When it comes to travel bag essentials, everybody has a different opinion on what to pack.
You’ve probably seen countless articles extolling the virtues of sturdy walking shoes, multi-adaptor plugs and document wallets, but what about some of the smaller bits and pieces?
These often overlooked travel helpers are compact, lightweight and handy to have around when you’re away from home.
- Tiger balm. This inexpensive cream soothes mozzie bites, aching muscles, and can help with nasal congestion if you catch a sniffle from the plane. Lucas Pawpaw cream is handy too, and can be used as a lip balm, as well as applied to minor cuts and grazes.
- Plastic bags. Perhaps the most underrated travel item of all, plastic bags are essential for everything from keeping wet togs or shoes separate in your pack, protecting valuables from water damage, or storing dirty laundry. Take several and scrunch them into a corner of your travel bag.
- Lipstick. As vain as it may sound, it can be hard to feel attractive when you’ve been lugging a suitcase all day or living in sneakers and shorts. A slick of lippy can lift your mood in a flash, and can come in handy of you find yourself heading out to dinner somewhere smarter than you expected.
- Distinctive luggage tags. When your head is full of currency conversions and train timetables, adorning your travel bag feels like the least important thing on the list. But being able to easily spot your bag among a sea of black and navy suitcases coming off the conveyor belt can save time, hassle and stress at the airport.
- A scarf. Keep it somewhere handy to bundle around your neck if you get cold on the plane, use it to cover your shoulders if visiting a culturally sensitive site, or even bring it out as a makeshift towel. With countless practical uses, a scarf is worth its (very light) weight in gold when you’re on the road.