Specialized “travel” products usually come with a significant price markup that you pay for fancy marketing and convenience. Although some of them are genuinely useful (like travel pillows), in most cases you can use home remedies to ease some of the stress and inconvenience that travel causes. Let’s look at some really cheap common items you can use on your next trip to make your life on the go a little bit easier!
A spare set of underwear
We are not talking about the underwear you have packed in your bag (or, in your carry on). Having an extra set of underwear on your personal bag can be a lifesaver, especially after sitting through long flights and trips. This can also work if you are stuck in the airport for hours waiting for a delayed connection. Just remember to bring a small bag to put discarded articles of clothing.
Seasoned pros can take it a step further and pack a small ziplock bag with an extra-casual outfit for those super long trips. If you want to do that, don’t forget to pack flip-flops. Flip-flops make everything better, whether you are in the gym, in the hotel or the airport. We certainly don’t suggest that you should dress like The Dude from Big Lebowski in public, but if you do, please send us a picture.
We’re not saying you should hoard everything, but empty containers such as Pringles cans, Tic-Tac boxes or egg cartons can be used to store nearly everything. You can easily put the contents of a whole jewellery box inside food packaging and nobody would ever notice. Not to mention that this method is relatively theft-proof: who in their right mind would think of rummaging through a box of -what seems like- potato chips?
Trash bags are a smart way to separate dirty items of clothing in your bag without stinking up everything else. This is especially useful if you are only travelling with a carry-on without many compartments. If for some reason you don’t want to use nylon bags, a pillowcase should work just as well. Just don’t mix dirty laundry with the rest of your clothes. Ew.
Compressions socks are, along with Crocs, two of the most hated pieces of footwear design in human history. However, they are loved by people who spend a lot of their time standing up, and that says something.
If you have a flight of over five hours coming up, try wearing compression socks instead of regular ones. They are not the most stylish fashion choice, but they feel like a foot massage and you will be much more rested after your trip.
You don’t need us to remind you that you should floss every day right? So, if you are a responsible adult, you’ll be caring dental floss anyway. What you might not know, however, is that unscented dental floss can have a host of other uses as well. Specifically, it works like a charm whenever you need an emergency thread. It’s not a permanent solution, but it beats walking around town with button-less trousers. Just don’t make a habit out of it.
Having some spare duct tape with you at all times is always a good idea. Things break, packages rip apart and luggage handles come off. Nothing a little duct tape can’t fix! If you don’t have room for the whole roll, just wrap the duct tape around an empty water bottle (you should always carry an empty travel bottle with you at the airport). It takes up less space, and you will have more than enough in case something goes awry.
Ear plugs and eye mask
Together they cost less than £10 and they can save your life. Not only are they perfect for flights with obnoxious passengers, but you can also use them at the hotel so you can get a few extra minutes of deep sleep. For a few pounds, you can enter a mini sensory deprivation mode anywhere you are. Goodbye high-altitude screaming children, hello peaceful slumber!
Do not underestimate the power of the noodle! Loved by broke students all over the world, this incredibly cheap (and super unhealthy) food can save your skin on a low-cost flight. Why pay £3 on a bowl of noodles when you can simply get five of them for half the price? Kindly ask the flight attendants to give you some hot water when you’re hungry and enjoy the preservative-rich fruits of your frugality.
Security is very important when you travel, and sometimes, you need to make sure you are protected. Door wedges usually keep doors open, but they can also be used to keep them closed shut. If you’re staying at a cheaper hotel or in a sketchy Airbnb room, this little gizmo can help you sleep easier at night.
Bar of soap
Did you know that you can avoid stinking up your luggage if you throw a bar of soap in your dirty laundry bag? A dryer sheet is another great solution, but bars of soap are cheaper and readily available for free at hotel rooms.
You may lose the sunglasses, but for some reason, you can never lose the case. If you have a spare one lying around, you can use it to neatly store power cords and maintain your normal sanity levels. No more lost or tangled cables!
If you are carrying a blush or powder with you, you can cover it with a cotton pad to ensure it won’t break during your travel. Cosmetic products tend to be quite pricey, but protecting them doesn’t take much effort.