Testing Packing Hacks: Do They Work?

You might have come across them on your Internet travels before. Contact lens cases for your foundation, squeezing toothpaste from one tube to another, putting your smaller suitcase into a larger one (or maybe that’s just Mr. Bean). This week, I (the trained professional armed with a pair of safety goggles, some rubber gloves, and the gaze of a disapproving parent) decided to find out which hacks actually work, and which hacks are just a waste of time.

#1 Cushion powder makeup with cotton pads: PASS

Placing a cotton pad in a powder compact really works!
Yep! From the Krazy Coupon Lady

A ride in your luggage is tough on everything within, but especially tough on your powder products, that run the risk of crumbling with every bump. I didn’t think this hack would work but a few cotton pads and a rough tumbling in my suitcase later, I was convinced. My makeup didn’t look any worse for wear. My advice: Stuff tightly, but not too tightly.

#2 Fill straws with skincare products: FAIL

Some sealed straws, a roll of tape, and a Sharpie.
Nope! Taken by Tiara Chiaramonte

Most skincare products come in packages that contain less than 100 mL (the TSA limit) anyways. Filling straws with skincare products is messy and not very environmentally friendly at best, and potentially hazardous to your health, given that you’re melting plastic containing tons of harmful chemicals, at worst. Instead of filling straws with products when you want to downsize, try our next hack!

#3 Use contact lens cases to store liquid makeup: PASS

Contact lens case full of skincare product
Yes yes yes! From the Krazy Coupon Lady

I’ve personally used this hack for many years. They’re great for storing moisturizer, foundation, lip balm, sunscreen, and any other kind of cream product you need to bring with you. In fact, they’re so great that you can even bring your toothpaste with you instead of using the next debunked hack.

#4 Refill travel sized toothpaste tubes: FAIL

Filling a small toothpaste tube with a large toothpaste tube
Nope! Taken by Tiara Chiaramonte

Is there any good way to do this at all? Because all I managed to do was shoot toothpaste all over my bathroom counter. And now I have to apologize to future me, because future me’s in charge of cleaning it up. I give it a solid zero out of zero.

#5 Use an old shower cap to cover the bottoms of your shoes: PASS

Cover the soles of your shoes with a shower cap for packing purposes
This works! Taken by Kathleen Kamphausen

My favourite type of old shower cap? The kind you get free at hotels. It’s a pretty great way not to get dirt all over your personal belongings, and for you couch potatoes out there, it’s very marginally easier than putting your shoes in a plastic bag.

#6 Hide valuables in your lip balm tube: FAIL

Hiding valuables in Chapstick tubes does not work
Nope! Not trying this anytime soon! Taken by Tiara Chiaramonte

As if all that work you just put in to scoop the last little bit of product out of the tube and clean it completely wasn’t enough, now you run the major risk of dropping, or even accidentally throwing away that tiny little insignificant tube. Do yourself a favour: put your money in a wallet, or a pocket, or your phone case, or anywhere but in a tube of lip balm.

#7 Use a binder clip to protect your razor: PASS

Razor with a binder clip over the blades
Yep! From The Krazy Coupon Lady

Though most of the time I don’t bring a razor with me because I try to travel with only carry-on luggage, and the TSA has recognized the distinct possibility that someone could shave someone else to death, this hack is pretty useful, especially when I fear that my razor might slice through my clumsy fingers.

#8 Coat Q-tips with eyeshadow: FAIL

Q tips in a Ziplock bag with eyeshadow on the tips
Nope! Taken by Kathleen Kamphausen

I had trouble packing on enough eyeshadow on a Q-tip to even cover one eye. Then, the product began falling off everywhere before I could even seal them in a bag. Talk about some serious fallout issues! When I took them back out, I couldn’t, for the life of me, get enough pigment to transfer from the Q-tip to my face. Maybe Q-tips just aren’t meant to be used to transfer powder makeup.

#9 Roll, don’t fold: PASS

Rolling your clothes for packing works!
Yay! Taken by Kathleen Kamphausen

With the help of my extensive scientific measurement (really just a pen and paper), I tested out both methods of packing, and did find that I fit a few more articles of clothing into my suitcase when rolling. The downside? It took longer to roll the clothes, and they probably do turn out more wrinkly in the end.

