18 genius packing hacks for your next trip

No matter the length of the trip — be it a weekend beach getaway or a three-week Himalayan trek — you’ll need to pack a bag, and you’ll want to pack it right.

There’s a lot to consider when determining what to bring: the type and length of your trip, your itinerary, the weather, the size of your luggage, and any weight limits imposed by your mode of transportation. And with so many factors at play, it’s easy to overpack or underpack, especially if you’ve waited until the last minute.

Enter: the editors at Travel + Leisure, most of whom can be ready for a trip at a moment’s notice. We’re sharing our favorite ways to keep your clothes wrinkle-free, your cosmetics spill-proof, and your souvenirs safe, whether you’re packing for a solo trip or for your entire family (kids included).

Related: A Guide to Every Airline’s Baggage Fees

You’ll learn how to best organize your carry-on luggage, how to pare down to avoid those excess baggage fees, and a few easy tricks to help you remember the little items you’re most likely to forget.

With these 18 hacks, you’ll be packing like a pro in no time. The only question that remains: where will you and your impeccable packing skills be heading to next?

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So what exactly is a Hidden Mickey?

So what exactly is a Hidden Mickey? Quite simply, it’s an artistic representation of Mickey that was intentionally placed amid the architecture and design of the parks and resorts. Oftentimes it’s the familiar three-circle shape of his ears and head. Other times it might be a profile of his face or a full-body silhouette. Walt Disney World Guests with keen eyes can tell you that Mickey pops up all over the resort, often in the most unexpected places.

I recommend one of these two books if you are headed to Disney soon!

Hidden Mickeys: A Field Guide to Walt Disney World®’s Best Kept Secrets

The Hidden Mickeys of Walt Disney World

The Essentials #DisneyBound Packing List!

Heading to Walt Disney World Soon. Pack more fun and print this Essential Walt Disney World Packing List!

In just a few short days, I will be packing my bags jetting off to Walt Disney World (a.k.a. my “happy” place)! I created my Essential #DisneyBound Packing List which I am sharing with you today. And truthfully, no Disney vacation should be without these items!

#1 – Your Mickey Mouse or Minni Mouse Ears

#2 – A Magic Band

Unlock all the enchantment of Walt Disney World Resort wearing your own personal MagicBand 2. With a simple touch, redeem FastPass+ selections, enter parks, charge purchases to your room, and more!

#3 – Your Favorite Disney T-shirts

#4 – A Mickey Mouse Fanny Pack 

Disney TAG Canvas Crossbody Hip Pack

Mickey Mouse stars on our stylish convertible carryall for use as a crossbody bag or comfy hip pack. Part of the new Travel•Accessories•Gear collection, this pack is perfect for toting all your essentials with ease.

#5 – Don’t Forget Shoes

#6 – A Hidden Mickeys Guide Book 

Bonus Item – Your Favorite Disney Coloring Book  


Check out the Disney Store for all your Disney Essentials

Olive Theory Pizzeria is one of the best worst kept secrets.

Olive Theory Pizzeria is one of the best worst kept secrets.  This place not only has super fast pizza, but delicious too.  They are the number one ranked pizza place in Illinois.  If you haven’t been there, then you need to go.  Although it is unlikely this will be the only one for long

Not only do they have pizza for one flat price!  I know.  Can you believe it? No matter what you order the price is the same for the pizzas, calzones and salads.  They have house recipes that you can alter or you can craft your own.

The best part is that Olive Theory Pizzeria is based on the olive branch.  They want to help the community by giving back.  For every 10 pizzas purchased they donate 1 pizza back to the community.  Not only are you feeding yourself, but everyone around you.

I can’t forget there is an app!  Fast ordering is easy with the app.  You can make your lunch even faster by ordering in advance.  This is a place that will easily become a favorite for lunch.


I’ve found my favorite new pizza place! When you try @olivetheorypizzeria you’ll fall in love too! #otponeyear #foodie #pizza

A photo posted by Matthew Smith (@mjsmith0523) on

Michelle Wins the Outie Champion Award!

The “Outies” were awarded at the annual Out & Equal Workplace Summit on Wednesday, October 5th, 2016. I’m so excited to announce that my mother Michelle Smith won the Champion Award!

“The Champion Award recognizes any LGBT person or Ally who has made a significant contribution to advancing workplace equality. The champion award winner will have shown a unique commitment to LGBT workplace rights and will have used his or her talents to further that cause, even at some risk.”

It's a tie! This year's Champion Awards go to Michelle Smith and Tom Vilsack– True advocates. Congrats to all our nominees! #oesummit

— Out & Equal (@OutandEqual) October 5, 2016

I am so proud of my Mother Michelle Smith for wining an Out & Equal Workplace Advocates Outie Award! She is an amazing role model and advocate to the LGBT community.



To learn more about the 2016 Out & Equal Workplace Summit, click here.