One of the biggest challenges faced when you have to travel is PACKING, right? Well, whether you are going on a long holiday or planning a short business trip, if your packing is not efficient then you might have to face inconvenience later. Some people pack a little too much and end up paying hefty charges at the airport for extra baggage; others forget an important item like a cell phone charger or bathroom slippers and have no other option but to find a replacement at once, or worse… do without it.

The best way to have a smooth trip without worrying about having forgotten something back home is efficient packing. It will help you in saving a substantial amount of money along with enjoying a hassle-free vacation or work trip. Given below are eight clever hacks to help you pack smarter:

1. Make a ‘Packing List’

For all those who are unfamiliar with the phrase, ‘Packing List’, it is a brief outline of your luggage that includes the names of all items you need to carry along with their count. There are two major benefits of making this essential list: firstly, it will come in handy for keeping a record of the items that you are carrying with yourself and secondly, it will ensure that no article is left behind on your way back.

2. Keep your Gadgets Safe

Aren’t gadgets the most delicate and expensive part of your luggage? In order to make sure that these fragile items are not damaged in transit or otherwise, store them in a Ziplock bag. This plastic bag will keep your gadgets dry and protect them from all types of damages provided you put another layer of foam, bubble wrap or just clothes around them. Cell phone chargers, headphones and data cables can also be stored in an old sunglass case.

3. Protect your Jewellery

Yet another expensive but easily-damageable part of your luggage is jewellery. So make sure that you use plastic films to wrap your precious trinkets including rings, earrings, watches, cufflinks or necklaces before keeping them in your bag. Plastic straws can be used to keep the delicate chains from tangling. Using buttons to keep a pair of earrings together is also quite clever when it comes to packing.

4. Store your Shoes Smartly

Shoes do occupy a considerable space in the travel bag leaving lesser room for other stuff. But did you know that you can keep smaller pieces of clothing like undergarments, socks and handkerchiefs inside your shoes; problem solved, right? If you have got dirt on your shoes, do not forget to cover their soles with shower caps to prevent your clothes from soiling. Also, make it a point to wear your heaviest pair of footwear while travelling if you need to pack light.

5. Roll, Don’t Fold

For delicate clothes that easily crease due to folding, you must use two thin sheets of tissue paper for covering them (from above and below) and then roll the covered apparel. Doing this will not only keep your garb crease-free but also save space in your travel bag, in case you want to keep something else at the last moment. This hack is most suitable for wedding dresses and linen and silk apparels.

6. Pack a Duct Tape

Have you been in a situation where your sandal strap or the handle of your bag broke while travelling? If yes, then you already know that these unforeseen situations can be troublesome and quite annoying or even embarrassing at times. Don’t be left hanging in times of such misadventures by keeping a roll of duct tape handy; this strong adhesive tape can easily fix your broken handle/strap for a short period of time. You can simply roll a few inches of the duct tape on a pen and keep it in your handbag.

7. Analyse your Luggage

Once you are done packing, always weigh your bag, especially if you’re travelling by flight, as the airline giants allow limited baggage allowance per passenger (in terms of both size and weight). Also, choose a lightweight suitcase for similar reasons. Packing light or carrying an appropriately-sized bag also gives you the benefit to roam about with the luggage comfortably, if such a situation arises, without having to stress yourself physically.

8. Be Smart & Strategic

Besides planning and space management, a strategic approach to packing is important to ensure that you have a relaxed and trouble-free trip. The trick is simple – if you are travelling with someone, make sure that your clothes (for at least two days) are packed in the other individual’s bag and vice versa. Wondering why? Well, doing this will ensure that both you and your travel companion have a few sets of clothes handy, in case one of the bags is lost.

It does not take much to pack efficiently but it certainly goes a long way in making sure that you travel without a single worry on your mind – about stuff that has been left back home, lost or maybe stolen. So, the next time you are travelling, don’t forget to pack smart using these clever hacks.