When your whole world is only the size of your suitcase, everything you pack has to make a difference. Sometimes, the things you pack werent meant for travel but turn out to be the best thing you pack. Here are our 5 top packing hacks that make travel that much easier.
Its a constant surprise to us that even though the travel accessory market is so developed, items commonly found around the home out-perform those specifically designed to go in your suitcase.
Or that you cant even find in travel sections at the shops.
Through trial, error and plenty of practice, weve got our packing list down to a fine art. But not everything seems like it should belong.
Here are 7 things you might not expect to find travelling the world.
7 unusual things to take travelling
1. Ice cube tray
Its become a bit of a personal obsession to have plenty of ice in my room when Im travelling and at home for that matter.
You might be pleasantly surprised to find a clean, good-as-new ice cube tray in your hotel room or AirBnB fridge. But more often than not, the ice cube tray is either broken, filthy or both. Or just missing.
One of those silicon trays weighs nothing, cant break and takes up no space, and youll have reassuringly icy drinks for the rest of your stay.
2. Multi-USB charger
Weve been travelling with a power board for a while now (it means you only have to take one adaptor for the country youre visiting), but this multi-USB power board from HPM goes so much further.
Its bank of four USBs and one USB-C is a godsend for people like us who travel with lots of electronics. But its crowning glory is the wireless charger on top. This is a real game-changer and takes so much stress out of travel.
This little pack, which weighs less than 300g, is full of safety measures too.
It has over-current, over-voltage protection and short-circuit protection, and even over-temperature protection as well.
It also has a detachable power cable with a universal two-pin inlet, so if you were super organised, you could even buy the correct plug for the country youre visiting.
If you still want to go for a straightforward power board though, HPMs four-outlet double USB board is light and compact. It also has overload and surge protection.
Travel truth: hotels even really expensive ones rarely change their pillows. The dust that builds up in them over time can cause congestion in your nose and throat.
We used to just blame these symptoms on air conditioning or the flight, but our friends and travel companions Clare and Dave have worked out that pillows are often to blame. Covering your pillow with your own pillowcase or even an extra T-shirt really helps.
And, as Christina will tell you in her capacity as Hair Romance, a silk or satin pillow really helps control frizz too.
The same pillowcase can also be used for extra luggage padding or dirty clothes hamper at end of your trip.
4. Nasal spray
If youre like me and you suffer from blocked ears after a flight, this tip will change your life. I used to suffer so badly with a horrible swooshing sound in my ears after flights I eventually asked my doctor. She told me its nothing to do with my ears. Its my sinus.
I bought a nasal spray decongestant and Ive never had any problems since! It also does wonders for a hangover.
5. Dryer sheets
Its amazing how quickly clothes can turn musty when theyve been in a suitcase. And if youve got your shoes in there too, thats double jeopardy.
A fresh dryer sheet or two tucked into your packing cells or inside your shoes will help eliminate you having to air your clothes when you get to your destination.
6. Portable scales
Christina once laughed at me and mocked me when I used our slender credit card points to buy a set of travel scales. I take after my mum with a predilection for gadgets you see. But over the years (weve had them for maybe 10 years now) theyve proven indispensable.
Even if its just the peace of mind knowing you wont have to repack at the check-in counter or even worse pay fortunes in excess luggage. Budget carriers especially in Europe are so strict that even if your hand luggage is a gram over, you get charged.
Look for scales that are small and light but strong, like this one from Target.
7. Fold-away nylon bags
Thin lightweight zip-up nylon bags like these come in so handy when youre on the road. They take up no space but are perfect laundry bags for undies or even dirty shoes. And at a push, they can even double up as extra luggage if you go on a shopping spree somewhere.
If you dont use them, theyre also perfect padding for delicate items in your luggage like (ahem) a cheeky bottle of booze youre bringing back.
There are so many ways to make travel even more fun. We love hearing peoples amazing hacks on getting most out of A to B.
If you have a clever work-around or re-purposed travel essential, wed love to hear it. Tell us your favourite or most unusual thing to pack in the comments below!