Suitcase packing for a trip
Ashley DuBois

Clever Tricks that Fix Common Packing Problems

By Ashley DuBois
Making your way to paradise shouldn't be a nightmare, but it suddenly can be if you realize too late you forgot to bring something important. Whether you leave behind the bottle opener to crack that Corona on the beach or you can't let yourself splurge on a neck pillow for the plane ride, there's a smart way around a packing screw-up. If you forget something on your checklist, at least remember these easy-peasy tips and tricks.
Headphone detangler
Ashley Dubois
Solution #1: The Headphone Detangler
Let’s just reminisce back to all those times you're on a plane trying to pull headphones out of an excessively stuffed carry-on only to discover that not only are they tangled around every other item in the bag, but also are knotted themselves. The problem is classic, and honestly it can get pretty annoying.

Say goodbye to tangled headphones forever. And get double the perks: If you do this, hair clips don’t go M.I.A. in the bottom of your bottomless bag, nor do headphones get wrapped around everything. Win-win. Why we didn’t think of this earlier? 
Using an empty deodorant as a safe
Ashley DuBois
Solution #2: The Incognito Safe
Getting robbed on vacation is never fun. But what if the bad guys genuinely couldn't see your cash? We’re not talking about an uncomfortable money belt or a passcode-locked safe. We’re talking deodorant.

Take an old or almost-empty deodorant, empty it, stick your valuables inside, and snap the cap back on. If you're hiding something metal, wrap it in money so it doesn't clatter. Cover the whole thing in dirty socks. People rummaging through hotel room drawers most likely aren’t trying to smell fresh, so it’s a safer bet than hiding your wallet under your clothes or in the nightstand.

You could also use a tennis ball by cutting along the white rubber of the ball and sliding your money inside the hollow shell.
Make a hoodie into a pillow.
Ashley Dubois
Solution #3: The Hoodie Pillow
Some people splurge on innovative around-the-neck pillows for sleeping on the plane, the bus, or in the car. But when you leave that pillow behind, or just simply haven’t invested in one, getting some shuteye can be tough.

Easily enough, an extra sweatshirt can make up for the struggle. By rolling it up this way, you're set. First roll up the bottom to the armpits. Then cross each arm across the chest, fold that rolled-up bottom part over the arms, tuck in each arm again, and pull the hoodie down over the whole thing. Presto! You have a pillow.

And bonus: A sweatshirt even works as a sweatshirt!
Impromptu bottle opener
Ashley DuBois
Solution #4: The Impromptu Bottle Opener
Let’s say the ultimate tragedy happens on your trip to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula: You can't find a bottle opener for your beer. There are no stores for miles, and you aren’t trying to break a tooth using that absurd "let me open this beer with my mouth" technique. This method will work just as well.

First, grab a piece of paper—any piece that isn’t flimsy. Fold it hot dog-style three or four times, then once or twice hamburger style until you have a pretty strong corner. More folds might be necessary depending on your paper quality. Just keep folding until it won't fold anymore: The goal is to get a stiff corner to use as the opener. Dip that corner under the edge of the cap and pry. Watch your fingers, though, because they'll be near the metal bottlecap! It gets the job done so you can enjoy your brewski—but it’s also a fun party trick. 
Rolling up clothes in a suitcase
Ashley DuBois
Solution #5 The Over-Packer's Fix
When packing, when does all the stuff you want to take along ever honestly fit into your bag? For many of us, it’s rare.

But rolling up shirts, pants, dresses, etc., actually does double duty: It saves a ton of space and keeps your clothes from getting wrinkles. Other stuff, like wine bottles, can fit inside a pair of shoes to keep it protected and to save space. You’ll be shocked how much more you can fit into a suitcase—and how much more organized it is (until you get to your destination, that is).
Use a binder clip to cover razor blades when packing.
Ashley DuBois
Solution #6: The Razor Savior
Sifting through your travel supplies to find hiding tweezers or that elusive Chap Stick, your blindly searching fingers too often meet the exposed blades of your razor lingering in the depths of the bag. Protect your fingers and prolong the life of your blades by closing a binder clip around the head of the razor.
Use a key as a last makeshift corkscrew
Ashley DuBois
Solution #7: The Corkscrew Replacement
As dramatic as leaving behind the bottle opener is, forgetting a corkscrew might be the worst possible thing when you're lounging on a Parisian picnic and want nothing more than a sip of that authentic pinot. Fear not! Funny enough, a simple key could be the key to opening your locked bottle. Poke the key into the edge of the cork at an angle. Push it all the way into the cork until only the top of the key is left. Turn the key until the cork starts to spin and pull up until presto! you have your wine. It works best with a rubber cork and strong hands, but the method can also be used by all with any bottle.
Use straws to keep your necklaces from tangling
Ashley DuBois
Solution #8: The Necklace Separator
No matter what we do, necklaces will always feel the need to intertwine when they get too close. To save yourself from the entangling dilemma of packing your naked necklaces together, try stringing the chains through straws and packing them in a baggie together.
Put a collar in your shirt collar to keep it from wrinkling.
Ashley Dubois
Solution #9: The Collar Guard
Arriving to a business meeting with a wrinkly, saggy collar isn't the way to arrive at a memorable dinner. By rolling a belt into the neck of your shirt, the collar will have support during your journey to stay strong until you can unpack.