A universal packing checklist is a must have, but there may be some items you haven’t thought of. The items below take up very little space and can easily be packed in your carry on bag. Not only do these items serve multiple purposes, they will save you from discomfort on your next trip. Check out our list below of the 10 things we never leave home with out!
1. Hair Ties
If you don’t have long hair, this may not be first on your list, or on your list at all…but hair bands are incredibly useful! Unlike regular rubber bands, these have a stronger, bungee like texture. You can use them to tie your cords and chargers together, as a money clip for credit cards and cash, and as way to keep your socks paired up as they float around your suitcase.
2. Power Strip
If you pack a power strip you will only need one universal travel converter to charge all your devices. Simply make sure your travel converter has three prongs and will fit into your power strip. You can then plug the whole thing into a wall outlet and charge all your devices using their normal plugs.
Corkscrews without a blade can be carried on through TSA checkpoints. You can use them to get rocks out of the bottom of your shoes/suitcase wheels, untie knots or to tighten the screws on your eyeglasses. Of course, our favorite use is for opening wine!
If you are traveling internationally you will need a pen to fill out your landing card and various other immigration documents. They are also helpful for jotting down notes or directions.
5. (Talc Free) Baby Powder
Have you ever wondered why stores sell mini bottles of corn starch in the travel aisle? Because it’s so useful! Not only does baby powder prevent chafing (which can be inevitable during long days of walking around), it can be used for a variety of things you may have never thought of.
Going to the beach? Sprinkle some baby powder over your skin to help you remove sticky sand. Visiting a humid climate? A light sprinkling of baby powder over your sheets will help keep them cool through the night. It can also be used as a deodorizer for your sweaty shoes and as a substitute for dry shampoo in your hair.
This one is noted on almost every blog, and for good reason! Its a necessary item for all destinations regardless of temperature. A scarf can be used as a blanket or extra travel pillow on cold uncomfortable planes. Scarfs are especially helpful for female travelers who may be required to cover their shoulders or head in religious places. You can also use a scarf as a sarong or mini picnic blanket at the beach!
7. Shower Caps
Aside from their obvious use in the shower, they can also be used to wrap the bottom of your shoes before you pack them into your suitcase. If you are staying in a hotel, you can use a shower cap to cover the remote. (Take it from two folks with hospitality degrees…those things are not cleaned regularly!)
8. Disinfecting Wipes
Speaking of germs, you’ll want to pack a travel size package of disinfecting wipes. Use them to wipe of you airplane arm rest and tray table. Nobody wants to get sick on vacation!
9. Reusable Tote Bag
It happens to the best of us; everything fits into your suitcase on the way to your destination, but after unrolling your careful packing and purchasing souvenirs along the way, you’ve suddenly outgrown your bags! Avoid buying an overpriced bag at the airport by bringing your own to start with.
A lightweight canvas bag doesn’t take up space in your suitcase and can be used for grocery shopping during your travels. If you’re looking for something a bit fancier, you can’t go wrong with a neutral colored Long Champ. Expecting to bring home lots of gifts or new items? We sometimes carry a fold-able duffel bag that helps us expand our luggage as necessary!
Postcards are a fun extra that don’t take up any space. Use them as bookmarks or notepaper. Our favorite reason to bring them is to use them as impromptu thank you cards. We’ve left them behind to thank our Airbnb hosts and hotel staff. It’s a great way to share appreciation from your corner of the world!