Travelling Tips…

I’m just thinking of something different to share and discuss. Here we go: Please name a few items you drag along on a trip that would be considered “out of the ordinary” or unusually strange to pack. For me it’s a tennis ball to roll my achey feet on at the end of a very long day. I’ve learned the hard way to bring extra shoelaces when the laces of one of my tennis shoes snapped in two. Moleskin for blisters have helped also. An eyeglass repair kit with those itty-bitty tiny screws was essential more than once. Duck-tape was important because my suitcase tore coming out from the baggage carousel at the airport another time. Everyone knows to bring a mini sewing kit and a mini flashlight saved me another time. A picture of my credit cards, front and back hidden somewhere and password protected along with my passport and all the hotel numbers and emergency contact Tauck phone numbers and to take it a step further the U.S. embassies (depending where I’m going out of the country) are all in my phone in a secure place. etc. What do you bring out of the ordinary?



  • I carry a piece of black crepe to cover that awful little red light on the TV that always shines in my eye. I drape it over the tv before going to bed. It doesn’t take up any more room in luggage than a man’s handkerchief.

  • My husband and I both like to use the nylon bath scrubbies so we take cheap dollar store ones. In order to hang them up to dry I found inexpensive plastic S hooks. The hooks also are handy for drying other things when I sink wash them.

    Another handy item found on Amazon was a set of small double ended carabiner clips (S-biner is one brand). If you have a day bag without locking zippers you can clip one on and secure it to deter thieves. Handy for other uses too.

  • My hubbie teases me about overpacking, but my duct tape has saved the day several times - from fixing broken sandals to mending a torn hem. We pack a small outlet strip for charging all of our devices, and for plugging in a nightlight, which has saved our toes in the dark. On a cruise, I pack a magnetic clip or two to hang all the daily paper info on the (metal) walls to keep them off the table. Always carry a pen/pad with us, since we can't remember stuff anymore...

  • edited August 2022

    A corkscrew for opening a bottle of wine.

    12 PM addition......... bandages and antibacterial cream for when my husband cuts himself opening the wine.

  • My journal—every night I write about where we were, what we did, unusual things that might have happened. Much of what I journal I capture in the photo books I create post trip. As someone else mentioned, memory gets shorter as I get older. These tours are so jam-packed that I can’t recall what I did from one day to the next unless I’ve written it down.

  • Traveled with a cork screw all over the world in hand carry, it was small and the screw fitted in the handle no problems with it even post 9/ 11 until we were leaving a small Caribbean island coming back to the US, we had been to before They took it! But nowadays, so many wines are screw top. Only some people think screw tops are inferior.

    Our unusual item, is we don’t use locks for our bags, we use zip ties, carry a bunch of them for all the hotel changes. We keep them and a small pair of scissors in one of the suitcase outside pockets. If the airport people want to open the case, they can just cut them off. This is a good way for us to instantly see if our bag has been tampered with. We got fed up of FAA locks disappearing before this. Never been any issues with the scissors as they are in checked luggage.

  • I just re-read OurTravals34 post again and realized I had missed her excellent suggestion of knowing the locations and phone numbers of U.S embassies when traveling abroad. I do this as well and also include the embassy of the country I still maintain citizenship in.

    I remember someone on another thread mentioned she takes a battery operated tea light to help light the way in the middle of the night. I now have that on my list. I also have a small, solar powered light that clips to my crossbody bag. It comes in handy when I don't wish to fumble around for my cell phone to use the flashlight feature.

    I have a tiny manual lock that I use to secure the carry-on tote I take on trips. Even though the tote spends most of its time in the overhead bin, it makes me feel secure. I'll have to investigate carabiner clips. I never heard of the word but am now intrigued.

    With such a great topic for a thread, I was hoping for more input. As I go through my "travel drawer" I might add more.

    Thanks, OurTravels34.

  • I always secure my carryon that I put in the overhead bin on over nite flights. Years ago I woke up and saw a lady going thru the over head bins. She said she couldn’t remember where her luggage was. The flight attendant made her sit down and he opened the bin above her seat and her carryon was there. Me thinks she had sticky fingers. When everyone is more or less asleep it’s easy pickings.

  • I always travel with foldable plastic hangers that I use to dry items that I have washed out in the sink.

  • Carabiner clips are found in stores by the area where they cut keys. Home Depot, Lowes, etc.

  • I have some of those clips but the one I use the most is the clip that locks. I sometimes worry when I use a backpack while everything is behind me, and I can’t see. This small clip connects two of the main zippers together and it takes a few moments (maybe longer) to undo them to open the main section of my backpack. I purchased them at REI.

  • These are the ones I bought on Amazon. $9 Prime for a set of 10.

  • Thanks, OurTravels34. I'll look into the locking ones.

  • edited August 2022

    This are the ones I have. If you see the small black knob in the middle, that twists to lock it. THe other picture is just bigger. A passenger on a plane sitting next to me took his backpack from the above storage compartment and fasten and unfastened this small gadget. He simply said he feels more safe with it locked. It can be used also on a handbag, etc.

  • OurTravels34
    2:33PM edited 2:33PM
    This are the ones I have.

