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Travel Organization & Portability: The Ultimate Guide

Updated: May 17

A Guide To Upgrading Your Travel Organization and Functionality Game.

Whether you are enjoying a quick weekend getaway or traveling around the world, keeping your important items mobile, yet organized throughout the process may be a challenge.

Here are some top picks to staying organized with all of the functionality of home during your travels.


Never get lost in your luggage again.


luggage travel

Imagine yourself, on the greatest journey you have encountered thus far. You've successfully reached your destination and have your itinerary in hand, excited to start your adventure for the day. However, before you hop off to your first bucket-list item, you realize you had better wash up before heading out, but wait - where has your toothbrush gone? While sifting through all of the things that are not your bristle-bound stick, you start to panic. The next thing you know, all the items that you had carefully folded and tucked away into your suitcase less than 24 hours ago, are now strewn all over the room's floor. As you search for - and collect - each item that consists of your morning routine, your stress levels have escalated and suddenly you need a moment to collect yourself before you've even left the room.

Most of us have experienced some version of this at least once in our lives and know how quickly things can escalate. In order to maintain your inner peace and reduce stress during a time meant for relaxation/fun/positive experiences, acquiring the proper tools and light organization beforehand can have a positive benefit on your general well-being. Even the most epic journeys can come with frustration if you can't easy get to your daily living essentials.

Traveling with everything piled in to a single compartment suitcase may work in some scenarios - with a certain level of struggle present throughout the process. However, if you find yourself with a desire to guide your travels to be in alignment with minimal anxiety, paired with bringing a practical amount of helpful home conveniences, then please entertain these thoughts on the subject. Having a few of these remedies up your sleeve is sure to keep you -and your items- calmly collected. Regardless of if you are traveling solo, as a family or with a significant other, finding ways to keep things clean and organized may be an essential key to true relaxation and comfort during your stay.

Elevate your travel game and create a happily organized space with the suggestions below. Thoughtful Explorer is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to, which comes at no additional cost to the consumer. Each product featured has been carefully selected, tested and verified as a suitable recommendation.


Stay calm while traveling
Achieve the optimal level of travel and calm

Travel Organization and Portability 5 main categories:

Sweet case of SUITCASE

Find your perfect match to fit your length of travel and style.

MINI BAGS to the rescue

Smaller bags to put within the bigger bag.

Importance of PORTABILITY

Household and personal items made portable.

Portable TECH Accessories

Traveling with tech for business and leisure folk.

CALM In Motion

A few items to keep your cool in times of stress.


Sweet Case of SUITCASE

Find a perfect match to fit your length of travel and style.

I will admit, I am partial to the SwissGear brand - and for good reason too. All of my SwissGear items haven't failed me yet, in the years I have had them. Some models are TSA friendly, they are all made with high quality materials: built to last, and all products I have experienced come with a generous amount of compartments to work with. This list is organized from smallest to largest in terms of size.

SwissGear Scansmart TSA 17-inch laptop Backpack

This backpack was the first SwissGear item I had purchased, which was about 7 years ago (at the time of writing this) and it's still going strong. I use this regularly for both business and leisure. It is great for a weekend backpack if I am packing light and of course the extra compartment for a larger-sized laptop is a huge benefit. On top of that, there are many additional compartments to keep everything organized. It is a great find and for less than $100, I'd consider that a steal.

SwissGear Carry-On Expandable Roller Luggage (Carry On 21-inch)

When flying, I usually prefer that my luggage is able to be used as carry-on whenever possible. This luggage is just the right size and the expandability allows you to fit more in while loading. Just like the backpack, it has great compartmentalization. We've taken this on a few trips and it has held up well. The wheels work in all directions, making for a smooth journey as you travel.

SwissGear (Large) Expandable Roller Luggage (29-inch)

The largest of the SwissGear options and it delivers the same quality and functionality of its' smaller counterpart mentioned above. A perfect amount of room to accommodate for the goods of 2 people - or 1 person on an extended leave. We enjoy that there are handles on multiple sides of this, which helps when trying to get it in or out of places with ease. Compartments help to keep things in place and everything has held up pretty well so far.


MINI BAGS to the rescue!

Smaller bags to put within the bigger bag - more helpful than you may think.

You've got yourself established with the perfect suitcase for your journey, but to organize from within will change the game. Small bags to organize your goods don't have to be limited to traveling either- they are a great way to keep items in your home organized as well.

Quart Size Toiletry Bag - TSA Approved (2 pack)

We fully enjoy that this is clear, which is perfect collecting items in one place and knowing exactly what is inside without having to rummage around. Easy to clean, inside and out. I use one of these bags for morning routine items.

Mesh Zipper Pouch - 42-piece variety pack

You may wonder, are 42 zipper pouches of varying sizes too many, do I actually need that many? I asked myself this question before my purchase and once I got them in, it was clear - these are handy for unlimited uses and doesn't have to be specific to extended travel. The various sizes are perfect - I use the largest one for larger bottles, smaller ones for various odds and ends. I use them around the house to contain things. I use them in my purses so I can easily transfer from one purse to another. I'm sure you will find your own creative uses for them as well.

Large Size Toiletry Bag Organizer

This bag, I take on all the trips. It's incredibly handy. I love that it can be hung up - which makes packing it and using it incredibly convenient where ever you are. I can always manage to find a place to hang it from. For the most part, all of the toiletries fit in here. I've got one compartment for toothbrushes, toothpaste, mouth wash. Another for q-tips, small cloths, etc. I keep perfume and lotion in other compartment. Hairbrush in another, etc. Within the compartments, there are nets and holders to keep everything in place. I'd have to say this is a top pick for me!

Set of 4 Compression Packing Cubes

With these, I wasn't sure how much space this would save so I put it to the test. It deviates from my normal packing techniques, but allows me to organize by function, which seems to be a nice change. I had all of my tops in one bag, bottoms in another, undergarments in yet another, etc. There are 2 zippers to these, while you are packing the items, you have the zipper that controls the compression undone so you can easily add things. Once all was packed, I engaged the compression and indeed it slimmed things down greatly. Another bonus is that I'm not wondering as much where a specific top is since I've got them separated nicely. I use these every time I travel, I can definitely fit more in the general bag space by using them. Also, my husband does not currently use these - which is not terrible, I can simply take my stuff out without interrupting his arrangement. I could definitely see myself buying another set for him - in another color to quickly identify whose is whose.

Small Jewelry Case Box

I have not limited myself to jewelry with this case. With three storage compartments, I use one compartment for hair ties and clips and then separate earrings from necklaces in other other two. Works out pretty great and I can easily toss this little thing into the suitcase with little to no hassle.


Importance of PORTABILITY

Household and personal items made portable.

One thing that is tough to achieve a balance of, is deciding whether or not to buy mini versions of all things you already own or purchase smaller containers of things to make your home items more portable. Here are some items that I do not regret purchasing and they have all helped me in my happy travels.