5 Essential Travel Tools
You’re packing up and moving on out, hitting the trails, expanding your horizons. And you’re looking for ways to pare down your belongings to the requisite two pieces of low-weight luggage you’re allowed to bring on the plane. Or maybe you’re going for the most simplistic of travel styles and tossing it all into a single backpack. No matter which way you do it, there are a few essential tools you have to pack.
Another more multi-functional travel item has yet to be invented. This gem of a tool operates not only as a lint remover, but a repairer of pretty much any non-electronic item that can break on the road. Got a hole in your luggage? Reinforce it with duct tape on both sides and you’re all set. Need more support at the bottom of your pack? Rip your jeans while scaling a mountain in South America somewhere? Duct tape to the rescue. In fact, if you tear anything and aren’t worried about having a bit of adhesive stuck to it, this is your easy-to-find, simple-to-pack, and fairly cheap answer.
Duct tape. Don’t leave home without it.
Ranking right up there with duct tape is the wire hanger. It’s your basic binding tool for all things mechanical. Zipper on your bag stop working? No worries. Use the wire to poke holes in and out of the fabric and tie it all back together. Exhaust pipe fall out of your old car while you’re driving down the highway checking out the California coast? Wire is your buddy, at least until you can get to an auto mechanic. Need to hand wash your clothes and hang them to dry, but drying racks aren’t anywhere to be seen? Once again, the wire hanger is there for you. Plus, it’s cheap and it can fit into any type of luggage you’re using.
Bend it, scrunch it, tie it around things. The wire hanger is your traveling friend.
Swiss Army Knife
Not just for the mega-outdoorsy type, this mother of the all-in-one tools comes in handy in several urban settings. Stuck in a room in a remote part of the world with no electricity, no cooked food, and no way to cook the raw stuff you just bought? Crack out the canned goods, whip out your Swiss army knife can opener, and get eating. Got a new pair of shoes that have no traction, causing you to slip and slide all over the nicely slick and impossible to walk on sheets of ice outside? The knife makes a good impromptu sander. Use it to carve some traction into your treads so you can walk tall through town. And, of course, if you do hit the trails, it rocks as the best thing around for cutting up some kindling for a campfire or whittling some wood to roast marshmallows.
A Swiss army knife is best tool for all types of travelers. And it fits right in your back pocket.
Keeping clean on the road can be a challenge. Soap is hard to come by, especially if you’re trekking through roads less traveled or hitting up the cheapest bus rides and digs around. Witness the long plane trips around the world where the cushions before and around you seem to be emitting strange and unrecognizable smells or the random and unnerving pit stops the cross-country bus line makes through their less-than-sparkling bus stations. Who knows when that spot was last scrubbed? You don’t want to know. And you don’t need to — if you have a bottle of hand sanitizer with you.
Sanitize early and often. Your health will thank you for it.
You just can't ever be sure that there will be toilet paper where you're going. It's one of those things that you won't ever be sorry you carried.
No toilet paper? Bad scene. ‘Nuf said.
So stock up, throw it in your luggage and head out. It’s time to hit the road.