  • Thanks again, OurTravels34, but I was looking for something that only I could unlock. I wish I can remember where I purchased my tiny combination lock. I think it was at the Auto Club's travel section...decades ago.

    We have an excellent luggage store not too far from here that sells all kinds of travel-related items and gadgets. I think it's time to pay them a visit!

  • I think the problems with locks, like the little "TSA" locks we use, is that I don't believe all other countries have the "TSA key," so if they want access to your bag to check something without you, they will just snip off the lock and sometimes (in the process?) break the zipper pull tab. Both have happened to us a couple of times now.

    Thieves don't even need to snap the lock. I watched a segment on 60 min. where a security expert opened a bag in less the 5 seconds, just by using an awl (small pointy tool) to separate the zipper. He was able to re-close the zipper so the bag didn't look like it had ever been opened, nearly as quickly. The same system, without re-closing the zipper can happen to back-packs, purses, etc. at the hands of a thief / pickpocket in crowded cities. Even Rick Steves has fallen victim to pickpockets!

    I guess locks are to keep honest people honest. These days US and 1st world airport baggage handling systems are mostly automated and fast (when they work), so there is little time for an employee (thief) to open and steal something. And of course, while a bit slower, loading and unloading baggage on the plane is still fast but done in view of many sets of eyes. In bigger US and 1st world countries baggage is more than likely to be mis-routed during transfer than pilferred, unless by an organized group as happened in LAX in 2014..

  • I know it's not "unusual", but you'd be surprised how many people do not travel with extra eyeglasses. As an optician, I've heard so many stories from patients about lost or broken pairs. Monkeys taking them in Gibraltar, losing them whitewater rafting (my husband), etc. Taking a copy of your Rx isn't enough - few places can make new lenses before your tour leaves town. Plus most (slightly) older people have more complicated prescriptions like multifocals.

    Lucky for my husband, he's married to a professional who recommends that you never leave the state without extra glasses. Not so lucky for his favorite bathing suit that was also lost in the Colorado River. But that's another story...😉

  • We have both ended up with broken specs on tours, but always have a spare pair.

  • edited August 2022

    I also travel with an extra pair of scleral contact lenses, extra pair of sunglasses too is a necessity for me. Blind as a bat.

  • Just sunglasses here. I had surgery for cataracts. Now I am free of the specs. Guess you all aren’t old enough yet.

  • Thank you Alan. Just received my Nite Ize carabiner yesterday. They are a big improvement over what I've been using. I pack extra regular and sunglasses. When cycling/hiking I wear the older pairs attached to a lanyard around my neck.

  • What a great thread! Thank you.

  • As I rummage through my travel drawer, I have a few more suggestions.....

    • eyeglass case to store my husband's razor and styptic pencil
    • the small, plastic Q-tip case (empty) for storing earrings
    • a small package (20 count) of antibacterial wipes to sterilize our arm rests and airline tray tables (a pre-COVID habit).
    • empty medicine bottle(s) for storing small odds and ends
    • small cedar blocks for keeping luggage bug-free and fragrant
    • travel-sized face products and cosmetics
  • I also line the bottom and top of my suit case with black trash bags to protect the contents of the luggage if left too long in the rain while being loaded on or off a plane. After I unpack the luggage I put The piece inside the trash bag before storing under the bed. No need to pick up any unwanted bugs .

  • kfnknfzk's post reminded me of something I learned the hard way on my latest trip. I kept setting off the TSA alarm, and the TSA agent was quite frustrated with me when I kept telling him that I did not have an artificial knee. When I emptied my pockets, I learned that my packs of CVS antibacterial hand wipes were packed in foil that set off the alarm. That hadn't occurred to me. So, from now on, those packets will go in my purse, and not in my pockets.

  • edited September 2022

    While waiting in line to be scanned, or even before getting in line, I empty my pockets, remove my watch, fitbit, reading glasses etc. and put the contents in a little bag which I then put in my carry-on camera bag instead of in a scanner tub or tray. When required to remove my belt I put that in my camera bag as well. That way there is no danger of leaving anything in the tub and I can move away quickly after being scanned and retrieving my camera bag and shoes. I don't know how many times I've seen lines being held up because someone failed to empty their pockets one or more times!!

    I always point to the scar on my knee, so that if available, I get sent through the body scanner instead of the metal detector, but many places use or also use wands.

  • I usually have nothing in my pocket except tissues, so no need to empty my pockets. This time was an exception...I thought for "easy access" lesson learned!

  • My daughter for unknown reasons gifted my husband and I a pair of not so attractive Croc slip-on shoes. Even though I thought I would never wear them except in the yard, lo and behold, I found they are adequate for navigating the airports (slip-on and off is definitely a plus factor). I also discovered they are excellent on safari because you can hose them off with soap and water. Go figure! They remind me of the 60’s. My daughter still might convert my clothes style. Maybe not.

  • Croc also makes some not bad looking sandals that I've taken on tours for pool shoes. I'm on my third pair of the Cleo style. Can remember wearing a pair on our first river cruise sightseeing in Lyon. They are super lightweight.

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