If you’ve been on a plane in the last decade, you know the woes that can await any unsuspecting traveler. Between long security lines, crowded airports, and unexpected delays, the journey to your final destination can feel like pulling teeth. That’s especially true if your travel bags aren’t organized.
A disorganized bag can lead to an extended security trip if agents can’t make sense of what shows up on the screen. On top of that, finding an item you urgently need becomes a scavenger hunt if it doesn’t have its proper place. What many travelers don’t realize is that these irritations are preventable and inexpensive to fix.
Here are a few recommendations help you stay organized while on the road:
1. Travel Wallet / Passport Holder
Where better to start your study of organized travel than in the most tedious portion of your travel kit? That’s right: Documents!
Keeping your travel documents organized and easily accessible is essential to the success of your trip. Trust me, you don’t want to spend your layover begging the desk agents to reprint your tickets because you misplaced them or scouring the airport in search of a lost driver’s license.
Save yourself a headache by picking a travel wallet designed to hold your most precious documentation. The best travel wallets come with slots for your passport, credit cards, and money. Most block RFID signals so that thieves can’t even access the data on any embedded chips while the wallet is closed and stored. The Travelon RFID Blocking Multi-Passport Holder for this is a great option for the business and family traveler.
However, there’s a downside to travel wallets. If you put all of your documentation in one place and someone finds it, you’ve just lost all of your most essential documentation.
A great alternative — especially when traveling abroad, where documentation is difficult to replace — is a neck wallet like the one offered by Lewis N. Clark. Designed to be tucked beneath your clothing and carried on your person during your trip, neck wallets are hard to access and are typically made of a ripstop fabric to prevent theft by pulling and slashing.
Your choice of wallet should depend on how you like to travel and the risk involved, but know that there are great tools for the job.
2. Electronics Organizer
Whether you’ve got a camera, an e-reader, or an electronic tablet, having an electronics organizer on hand gives you space to store your favorite gadgets. The best organizers are zippable (so that nothing falls out!) and offer spacious and scratch-resistant storage. You’ll want to find one that offers space for essential items, like power adapters and memory cards, too.
For most travelers, the AmazonBasics Universal Travel Case is more than enough to get the job done, but if you’re headed out on a long journey where you’re forced to brave the elements, you might want to find something with additional weatherproofing.
If you need more space, a travel cord roll is a great addition for family electronics. It’s exactly what it sounds like. A way for you to keep all of your cords neatly packed in one place. If you’re packing for the whole family, a cord roll gives you extra space for backup gear, like extra cables and SD cards.
This is another step toward keeping your electronics organized while on the road, but it’s not for everyone. Single travelers with limited gear may find that a cord roll excessive. It’s up to you to best determine your travel needs and whether or not a single electronics organizer can carry all of your gadgets and associated gear.
To keep your travel cords organized while on the road, we recommend the BUBM Cable Bag. It’s a versatile and roomy organizer with plenty of extra space.
3. Packing Cubes & Packing Folders
Clothing is another big frustration when trying to stay organized while on the road. Wrinkled shirts and misplaced socks are only part of the equation. You’ve also got to account for dirty laundry somehow!
Packing Cubes can help you do that. A 4-piece cube system can help you build a small, exclusive space for your clothing inside your suitcase so that your outfits are isolated and protected from anything moving around in your luggage. Because the cubes come in four different sizes, they can accommodate any travel on any occasion.
Organized travel means an organized bag, and one of the easiest ways to do that is to pack your bag closely with smaller, specialized bags like the kit offered here. Whether you’re loading a cotton shirt, a pair of jeans, or an extra pair of shoes, a packing cube can help you protect and isolate your most essential gear for the duration of your trip.
For dress shirts and delicate fabrics, a Garment Folder goes one step further. The folder ensures wrinkle-free transport for dress shirts, suit, ties, and pants and will protect them from leaks and spills in the process.
When you’re traveling for business or to important events where your attire matters, a garment folder can help keep your important fabrics organized and you looking sharp!
4. Dopp Kit / Toiletry Bag
Organized travel is about more than simple convenience. It’s about accessibility and ease of transport. Having a correct place for everything not only means that you’ll be able to find your items when you need them. You’ll also be able to produce them easily when asked.
For liquid containers, makeup, and hair products, we recommend the Wally Bags Toiletry Kit. This organizer is wide and made of water-resistant fabrics. This isolates your liquids from the rest of the items in your luggage.
If you’re carrying this bag through a security checkpoint, stuff a plastic bag inside one of the zipper compartments and store the kit somewhere easily accessible. It’s easy to make a quick transfer from organizer to bag and back again. After you pass the checkpoint, move your liquid items back and zip the bag closed. Quick, painless, and still organized.
5. Portable Safe
If you’re traveling with valuables, we recommend the Travelsafe Gill Portable Safe by Pacsafe as a way to stay organized and keep them safe while on the road. Made of a wire-mesh poly canvas, the safe is resistant to slashing and can be tied to fixtures via the included cable.
Keeping a mindset for organized travel, this safe is made of fabric and can lie flat. If you’re holding valuable documents, like passports, expensive jewelry, or similar personal items, it’s worth securing it in an out-of-sight and out-of-mind location so that it doesn’t attract attention while left unattended.
And there you have it: Five essential items that can keep you prepared and organized while on the road. Most are inexpensive and can provide invaluable protection to your personal items while on the road. Keep your bags in order while on the road and you may find that many of the travel hassles you see during your trip are someone else’s problem.