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12 expert packing tips to try on your next vacation

Rebecca Bracken is a news and views writer.

Pack your bags like a pro for your next vacation with these pack hacks

The fun and frolic of your upcoming vacation plans starts with how well you've mastered the art of packing. From fitting everything in to getting it there clean and wrinkle-free, there are most definitely right and wrong ways to pack a bag. 

Then there are the ninja-level tricks for packing the perfect bag, which inevitably will include one of these expert tips.

1. Roll, don't fold

Rolling clothes instead of folding them will save space and prevent wrinkles.

2. Wrap it up

Put a piece of plastic wrap over the openings of bottles before screwing on the cap to prevent leaks.

3. Dust covers

Use those cute (and free!) dust covers that came with your new shoes or purse to organize your suitcase. Use one for undies, another for jeans, etc. Once you get to your destination, use your largest one to hold dirty laundry to save digging through your bags instead of having fun.

More: How to pack carry-on luggage

4. Add a plastic bag

For clothes that wrinkle really easily, put a plastic grocery bag in the middle of the garment, then fold as usual. The extra plastic will keep it from getting totally flattened and stop wrinkles.

5. Boxed and folded

My dad is a career airline pilot, and he gets off every flight looking fresh and crisp. His secret? He takes his uniform shirts to the dry cleaners and asks to have them folded and boxed. The shirts come folded and ready to throw in his suitcase and stay wrinkle-free.

More: How to pack your beauty bag for traveling

6. Pick the right bag

There's no pack hack that can overcome picking the wrong bag. Ideally, you want something light, durable and easy to spot in a crowd of black bags on rollers coming off the plane. I love to travel with Vera Bradley bags like this cute Lighten Up large wheeled duffel bag for all those reasons.

7. Straws

Once you get to your destination, you'll want to change your clothes and start having fun. There's no time to sit around untangling a giant wad of necklaces. String your necklaces through straws to keep them from getting hopelessly tangled inside your bag.

8. Pill organizers

Stash smaller jewelry like rings and stud earrings in a pill organizer to keep it all together and ready to wear.

More: Stress-free vacation packing

9. Shower caps

There's nothing like unpacking your favorite dress to find that it's now complete with a shoe print. Pick up a cheap pack of disposable shower caps and use them to cover the dirty soles of your shoes before sticking them in your suitcase.

10. Sock protection

Perfume bottles and other small, fragile items stay safe stuffed inside of your thickest socks, and then packed as close to the center of your suitcase as possible.

11. Stuff shoes

Get the most out of big shoes that take up precious suitcase real estate by stuffing underwear, socks or anything else that fits inside.

12. Bra + panties = genius

Keep bras and underwear together by rolling up underwear and sticking them in your bra cups, then folding the cups together. This will keep all your undergarments together so you can find them, and keep your bra cups from getting crushed and losing their shape.

This post was sponsored by Vera Bradley.

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