Summer Travel Hacks: Pack Smarter, Explore Better (2024 Edition)

Summer Travel Hacks: Pack Smarter, Explore Better (2024 Edition)

Summer is going to be here before you know it and as an extreme planner, I’ve been perfecting my packing game.

Rolling Clothing is so 2000 and Late.

While rolling clothes is a well-known space-saving technique, packing cubes offer an even better solution. I recently tried them out of desperation to fit everything in my suitcase, and I was amazed by how much more I could pack! The only downside? My bag ended up overweight because I could fit so much in! Unlike rolling, which can leave wasted space, packing cubes allow you to lay clothes flat and maximize the entire cube. They’re also fantastic for keeping dirty laundry separate from clean clothes.

Repurpose a Reusable Grocery Bag

A reusable grocery bag is a versatile travel companion. Use it for shopping at local markets or storing souvenirs. In a pinch, it can even become a carry-on if you run out of luggage space! I’ve also found them useful for keeping things organized in rental cars to prevent items from rolling under the seats and disappearing forever.

The Mighty Mini Cooler

 I can’t count the times I’ve purchased local cheese from a cute little farm and panicked because I couldn’t keep it cold! Foodies, consider packing a small, foldable insulated cooler if you have the space. These are lifesavers for keeping cheese, wine, or other perishables cold while traveling.  They can even double as makeup bags to prevent melting during hot weather.

Power Struggle

If you’ve packed plug adapters to fit foreign power plugs, you’re halfway there. MANY countries have unstable power with surges. Protect your devices with a power step-down converter device. I will not charge my phone or laptop without a power converter as I don’t want to fry my electronics! It’s just not worth it! This is the heaviest ‘extra’ I pack and it’s 100% worth it.


For me, the ability to blow dry my hair is a non-negotiable. If I don’t blow-dry it straight, I end up with a frizzy mess! Sadly when traveling throughout Europe and Asia, some hotels did not offer a blow dryer, or they offered an archaic one that barely had any air output. I LOVE this little compact and powerful hair dryer. You can use it with the power adaptor listed above. See my TYMO Hair Dryer Review Here: 

Refill and Save

Save space and money by refilling travel-sized toiletry containers with your favorite products at home instead of buying new ones.

RFID protection cross body bag

Protect Your Cash & Credit Cards!

I just returned from an amazing trip to Italy & just wanted to give a shout-out to Vantamo Bags for their PERFECT cross-body bags that offer RFID protection and have the extra zipper lock function. I had zero issues with my credit card or pick-pocket attempts, however, my husband did end up with credit card fraud on his card when we returned. I also walked through several rain storms & this bag still looks brand-new! They have different sizes, colors and shapes – I had the medium in black. Find these amazing cross body bags here. 

Money Belts

If you’re going to be taking lots of trains and crowded public transport, I highly suggest you get a money belt. I found the Vantamo money belt (offered in many fun colors) to be very soft and comfortable – perfect for my passport and credit card. Should, (heaven forbid), I get robbed and my bag stolen, I have peace of mind that my super valuables are still on my body.

Cool Down on the Go

A cooling towel is a great way to beat the summer heat. Soak it in water and keep it around your neck for a quick cool-down.

Download Apps for Peace of Mind

Travel apps like Google Translate or Maps can be lifesavers when exploring new places. Downloading maps in advance ensures you have them even if you encounter spotty internet connections. Having maps readily available on your phone will give you peace of mind and help you avoid getting lost.

Pack Light, Laundry Often

Packing light and doing laundry during your trip is a great strategy. I’ve learned that packing an outfit for every day isn’t realistic. Instead, focus on versatile pieces that can be easily washed in a hotel sink or laundry machine. Opt for lightweight, quick-drying fabrics, and consider bringing a pack of travel-size laundry detergent packs.

If you absolutely have to get the wrinkles out of your clothing, consider bringing a travel steamer. The irons in hotel rooms can be dirty and damage clothing and using steam to gently release wrinkles is so much kinder to clothing. Check out the Nori Travel Steam Iron.

Be Prepared for Sore Feet & Sore Backs

If you plan on doing a lot of walking, pack essentials like bandaids, pain relievers, and an extra pair of shoes. While shoes can take up space, consider that summer thunderstorms are common. Having a backup pair ensures you won’t be stuck walking around in wet shoes all day. Simply alternate pairs while the wet ones dry.

For back pain, consider wearing a drug free back patch, I recommend the Backvive patch. The BackVive patch provides long-lasting pain relief for chronic back pain. It has little tiny metal micro-points that target and activate powerful receptors just underneath the skin surface that block pain signals from nerves and prevent them from reaching the brain.


In a clinical study, more than 90% of people with severe chronic back pain experienced significant pain relief which lasted for one week in most of them – with a single patch.  Shop the BackVive patch here. 

Don’t Let a Cold Stop You

Crowded airplanes, trains and tourist traps means more exposure to germs. The small and mighty Biovanta Multi-Symptom Relief PLUS Respiratory Defense Spray helps support immunity and relieve cold symptoms at the same time.

Book Ahead

Summer tourist destinations can be absolutely BONKERS. If you have your heart set on seeing a specific landmark (like the Colosseum, Eiffel Tower, or a particular museum), buy your tickets now! While it might seem like early planning, the reality is, if you wait, you risk not getting in at all.

Another option is to check out Get Your Guide. They often offer priority access to popular destinations, allowing you to skip the lines and explore with a guide who can share historical insights and details.

#AmazonInfluencer – The products above were purchased by me and I use them regularly. If you purhcase through my links, I may get a small affiliate fee which  helps support my blog.