Keep Your Luggage Smelling Fresh With This Simple Packing Hack

Living out of a suitcase, no matter how long your trip lasts, can be a challenge. Things get wrinkled. It can be tough to separate dirty clothes from clean clothes, and doing laundry while exploring the world is a tedious task that no one wants to do. Managing a suitcase is a whole thing. However, there are ways to make that part of a trip easier. There actually are a few practical ways to do laundry while traveling, meaning that you can pack lighter because you can wear fewer pieces more often. This is especially important if you use hacks when preparing to travel, like the 54321 packing rule, which means you're lugging around fewer things but will need to wash clothing more often. 

Luggage runs the risk of getting smelly, no matter how hard you try to keep things clean. If you're pounding the pavement in your favorite European city, your shoes will hold that evidence. Sweaty sneakers, socks, and everything else that gets worn have to come along, and this can create a less-than-lovely situation as you transport your bags. Thankfully, we've sourced a very effective yet simple hack to ensure that odors are mitigated on your next trip.

Pack dryer sheets in your luggage

One of the easiest ways to keep your luggage smelling fresh is to pack a few dryer sheets in your suitcase. Of course, the typical use for dryer sheets is to add a light fragrance to laundry while it's in the dryer, but they also give off a scent before being used. Just slide one or two in the pocket of your suitcase to keep things from smelling musty. If you want additional backup, pack a few more to slide inside of running shoes or any other items you're bringing that you know are likely to get sweaty and smelly.

One other detail to keep in mind. If some of your items, namely running and walking shoes, are prone to getting sweaty, air them out at night if you can. If your hotel or Airbnb has a balcony or an outdoor terrace, leave footwear and any other musty clothing outside to give them a chance to breathe after being confined in a suitcase or on your body all day.

Other ways to keep your clothing fresh while traveling

In addition to packing dryer sheets in your luggage, there are a few other ways to keep your clothing smelling fresh while you're on vacation. For one, if you're going on a trip that involves a lot of hiking and other strenuous activity, opt for quick-drying travel clothing. Man-made fibers tend to be best for this, as cotton and wool hold onto moisture longer. For example, jeans can feel virtually impossible to get dry overnight. Quick-drying travel clothing can be hand washed in cold water and, true to its name, dries quickly, allowing you to get into clean clothes repeatedly on your trip. Travel clothing also tends to be wrinkle-free and packs up compactly.

Pack a ziplock or laundry bag to keep dirty clothes sealed and separate from your clean clothing. If you've worn an item and can still wear it again, consider packing a travel-size clothing refresher spray. Hanging your clothing up overnight, whether inside or outside, and spritzing them with some of this spray can also help keep your clothing and shoes smelling fresh.