Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all ended 2017 with family, friends, and fun. So far 2018 has been great for my family and I. And it’s about to get even better. Very soon I’m be leaving the snowy winter of Minnesota for the much warmer climate of Florida. Yay! I’ve been planning this vacation for nearly a year, and I can’t wait to hop on that airplane. Some of you might also be planning a getaway this winter. So I thought I’d share some of the packing hacks I use to keep organized and prepared for anything.
Using things you already have, you can stay organized and prepared for any travel mishaps. These simple hacks will eliminate packing headaches and add a bit of personal flare to your luggage.
My first tip is keep things in small pouches. Using separate small bags or pouches keep like items together and organized. It also limits what you can take so you don’t end up taking all your jewelry or your entire medicine cabinet.
If you subscribe to a makeup sample service odds are you will have a plethora of these pouches around your house. They are so cute and really handy. I use my stash of mini makeup bags for organizing all kinds of things. If you don’t have an ample supply, you can always pick up a few mini bags at your local thrift shop. Once you have a little pouch for each type of item, you can label them using some fun colored permanent markers.
Labeling each bag makes it easy to grab just what you need. It also makes repacking and resupplying a breeze. This may seem a little OCD, but it really does help. Try remembering which bag the band-aids are in when your child is crying over a scraped knee, and you’ll see what I mean.
You could just use a black marker, but colors are more fun. 😀 As you can see, they certainly don’t have to be perfect. And if a marker doesn’t show up on a bag, color around it in a darker color like the laundry bag I made. It actually started out as an outline around the little lettering, but that looked horrible. So I just started to fill it in, and it turned out pretty nicely. They’re your bags just have fun with it. 😀
The tips don’t stop there. I have suggestions and hacks for each bag. First of all every bag, travel or not, needs a mini first aid kit.
If you are headed overseas, I recommend a larger bag with more supplies, but for local adventures you don’t need near as much. Things like band aids, tissues, and aspirin are a given. But I’d also recommend cough drops for dry areas like airplanes and travel wipes for messes and disinfecting. Remember that if you are staying within the United States you will most likely have access to everything you need for more serious cases of sickness. Just pack what you will need for immediate relief.
Next keeping a laundry kit is always a good idea when you travel. You may not need to do big loads of laundry while you are away. But if you spill coffee on your favorite skirt or your kids what to wear their new shirts having some laundry supplies will save a lot of tears and cursing.
The detergent pods are awesome for traveling. But they are naturally prone to bursting. To keep from exploding throw a few into a resealable bag and pop them into a sturdy sunglasses case. Problem solved! I’d also recommend packing a small bottle of liquid detergent for pretreating and hand washing items. You can always do some emergency hand washing in the bathroom sink.
Packing a mesh bag is great as laundry bag. You can keep socks and undies in the bag when you throw them in the machine. That way you won’t want to end up with a lone sock when you get home. I also pack some color catching sheets. Remember you are using someone else’s washing machine. Who knows what kind of colors were in there before yours.
You will need some dryer sheets too. But I’d recommend packing them in between your clothes. That way you will have fresh smelling clothes when you open your luggage at your destination. I just love the smell of freshly laundered clothes. 🙂
The next two bags are for people with longer hair and must have a bit of bling. If you have long hair like me, you will need more than just a hair brush. The pouch may not hold your hairspray but it will keep all your little essentials organized.
You will need a nice compact hair brush as well. Those travel brushes always collapse on me while I’m brushing my hair. So I’d recommend a full size brush that fits in the palm of your hand. A detangling brush with flexible bristles are especially nice and won’t break in your bag.
Hair binders, clips, small hair claws, headbands, and pins fill my bag. To keep hair binders together just loop one of them around the bunch (like above). That way you don’t have to empty your bag for a single scrunchy. I’d also recommend a case to keep your bobby pins in. And you can give it some style with a little bit of Washi tape.
Now I think every woman needs a bit of sparkle, especially on vacation. But some favorite pieces may get left behind because they are too bulky. But I found a way to pack my favorite chunky jewelry without getting them tangled into one great knot. All that’s needed is a resealable sandwich bag and an elastic hair binder.
Put your first chunky necklace into one of the corners of the bag. Slip the binder over the outside and twist it so the corner is closed off. Like you are starting to tie a pony tail. Next put another chunky necklace into the other corner of the bag. Put the open binder loop over that corner. You may need wrap the binder around it a second time to take up the excess and tie off that corner. Now you have the top open for a third chunky necklace. Just close the resealable top and you’ve got three of your favorite necklaces ready to go.
That bag of necklaces can go in your jewelry pouch with the rest of your sparkly stash.
For finer necklaces and larger earrings mini resealable bags work fantastically. These usually come with a jacket or shirt that includes a replacement button. Or you can find these handy mini bags are your local craft store in the jewelry making section. Securing multiple bags with a binder clip will keep them safely together. Other smaller earrings can fit nicely in a mini pill box. This red one actually came in a multi-pack in the travel section at my local store. Now you have a jewelry pouch that won’t end up a tangled mess when you arrive at your destination.
So that’s all for my mini packing hacks. But the last hack has been the most valuable on all my travels: painting my luggage. Customizing your luggage makes it easier to see on an airport carousel and cannot be mixed up with anyone else’s bag. With some fabric paint and a stencil you can not only add style but also protect your luggage. No one will be walking off with your bag by accident.
Start by stuffing the bag with towels so you have a firmer surface to work on. I’d also recommend putting a paper bag inside between the towels and the bag’s surface. I didn’t have any problems with the paint bleeding through, but I don’t want to take that chance.
Next use masking tape to seal off the areas you don’t want to paint. Then place the stencil on the area you want to paint. I started in the center so that if I needed to move the stencil to repeat the pattern any errors won’t be right in the center of the bag.
Holding the stencil in place, start stamping the paint on with a foam brush. You don’t want to brush the paint on because that has a tendency to sweep the paint under the stencil. Stenciling does take quite a while but it looks really nice once it’s done. You can also do as little or as much painting as you want. It’s completely up to you.
If you want a more solid color on your suitcase. I’d recommend painting a base coat of a contrasting fabric paint before you paint on the stencil. If you don’t like stencils, you can do whatever you like. It’s your suitcase so it should suit your style.
Although my bag is a fabric one, you can customize hard-sided plastic luggage with paint that is specifically made for plastic. I’d also recommend that you use paint that made for the outdoors since luggage sees a lot of wear and tear.
If you are in the market for a new set of luggage for your next vacation, check out this spinner luggage set available right now at Heartland America.
This set of sturdy hard-sided luggage comes with 28″ and 24″ upright spinners with a matching 20″ spinner carry-on. These are great for a weekend away or an extended business trip. The spinner wheels help you glide effortlessly through crowded airports. While the durable ribbed sides protect your luggage throughout your travels. Quantities are limited so grab this luggage set before it’s gone.
Before I head out let me wish you safe and fun travels. Don’t worry I’ll be back next time to bring you a delicious Valentine’s day treat. This dessert will definitely make you want s’more. 😉 Until then remember you are always welcome at home with Heartland.