#10 Seal your jewellery between plastic wrap: PASS, BUT SO WASTEFUL

Jewellery sealed in plastic wrap
Why waste so much plastic wrap? From The Krazy Coupon Lady

The principle behind this is that the plastic wrap will prevent the jewellery from tangling up. And, needless to say, it works! And it totally fits with my life philosophy: waste as much stuff as possible! Just kidding, please don’t actually believe that. I’m trying to live a minimalist, sustainable, ethical, money-savvy, and eco-friendly life. I’m trying to cut down to a zero-waste lifestyle, which this totally does not help. As well, I travel light, to prevent theft, exhaustion, and overweight fees, so bringing jewellery is not something I want to do often. My advice? If jewellery sparks joy in your life (#mariekondo2k16), pack it on yourself. A necklace, a pair of studs, and maybe a ring or two is plenty.

In conclusion…

I will be using some of those hacks on my future travels, but definitely not the others! Did you enjoy this post? If so, leave us a comment below telling us what hacks work for you! Are there any we missed?

Happy travels!

ten

Sources:

https://www.society19.com/10-packing-hacks-you-didnt-know-about/

http://thekrazycouponlady.com/tips/travel/17-incredible-family-travel-hotel-and-road-trip-hacks/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/02/diy-travel-hacks_n_4760560.html?

http://www.cosmopolitan.com/style-beauty/beauty/a28267/genius-hacks-for-packing-your-suitcase/

Never Leave Anything Behind In Your Hotel Ever Again!

If you’re anything like me, the thought of losing anything in a hotel room makes your stomach twist into a knot. There’s a lot of stuff that I just can’t bear to lose, from the perfectly reasonable to the perfectly ridiculous. Laptop? Oh, heavens, no! Towel? Please, anything but that! The five year old earbuds that only play out of the right side? Don’t make me live without them!

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That being said, I’ve come up with a pretty obsessive comprehensive system for my peace of mind to make sure that I don’t accidentally leave anything behind in my hotel room. It’s come in pretty handy over the past years, as I’ve saved a wide range of items from being lost forever, from phone chargers to cartons of eggs in the fridge. I’m going to share my system with you guys today so that you too can enjoy the peace of mind of never losing anything at the hotel ever again!

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When I settle into a hotel, I don’t unpack, if it’s a short term stay. I’ve found that unpacking tends to mean that a lot of my stuff gets strewn in not so obvious places, so I’m more likely to leave it behind. Instead, I use my suitcase as my dresser. The only things that I hang in the closet are wet clothes and outerwear. I also avoid putting anything into drawers. Instead, my phone, charger, laptop, and purse go on top of the nightstand, couch, or desk when not in use. My toiletries never go under the washroom counter, instead, they go on top of it, all in a group so they’re more noticeable.

After packing all of the obvious stuff, I set my suitcase aside and do two thorough searches of the room. First, I’ll go into the washroom and check the floor of the shower stall and any shower caddies or soap dishes inside. I’ll check on the towel rack, between and underneath any towels that may be there, on the top of the toilet, behind the toilet, all over the floor, on the counter, and underneath the counter. I’ll check any shelving or cabinets in the room, regardless of whether I used it or not during my stay, because our memories tend to fail us at times like these. If there are any hotel towels, toiletries, etc. lying around, I make sure to look underneath them so that there’s nothing hiding underneath.

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Next, I’ll rummage through the bed to look for anything lurking beneath the duvet, between any additional sheets or blankets on the bed, under the runner, beneath the pillows, between the headboard and mattress, and underneath the bed. I’ll look on top of the nightstand, underneath the nightstand, and in the drawers and shelves, making sure to check for anything I might have left plugged in.

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The TV cabinet, desk, and couch all happen to be places where I pile on my stuff, so I’ll check every nook and cranny there too. This means going through any outlets between or underneath them, all drawers, shelves, and cabinets, and behind any large items such as the TV. I make sure there’s nothing still hanging in the closet or thrown onto the shelf above or lying on the floor. Finally, I make a sweep of the floor, making sure I haven’t dropped anything. Sometimes I’ll ask the person I’m travelling with to do a search too (that’s usually when they roll their eyes and grumble that they’re never going to travel with me again).

Related: The Ultimate Packing List

If you’re in a room with a different configuration, the same principles apply. Make sure to look anywhere and everywhere you could put something, regardless of whether or not you actually did so when you settled in. Check everything, especially places where there are outlets. I cannot stress this enough: outlets are the sneaky little thieves trying to deprive you of your chargers!

All this may seem ridiculous to you, and you would be right. But if you are like me, and are petrified by the thought of losing something, this system only takes about five to ten minutes and gives you the peace of mind you need for the rest of your trip.

