Travel essentials?

violetwestApril 25, 2014

What are the little things you bring on trips that you can't live without? (sure this has been addressed before, but since I'm going on a trip tomorrow . . . )

My things are:
--ziplock bags with moist wipes and tissues
--more ziplock bags with snacks -- typically trail mix
--phone charger!
--my fan. Yes, a fan, both for my constant hotness and for white noise. I think this is why my bag is always opened -- scanners are like, what the heck is that?

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Something to read.
Prescription meds (boring but true!).
Regular glasses (I wear contacts but not 24/7).

The only thing I really obsess over are my contacts, glasses, and prescriptions. Pretty much anything else can be bought if necessary!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 4:37PM
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I now have several of those GoToobs in the 3-oz size for shampoo, etc. they do work and don't leak. And packing cubes for underwear and socks and other small items. Really good space savers. Always carry a spare pair of undies and a clean shirt plus my makeup and brush in my carry-on when I check a larger bag.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 5:15PM
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If we are staying in a small room for any length of time, I take an over the door shoe holder to put all the little stuff in. Helps to keep stuff from getting lost and disorganized. Hairbrushes, phones, binoculars, keys, etc. all fit in a pocket and saves our table top space.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 6:12PM
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A small pump-spray bottle. Fill it with water, spray wrinkled clothes, use the hair dryer on them, and presto -- wrinkles gone! Or fill it with vodka, and it's a quick dry-clean for travel-weary garments.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 6:12PM
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like sueb I obsess over my contacts and glasses with the thought that everything else can be bought.

EXCEPT for my puffball for showering. I tried too many times to use washcloths thinking I'm saving space but I'm just too unhappy without my shower puffball. I now take it everywhere.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 6:20PM
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Or fill it with vodka, and it's a quick dry-clean for travel-weary garments.
Or fill the travel-weary traveler with vodka and it's a quick fix for what ails ya.

I don't travel with vodka but I always bring a few empty baggies of various sizes. They take up little space and have multiple storage uses.

I also bring my own shower puff.

You know what drives me crazy? Every hotel bathroom has a sign about being green and hanging up any towels you want to reuse. Fine, swell idea. The only time they didn't change out the towels was recently in Budapest. Every other place I've stayed, in the US & Europe, still replaces all the towels with fresh ones every day. Same with the sheets, you leave the little placard on the bed (at the Four Seasons you left a little rubbery cow figurine) and they still put fresh sheets on. In Budapest the housekeeper probably thought I was odd but I took the duvet out of the cover and just used the cover because it was too hot otherwise. She gave me a fresh duvet cover neatly folded on my bed each day.

I'm sure I'll think of something useful after I hit submit. Maybe I'll be back.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 6:46PM
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vodka is so useful, lol!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 6:48PM
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My own hair dryer.

I really dislike the hotel hair dryers.

I have to have white noise to sleep. What kind of fan do you take along?

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 7:01PM
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Red lover, that's what I was going to say, my own hair drier. It has an inbetween speed that doesn't blow my hair off my head, but still dries it. I also need my cryptic crosswords and Carmex.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 9:24PM
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I've tried a couple of fans; the one I have now is about 10" square, and can run on batteries or US current. If I can, I'll ask a hotel if they can supply a fan too. The more the cooler!

My phone also has a great white noise app.

Sometimes I take my pillow if i can fit it in.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 9:49PM
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I've started packing an extension cord when I travel. There never seem to be enough electrical outlets, or they are in inconvenient places for all my rechargeable gadgets. And if you are traveling internationally you just need one plug adapter - I only use this with dual voltage electronics and hair appliances.
Another recent addition to my packing routine is a small mirror that has a 5X magnifying side and a regular side. The handle folds so that it creates a stand so that I can set it on a counter or piece of furniture to use it to put on mascara.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 10:10PM
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My travel size white noise machine
Eye mask
Ear plugs
Mouth guard (I grind my teeth when I sleep)
I always throw some undies and pjs in my carrying, just in case! Most of these are sleep related!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 10:48PM
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wish I could pack my kitties! even on a short trip I miss them. and my bed!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 10:50PM
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Old Navy gold flip-flops - feet don't touch hotel room floors after a discussion with co-worker...

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 11:59PM
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It is so nice to see that I am among equally crazy people when it comes to travel supplies. The heck with the clothes. They can be washed or purchased. Like others, I have my supply of eyewear that I keep close to me. My glasses, clip-ons, reading glasses, contact lenses and lens cleaner. Those would all be in my carry on, in fact in my purse, along with medications.

I have a small super-absorbent towel that I always throw in my bag. It has come in handy many times.

My own shampoo and hair gel, of course. If traveling by car, my hair dryer and a legion of brushes, combs and clips for my hair. Actually the brushes, combs and clips go along even if I fly.

A special small foam pillow. I can't sleep without it. I have another memory foam pillow at home that is just too darn bulky for flying and too embarrassing to carry through a hotel lobby. That pillow has changed my life.

Phone and charger, laptop and charger, camera and battery charger plus extra little Sandisk thing.

Makeup and skin cleaning cloths. An emery board. Mints. Small scissors. Needle and thread. Safety pins. A thin flannel shirt that I use for a bathrobe and hanging around a hotel room.

