Packing smart is a skill to be acquired. I personally think it’s not something you can master overnight. It takes years of travel and a number of trials and errors before perfecting the art. But whether you’re the most gifted packer or not, there are some items laying around at home that you tend to overlook. Little do you know, they might just be the best hack in your travel game. Here’s 10 of those things that you refuse to give attention to when getting ready for a trip, that in reality, you should definitely prioritize your space for. (READ: A Beach Bum’s Guide To Packing Smartly)
1.) Melatonin pills
Save your NyQuil for its actual purpose. Melatonin pills not only puts your body clock in its place, but they’re so natural and healthy that it should be the obvious choice. Unless drinking is your preference of getting some zzz’s on the plane, Melatonin will not only help you get some rest up in the air, but would also hook you up with your jet lag and your Circadian Rhythm.
2.) Muscle Rub
Besides the obvious First Aid kits and emergency over the counter drugs, a good ole’ muscle rub is perfect for after a long day of walking. Relieve post-hike jello legs, post Disneyland sore feet, and even a minor sprain with a simple self massage on your affected area. There are a variety of brands and versions, from Tiger Balm to Bengay, that smelling like a grandma shouldn’t be a worry.
3.) Silica Gels
I JUST recently discovered about the actual purpose of this annoying little packets that usually comes when you buy new shoes or bags, and trust me, it’s LIFE CHANGING! I live in a tropical country so the climate can be such a big pain in the ass. The humidity can be pretty crucial with the materials of certain items especially leather. But apparently, silica gels absorb all moisture so it’s quick to dry things up, eliminating your chances of mold and mildew. Toss one in your backpack or luggage, your laundry bag and wet bikinis that didn’t have enough time to dry up, and even with your wet electronics, or to just simply fight condensation. Yup, it works better than rice! So think twice before you toss them away.
If you’ve been to Asia, then you understand that toilet paper is a luxury. Keep some tissue or wet wipes in your purse or day pack because your chances of coming across a public restroom with actual toilet paper is pretty slim. Oh, and toilet seat covers does not exist in some places too. But whether you’re headed to a first world country with an abundance of the said luxury or not, having your own will nonetheless be a smart move.
5.) Lightweight fabric
Having a lightweight fabric can go a long way especially for long plane or bus rides. Find something in your closet that can serve multi purposes such as a beach or picnic blanket, actual blanket, or a shade paraphernalia. Sarong, infinity scarves, or in my case, a handmade Thai skirt that I got from my first trip in Bangkok.
6.) Photocopy of your documentations
In case of emergency or if you ever lose your passport or have any drama run ins, it will be a great relief to have a photocopy of your documentations. You can also scan them instead and send it to your email so you can easily access it in times of trouble.
7.) A box of energy bars
This is for those days when time is of the essence and you need to just ease your hunger until you come across some legit food stalls/restaurant. When you’ve spent an all nighter and missed breakfast before your day tour, it’ll keep you satisfied enough without getting low blood sugar. It’s a great way to hack your budget too, just don’t miss out on actual local food because of this– that would be a shame.
8.) A tote
Any foldable lightweight tote that you can stick in your backpack or suitcase will be of great use for a day at the beach, lunch, or a walk around downtown. That’s what purses are for, you might say. But space savvy no-check-in pros know that a purse for a carry on won’t cut it.
9.) Face mask
The weather change from one hemisphere to another can be crucial to your skin so stick one of these remedies when you pack. Face masks are awesome if your skin needs hydration from being under the sun too long or if you just have dry skin period. If you want to look fresh after a flight, just put it on right before landing for 15 minutes and voila, you’ll have that fresh I-woke-up-like-this glow. Face masks are inexpensive and can now be found in many beauty/cosmetic stores. You no longer need to find the nearest Asian store because they’ve become quite ubiquitous nowadays.
10.) Coconut oil
Coconut oil is like the holy grail of female travel hacks. On top of its multipurposes in the kitchen, it also works as a makeup remover, moisturizer, shaving lotion, body lotion, lip balm, body or facial scrub, tanning oil, massage oil, and many more. Not convinced? People also swear by its sexual lubricant capacities too.
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