The Genius Hack For Waterproofing Your Luggage

It's what's on the inside that counts ... and the same can be said for the contents of your luggage. You'll know exactly what we mean if you've ever experienced a shampoo bottle explode inside your bag or had someone's drink spill all over your luggage. We've been there, too, staring at a pool of liquid that has had hours to settle into your favorite shirt.

Fortunately, there are ways this can be avoided without having to purchase expensive hard-shell luggage, dry bags, or some other advanced toiletry-containing contraptions. In fact, you probably already own most of the items you'll need. (Hint: They're in your closet and kitchen.) You just need a little bit of foresight to know how to use them. With a few simple hacks, you can stop relying on luck and good karma to keep your luggage dry and your clothes from smelling like they were laundered at Bath and Body Works.

Check your closet to find your waterproofing wonders

Unless you live in a dry climate, you probably already own a few essentials that can keep your luggage safe from the elements. These will be especially helpful if you are traveling somewhere that's going to be wet, like a tropical destination during the rainy season. All you really need are a raincoat or waterproof jacket and some rain boots. With just these few items, you'll be set to win "most prepared passenger" on your next trip.

First, place your rain boots at the bottom of your luggage and stuff them with your delicates (underwear, bras, socks, and small T-shirts) to save on space and for extra protection. Then, place the rest of your clothes and items in your bag and cover it all with a waterproof coat, making sure to tuck it down into the sides of your bag. If you're bringing two coats, consider placing one on the bottom of your bag as well for extra coverage.

Head to the kitchen to leak-proof your luggage

One of the best solutions to prevent leakage from your various lotions and potions is plastic wrap. Before packing up your toiletries, grab a small square of plastic wrap. Remove the top of your bottle and squeeze the bottle until all the air is pushed out and the liquid is at the very top of the opening. Without letting go of the bottle, place the square of plastic on top of the opening and then place the cap back on. This should work with most bottles, but it works best with screw-top lids.

By squeezing the air from the bottle, you won't have to worry about air expanding inside (which can happen when flying or driving through different elevations) and pushing out the liquid contents. The plastic wrap is a secondary measure and should prevent any liquid from coming out.

If your toiletry bottle has a weird shape, a top that can't be unscrewed, or it's just not possible to squeeze out the air, then go to plan B — the toiletry packing workhorse, Ziploc freezer bags. These are the best items to use to keep your toiletries together and prevent all kinds of liquids from spilling over your clothes. They're inexpensive, they rarely break open, and you can just carry the bag to a sink to clean up the mess if there is a spill.