Travel Musts – Their Extra Uses

Those classic travel accessories that we bring along with us every time – without actually using them to their full potential! Time to take your bench warmers out and see what they’re made of:

1. Bar of Soap

The classic bar of soap, in that flimsy plastic (and probably wet and definitely slimy) box. First of all, ditch the box (re-purpose it/recycle it). The easiest way to bring a bar of soap – and you’ll want to after you read this – is to wrap it in a thin cloth, and put that in a small bag. The cloth will allow you to make sure your soap dries properly after every use, and it can be used as a washcloth once some soap residue accumulates on it. Hang it on your clothesline (link to other article) and pack it up the next morning! The best bar of soap to bring when travelling is a Marseille soap (Savon du Marseille). They come in many scents, although lavender is my favourite (bugs hate it), and they can be used to clean clothing, body and hair! This is ideal if you’re in a pinch or you’re travelling really lightly. For a fresh scent, you can also add it to your clothing until it’s used.

2. Travel Wallet

I’m talking a clutch wallet here – which might seem unnecessary or “chunky” but when travelling through many countries it becomes useful. Usually travel wallets are pictured with a passport and maybe an ID card or two. But if you’re on a long-haul trip, your travel wallet can end up containing

  • Different currencies
  • Vaccination booklets
  • Insurance papers / cards
  • Tickets (train, plane, bus, ferry)
  • Important receipts
  • Copies of passports
  • Cards not needed on a daily basis (debit card, rewards cards)

By maximizing the use of your travel wallet, you’ll also allow your daily wallet to be lighter. It then becomes very important to never misplace it, and to make sure important documents or cards are separate in order to avoid being stranded if it’s stolen or lost.

3. Battery Packs

Seems like a given these days – you might have a big one with multiple lives, or a set of them that fill you up just once. The part that always annoyed me was the additional cable just to charge the battery packs! Another cable and another cube for the outlet. Reduce your wires and bulky power banks – these have USB connectors allowing you to charge them directly in any usb power source, instead of needing an additional wire to charge them. You can use a cube you’ll already have on hand for your phone, and can charge both the pack and your phone simultaneously through the input and output usb ports. This allows your battery pack charger to double as a charger for any other electronic, which can be essential when you’re faced with limited outlets.

4. Power Plug / Adapter

Bring the correct adapter for the country that you are going to. It seems obvious but the number of times I’ve left my adapter behind for that specific country is a little too often to mention. Then one has to buy a new one en route adding to the cost of the trip and to your collection of adapters at home. You can usually pick them up at the airport before you fly or on arrival. They are not as easy to find on location. Check all your toys before you go whether you need a plug adapter or a power converter. Most technology today has a range from 110 to 240 volts which covers most countries power output but always check or make sure then you can charge with USB from another device. Finally make sure that the plug you have matches the plugs in the country you are going to. With the right power adapter and plug you are all set to keep those precious phones and accessories up and running.