Must Have Travel Packing Accessories

There are as many packing strategies as there are humans traveling. (For the record, there were 1.4 billion international tourist arrivals in 2018.)

Some minimalists pack light, some travelers bring absolutely everything under the sun, and most are somewhere in between. Whatever your school of thought on how to pack a suitcase, make the process easier with a few well-designed accessories.

Pack by Organizational Style

 Favorite travel organizers vary depending on a person’s organizational style. The uber-orderly love packing cubes, the over-packers rely on compression cubes or bags to squeeze more in, the sporty need waterproof bags for swimsuits and sports gear, the secret archivists need to file every ticket and brochure, the super-techy have a tangle of cords, cables, and plugs to master.

Pack by Type of Trip

Your type of trip also has a big impact on packing choices. One lauded virtue of cruises: you only unpack once, whereas on a fast-paced tour you may be checking into a new hotel every night. When hiking, skiing, kayaking or beaching are on the agenda, these activities impact your packing list, too. Packing lists for business travel will be different from leisure travel.

When you pack for vacation, consider relying on some of these favorite packing aids.

Packing Cubes

Packing Cubes from various vendors including Eagle Creek, REI, Patagonia and more...

The best packing cubes come in many styles from many sources, but the basic idea is using them to keep things sorted and tidy when pawing through your suitcase. The cubes function like drawers back home, keeping like items together. You can put rolled t-shirts in one, socks in another, gloves and scarves in a third. They can also hold the random non-clothing gear which tends to clutter luggage. Packing cube sets are available in different sizes and fabrics, and also in compression versions to enable you to squeeze in that much more. Once stuffed, they’re easy to arrange in a suitcase.

Compression Bags

Compression Bags from various vendors including Eagle Creek and Samsonite...

These are basically ziplock bags on steroids, with one-way valves to let the air out. Place your folded clothes in the bag, roll it tightly to squeeze eliminate air, and discover your stack of clothing now fits in about one-third the space. Win!

Multi-use and Misc.

Multi-Use Jacket Gripper from Magellan’s

Have you ever slung your jacket over your purse, only to discover it slid off when you weren’t looking, and you’ll never see it again? That’s the sad scenario this small and handy device prevents. Clip your jacket into a loop of webbing, clip the webbing to your purse strap or daypack, and your jacket is secure.

Folding Daypack, Duffel or Tote Bag from Eagle Creek

Squeezing one of these lightweight bags into your suitcase can be a lifesaver later on your trip. Use it for sightseeing, or for keeping your things corralled as you ride a bus or attend a festival. Fill it with souvenirs and check it as an extra bag on the way home.

Pack-It Specter Cinch Organizer from Eagle Creek

This compartmented drawstring travel pouch can be a lifesaver for jewelry, cords, undies, makeup, knitting supplies and more. It’s soft and squishy enough to squeeze in a suitcase.

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