Pack Like A Pro With Samantha Brown's Clever, Space-Saving Cotton Ball Hack

When you're going on vacation, you need all the space you can get, especially as you may be charged for excess or checked baggage. This is why travel expert Samantha Brown from the travel show "Samantha Brown's Places to Love," utilizes an efficient packing hack so that she doesn't need to bring perfume bottles on trips.

She revealed on NBC's Today with Hoda & Jenna show that she douses small cotton balls with her perfume and packs them into a ziplock bag. The trick is to squeeze any air out of the bag so that they don't dry out. But even if they do, she advises bringing them back to life with a dab of water. Before you go out, just rub the perfumed cotton ball on your skin and you'll be smelling fantastic. Another bonus to this hack is that glass perfume bottles won't break in your bag. If you're not convinced, you could try using a travel-sized atomizer for your favorite scent instead.

More hacks for packing toiletries or makeup

One hack to stop liquids from spilling in your suitcase is to use a balloon. Just cut off the end and place it over the top of the bottle where it will prevent the lid from coming off. If you're really concerned about shampoos and conditioners spilling on your clothes, you could bring solid bars instead. Keep them safe inside a small ziplock bag and make sure they're dry before you put them in so they don't get mushy.

If you want to bringĀ cotton swabs, but don't want them to get dirty or lost in your bag, pack them in an old pill bottle. This will also keep them dry and save you from needing to bring the whole box. Travelers who want to bring eyeshadow or powder compacts should open them up and place a round cotton pad inside. This will help cushion the powder from any blows your suitcase may take and stop your makeup from breaking up or making a mess of your bag.

How to save space on toiletries

If you don't want to take an entire deodorant stick with you when you're traveling, then use a chapstick tube hack to save space. Just melt down your deodorant, fill an empty chapstick tube, and once it is dry, pack it in your toiletry bag. Another way to use less space is to utilize contact lens cases to carry small amounts of lotions like foundation or moisturizer. The cases screw securely closed so they're less likely to spill, and as they're plastic, they're lighter to carry than heavy glass jars.

Instead of bringing thick face cloths or bulky wipes, bring small microfiber towels instead. As they are so thin, they will take up barely any space in your luggage. They are also super-absorbant and dry quickly so you can use them again and again on your trip. You could also speak to your hotel before you go, as many provide toiletries like shampoo, conditioner, and even toothpaste. You may not even need to pack them. If you do this, you may have even more space for bringing back gifts for loved ones (or yourself!).