Do you have any other tips for not losing things in hotel rooms? We’d love to hear them! Tell us in the comments below, and as always, make sure to follow our blog and give us a thumbs up if you liked this post. Happy travels!

tips-forimprovingyour-blog

The Ultimate Packing List

the ultimate packing list.jpgUnfortunate packing incidents range from the mild to the extreme. Sometimes you arrive on location only to find that you’ve forgotten to pack a swimsuit, and your hotel has the most heartstoppingly beautiful pool that there is. Other times, you’ll run out of the house, have your heart jump into my throat, and promptly turn your car around because your boarding pass is sitting on the kitchen table. Well, we’re here to make sure that even the smallest packing disasters don’t happen. We’ve compiled a list of everything that you might ever need on vacation so that you can pick and choose what your vacation might call for and scratch the rest. BONUS: Free printable version of this checklist! Just scroll down to the bottom of this page to download it!

Related: Carry-On Essentials

Ultimate Packing List

Clothing

  • Socks and Stockings
  • Underwear and Long Johns
  • Undershirts and Bras
  • Sleepwear
  • Long Shirts, T-Shirts, and Sleeveless Shirts
  • Sweaters and Cardigans
  • Long Pants, Shorts, and Skirts
  • Dresses
  • Casual Shoes
  • Dress Shoes
  • Flip Flops and Sandals
  • Boots
  • Swimsuits
  • Athletic Shoes
  • Athletic Wear
  • Formal Wear
  • Evening Wear
  • Jackets, Coats, and Parkas
  • Umbrellas, Raincoats, and Rainboots
  • Hats and Sunglasses
  • Gloves
  • Scarves
  • Belts
  • Ties
  • Jewelry
  • Purses, Bags, and Backpacks

Documents

  • Passport, Visas, and ID
  • Plane Ticket and Boarding Pass
  • Hotel, Car, Tour, etc. Reservations
  • Itinerary
  • Map and Guidebook
  • Wallet with Cash and Cards
  • Copies of Passport, Credit Cards, and other documents
  • Emergency Contacts
  • Keys

Related: How to fly comfortably

Gear

  • Cell Phone
  • Laptop
  • Camera
  • Charger and Adapter
  • Memory Cards and USBs
  • Water Bottle
  • Books
  • Earbuds
  • Pen and Paper

Toiletries

  • Toothbrush, Toothpaste, and Floss
  • Washcloth and Towels
  • Moisturizer and Lip Balm
  • Makeup and Makeup Remover
  • Razor and Shaving Cream
  • Soap, Body Wash, and Facewash
  • Shampoo and Conditioner
  • Shower Cap
  • Laundry Bag, Resealable Bags, and Plastic Bags
  • Deodorant
  • Brush or Comb
  • Sunscreen
  • Contact Lenses and Solution
  • First Aid
  • Medications and Supplements
  • Tweezers
  • Nail File and Clippers
  • Insect Repellent
  • Tissues
  • Earplugs and Eyemasks
  • Feminine Hygiene Products
  • Birth Control

Related: Score the best plane seats

You made it! Click below to access the printable version of this list. Trust us, it’s a lot prettier than this bare-bones version 🙂

The Ultimate Packing List

the-ultimate-packing-listthe-ultimate-packing-list-1

Did you like this post? Make sure to leave us a comment, give us a thumbs up, or share this on social media, so that your friends can see some awesome content as well! Happy travels!

11 things you need to pack on your carry-on

Forget the panic and scramble that comes when you’re packing your carry-on. Here are the 11 essentials that you must bring.

1. Passport, boarding pass and plane ticket, and travel documentation. Obviously essential.
2. Gum. You know that sour taste in your mouth after you eat and then take a nap? Also, gum helps ear popping during the ascent and descent.
3. Water bottle. It may not have water in it after security, but it’s a good idea to bring one so that you can fill up afterwards, just in case you end up waiting in a place where there is no water for a while.
4. A good book, for the stretches of time when you can’t use electronics.
5. Hand sanitizer. Airplanes are basically flying germ capsules.
6. Lip balm, lotion, and eye drops. After hours at high altitudes, you will be dehydrated and your lips, skin, and eyes will feel it the most.
7. Hairbrush. Airplane hair is the worst.
8. A sweater, because planes tend to get excessively cold.
9. A pen, for all of those forms that you have to fill out.
10. Tissues, for the messes.
11. Ear plugs, eye mask, and neck pillow. Because you need to make an effort to sleep on the airplane, even though it’s always futile.

Happy travelling!

-Chelsea

Featured image sourced from ABC News