5 Secret Things to Always Pack When You Travel

(note: this post was updated December 2018)

I’ve traveled to 50 states and 57 countries. Every time I travel, I carry on my suitcase, no matter how long the trip. You never have to pack for more than 7 days, no matter how long the trip is. But it’s easy to forget these five little things that make packing light easy and traveling light enjoyable. Here are my five little things you must always pack when you travel.

A Toothbrush Cover

These cheap plastic squares keep your toothbrush clean and hair free. I always treat myself to this cheap luxury, and they also make a great ledge to rest your toothbrush around the bathroom sink. Get one for the toothbrush in your suitcase and one for the toothbrush in your gym bag, too.

Eco Lips is perfect.

Everyone has a favorite lip balm. Because I tend to leave them in jacket pockets and car cup holders, I never seem to have one when I need one. So I buy them in packs of five or more and then stash one in each jacket pocket, backpack, and purse. I prefer ones that have a cap that attaches to the outside of my backpack with a nice carabiner. This one from Eco Lips is perfect.

Hand Cleaner

I am not fan of antibacterial gels. I avoid them. But, when traveling in countries where toilet paper is lacking, toilets don’t flush, and toilet paper goes in bins rather than toilets, hand cleaner is a godsend. And like the lip balms above, I love a bottle that has a carabiner attached. In the same vein as the chapstick, I have found a small bottle of Purell. It attaches to my backpack as well.

A Pen with a Carabiner

Do you see a trend here with the carabiner thing? But in this instance, a pen with a carabiner attached is invaluable. I particularly make sure I have a pen on my return flight back to the United States so I can fill in my immigration card. The flight attendants never have enough, and having a pen hanging conveniently from the outside of my backpack stuffed under the seat in front of me is super convenient.

A Bandana

Be sure to pack a bandana/scarf. Not only can a bandana be used as a scarf for dressing up, it can hold hair in a pony tail, keep bangs from dropping in your eyes, act like a sling in first aid, be folded to carry items, be used to cool you off, and a thousand other things. Bandanas fold up nicely, taking up little room.

5 Secrets Little Things To Pack Light

These are my five secret little things to pack light with while traveling. What one thing do you always bring that sneaks into your bag and makes a big impact? Wanting to know how to pack light for seven days? Read how to do that here.

See you on the trail!



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handsome hiking couple

Chris and Steve, the empty-nesting nomads, travel the world, one month at a time, housesitting and Airbnbing along the way. We uncover urban walks, great hikes, and vegan/vegetarian eats that other guide books miss. And we throw in a bit about Forex trading along the way.

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