Tame Your Inner Hot Mess: 6 Tips to Being the Most Organized Traveler Ever Ainsley Robertson April 9, 2015 Air Travel, Travel Tips, Trending Stories So, you’re going on a trip soon – business or pleasure? Either way, organization is key! Ever forgotten something at home? Brought too much? Lost something? Had a toiletry quite literally explode in your suitcase or carry-on? Yep, it seems to happen to the best of us. Well, fear no more! Here are some tips on how to be the most organized traveler ever! 1) Make a detailed checklist, prioritizing your items. Stuart Miles/Shutterstock Do you always seem to forget something every time you travel? We’ve all been there, and it’s no fun to be halfway around the world when you realize you forgot your prescription medication on the kitchen counter at home. The solution? Make a detailed checklist! Write down each specific item you plan to bring with you – from that necklace with the green accent gems right down to your trusty tube socks. Be as detailed as you can, deciding exactly what it is that you want to bring before you actually start packing. When you’re done, you can just throw it all in your suitcase! Easy enough, huh? It’s also helpful to list your packing items by priority – pants, for example, should prooobably be more of a priority than that third extra pair of shoes that you miiight want to wear with that one outfit. That way, if you want to whittle down your list and lighten up your bag, you’ll already have a good sense of which items can most easily be left at home. Also, remember that hotels provide many amenities – towels, toiletries, hairdryer, etc. Don’t bring that big bottle of shampoo that will, inevitably, no matter what you wrap it in, explode all over your suitcase. 2) When packing your suitcase, roll your clothes. lzf/Shutterstock You might think that folding clothes flat in your suitcase is the best option, but you’re in for a surprise! As it turns out, rolling your clothes actually saves space and helps avoid wrinkles. Who knew? Rolling definitely works best for items like tank tops, jeans, sweatpants, pajamas – it allows for more compact packing, and will save space in your suitcase! This isn’t the best option, however, for every item of clothing – for example, you may still want to fold your dress shirts and lay them flat to avoid unwanted wrinkling/creasing. Congratulations! You’re on your way to being the lightest packer that ever packed. 3) Make copies of travel documents. Oleksiy Mark/Shutterstock Things can get lost or stolen at any time, but the items that can cause you the most grief if they disappear? Your travel documents! Make copies of your passport (ID page), driver’s license, flight itinerary, hotel confirmation, credit cards, airline ticket (if available beforehand), foreign visa, and traveler’s check serial numbers (if applicable). Scan them and email them to yourself so you have them on your phone, but also be sure to make physical copies of them – remember, it’s possible to lose your phone, too! Without those documents, you’re basically unidentifiable. OK, that’s a little intense. But trust us – make the copies. In the event of a lost or stolen passport, you’ll have an easier time replacing it at your nearest U.S. embassy with a photocopy to prove your identity and the original passport’s existence. The same goes for other important documents like licenses, visas, and credit cards. Be smart. You’ll thank yourself so many times over, especially if you run into any problems. 4) Bring an empty water bottle to the airport and fill it up after you pass through security. Beata Becla/Shutterstock Have you ever had to pay $4 for a water bottle at the airport? Mhmm, chances are, you probably have. You’re allowed to bring an open water bottle with you through security – as long as it’s empty. Once you pass through security, fill it up at one of the many water fountains in your terminal. Those actually come in handy! You can even bring a full one to drink on your way to the airport, but just make sure to empty it before you go through security. 5) Manage your $$$. Duncan Andison/Shutterstock There are a few things to keep in mind with money, especially when traveling outside the country. First, be sure to notify your credit or debit card company before traveling internationally so that you’re authorized for purchases – otherwise, they can interpret international purchases as fraud and freeze your account – NOT good! You need access to your money! Also, be sure to check and understand the exchange rate before you travel. This way, there won’t be any surprises when you check your account balance. Finally, research the tipping etiquette of wherever you’re traveling. Tips tend to be more modest in Europe than in America, for example. It’d be a shame to spend money that you didn’t have to, and on the flip side, you don’t want to be that jerk who stiffed the server at a restaurant. Know before you go! 6) Check out the parking situation before you arrive at the airport. 06photo/Shutterstock Imagine this: After what seemed like a ten-hour long drive to the airport, you’ve finally arrived. You’re running tight on time, and now you have to deal with – PARKING? Where do you go? Who do you ask? There seems to be no one around to ask, and there are angry, rushed drivers all around you. Which garage/lot is the correct one for your terminal? Can you park there overnight? It’s $50/night?! Yep. Stressful, right? We’ve all been there. Go online or call the airport to ask about parking beforehand. If it’s too much of a hassle in your mind, you can always take a car service or public transportation to the airport – two options that often end up being cheaper or equivalent to parking, anyway. With these tips, you’ll totally be the most organized traveler ever! Have any tips on being organized while traveling? Share them with us in the comments section below!