Traveling is meant to be fun and relaxing, but sometimes it can be a pain. Searching for items in a big bag can cause frustration on a tightly packed flight. Things can be forgotten at home that may be too pricey to just buy a duplicate of. With a little bit of planning, you can be organized for your next trip and avoid the headaches altogether. I’ve traveled quite a bit over the last 12 years and I’ve compiled all of my tips for organized travel in this post.

10 Tips for Organized Travel

1. Buy quart size Ziploc bags if you are flying (and not checking luggage) to organize travel-sized toiletries. Use gallon size bags for shoes and bathing suits.

I use Ziploc bags for anything that can be messy when I travel. All of my leak-prone toiletries get zipped up in case they decide to explode mid-flight. My chlorine smelling bathing suit is stored in a Ziploc bag to keep from making my other clothes smell.

2. Take photos of your parking space, luggage, and bag tags.

When flying and parking at the airport, I always take a picture of my parking space so I can remember where my car is. I also have a picture of my suitcase, as well as the tags they put on it (the barcode) when checked. I’ve had issues in the past of lost luggage and having this info on my phone helps the process of retrieving my bag much faster.

3. Use a pill case to pack prescriptions and/or first aid medications and label with stickers.

A simple pill case that can be purchased at any pharmacy is the perfect way to take along meds without lugging around several bottles. I have pictures of my prescription bottle labels stored on my phone in case I need the info for any reason. Taking pills in labeled pill cases makes traveling easier. You can either put the pills in each day of the week or use labels to put the same meds in each compartment. Consider taking pain relief, allergy, motion sickness, and any other first aid medications you may end up needing.

4. Invest in zipper pouch bags for electronic cords, toiletries, etc.

I have several Thirty-One zipper pouches that I use when I travel. Recently I used them for first aid and medications, electronics chargers, toiletries, and pens.

Free Travel Checklist Download

5. Use a travel checklist to make sure you have everything you need.

Using a travel checklist is a must for me. If I don’t, I always forget something. I have the same checklist that I use each time and cross out things that may not be relevant to where I’m traveling or the time of year. I’ve created a free version of my checklist for you to download.

6.  Bring a garbage bag or laundry sack for dirty clothes.

Keep your dirties separate from what’s clean by bringing along a bag to put them in. It will make doing laundry when you get home that much easier if you bring 2 bags – one for darks and one for lights.

7. Invest in a quality carry-on travel bag.

You need to find the perfect balance here. Not too big – you’ll overpack and end up lugging around more weight than you need. You want something that is easy to carry, and if you fly often, something that will easily fit under the seat in front of you. I purchased an amazing bag last year to use for work and it’s the perfect travel bag as well. It’s The OG from Lo & Sons. This bag is definitely the most I’ve spent on a bag, but being that I use it every day and it’s a perfect size, it was worth it for me.

8. Utilize technology to keep your itinerary organized.

If you have a smartphone, check out these travel apps that keep your vacation information organized. These apps can track flight info, hotel reservations, and find local attractions and restaurants. The three best I’ve found (and used) are TripIt, Google Trips, and TripCase.

9. Roll clothing to fit more into your suitcase.

You can easily roll your clothing – shirts, pants, pajamas, etc. – to be able to fit more into your suitcase. I’ve also found that in most cases my clothes wrinkle less when they’re rolled up.

10. Carry a small notebook.

Sometimes tech can fail – dead batteries or no cell service. Having a small notebook can keep your travel info (confirmation numbers, hotel addresses and phone numbers, etc.) in one place. It can also help clear your mind with to-dos that you need to take care of upon returning home. Write it down to get it off your mind and enjoy your vacation!


Do you have any tips to share for organized travel?