You’re no idiot. You know to pack an extra credit card and cash when you travel. You’ve got enough sox and undies to last a full week. Congrats, bro! But what you probably don’t know is how some innocuous everyday items can transform your travel experience. Here are 10 super weird yet essential items you ought to pack on your next trip.
Besides the obvious use of hanging your garments, a clothes pin can ensure you get a good night’s sleep. How? Use it to clip curtains together, so early morning light doesn’t disturb your slumber. It’s also handy to prevent a half eaten bag of potato chips from going stale. Clip your travel receipts together or use a wooden one for kindling if you need to start a fire.
As important as dental hygiene is, that’s not why I’m recommending bringing the floss. With dental floss you can string it across the room to make an impromptu clothes line or even hang a light blanket from it to give you a bit of privacy. Best is you can literally (not figuratively) cut the cheese with dental floss and divvy up desserts such as cheesecake when a knife isn’t at hand.
No need to tote a massive roll of this all purpose tape. Travel-sizes are available and are worth your consideration. With duct tape you can repair almost anything including a damaged suitcase, ripped clothing or shoes on their last legs. Duct tape can be used to plug a sink or seal a cut just like a Band-Aid. It can’t mend a broken heart, but it can fix pretty much everything else. Oh, and if you’re the DIY type, check out these clever duct tape projects.
I always travel with at least two empty, large ziplock bags. Stinky or wet clothes like bathing suits can be sealed away without affecting other garments. More importantly, you should place bottles of booze inside ziplock bags before packing them in your suitcase. I’ve never had a break, but beer has escaped from a glass bottle (loose metal cap). Fortunately, the sealed ziplock prevented my suitcase from smelling like a frat party. Shampoo and other liquids should be placed in these sealed bags as well.
Copy of Your ID
Take a picture of your driver’s license and/or passport with your smart phone before your trip. Share it with another adult in case your phone and wallet are stollen. I’ve twice boarded domestic flights with both the print and/or electronic version. Gasp!
Even if you don’t have a kid, baby wipes are super handy for disinfecting surfaces and wiping down hands when a sink is out of reach. You can’t predict spills, but your clothes are less likely to get damaged if you dab dirty spots quickly. Can’t get to a shower? Sponge bath your pits, feet and best parts with a wipe and you’ll feel oh-so fresh after.
Flashlights (even the kind on your iPhone) are cumbersome because you have to hold onto them. Far better is to tote a lightweight headlamp. That way, you can read in the dark on those overnight buses or in the hostel dorm. It’s also a confidence booster when you’re moseying down a street after dark that isn’t well lit. You may look like a dweeb, but better safe than sorry.
Hotel power outlets always seem to have too many other essentials plugged into them. Bringing along a multi-socket strip means you can charge all your devices in one location and still have the lamp on. Better yet, you can pop that baby into a socket at the airport and be your gate’s hero. Everyone could use a little boost, right?
Outdoor adventurers know to bring a whistle when they go out into the woods, and the same holds true for other destinations. Whistles scare people and animals away. They can alert others you’re in danger, need help or if you’re clubbing, you can chime in with the EDM like all the other cool kids.
Thieves have a tougher time slipping into your daypack when you’ve clipped your zippers together with a safety pin. Missing buttons and busted zippers can be closed up as well. Hems are easily tacked up, as are pant legs when you’re riding a bike and don’t fancy getting tangled in the chain. And, like it’s cousin the clothes pin, you can fuse curtains together for optimal sleeping conditions.