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3 Genius Packing Hacks for Plastic Wrap


Some packing hacks are more worthwhile than others. Perhaps the most useful ones of all, however, can be accomplished with something almost everyone has in their house: plastic wrap. Here’s why that clear cellophane wrap is my favorite packing solution.

Plastic Wrap Packing Hacks

Spill-Proof Toiletries

[st_content_ad]Ever reach into your carry-on bag and discover a pool of goo has leaked out of your toiletries compartment? If you do one thing to your packed bag before you leave your house, it should be adding a layer of Saran Wrap under the twisting cap of your shampoo bottles. There’s little to no work involved, and it will prevent your toiletries from exploding all over each other—or into your suitcase if you didn’t follow the 3-1-1 rule and bag your travel-sized liquids.

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This is the most useful of all the packing hacks I’ve encountered, and led to my love affair with using plastic wrap for packing. When the cabin pressure of flying at 35,000 feet squeezes your shampoo and conditioner tubes, the thin layer of plastic will keep liquids confined to their bottles. No more cleaning your personal items or the inside of your bag once you arrive: unpack and relax, instead.

Jewelry Wrap

Packing any and all tangle-sensitive jewelry in plastic wrap is my next favorite packing hack. Don’t buy travel jewelry organizers or throw your favorite jewelry into pockets or containers where they’ll surely get lost or irreversibly tangled. Instead, lay down a small sheet of Saran Wrap; place necklaces, earrings, and/or bracelets on top; and fold or roll the sheet over itself until you have a lie-flat packet of organized valuables. Stash it in a mesh suitcase pocket so it never leaves your sight, and hold onto the plastic wrap for the journey home.

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Snack Savior

Healthy travel snacks are becoming an even bigger must-pack item thanks to the rise of no-frills fares that don’t include food or drink. One of the best travel snacks to pack is a banana, which is packed with energy-boosting potassium and (unpeeled) can be thrown easily into a bag without making a mess. But, for added protection and to lengthen the life of your snack, consider covering the stem with Saran Wrap. This will not only prevent messy banana goo from breaking into your bag through the peel of an overly ripe banana, but it will also keep greener bananas fresh for longer.

Not a banana person? Use plastic wrap as a packing hack for nuts, granola, and other fruits when you don’t have resealable bags. Twisting the corners together and tying a knot accomplishes the same feat.

What’s your favorite packing hack? Comment below.

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Associate Editor Shannon McMahon writes about all things travel. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

By Shannon McMahon

Editor Shannon McMahon is always planning her next trip and often writing in her travel journal. Follow her on Twitter @shanmcmahon_ and on Instagram @shanmcmahon.

Shannon joined SmarterTravel in 2015. A former news reporter, she's lived in the south of Spain, spotted elephants in Sri Lanka, gone spelunking in the Caribbean, hiked Jordan's Petra Basin, interviewed Sao Paulo's Michelin-Star chefs, and explored China via bullet train. Travel trends, news oddities, and her visits to up-and-coming destinations are some of her favorite things to write about.

Her stories have also appeared online on USA Today, The Sun, Huffington Post, Business Insider,,, and more. Her educational background is in journalism, art history, gender studies, Spanish, and film. She's been quoted as an expert travel source by CNBC,, MarketWatch, The Washington Post, USA Today, and more.

The Handy Item I Always Pack: "Plenty of extra thick hair elastics. They tame my frizzy curls and come in handy in a surprising number of packing and hotel dilemmas."

Ultimate Bucket List Experience: "Climbing (yes, climbing, it's steep!) the Great Wall of China before it's gone."

Travel Motto: "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." - Mark Twain

Aisle, Window, or Middle Seat: "Window, of course."

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