11 unconventional items you should always pack when you travel

Having these things on hand will make your trip a bit easier.

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Having these things on hand will make your trip a bit easier.
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Alex Wong/Getty Images

  • You know to pack clothes, toiletries, electronics, and shoes for an upcoming vacation, but what else are you missing?
  • Dryer sheets are convenient for masking the smell of dirty clothes and shoes.
  • Anti-bacterial wipes will help prevent you from getting sick.
  • I’ve listed 11 unconventional items you might not think to pack, but totally should.

It’s common to have an unsettling feeling that you forgot something after reading over your packing list. All your clothes, shoes, electronics, and toiletries are in your suitcase, but what else are you missing?

As someone who has traveled all over the world, I’ve made a list of 11 unconventional items you should always pack.

Tiger Balm can help ease sore muscles

Tiger Balm is an intense smelling ointment that is typically used as a muscle rub for aches and pains. It heats up the sore area, providing relief to a sore back that’s been sitting on a plane for hours. It also contains ingredients such as menthol and essential oils, which allows Tiger Balm to be used as an insect repellent or as a sinus relief.

Dryer sheets can revive clothes that have been worn a few times

Throw a few dryer sheets in your suitcase to give your items a fresh smell. We don’t always get a chance to wash our clothes on vacation, and that sweaty hike may give your shoes a stinky stench. Place dryer sheets in your sneakers or throughout your suitcase to help mask the smell of dirty shoes and clothes.

An electronics travel organizer is a great investment

It’s hard to keep track of all your chargers, wires, and cables when you’re traveling. They’re usually flung into the side pocket of a bag. But an electronics travel organizer is like a toiletry bag for your cables and chargers. It keeps them neatly organized in one spot while also giving you peace of mind that you didn’t leave your phone charger at the hotel.

Vaseline can be used for so many things

Vaseline can have multiple uses.

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Vaseline can have multiple uses.
source
Target

Vaseline has many unconventional uses that are convenient for the frequent traveler. Use it to remove rings when your fingers swell up on a plane, to help your perfume last longer, as a makeup remover, or on dry skin or chapped lips.

A quick-dry towel can help you get out the door faster

Why pack a quick-dry towel if your hotel provides its own big, fluffy towels? Because microfiber towels are light in weight, easy to pack, and perfect for a hike or an excursion to the beach. As the name implies, it dries super quick so you don’t have to worry about lugging around a damp towel.

Antibacterial wipes can keep you healthy

It might not be the most unconventional item, but it’s definitely forgotten about. You’ll need (and want) anti-bacterial wipes with you on a plane to clean that germ-infested trey table. It’s also handy to keep in your backpack or purse to use after holding onto a dirty subway rail. Pack antibacterial wipes, use them and save yourself from getting sick.

Imodium can help ease your stomach

Imodium is good to have on hand.

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Imodium is good to have on hand.
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Shutterstock/fizkes

Of course, you don’t want to be in a situation where you’ll need Imodium – but if you are, you’ll be happy to have it. Being in a foreign environment makes you susceptible to Traveler’s Diarrhea, and Imodium acts as an anti-diarrheal. It’s meant to slow your digestive system down so that you can absorb fluids and salts in case you drink contaminated water or eat local food doesn’t sit well with you.

Plastic bags come in handy on the go

Dig through your recycle bin and grab a few plastic bags. It’s ideal for storing items throughout your suitcases, such as souvenirs, first-aid kit, medicine, and toiletries. Wrap your shoes in plastic bags so that they don’t track dirt into your suitcase.

Anti-itch cream will be more helpful than you think

Not everyone is going into the rainforest, but there are places that are home to some unforgiving insects. Bring anti-itch cream with you in case you step in an ant pile or get attacked by mosquitoes. It also helps with rashes if your skin is ultra sensitive.

Pens are often forgotten

You never know when you're going to need a pen.

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You never know when you’re going to need a pen.
source
Wikimedia Commons

It’s wild how often we forget to bring a pen with us anywhere. Especially when you travel, you’ll need it for filling out customs forms or for jotting down notes in your journal. Double check that packing list and add two pens to the list. Keep it with you in your purse or backpack.

Travel-size tissues are good in a pinch

Travel-size tissues are something you should always have with you when you travel. Use it as emergency toilet paper, to wipe a spill, to blow your nose, to write on, or to wipe away sweat. It might not be an unusual item, but it does have some timely uses.