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The ordinary household items that can make packing for holiday travel so much easier

Brett Walther shares his go-to traveling hacks for the season.

Ordinary item: dry cleaner bag

Here's the best way to pack a suitcase to keep your clothes wrinkle-free on the road: Use the clear plastic wardrobe bags that come free from the dry cleaner and are already in your closet. Place each of your hanging items in its own plastic bag, then place all the bags together in a garment bag or suitcase. The bags create a thin layer of air around each item, preventing friction. Friction is what causes wrinkles; and plastic stops friction—it's that easy. BONUS PACKING HACK: Gents—take your belt, wind it into a coil, and pop it into the neck opening of a collared shirt. It’ll help your collar keep its shape in transit, further reducing the need for ironing when you reach your destination!


Ordinary item: Reusable shopping bag

I’ve got some really nice bags, and although I like to have them when I reach my destination, I hate worrying about them when I travel—and that includes the brutal treatment they end up getting when you bring them on board an aircraft. You’re either tossing them in the overhead bin, where they’ll probably get smooshed by someone else’s hardcase carry-on, or they’re shoved under the seat, where they’re bound to get scuffed by feet of the person sitting in front of you. That’s why I’ve started packing a large reusable shopping bag inside of my man purse. As soon as I get on board the aircraft, I’ll pull out the reusable bag, and actually store my man purse inside of the reusable bag. It’s basically a slipcover for my investment bag, that will protect it from scuffs and scratches for the duration of the flight!


Ordinary item: Plastic wrap

To avoid tangled jewellery when you travel, tear of a sheet of Press n’ Seal (sticky side up), and lay chains and necklaces flat. Tear off a second sheet of wrap and lay it overtop, sticky side facing the necklaces. Press flat, then roll up the layered sheets into a bundle that can now be stuffed into a shoe in your suitcase for safekeeping.


Ordinary item: Button

Got a pair of earrings that will be perfect for Christmas Day? Instead of just letting them float freely in your luggage, take a loose button, and stick the posts of both earrings through two of the holes, close them up with the backing around the other side, and pop them in your toiletry bag. It’s a really handy way of keeping the pair together in your toiletry bag.


Ordinary item: Scented soap and facecloth
Grab a bar of scented soap, and wrap it in a facecloth. Although both will come in handy at your destination (especially if you’re off to Europe, where facecloths are hard to come by!), it also serves a purpose on transit: it’ll keep your luggage smelling fresh!
 

Ordinary item: Binder clip
Simply loop the wires together and use the clip to keep them in place. You can also use binder clips to cover the top of your razor, or anything else sharp in your luggage, so you don't cut your finger when you're feeling around for it in your toiletry bag.

 

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