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Top Packing Tips from Fodor’s Readers

Even though Fodor's editors are already travel experts, we're always looking for new tips and tricks that will make us even savvier the next time we hit the road. We asked readers like you  for suggestions in the forum; here are our favorite packing tips that we came across.

  • I always bring an 18″ cardboard tube with me to bring home paintings and prints from our travels. It hardly takes any room in the suitcase and it keeps the prints wrinkle free until you return home. (michele_d)
  • We pack small souvenirs from our home state of Texas when we travel to Europe. Ball point pens with “Texas” engraved on them were a big hit with tour bus drivers, guides, and others we encountered on our recent river cruise and tour. (bettyk)
  • Moisture wicking socks are a godsend! (Hobbert)
  • When travelling with a companion, put 1/2 of each other's clothes in the other one's bag. If one bag gets lost, the other person will have clothes. (debsnj)
  • Travel with only a carry-on and one of these. On the way home put your dirty laundry in the expandable duffel and check it. Put all you new purchases in your carry-on. Odd how the dirty laundry never gets lost. (TPAYT)
  • Put your name, destination(s), and contact info inside your checked bag, in case your luggage tag comes off (Tabernash2)
  • Bring an extension cord, especially if you are sharing the bathroom, so you can dry your hair. Sometimes the bathroom has the only outlet. (Tabernash2)
  • Pack a small amount of duct tape! I've had a use for it on almost every trip—a fix for torn pants or a broken strap on a bag, as an ankle brace, as a makeshift compression tool, as a sturdier bandaid (Iowa_RedHead)
  • Know the difference between an adaptor and a converter (tenthumbs) [Editor's note: a converter is used to convert the voltage of an electric device. For example, if your hairdryer requires 110V, you will need an converter when traveling to Europe, which runs on 220V. An adapter allows you to plug your American two-pronged plug into a different outlet. Use this for dual-voltage devices; for example, your cellphone charger.]
  • If you can't lift and carry your luggage three blocks by yourself, it's too big/heavy (Bokhara2)
  • When I was in Florida, I mailed home a box of dirty clothes. Cost about $23, but it solved doing laundry at all and I had room for souvenirs and new clothes! (TDudette)
  • Take a pair of the super cheap flip flops. They weigh nothing, you can use them a slippers, wear them to the pool or in the shower, and you can duct tape them to either side of a bottle of wine for padding. (spcfa)
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