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9 unusual things you should always pack when traveling

Pack these nine things on your next vacation to prevent constant trips to the store.

As fun as travel typically is, it can also be somewhat stressful. No matter how much you plan, in some way or another, there's always going to be some oversight. You will inevitably leave behind your toothbrush or maybe your favorite shoes.

Of course, you can often pick up menial things left at home when you get to your destination. But some things are easier to bring with you.

Here are nine things you might not think to but definitely should bring with you on your next vacation.

A power strip

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There are few things worse than getting to your hotel room to only find one outlet. You're left to choose between having a lamp and alarm clock and charging your devices. That is, unless you bring your own power strip.

You don't need to pack a full-size power strip either. Belkin, Philips and other companies offer power strips that are compact and built for travel. They turn one outlet into several and typically come with some USB ports built-in as well.

For anyone with more than one device, travel power strips and portable surge protectors are a must.

An empty bottle

You may not be able to make it through airport security with over 3 ounces of liquid, but no one said you can't bring an empty bottle through TSA and fill it afterward.

You never know when your flight will be delayed, leaving you with nothing but overpriced airport water.


If you want a quick way to sanitize your hands or clean your face or devices, make sure to bring towelettes with you. They should make it through security checkpoints and will allow you to sanitize and clean without needing to make trips to the restroom during your wait or while you're exploring the town.


I always end up carrying a lot on me when I'm traveling. If you're anything like me, your carry-on backpack gets full pretty quickly, usually with tons of things you don't want to carry everywhere with you. This means it's usually a great idea to bring along a separate bag -- one that you can pack down and maybe stow in your back pocket.

Bring this lighter pack instead, so you don't weigh yourself down while exploring and just in case you purchase any souvenirs and want to keep your hands free.

Trash bags or plastic bags

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Bringing trash bags in your suitcase may seem awkward. Hotel maintenance tends to empty the trash before you could ever fill up a trash can or bag.

However, you won't be throwing garbage in a trash bin. Instead, you can use spare trash bags to separate dirty clothes from those that are still clean in your suitcase. Just remember to place the trash bag in your suitcase so house keeping doesn't mistake it for actual trash.

If you're not comfortable with using a trash bag for laundry, consider packing a mesh laundry bag instead or checking to see if your hotel room includes a disposable laundry bag.

Lip balm

During the late fall, as it nears winter, the climate is dry in a lot of places. With increased outdoor activity and climate changes in the plane and during travel, you may find that your lips will get chapped pretty quickly.

It's wise to bring some lip balm to keep your lips moisturized and free from chapping. To be safe, just buy an extra tube and toss it into your first aid kit so you won't forget to bring it.

Dryer sheets

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When on vacation, you tend to do a lot more walking than normal -- to train or sub stations, through the airport and through the city. Your feet will feel the added stress, and you may find that your shoes (and nose) will pay the price.

Upon returning to the hotel at night, place a dryer sheet in each shoe to mask the smell and help aerate your shoes. You can also use dryer sheets for mild cleaning of surfaces and for freshening up the entire room by placing a sheet behind the grille of the room's AC unit.

Bottle protectors

If you think you may want to bring a special bottle of beer, liquor or wine home with you, make sure to also bring protection for the bottle.

If you think the ol' wine-bottle-in-the-sock method will work, you can try that instead. However, a protective bottle bag with padding and a zip-lock top will help protect your clothing should one of the bottles break.

Universal plug adapter

You don't want to find yourself traveling abroad without a plug adapter.

If you go anywhere overseas without an adapter, you will be hard-pressed to charge your devices without buying an expensive adapter. You'll thank yourself if you do so before you leave, as it will save you a lot of stress and potentially money.