9 Travel Packing Hacks For Fitting Everything You Need Into Your Bag

You finally bought those tickets, requested off work, and booked the hotel — the vacation you've been looking forward to for months is almost here. But your overstuffed suitcase is on the floor, you're sitting on top of it, and you're wishing you had some magic packing hacks for fitting everything into your bag. Unless you're incredibly organized (and if you are, you're going to love these tricks even more), packing always seems to be a stressful last-minute activity, when you're pretty much guaranteed to leave something behind.

But whether you're the one who always forgets their toothbrush in the bathroom, leaves your phone charger in the wall, or you just have a really difficult time parting with the contents of your closet, there's a packing trick that lets you leave the pressure in the past. Creating more room in your bag is easy when you've vacuum sealed the contents, and keeping your pristine suede high tops from scuffing becomes simple with a nifty travel bag. After all, preparing yourself for some much-needed time off shouldn't require an entirely separate vacation of its own.

Here are nine crucial packing hacks and tricks for keeping your stuff neat and organized, no matter where you're headed.

Organize Clothes & Toiletries For Easy Access

Cocoly Packing Cube Luggage Organizers , $17, Amazon

If you're the vacationer who lives out of her suitcase, then having a set of luggage organizers that basically transforms your bag into your dresser is a very good thing. This packing set comes with six waterproof, washable cases in a variety of sizes to keep all your contents right where you left them. Some have mesh tops for finding items quickly, while others feature solid tops to store items with more privacy. Choose your favorite color from eight options, and get on board with fans of the luggage organizers who say they're an efficient way to organize clothing and other necessities.

Store Toiletries When You Can See Them

Lyceem Travel Organizer Kit , $19, Amazon

Yes, your beauty items can be organized in one compact place — without it being tough to see what you need. This hanging toiletries kit has 10 mesh compartments with a clear zip-up pocket on top for smaller items, and it can be hung on the bathroom door or stand up on its own for easy storage. Waterproof fabric makes it a good fit for bathroom gadgets and gizmos, and users say its smaller size doesn't sacrifice on room.

...Or Throw It All In One Neat Bag & Go

Toiletry Storage Bag , $15, Amazon

Not working with nearly enough beauty and grooming gadgets to warrant an unfolding travel kit? You can still organize your stuff and enjoy a stress-free beauty routine on vacation. This sporty drawstring travel organizer has three mesh pockets and four elastic bands lining the interior, so you can still keep things from rolling around — without being so precious about the display process.

Protect Your Clothes From Germy Shoes

Kate Spade The Perfect Pair Travel Shoe Bag , $18, Amazon

Even if you're leaving your pristine suede heels at home, you'll still want to keep dirty, street-stomping shoes away from your clothes. This stylish drawstring shoe bag keeps your shoes from contaminating the rest of your bag's contents — and you know that Instagram of your neatly packed suitcase (with this bag right on top) makes quite a pretty picture.

Make Your Bag Roomier With Vacuum Seals

RoomierLife Space Saver Bags , $18, Amazon

Why only pack your favorite clothes when they can all fit? Rolling them up is a smart way to free up room, and these compression bags ensure bulky pieces don't take up space. These bags don't need a vacuum pump to work, either, just stick in the blanket, pillows, and clothes you want, and roll up by hand to squeeze out space-hogging air. They're airtight and watertight, too, and their transparent finish means less time in security at the airport.

Prevent Jewelry From Getting Lost & Tangled

Anti-Tarnish Jewelry Organizer , $10, Amazon

While stuffing your bangles and necklaces into a Ziploc is still a step up from losing them in your purse, there's a better way. This portable jewelry organizer makes traveling with your favorite pieces much simpler. The soft suede interior is treated with an anti-tarnish agent to protect your jewelry, while a snap-down grid and snap-hook features makes earring and necklace storage easy.

Keep Your Electronics Cords & Gadgets In One Place

Butterfox Universal Electronics Organizer , $13, Amazon

If you're a tech lover who's always carrying the latest toys, organize all those easily tangled cords with a sleek and lightweight electronics storage kit. This one has plenty of pockets for any gadget you're toting, while six elastic hoops set up plenty of space for unwieldy chords and lengthy earbuds. Three mesh pockets make the ideal portable home for USB drives, while a large zip pocket could store a compact external hard drive.

Get Your Passport & Papers In One Place

Herschel Supply Co. Raynor Leather Passport Holder , $50, Amazon

The thing holding your passport needs to withstand a lot of hustle and bustle — that means getting a cheap one exposes your valuables to dangerous wear and tear. Being one of the most important packing travel categories to not skimp on, your passport holder should be durable — and a little style doesn't hurt, either. This one is 100 percent leather with a pretty contrast stripe lining, and you can pick your color way preference from eight different options.

Make Sure Your Bag Is Under Weight Limit

Camry Luggage Scale (Set of 2) , $15, Amazon

How many times have you been that person at the bag check — frantically redistributing weight between suitcases? Adding this gadget to your packing arsenal ensures you'll know exactly how much each of your bags weigh before you even leave the house. A set of two means your family can pack at the same time, too! All you have to do is attach the hook to your bag's upper handle, then lift to check the reading.

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Images: Fotolia (1); Amazon (9)