On the plane,my u-shaped travel pillow and eye mask.

I bet there is more. I really do try to travel light!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 9:41AM
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Yes to the baggies and that everything leakable or liquid no matter how spill proof is packed in plastic bags. (and I don't know how many times stuff has leaked thankfully now only into the plastic bags) . I mean the throw away plastics from the supermarket and then we use them for extra laundry or wet stuff once we fill the ones provided by hotels. I also always throw in a pair of socks for cold planes and or hotel rooms and to not touch the floor in the rooms.
I also like to pack my underwear in those bags so its all together and findable.
I too like to have a baggie full of some snacks- cut up veggies and also nuts (non perishable) .
Love that idea about the spray bottle and hair dryer for wrinkles

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 9:53AM
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Ditto the socks or slippers for hotel rooms. I don't travel without them. I often stay in hotels overseas that provide them free and believe me I take them. I wash them and reuse, so a clean pair stays in my luggage ready to go. Same for a multi-plug, especially when DH and I are traveling together. There are never enough. Now that we both have iPads and iPhones, it has greatly reduced the number of chargers we need, but still. We bought one of those plugs that has multiple outlets and USB ports too. All the cords go in a ziplock bag or cloth zippered bag now that we have fewer.

I have collected sample sizes of everything I use daily so those are refilled and go with me. Yes, anything that might leak goes in a ziplock bag. If we will be gone a while and need to do laundry I have bought those laundry sheets that are soap and dryer sheets in one. Put several of those in a ziplock bag and I am ready for laundry except for the quarters. Or take your own powdered detergent, which I used to do. I sometimes take a few coffee filters and coffee. We like our own 50-50 blend of half-caff fresh ground.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 12:05PM
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Too late for Violet now, but I'll add my list.

In addition to the normal clothes, makeup and toiletries,

Glasses & sunglasses
A hat that can be wadded up and still maintain shape
A wide acrylic scarf that can double as shawl if it is chilly
A super cheapo rain cape (that can be folded up small enough to put in my purse
A trash bag for dirty laundry
A couple of books
An empty water bottle

And something I learned today is that a lot of overnight bags will fit inside a soft sided cooler and then you have a cooler to use when you get there.

The OCD devil on my shoulder wants to know what kelpmermaid's co-worker said about hotel floors and the good angel on the other shoulder says no, don't tell.

OCD devil won. What horrible things have been found on hotel floors?

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 4:11PM
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Marti I'm sure you really don't want the details. Just pack flip flops from now on. I always do and I don't even know the details.

The cooler idea is genius!

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 5:26PM
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Years (I mean years) ago I had a friend in a girl band. She picked up a toothpick in her foot from a nasty hotel room floor. Think shag carpet.

Of course the wood didn't show up on fluoroscopy and the surgeon never could get to it despite some nasty exploration. Sometime later, it worked out on its own.

Yes, please wear shoes in hotel rooms!

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 5:40PM
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Marti- she had seem something on TV - an inspection of hotel rooms looking for evidence of blood/bodily fluids. Hhireno was right; ignorance can, indeed, be bliss. A toothpick?! Ugh, that's even worse than we imagined! On the road now, wearing flipflops.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 1:00AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Always wash the bathroom glass with soap and water before using. They had hidden video of them not being cleaned, or worse, being wiped with the same rag they use to wipe the toilet.

Earplugs have been lifesavers for the time my room was near the elevator and I heard it running all night long....or with DH's snoring.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 7:42AM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Sadly, hotel rooms, even very nice ones, bring out my inner germaphobe. I've thought about getting a silk sleeping bag so I don't have to touch the sheets. Why RV's were invented.....

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 9:21AM
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Another thing that is easy to bring and occasionally comes in handy is a few zip ties. I don't remember where I bought them, a big box home store maybe, but I carry a few different sizes in a pocket of my luggage.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 9:26AM
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Slightly OT, but I am another who gets creeped out thinking of who has used the room before me. I love when hotels use the triple sheeting method, putting a sheet on top of the blankets so that theoretically the blanket doesn't come in contact with the sleeper. I may start packing my own just for that reason.

Do those silk sleeping bags work? It seems to me that you would wake up all tangled.

Also adding paper cups to my list.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 10:16AM
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hhireno: what are some ways you've used the zip-ties? my imagination is failing me right now ...

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 11:40AM
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I've seen the video about housekeeping washing the coffee pot and glasses using the same rag they cleaned the sink and toilet. Lately, I've found paper cups in hotel rooms, and we never use the coffee pot.

I also take my own decaf tea bags and get a cup of hot water in the lobby or breakfast area. And if I get an apple at the breakfast bar, I take it back to the room and wash it before eating.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 11:49AM
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Zip tie uses:
Locking luggage
Connecting beach chairs to stop the rattling while driving
Temporarily fixing a broken purse strap

Think like Macguyver; there are many potential uses and they take up so little room. Just be sure you have a scissors or knife to cut them open afterwards.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 1:19PM
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About hotel rooms....way back when I was a stewardess (way back, before we were flight attendants), it was well known to place a penny at the foot of the bed between the sheets when checking out of a room.

All stews knew then that if they ever found a penny in the bed that housekeeping had not changed the sheets. Lots of pennies found. At very good hotels.


    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 7:40PM
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