Did you know statistics show for a seven day trip most travelers pack and unpack an average of 8 times? Since your luggage is basically your home while traveling, keeping an organized bag will make your trip more enjoyable – and save valuable vacation time searching for items along the way.

When traveling, use some of the same organizing principles as when at home – you know the saying:  ‘A place for everything and everything in its place’.  It’s easiest to do this by having an organizer for every category: tech, personal care, clothing, laundry, etc.

Here are some tips – and travel essentials – to help keep you organized on your next trip.

Electronics

We are traveling with an increasing amount of electronics these days – at the very least a smart phone which requires a charging cable, mobile charger, ear buds and if traveling internationally, adapter plugs.  Keep everything organized your carryon bag with easy-to-spot colored zipped packing squares like this set from Travelon.

Travelon Packing Squares – 3 Pack
AAA Member Price: $22.99

Personal Care Items

For carry-on a quart size bag for all carryon liquids is a must! The Cocoon water-proof pouch is TSA approved and with its fully welded-seams and zipper it is worry free for leaks and spills.    For organizing personal care items together such as a hairbrush, comb, toothbrush, etc. a toiletry kit comes in handy. And – since many older hotels and charming B&B’s have minimal counter space – a hanging toiletry kit hung in a bathroom is a great way to maximize space.

This lightweight water-resistant kit has a roomy compartment with 2 interior pockets and has a mesh zippered interior panel  – with a convenient top grab handle a hook that tucks away when not in use.

Travelon Hanging Toiletry Kit
AAA Member Price: $23.99

Cocoon 3-1-1 Pouches
AAA Member Price: $18.00

Clothing

Baggallini Compression Packing Cubes – Set of three
AAA Member Price: $31.50

Prepare to love organizing your clothes with compression packing cubes.   I learned the hard way by once traveling with 15+ packing cubes and was overwhelmed searching for things because I didn’t have a system. Now I use a maximum 3-5 cubes and pack by category to locate items quickly:

  • Underwear, socks and bras
  • Shorts and t-shirts
  • Nightwear: including PJ’s, slippers
  • Swim wear: including swimsuit, cover up, sun hat and flip flops

Simply pack items, close the main zipper and ‘compress’ down with the second zipper along the outside edge.  Voila: extra space!  The clear panels on top help find essentials at-a-glance and ventilated mesh to keep things fresh.

This set of three Baggallini compression cubes are just the right size for shirts, sweaters, etc.  Upon arrival, just place them in the drawer and go.

Baggallini Long Compression Tube
AAA Member Price: $15.50

For super-efficient suitcase organization – try the long new cube – which fits on the bottom of luggage between the handles – maximizing packing space.  Perfect for organizing small items like socks, bras, and underwear.

Laundry

Travelon Compression Bags – 2 Pack
AAA Member Price: $10.99

A good mantra for packing light: Pack for a week and do laundry. If your budget allows, send it out and have someone else do it, or do a little hand wash in the sink and allow items to drip dry overnight.

To keep dirty clothes separated from clean until you’re ready to wash – use plastic compression bags.  Simply zip clothes inside and roll to compress the air out the one-way-air valves.  And best of all? They seal in odors!