13 Packing hacks every traveler should know

There’s always a lot of excitement leading up to a big trip, but all that happiness and anticipation tends to come to a screeching halt when it’s time to pack.

Deciding what you really need, and then fitting it all into your luggage (without paying half your ticket price in baggage fees), is never easy, and rarely fun.

With these tips, though, you can pack everything you need, and fit it all into a space that fits your luggage — and your budget.

1. Roll your clothes

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Skip the folding and roll your clothes instead. You’ll save on space and wrinkles. That’s a big win-win.

2. Stack your unmentionables

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Stack your bras on top of each other, then turn the stack over and place your underwear in the cups of the bottom bra. Finally, fold the stack of bras in half between the cups. Stacking saves space, and filling the cups helps them keep their shape.

More: Ultimate pack hack to get a week’s worth of clothes into one carry-on

3. Use dry-cleaning bags

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If you have clothes that are likely to wrinkle, don’t take them out of their dry-cleaning bags before packing. Fold them while still in the bags to help keep wrinkles from setting in.

4. Separate your jewelry

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Put necklaces, bracelets and large earrings in individual sandwich bags to keep them from getting tangled together. Smaller pieces, like tiny earrings and rings, can be stored in a travel pill case.

5. Use shoe space

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Stuff socks inside your shoes to save on space.

More: Quick packing tips for the whole family

6. Cover your shoes

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Place your shoes in a plastic bag or shower cap to keep dirt on the soles from transferring over to your clothes.

7. Mix and match

Bring outfits that can be mixed and matched throughout your trip to save yourself from packing too many items. Make it easier by skipping bright colors and patterns where you can. Black and neutral outfits are much easier to swap out with other pieces.

8. Wear your coat

Coats take up a ton of luggage space, so wear it instead. If you’re leaving from a warm climate, carry it.

9. Protect your makeup

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How many times have you unpacked, only to find that your favorite powder, blush or eye shadow has turned to dust? Prevent cracking by packing compacts tight with cotton balls before you pack them.

10. Stop spillage

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Remove the caps from items that can spill, like shampoos and lotions, and top them with a piece of plastic wrap before packing. If the caps open, they still won’t make a mess.

11. Protect breakables

Pack fragile items inside of socks or between layers of clothes.

More: 8 Items that should always be in your carry-on

12. Remember your dirty laundry

Pack a bag for your dirty laundry so you can separate it from your clean clothes on your return trips.

13. Keep it fresh

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Slip dryer sheets in between items in your bag so everything will still smell fresh and clean — unlike you, after that flight.

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This post was brought to you by Vera Bradley.