How to stay organized during holiday travel

Nov 08, 2023
Natalie opening a door, turned to the camera smiling

The holiday season is so special. Family, friends, relaxation, and good food – it's one of my favorite times of the year! With that being said, this season can easily become more chaotic and stressful than enjoyable if you're not properly prepared – especially if you're traveling! Here are some tips from your favorite organizing and productivity expert so you can soak up every ounce of your trip because, well, you deserve it!

Make a packing list

One of the first things you should do when preparing to go on any trip is, of course, make a packing list. It's important that you take into consideration the destination (i.e. temperature, weather conditions, etc.) and the activities you have planned (i.e. hiking, skiing, relaxing, eating out, etc.).

In the case of holiday travel, consider things you might not usually think about, too! What gifts, if any, do you have to make sure are wrapped and packed? Do you need to bring any specific kitchen supplies to cook that special holiday meal?

When it comes to getting your holiday organization skills in tip top shape, making lists is always a good idea. So, get that packing list going and don't forget to check things off as you pack them!

Pack efficiently

Solid travel organization habits start with packing efficiently, which is something you'll definitely want to do when packing for the holidays. You're usually putting more into your suitcase than usual (i.e. gifts, clothes to bundle up in), and oftentimes, you come home with even more than what you left with (i.e. presents, souvenirs). I recommend using packing cubes or travel organizers to keep your luggage neat and organized – they're great for keeping like items or outfits together!

Of course, no matter what you're using inside your suitcase to stay organized, I will also always recommend file folding your clothes. This not only maximizes luggage space, but it also minimizes wrinkles in your clothes! Be sure to visit my Instagram for some folding tutorials. 

Keep essentials in your carry-on

This one is for all of you that are flying this holiday season. A carry-on bag is so important to bring in case your checked luggage ends up getting delayed or lost. Load the carry-on with essentials, such as medication you might need, an outfit or two to get you through the first few days, necessary toiletries, valuables, etc. This helps ensure you're totally prepared and helps limit inconveniences that could interrupt your trip.

And, honestly, if you're driving instead of flying, I still recommend doing something similar! Keep essentials such as medications or snacks near you in the car. This will avoid unnecessary stops rummaging around the trunk!

Stay organized during the trip

There would be no point to all these travel organization efforts if you don't actually stay organized after you arrive. If you truly make yourself at home wherever you're staying, I find that your trip just feels a little smoother. Keep your belongings organized by using the drawers, and organizing your clothes and toiletries as you would at home – in a way that not only makes sense to you but will make your life easier, too.

Travel light on gifts

With the holiday season comes gifts – gift shopping, gift giving, receiving gifts, etc. Now, traveling with gifts can sometimes get a bit tricky, so let's go ahead and up your holiday organization game. If you plan to bring gifts on your trip, consider shipping them directly to your destination prior to traveling to avoid having to lug a bunch of extra stuff with you. If you're going somewhere you can shop, you might even consider buying some gifts locally!

If your goal is to achieve stress-free holiday traveling, don't forget these steps! Being properly prepared is key when it comes to having a magical holiday getaway.

Want more holiday organization tips? Head over to my Instagram – I'll be posting a bunch this month!


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