10 Weird things you need to pack for travel

/10 Weird things you need to pack for travel

10 Weird things you need to pack for travel

10 Weird things you need to pack for travel

Style points! (Image via amosbarzeev/ Unsplash)

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.

Weird things to pack

Dude should’ve wrapped his bottle in a baggie! Also, who puts a watch in their suitcase? (Image via linalitvina/Unsplash)

Clothes Pin

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.

Clothes pin

Image via via Wikipedia

Dental Floss

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. 

dental floss uses

Image via via M.Alexander AOL.com

Duct Tape

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.

travelling duct tape

Ziplock Bags

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.

large zip lock bag

I’ve never gone this big, but I’m tempted…

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!

(Image via: image via LF Press)

(Image via: image via LF Press)

Baby Wipes

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.

travel wipes

Petzl Headlamp

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.

travel headlamp

Also makes a great gift for kids of any age!

Power Strip

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?

white power outlet


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.

Whistle on string

Safety Pins

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.

safety pin uses

A gal’s gotta do what a gal’s gotta do… (Image via Goodhousekeeping.com

What weird items do you travel with?

If you liked this, you’ll want to read:


What to do when you lose your ID travelling

How to breeze through airport security

About the Author:

I’m a freelance writer with bad hair, a loud mouth and a serious case of wanderlust. Whether it’s luggage, time or just life, I cram as much as possible into small compartments. Warning: Contents may shift during flight. My life is one bumpy ride! Follow me on Twitter or Pinterest.


  1. Katrin 16.09.2016 at 01:35 - Reply

    This is one of the best posts on packing tips I’ve read! So very practical and also fun 😉

    Totally agree on the duct tape, ziplock bags and the safety pins. Not sure about the power strip (although I can se the use for it!), a bit big and weighty if you want to pack light. The head lamp is smart, haven’t thought of that!

    One thing I’d like to add together with the wipes are paper napkins, even if you don’t have a cold at the moment. They can serve as toilet paper when the public loo is out of it, napkins when you eat your gooey to-go-meal, save your clothes when you spill something on them, or serve as a picnic cloth. And you can of course blow your nose as well 🙂 The packages are small and soft, so you can stash them in all those tiny spaces between all your other stuff in the suitcase.


    • Jody 16.09.2016 at 14:51 - Reply

      Thanks, Katrin! Great tip on the paper napkins!

  2. Miranda 20.09.2016 at 10:47 - Reply

    I totally agree with Katrin! Wipes are a godsend, especially if you’re outdoorsy or a mom. My non-mom packing essentials are two bottle shaped bubble wrap bags I bought in South Africa while wine touring. They completely encase your precious bottles of foreign plonk, ensuring a dry trip home in your checked luggage. 🙂

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