Posts tagged: travel tips
It shouldn’t cost a fortune to outfit your travel kit and many of the most practical items you can pack are things you may already have around the house. I sometimes fly out on short notice so my bag stays ready to go. Here are five inexpensive items I don’t like to leave home without:
Duct tape: I pick up small rolls in the hardware store $1 bin. The strong tape has helped me mend a broken sandal, patch a tear in my day pack and keep my sunglasses together long enough to make it home.
Small bar of hotel soap: The soap does more than lather up. I keep a bar of good soap in my my luggage to keep it smelling fresh and occasionally slide a bar along the zipper on my suitcase to keep it zipping smoothly. (My favorite scented hotel product has to be the Time to Chocolate line offered by the historic Sacher Hotels. Yum!)
Sewing kit and folding scissors: Buttons fall off, hems come unstitched. I’d rather do almost anything than sew, but sometimes a stitch or two is necessary. Most upscale hotels provide a tiny sewing kit. It there isn’t one in your room, just ask. The tiny pair of folding scissors can help with everything from opening packaging to a quick trim of the bangs.
Wet wipes: It’s been years since I changed a baby’s diaper on the road but I still keep a small packet of fragrance-free wet wipes with me to use for everything from wiping down the germy airplane seatback tray to cleaning mud off my shoes.
Extra reclosable plastic bags. The TSA isn’t the only reason to have a stash of extra baggies around. They’re handy for bagging up sandy beach souvenirs and separating prone-to-leak toiletries. Larger bags can be used to sort and compress clothing to create more room in your suitcase.
Cheryl-Anne Millsap is a travel writer whose audio essays can be heard on Spokane Public Radio and on public radio stations across the country. She is the author of ‘Home Planet: A Life in Four Seasons’ and can be reached at email@example.com
In the Departures section of the latest issue of AAA Western Journey Magazine, I contributed a list of my own travel tips and tools; suggested uses for items you might have at home in your own closet or medicine cabinet.
One tip that didn't make the list is actually my favorite. In fact, I use it often.
Hotel rooms, especially in Europe, can be chilly in winter. So, to combat cold feet, before going to bed I fill a disposable (and watertight!) plastic water bottle with hot water. As hot as I can get it without actually softening the plastic. Then I slip the bottle into a soft cashmere sock kept in my luggage for exactly that purpose, tuck the homemade hot water bottle under the covers and slip in with it.
Of course, my quick fix doesn't stay hot as long as a traditional hot water bottle, but it helps me stay warm, relax and get to sleep. The next morning I either put the empty bottle back in my day pack or, it there's an option, recycle it.
Most frequent travelers find a way to “MacGyver” fixes for issues that come up. But, as a friend said, leave it to a woman to figure out a way to warm up her “popsicle toes.”