Tuesday, April 23

TRAVEL TUESDAY: 10 Nifty Little Items You Never Pack...But Should

Most of us remember to pack the essentials, clothes, shoes and deodorant ...please! But what about the unexpected? What happens when you forget the little things that could help make your trip a little easier? I have put together a list of a few things that sometimes get left behind but turn out to be a necessity.

Chances are, you already own most of the things on this list but just never realized how useful they can be for navigating unexpected travel snags. No matter where you're traveling next, there are a few things you can add to your grab-and-go bag that will make everything run a little more smoothly. 

Unexpected Meds
  • Tylenol PM This comes in useful for those nights when you are a little too achy from walking too much. It is also helps you fall asleep faster if you have an early day the next morning.
  • Imodium & Antacids Eating foods around the world can do strange things to your stomach.
  • Dramamine Whether you are riding a roller coaster or the Orient Express, you never can tell what will make you nauseous and/or dizzy. 

Power Strip Outlet shortage at the airport? A multi-socket power strip helps share the juice from a single public outlet. Forgot your charging iPod in your hotel room? By plugging all of your electronics into the same place, you'll be less likely to leave one behind. One catch: Abroad, you'll need to use an adapter and a converter.

The list of obvious uses for a bandanna is long. Use it as a hand towel, lens cleaner, eye mask, hair tie, headband, scarf and cooling device when wet. This versatile carry-on can also work in a pinch as a pillow when you tie it around a bundled-up sweater, as a sling for a sprained arm, and even as a hobo handbag to tote your belongings.

Duct Tape From bandaging up exploded luggage to removing lint from clothing, duct tape earns its all-purpose reputation. Carry a small roll with you to patch tears in well-worn guidebooks, shoes, bags, or clothing. You can easily baby-proof your hotel room by covering outlets and securing drawers shut and so much more.

Travel Mug To prevent damage, transport sunglasses or delicate souvenirs in an empty travel mug with a wide mouth, just make sure it's got a secure screw top. During your trip, the mug can be an eco-friendly to-go cup or a great decoy for stashing valuables in your hotel room. A coffee-stained thermos is an unlikely target for thieves.

Moist Towelettes They aren't just for babies! Not only can you sanitize your hands and kill germs on tray tables, doorknobs, tabletops, and other public places, you can also use them as a refreshing face cloth after a day spent in transit. The alcohol in many wet wipes helps remove clothing stains in a pinch, too. 

Silicone Travel Bottles TSA-approved mini bottles are old news to an experienced traveler. But their rigid plastic shells waste expensive moisturizer, sunscreen, and hair products that can't be squeezed out. Enter squishy travel bottles made out of transparent, soft silicone: easy to clean, more flexible to pack, and good 'til the last drop. 

Safety Pins The safety pin is a multi-functional travel tool. Clasp the zippers of your day pack together to deter thieves, use in place of a missing button, zipper pull, or to mend other wardrobe malfunctions, tack pant legs up when hiking through mucky terrain; even prevent static cling in a dress or skirt by slipping the safety pin into the seam of your skirt.

Tote Bag Many shops abroad charge extra for single-use plastic bags, so BYO bag with an expandable tote. Bring one that's tough enough to toss around as a carry-on and handle farmers market, picnic, and beach items, too. At the end of your trip you can pack your dirty laundry in your tote before adding it to your suitcase. It will preserve the freshness of any clean clothes that are left. 

Pashmina or Shawl If you have packed only sundresses or tanks and shorts for your summer vacation be prepared for a rude awakening. I can guarantee you at some point during your trip you will wish you had packed something to keep yourself warm. You might think a Caribbean  island could never turn cooler or that a temperature controlled cruise ship would be nippy....but they do and are. The cruise industry knows about getting cooler, in fact I bought my pashmina while cruising one Summer. BTW if you are planning a trip overseas many cathedrals won't allow you in with bare shoulders or knees. A shawl can easily double as a make-shift skirt if need be. 

The following items need no explanation:

  • Outlet adapters
  • Mini-umbrella
  • Clothesline
  • Travel alarm
  • Extra batteries
  • Nail clippers
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Zip lock bags
  • Mini first-aid kit
As you begin packing for your Summer vacation I hope this little list will prompt your mind for any additional items that would aide in making your trip run smoothly. HAPPY TRAILS!


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