Money-saving travel hacks from your own home

By Jonathan Bender on 30 July 2007 (Updated 18 August 2007) 7 comments
Photo: alfie ahhhs

Your flight is leaving in less than an hour. Your bag is less than packed. And you're less than thrilled about the day's developments. But, you can still look like you planned ahead, thanks to a few household items in your kitchen. And the good news is you don't have to spend a dime.

Your best, last-minute packing friends have been cleverly disguised as everyday kitchen products.

Behold the power of cleaning wipes!

Discover the magical wardrobe saving power of cleaning wipes- the canister of wipes under your sink have hidden powers. Scuffed shoes shed years with this shoe polish in a sponge technique. Just throw a few wipes in a plastic bag so they retain their moisture and you've got the ability to spot polish your shoes whenever you need a quick shine.

Don't ever buy travel shampoo

Your brand of shampoo is like your own pillow- your head just won't feel right without it. And now you don't have to leave your shampoo behind or drop a $1 or $2 on a travel bottle. While you have the ziploc bags out, you can fill one with shampoo. When you get to your hotel, you can either snip off a corner and squeeze it like a tube of icing or just scoop a bit out. If you have plastic wrap or press n' seal, you can also make your own shampoo and soap containers. Just lay the plastic wrap flat, squeeze in a dollop of shampoo and then lift and twist the ends of the wrapping to form a tight seal. Throw a second layer of wrap around the shampoo, just to make sure it doesn't leak.

Best of all, you've got all your liquids in a TSA-approved ziploc bag.

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Guest's picture
Guest

Doesn't it make more sense to buy a set of small plastic travel bottles (I think I spent $2 on a set of 4 bottles at my local drugstore) -- or better yet, reuse the shampoo bottles you snagged from your last hotel room? There's less chance of the shampoo exploding onto your packed clothing and you can wash out the bottles and reuse them indefinitely (unlike a ziplock bag with a hole in it).

Jessica Okon's picture

Just yesterday I found myself in the airport digging in my purse for my phone only to take my phone out and have melted chocolate all over my hand & phone. Luckily, the woman I was sitting next to, a Nun from Italy, had some of those towellettes with her. If not for that divine intervention I would have had to through security looking like I had been handling poop!

Guest's picture
Guest

I bet you would have gone thru security a lot faster ;-)

Guest's picture
Jared

When my wife and I flew to Germany in April, TSA was requiring that liquids be marked 3oz containers - we went to WalMart and bought a set of travel bottles that were marked at 3oz and then brought our own shampoo.

I can't imagine that a liquid in a ziplock bag is going to help you through security...

Guest's picture

If my plane were leaving in an hour and I hadn't finished packing, I'd be on the phone with the airlines changing my ticket for one to Hawaii, because clearly, I don't want to go where I had planned to.

They have shampoo in Hawaii, right?

Jessica Okon's picture

If anyone is into travel size items, make sure you check out all my free stuff posts!
here

The TTA still says the 3oz rule. I tend to schelp a lot of unneeded stuff with me, so I decided to put everything in my carry and purse that was not my wallet, book or comb in a plastic bag. I figured if they did, at least they would have an easier time going through all my stuff. I think in this situaton playing by the rules will make your traveling a bit nicer. I think they would be more suspicious of a random unmarked fluid in a baggie. Though, I do think there might be a situtation, like a big camping trip where that trick could be useful.

Guest's picture

You're only allowed to bring liquids in 1 plastic bag. So if you use up that 1 plastic bag with shampoo, where are you going to put the rest of your liquids, assuming you have more than shampoo?

I guess you could roll up that zip lock bag and put it into another zip lock bag containing your toothpaste and hair gel. But this is SUCH a waste of plastic and money! Not really Wise use of your Bread, I'd say.

If you had remembered to take the 3-oz travel-sized shampoo bottles from the last hotel you stayed in, you wouldn't be having this problem, would you? Unlike a zip lock bag with a hole, these are infinitely refillable.