Five 'Life-Saving' Items to add to Your Regular Packing List
You're getting ready for your next trip. The suitcase is open on the bed, and you're going down the list of everything you'll need to take with you
Here are few factors to consider in selecting a tour that is best for you:
Sandals? Check. Wind breaker? Check. Sunscreen? Check
Duct tape? Wait... what?
You read that correctly. A small roll of duct tape takes up a tiny bit of space, but can save you in tons of different ways. Patch a tear in your shoes, jacket, or trusty bag. Baby proof a hotel room in ten seconds by covering outlets and taping drawers shut. Hem your pants.
Use as a bandage in an emergency. The list goes on and on.
Here are four more things that should become part of your regular packing list:
External USB battery charger. Nothing is more exasperating or panic-inducing than finding yourself lost and needing to pull up that email with directions, or that map to your hotel, or make a phone call - and having your smartphone conk out on you. Save outlet space in airports, hotels, train stations, and other oft-traveled places. Always have a way to charge up your phone, tablet, or other USB powered electronic device, even if there are no outlets available.
The humble safety pin can be an amazing asset. Aside from the usual functions - holding your pants or shirt together, for example, when you lose a button - they also can serve to bundle small items like jewelry or keys, to keep everything organized and in one place. Discretely place a pin on the inside hem of a slip or satin jacket lining to eliminate static cling. Use them to attach easily-lost things like mittens to the zipper or hood of your kids' jackets.
A few strips of chamois (or other absorbent fabric) in different sizes. You can keep them all in a zip-lock bag (along with a couple of other bags for temporarily storing used cloths until you can wash them) - but having different sizes helps for different situations, and it's best to choose fabrics that are also quick-drying. Small squares for cleaning glasses. A washcloth for bigger spills or for freshening up at a rest stop. Use a bandana-sized piece to tie back your hair or, when dampened, tie around your head on a hot day to keep cool. A long, narrower strip can serve as an emergency belt, hair tie, ace bandage, or even a way to tie a bag closed if a zipper breaks. They even make fantastic travel towels, because they roll up into a compact size, suck up the liquid, and dry completely in no time at all.