Tuesday, April 27, 2010

20 Creative Packing Extras

We wanted to share this fantastic list of creative and practical extras to pack when traveling abroad, especially for budget travelers, adventure travelers, and backpackers. Pure genius! (You’ll thank us later.)

• Sarong: A large piece of lightweight material that can be used as a quick-drying towel, blanket, pillow, etc.

• Extra pair of insoles for when shoes get wet. A second pair of insoles is much lighter than a second pair of shoes.

• Inflatable hangers: Clothes dry faster ($5 at AAA, light and tiny).

• The two most useful medicines: Tylenol is a general analgesic and helps reduce fatigue. Benadryl is a great sedative and sleep aid.

• Small suction cups with hooks: To hang a toiletry bag from the mirror in small bathrooms and to dangle money belt from the youth-hostel shower wall.

• Earplugs for sleeping at night. Bring some even if you don’t think you’ll use them.

• Ziplock bags: To save theater stubs, train tickets, subway tickets, and all kinds of other tiny souvenirs; to store your wet insoles; or to preserve the other half of that huge cafe sandwich.

• Dental floss or fishing line: Strong, versatile, waterproof, nearly weightless. Could double as a shoelace or used to mend backpacks or clothing.

• A combination alarm clock/flashlight/motion-sensor ($30 from Brookstone): Attach to the hotel door or window. If someone moves the door or window, the motion sensor emits a high-pitched sound similar to a fire alarm.

• If you have a fancy camera, a little black electrician’s tape across the brand name discourages thieves. What appears to be a generic camera is almost worthless to those who regularly “hunt” Canon, Leica, Nikon, and so on.

• A headlight instead of a flashlight. Better for reading in bed. Frees your hands if needed.

• Post-It notes to flag guidebooks.

• The Body Shop’s “Refreshing Foot Spray” and “Peppermint Foot Lotion” in small, travel-size bottles to soothe tired, aching feet.

• Put your extra camera lenses in a thick ankle sock. You can toss them in your day pack without worrying about damage and they take up less room than bulky lens cases.

• Tie something distinctive, like a ribbon, to your luggage handle for quick spotting at airport carousels.

• Safety pins. You’ll be surprised how often these come in handy. Affix them to the inside of your backpack or luggage where you can find them easily.

• Mailing tubes: To collect prints, posters and souvenirs you may want to keep, also handy for small items and breakables.

• Digital tape recorder: a great way to catch the waves, traffic, sounds in the cafés, and more and send to friends via the Internet accompanied by digital photos.

• Combo journal/scrapbook: Bring a simple, lightweight journal (Moleskins are perfect), some colored pens and a glue stick. As you write each day, add creative touches by sketching in color, paste in museum tickets, or even cut/paste local brochures, café napkins, etc.

• Vitamin B6: Makes your blood undesirable to mosquitoes. Best if taken a few days in advance.

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