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Top 10 Must Have Travel Items

We’ve all been there…pacing around our bags thinking about every vital thing you will need. Trying to decide if you really need six pairs of shoes, contemplating how much your bag weighs, wondering if you should take that extra pair of sunglasses and fighting that feel – I am forgetting something!

luggage stuffingThanks to fellow friends, who have learned from their experiences, and my trips that I have learned the hard way that there are some things I just can’t live without…I present 10 Travel Items You Should ALWAYS Have.

10. Zip-Lock Bags – These babies have saved me on more than one occasion. Toss a few large bags into your bags. The are practically weightless and they help pack things tighter. If you are going to a beach, they are great for separating wet clothes or they are a great place to store smelly shoes. You might have also heard the occasional tale of bottles of shampoo exploding during flights. Pack them away and you won’t have a suitcase full of Pantene covered clothes.

9. Diapers – You don’t have to have a baby for these things to come in handy. I once stopped a nasty cut from bleeding everywhere with one. Stuck in traffic and you or your kid can’t hold it? It becomes an instant portable potty. Drink spilled? They make wonderful disposable towels.

8. Duct tape – Again, the uses of duct tape are endless. I once fixed a tear in my purse while traveling. It is also great to baby proof outlets when you are staying at accommodations.

7. Baby Wipes – Again, you don’t have to be toting a tot to carry these. Great for messes, they actually saved me during a camping trip from hell that went awry and we had no running water. They are also a great cool down option for sweaty, cranky kids. I usually by the kind with cucumber in it (Huggies Naturals) and provides a refreshing effect. Plus they can clean surfaces before you eat and not be a problem, like liquid hand sanitizer, at the airport.

6. Dryer Sheets – Just a couple will do. I am sure everyone has seen that chain e-mail with the many uses of dryer sheets, but here are some highlights: keeps bugs away, makes clothes and bags smell fresh, prevents static cling on clothes and hair and repels rodents.

5. Bandanna – Sounds corny, but the uses of these are only limited by your imagination. It’s a hand towel, lens cleaner, eye mask, hair tie, headband, scarf or wet it down to make an instant cooling device.

4. Aspirin – Headaches ruin a vacation, but aspirin isn’t a one trick pony. They can save lives during a heart attack. Crushed aspirin mixed with enough water to form a paste helps remove sweat stains and protein based stains like blood and egg yolk, the paste can reduce the redness of a pimple or help treat bug bites. It is also better at fighting off hangovers. (Side note: Do NOT take acetaminophen after a long night of drinking. It’s very hard on your liver.)

3. Socks – It sounds odd, but they make great gloves in a pinch or instant change purse. My kids also use them as erasers for their chalk boards on road trips.

2. Color Copy of your Passport – Always keep a copy of your passport tucked in your shoe (if possible). If your bags are lost or stolen and your passport is inside them…you’ll be grateful for that copy.

1. Pepto-Bismol – Take this when traveling anywhere especially when you aren’t used to the foreign food or conditions. Trust me. Have this before you need it.

What are your must have travel items?