10 Unexpected Must-Haves for Travel

Everyone has a tried and true packing list. Some items may change based on the destination or climate, but there are basics that exist on every packing list. We have a few unexpected items we do not leave home without, regardless of the space or destination.

They may surprise you!

  1. Travel-size flat iron – Not just for the ladies! Yes, a flat iron is great for taming the wayward sections of hair or getting that sleek, pin-straight look you crave. However, a flat-iron is an amazing tool when it comes to clothing too! Flatten seams, press the wrinkles out, patch a hole (be sure to pack a few iron-on patches), iron documents, uncurl collars, and fix a frayed hem (pack liquid stitch).
  2. Small Swiss Army knife – Oh the tools it holds! It doesn’t need to be very large, but a small multi-tool, secured in your checked luggage holds a wealth of benefit! Scissors to snip threads, remove tags etc. File to smooth rough patches or fingernails etc. Tweezers…The list goes on. Be sure to check with your airline however regarding carry-on and checked baggage rules for prohibited items. If we check a bag, I always have a small multi-tool secured inside. You can also which items are prohibited with TSA.
  3. Sharpie/Marker – A permanent marker is essential for labeling personal items (in a hidden spot) when staying at hostels, hotels and AirBnBs. You can also write your hotel name or emergency contact’s number on the inside of your wrist (where it won’t wash off) if you have a tendency to forget, get lost, or in case of an emergency.
  4. Clear Nail Polish – Guys should pack this as well. It has many uses. Stop a seam from fraying, stockings from running, protect a minor cut from dirt and water, lock in a thread knot, waterproof labels, secure buttons, seal envelopes, and secure screws (glasses!).
  5. Instant Coffee Pouches – Yep, you can get amazing coffee all over the world. I have been lucky enough to experience some of the truly unique and cultural ways this “nectar of the gods” is enjoyed all over the world. However, there are times where coffee is not readily available or you are in a rush. This is when your favorite on-the-go coffee packets are essential! Toss a couple into your carry-on and these can be added to cold or hot water. You can get just coffee or you can find flavored ones with creamer already in them.
  6. Collapsible Water Bottle – Reduce waste and save space! These fit easily into your “day bag” and carry-on but collapse small enough in some cases to fit in a large pocket! You can find these at sporting stores and online very easily!
  7. Safety Pins – Pack 4 to 6 of each size and secure them either in a small container, baggie or even pin them to the inside of your suitcase so they don’t go missing. These are helpful for all kinds of things from closing zippers that lose a pull tab, securing seams, and attaching belt loops that come apart.
  8. Eye Drops – Not just for contact lens users, although we suggest getting contact lens safe ones just in case. These not only help to hydrate dry eyes but can help rise your eyes should you get anything in them!
  9. Duct Tape – A small roll of duct tape can save broken luggage, repair shoes, avoid blisters, remove lint from clothing, plug sinks, catch flies, seal bottles, create braided rope…oh the uses for duct tape are many so do not leave home without some!
  10. Zip Ties –  This is another item that has some pretty cool uses! Unclog a drain, hang things up, secure rolled up clothing in a suitcase to save space, “Lock” your bag or zipper closed, makeshift handles, extra shoelaces, secure power cords, replace broken zipper pulls and close luggage with a broken zipper!


So, there you have it. Pack a few of these unexpected items and you won’t find yourself “up the creek” unprepared!

“Keep your heart open, a suitcase packed and wander often for the world is wide and adventure awaits!” ~ Emylee


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