Hey y’all! This weekend I’m heading to Hilton Head Island for family vacation! Getting prepared had me thinking about all of the travel “hacks” I’ve learned throughout the years. Whether you’re traveling by car, plane, boat, or train hopefully some of these tips can help you out!

Use Packing Cubes

I’ve been using packing cubes for all of my trips this year and I always get asked if they actually make a difference. And my answer is YES. You can save so much space thanks to some packing cubes. It’s especially helpful if you’re only using a carry on when flying or if you’re tight on space. I remember when packing cubes first became popular a few years ago and they were SO EXPENSIVE. Thankfully throughout the years they’ve become more affordable. I personally have a set from Lilly Pulitzer that I got as a gift, but you can find great options on Amazon like THESE ONES for under $20. Don’t want to invest? Gallon zip lock bags do the trick! I’ve used them before and pack 1 outfit per bag, including undergarments. This way you’re saving space AND your whole outfit is together and easily accessible.

Always Pack a Change of Clothes in Your Carry On

Unfortunately, this isn’t something people think to do until they’re in a situation where this would be useful. My parents taught us to pack a change of clothes, some pajamas, and a swimsuit (depending on the destination) in our carry ons when going on a plane. This can come in handy for a couple of reasons, the most obvious being if your luggage gets lost. But this can also be handy if you have a change in plans in the day and you need something like a swimsuit, or even say you spill something on yourself or (God forbid) you/someone with you gets sick on the plane and things get messy. If you’re traveling to Disney and using Magical Express I HIGHLY recommend doing this. There have been way too many times Disney didn’t deliver our luggage until way after midnight. Once when I was around 5 years old, I had no PJs and I didn’t get to bed until after 2am because I refused to sleep without my PJs (?) and my comfort item which my mom decided to pack in our luggage (?).

Bring a Reuseable Water Bottle

This is great whether you’re going on a plane or on a road trip! You can fill up your water bottle at rest stops or after security in the airport. This will save a ton of money! Also be sure to pack one for your next Disney trip. You can fill up your water bottle in the parks or resort cafeterias – this way you don’t have to pay $4 for every water bottle you buy. An additional hack is to fill up your bottle with an inch or two of water and freeze it overnight. The next morning you can fill it with water and it will stay cold longer.

Downsize on Toiletries

For some people this is obvious, but for others it isn’t. When we go to Disney we always use the shampoo, conditioner, and body wash they supply. On other trips we only pack one of everything. One shampoo to share, one bottle of shaving cream, one toothpaste, even one deodorant (don’t worry, spray deodorant is a thing lol). This saves a ton of space! If you’re traveling somewhere and you’ll have a car during the trip you might just want to head to Walmart or Target after you get there and grab the necessities. Not only will you save space, but you’ll also eliminate the risk of something spilling in your luggage (we’ve all been there).

Use the MakeUp Eraser

I know I talk about the MakeUp Eraser all the time, but I’m truly a believer in it! This will eliminate the need to bring makeup remover wipes/liquids. Plus, it’s only $20 and lasts for years. This is not only going to save you space in your suitcase, but help eliminate waste in the long run for the planet, and save you money! Makeup wipes are expensive!

Pack a Suitcase in a Suitcase

This may seem a little bit crazy… but this is great if you think you’re going to be coming home with more than what you brought! My parents always did this when we went to Disney or on a cruise. Grant and I even did this when we knew we were going to buy the LEGO Cinderella’s Castle at Disney a few years back before we lived in Florida. Pack a suitcase like you normally would, then find one slightly larger than it and pop it in there. Zip them up and you’re ready to go! This will save the struggle and money at the airport on the way to your destination so you don’t have to check an additional bag. Just make sure it’s under the weight limit! And I think we’ve all been on a trip where we have to buy a new suitcase because we underestimated our shopping skills lol.

Pack Garbage Bags

I always make sure to throw a few garbage bags in my luggage. I use these for dirty laundry, dirty shoes, swimsuits that didn’t get to dry, and to protect my clothes if I am using soft luggage. In the past I’ve used soft luggage and it was returned to me SOAKED with all of the content inside of it wet, nasty, and borderline mildewy. If you see rain in the forecast, or just want to be safe, put the contents of your luggage into garbage bags then into the luggage. This will protect it and keep it dry.

Pack Shoes in a Carry On

I always make sure to pack as many pairs of shoes as possible in my carry on – especially the heavy ones! We’ve all struggled at sometime or another to meet the luggage weight requirements of an airline. This tip will definitely help you out! Shoes are by far the heaviest and bulkiest contents in our luggage. You can save space and pounds by moving them to a carry on.

Pack Dryer Sheets

This isn’t really necessary, but it doesn’t hurt! Pack a few dryer sheets in your luggage to keep it smelling fresh. You can even throw them into stinky sneakers. This will also keep static from building up while it’s all packed. If your hair gets frizzy during your trip just grab a dryer sheet and rub it all in your hair to calm it down.

Cooler with Food/Drinks

Again, this may seem like a no brainer. But even on short car trips bringing drinks alone can save big money! We always pack our Yeti with water bottles (we even freeze a few), our favorite soft drinks, and a snack or two even if we’re just heading to Palm Beach for the day. This can save so much money in the long run. And if you don’t have a Yeti cooler, I highly recommend investing in one. It’s life changing and actually keeps things cold/frozen!


That’s all I have for y’all today! I hope you enjoyed this post and hopefully you learned something new. Leave me a comment below if you’ve tried any of these or what hacks you’ve picked up over the years. If you want to follow along with me on my travels be sure to follow me on my Instagram, @TheNorthernPrepster.

Thanks for reading!



Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. Affiliate links are included in this post and I may be compensated when items are purchased through those links.