The Ultimate Packing Hack Compilation


So often the lone grey cloud as your upcoming holiday draws ever closer, packing is no one’s favourite job. From scouring the barely-lit attic for the suitcases, to the innumerate passport checks and re-checks; packing can be stressful, time-consuming and ever-difficult. Luggage weight limits seem impossibly low and suitcases seem to shrink during their year-long holiday in the attic, making them nigh-on impossible to completely zip-up when everything has been thrown in.

At Cruise1st, we want to make sure every aspect of your holiday experience is relaxing and enjoyable – so we have searched high and low for every luggage packing hack ever devised. We’ve collected all of these hacks here, in the ultimate packing hack compilation.

Space Saving

Underwhelmed by your baggage allowance? Don’t compromise by leaving things at home – pack smart with these wonderful tips.

Rolling Clothes

Rolling, rather than folding, is a great way to make the most of the space in your suitcase. Tightly rolled clothes packed close together wastes absolutely no room in the suitcase – meaning you can probably get another shirt or dress in there for good measure. Furthermore, rolled clothes reduce the creases caused by folding – so you can get your bag immediately unpacked upon arrival, pop on your best outfit and hit the bars!

Fill Shoes

The key to a well-packed bag is making the most of all the available space, including the space inside shoes. Small items of clothing such as underwear and socks can be easily rolled or folded up, and then packed into the shoes. This tip also justifies packing an extra pair of shoes.

Belts in Collars

A wonderful tip with twin benefits; rolled up belts should be placed in the necks of shirts. Not only does this save space, but it will also help keep the collar stiff. Perfect if you have a captain’s dinner to attend on the opening night of the cruise and need a shirt to complete the James Bond look.

Don’t Throw in the Towel

Before you depart, check that your hotel/cruise ship/accommodation provides bathroom towels. Only if the answer is a negative, pack your towels – if it’s good news, then save the space that towels tend to take up.

Protective Packing

Make sure all your valuables arrive in one piece with these protective packing tips – ideal for those looking to transport some of the finer things in life.


Layer from the Bottom

Assuming your suitcase is mounted on wheels (remember the awful time when suitcases weren’t on wheels?) try and layer heavier items towards the bottom of the bag. This will weigh down the wheel-end of the suitcase, and make it easier to pull through the terminal building. Shoes, make-up bags and other weightier items should be packed in the heavier end immediately before all the lighter items are packed on top.

Waterproof Your Suitcase’s Inner Lining

Whether sitting in port or on the tarmac waiting to board a ship or airplane, suitcases are sometimes exposed to the elements, so make sure your suitcase doesn’t get flooded on its own little return journey with a little clever packing.

If you’re taking any waterproofs, pack them around all your clothing – protecting your other items. If torrential rains have got through your suitcase, your clothes will at least be provided with another layer of protection.

Fuss-Free Wiring

As we rely more and more on different technologies, we seem to be packing a load of charging wires every holiday. These can get tangled and mixed up during the journeys, so it’s important they are smartly stored. We’d recommend wrapping the wires up inside of an old sunglasses case, this will prevent them from snaking throughout the suitcase and make them easier to find in case you need to quickly charge your phone mid-journey.

Cling Film Star

The abundance of creams, oils and potions you’re likely to pack are amongst the most dangerous suitcase dwellers, with the potential to spill, drip and spray all over your case’s contents. Make sure you don’t run the risk of sunscreen-soaked shirts and sandals by unscrewing all bottles with liquids inside and placing a little cling film over the spouts before fixing the lids back on.

Bulldog Spirit

Bulldog clips make great protective covers for open-face razors without a cap. If your razor is left to roll around in your suitcase, its sharp blades could damage other items. Alternatively, the blades could be blunted or damaged if they are routinely running up against different surfaces – so it’s best for all involved that the blades are protected.

Turn Inside Out

If you’re concerned that the cling film tip won’t completely protect against the spilled lotions and creams, simply turn all of your clothes inside out. This means that drops of sunscreen will plop onto the inside of your favourite clobber, rather than ruining the outside – far less devastating and much easier to conceal.

Smart Storage

Struggling to find a place for those all-important fiddly bits and bobs? Well no more, thanks to our smart storage ideas.

Button Up

Shifting your roster of earrings into a temporary jewellery bag is fraught with danger. Well not danger exactly, but there are a number of inconveniences and annoyances attached to transporting these tiny accessories. To make sure little stud earrings never go missing, thread them through the holes of buttons (finally a use for all those loose buttons in your button tin), and then slip them in the jewellery bag.

