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Trying to decide what to pack for travelling is hard. In fact, so is trying to pack for a short trip so it all fits in your carry-on. There are about 23471493 posts telling you what you should pack and how you should do it, but I have 7 things you should always pack, but that are often forgotten. And they all cost pennies!
These are the type of things that are not necessarily used every day on your trip, but believe me, they can definitely save your bacon when you do need them. Travelling is unpredictable but you will be able to give yourself a good pat on the back for having them with you.
I don’t mean a whole ball of the stuff, but a few metres coiled up in a small pocket somewhere will be dead handy at some point. It can be used for holding your backpack together if it starts to break and It’s better to catch it early before it just breaks further. There will almost definitely be times where you run out of clothes and end up doing laundry in your bathroom sink, so use the string to make a washing line. It’s up to you, but I always find it best to do this kind of thing when I’m in a private room so It’s only me who has to put up with stuff hanging everywhere! Might be a bit awkward if It’s your undies as well!
2. SAFETY PINS
I would recommend taking a few different sizes with you to cover a variety of uses. Clothes wearing out is a thing that just happens when you’re travelling, but a little pin can hold things together like loose hems, buttons and even shoes. They can also be used as a keyring if you have a strong enough pin. Curtains can sometimes be a bit naff so pinning them together can make things a bit more comfy, and let’s be honest, that sunrise is not always appreciated after a heavy night out!
3. ZIP-LOCK AND CARRIER BAGS
Organise Organise Organise! Everything from toiletries to clothes to that soggy towel can be shoved in a plastic bag. Recycling is such an important thing to get involved with so this is a good way to do just that. I find It’s handy to have a bag per type of clothing i.e. all your tops in one and all your shorts in another etc and I always put my toiletry bag inside a carrier bag just in case it leaks. Nothing worse than opening your bag to a soapy mess. You can also hang things you don’t want in your case like muddy boots or a wet towel in a bag from the outside of your luggage. It’s good to note that many places now charge extra for carrier bags in shops so put a carrier bag in your day bag. Why pay more when you don’t need to!
4. CARABINER CLIPS
Those funny clips that you thought were only used in climbing? Think again! They’re dead handy for other everyday things like clipping stuff to the outside of your bag such as a flak or using them as a keyring and keep it clipped to the inside of your day bag for extra security.
So this is a bit of an obvious one if you’re staying in hostels. No one wants their stuff to be nicked so make sure you keep it out of sight. Some hostel lockers have a coded lock but most are a standard lock and key. Some hostels might charge a fee to hire a lock so it’s a good idea to take a couple of sizes to make sure you can avoid this. It doesn’t have to be some mega hefty thing that’s gonna add a tonne of weight to your case, but something half decent is advisable. It’s mostly just to be seen as a deterrent.
A lot of the time accommodation is absolutely fine. If you’re staying in budget places like I do, you can kind of get the feel of things from reviews and just how budget it actually is. But sometimes, you will get somewhere and just think ‘oh shit’. It’s unclean, smells funky, and worst of all, the bed doesn’t look great. Not what you were expecting at all. but having your own pillowcase can give you a bit of security in knowing where that’s been. A bit of comfort amongst the potential disappointment. It also makes a great laundry bag as well!
Sudocrem is something I swear by. It’s an antiseptic cream so can be used on cuts and grazes once they have been cleaned to help them heal. But it can also blizt away a spot, help sooth Eczema, sunburn and chilblains. It’s a proper all in one solution and it comes in a variety of sizes, perfect for travelling.
So there are the 7 items that you should not be travelling without! All can be bought super cheaply, if not scrounged for free from friends and family. They really can make a tricky situation a bit more manageable and will hardly take up any space in your bag. So make sure these are on your list!
BONUS ITEM – PERFECT FOR WINTER TRIPS
If you’re going off on an amazing winter getaway, then, first of all, I’m very jealous, and secondly, you should get hold of some small hand warmers. There are reusable ones available for a few pounds on places like Amazon and will help you keep cosy and therefore out and about exploring for longer!