an efficiently packed suitcase. Their responses reflect organization at its finest:

1. “Plan your outfits ahead so that you wear your bulkiest clothes on your travel days.” ― Emily Van Houdt, management consultant at Accenture

2. “I always put a laundry dryer sheet in my suitcase so my clothes always smell great instead of that odd suitcase smell.” ― Laury Rodriguez, flight attendant with a major carrier

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3. “My secret is the packing cube! Roll your clothing in, stuff it and zip it closed. I’ve had the same Eagle Creek one for five years going strong. ... Best $15 purchase ever.” ― Kristin Addis, CEO of Be My Travel Muse

4. “I live by rolling my clothes! That way nothing gets wrinkled or lines at the sides.” ― Sarah Williams, senior consultant at Deloitte

5. “Pack all socks and undergarments into a small, reusable cloth bag. Your suitcase will look much more organized even after a few days of halfhearted packing.” ― Alex Reynolds, travel blogger at Lost With Purpose

6. “Pack by color palette, so everything goes with everything.” ― Michael Keating, joint CEO of Ink

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7. “If you place your shoes inside a shower cap, it keeps your suitcase clean.” ― Melly Mel, former Pan Am flight attendant

8. “My latest hack: lightweight black shoes that also work well in the gym, so I don’t have to worry about squeezing in sneakers, too.” ― Zach Honig, editor-at-large of The Points Guy

9. “Pack fragile or valuable things in clothes. Socks within socks make an excellent travel case for microphones.” ― James Lanman, musician

10. ”[I put] toiletries and a change or two of clothes in my carry-on. Nothing’s worse than showing up in another country, finding your bag is lost, and then realizing you’re stuck wearing the clothes you’ve been traveling in for the foreseeable future.” ― Scott Keyes, founder of Scott’s Cheap Flights

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11. “Pack your most densely packed items (in my case, my packing bags) at the bottom [of your suitcase] where the wheels are and lighter items on top. ... Ideally, you want your suitcase packed SUPER tightly. It keeps things secure.” ― Marcy Massura, senior strategist at Henson Consulting

12. “Pick shoes that can be worn with multiple outfits so you only have to bring a couple pairs for your trip. And wear one pair on the plane if you can.” ― Alice Cope, former advisory consultant at EY

13. “I always travel with lightweight, fast-drying, wrinkle-resistant fabrics. ... Many outfitters sell specialized travel clothing. I’m a big fan of Eddie Bauer’s ‘Travex’ line.” ― Patrick Smith, commercial pilot and founder of Ask The Pilot

14. “I love the Away luggage company ― they have small bags that fit into your luggage for the best organization possible. I’m able to plan out my outfits and put them together and know exactly where everything is.” ― Ashley Streff, photographer

Before You Go

Copies of your passport and identification

The Essential Packing List For Traveling Solo