Part of the stress of travel is having your belongings discombobulated all of the time. With everything mixed together instead of in their regular drawers and slots back home, it’s easy to feel scattered. While I’m a huge fan of my double sided packing cubes, it can be pricey to buy a bunch of them when you are going on a longer trip and need to pack more supplies. That’s when I bring these budget beauties to the packing table.

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Pencil Pouches

I buy the fabric, zippered pencil pouches with side grommets from the Dollar Tree for a buck a piece. The store is one of my favorite cheap places to shop for travel supplies, and the pencil pouches are one reason why. You can organize anything from chords and camera memory cards to nail care products with ease, and the grommets give the extra ability to secure them to certain interior locations in your luggage with carabiner clips.

Resealable Freezer Bags

Quart-sized bags are certainly the ones most travelers think of when it comes to this type of packing organizer, but you can use the gallon and pint-sized bags just as effectively. They are also available in large numbers at Dollar Tree, and provide extra protection from leaking product bottles. Travelers can also use them to separate out soiled laundry, keep socks and delicates protected, and organize smaller bits and bobs that don’t necessarily have their own section of luggage to hang out in.

Space Bags

They come in all sizes and certainly aren’t available for small change. That being said, they are much less expensive than extra pieces of luggage and the fees you have to pay in order to check them with the airlines. There’s a medium size we have that we are able to buy at around three bags for ten bucks. By putting clothing items inside and squeezing the air out, we are able to get by with smaller pieces of luggage. This makes traveling with carry-on luggage only much easier than it otherwise would be.

Delicate Laundry Pouches

These are three for a buck at my local dollar store, and serve a double purpose for me on long trips. First, they keep smaller clothing items organized inexpensively. Also, if I happen to come across a laundry facility in the developing world, I love to take a break from hand-washing my clothing in the sink. But the machines can be a bit rough on delicates. Having a few laundry bags for delicates I can toss into the washer makes me feel like I can relax and enjoy the chore break without wrecking items that would be expensive to replace.

Packing organizers don’t have to cost big bucks. These four items are proof of that. So if you’ve been avoiding long-term travel because you don’t feel like you can handle the discombobulation, think again. There are plenty of affordable ways to promote organized packing that can be put to use for the whole family. Even Rover’s saddle bags.

Myscha Theriault

Myscha Theriault

A lifelong money cruncher who can squeeze a nickel ‘til it cries, Myscha is a syndicated columnist, best-selling author, and founder of Trek Hound and We Be Sharin’.