Plus, you’ll never know when you may need a button.

Bra Stuffing

You may have thought you’d left your bra stuffing days back in your teens, but this helpful tip can save space and ensure your brassieres keep their shape. Lay out your bras and fill each of the cups with underwear and socks, then fold in half. These nicely-filled bras will retain their shape, and their lives will be extended.

Shoes in Shower Caps

Packing trainers, walking shoes or running boots for a little holiday exercise? Wrap them in shower caps to protect the rest of your clothing. This is just as important on your return trip, especially if you’ve been enjoying a little exercise in the great outdoors during your trip.

Contact Cases Concealer

Rather than packing whole bottles of concealer, or other lotions you’ll only require in small quantities, squirt them into empty contact lens cases. The small wells of the cases are ideal for a few dabs of the lotions – and will only take up the smallest amount of room in the suitcase.

Tic Tac Pin Pack

Helpful hairpins and clips are an essential accessory for many a holidaymaker. The simplest, most efficient and effective place to store the pins and clips? An empty Tic Tac box of course. Just the right size, secure and easy to access; Tic Tac boxes are perfect for storing hairpins and clips.

Invaluable Storage

Carrying cash on your travels? Well, you can never be too careful with this all-important commodity. One tip to keep your cash safe, and out of the hands of opportunist thieves, is to remove the inner casing of old lip balm sticks and roll your cash up inside.

Forward Thinking Additions

Don’t come undone when returning from holiday, a little forward-thinking can simplify packing for the second leg of your travels.

Bubble Wrap

If you’ve a penchant for holiday collectibles and souvenirs, bubble wrap is a handy little addition on your travels. Don’t risk ornaments and bottles of wine smashing in your suitcase on the return leg by wrapping them in bubbly protection.

Bubble wrap requires minimal space in the suitcase, and also provides an extra layer of waterproof protection as mentioned in the Protective Packing section.

Laundry Bag

A small, collapsible laundry bag is a smart inclusion in your suitcase. Not only will this help keep your dirty clothes separate from clean duds during your holiday, it’s also super beneficial for when you get home. Smart packing seems to go out the window for the return leg (last day of the holiday blues), so everything tends to just get clumped together – meaning your entire wardrobe ends up going through the wash when you get home. You’ll reduce your laundry with this tip, as the laundry bag keeps the dirty bits apart from the clean bits. 

Or Take Advantage of Laundry Services

If your hotel or cruise ship offers laundry services, it may be prudent to utilise these a day or two before leaving. Whilst this won’t make packing any easier, it will mean that you’ve got fewer chores to complete upon your return home.

Double Up on Tags

When your luggage is being thrown around, the tags with your details can easily get lost. Combat this issue by attaching two tags with full details to each of the cases, so the chance they’ll return intact is doubled.

Hand Luggage

With generous allowances, hand luggage provides a super useful space to store so much more than a magazine and a jumper in case it’s a little nippy at your destination. Here’s a few tips to making the most of this space.

Keep the Essentials at Hand

For those about to take to the oceans and holiday aboard a cruise ship, we’d recommend keeping all the essentials in hand luggage. After boarding it could take a few hours for the thousands of suitcases to be delivered to the correct cabins, so anything you’ll require during your first day at sea needs to be in the hand luggage. This includes things like swimsuits if the family fancies a dip in the pool on the first day.

And the Valuables

Computers, cameras, tablets and all other valuable/important items should remain close to hand at all times – packed in the hand luggage. Not only does this offer peace of mind, an electronic device is great for entertaining youngsters if you’re travelling with children who are upset and bored with a long day of travel.

AND a Change of Clothes

Lost luggage is a very rare occurrence in the modern world of transport logistics. But just in case your suitcase is delayed or goes missing (particularly important when travelling long haul), it’s always advisable to pack an appropriate change of clothing. This gives you something to change into when pursuing your lost baggage should the worst happen.
Photocopies of Important Documents

Losing a passport overseas is an unsurprisingly stressful mistake – but having a photocopy of the details can significantly ease this stress. Make copies of passports, boarding tickets, rental confirmations and any other booking details – and you’ll be covered in case any of the originals take their own little impromptu getaways.

So now you’re fully loaded with top packing tips, why not book a cruise holiday of the lifetime with Cruise1st? Head over to our homepage, or call our dedicated team on 0808 2746 777 for a wonderful selection of cruise deals.


About Author

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Claire has worked in the travel industry since leaving college in 1994. One of this blog's most regular contributors, Claire covers cruise news and industry trends.

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