5 Essential Multi-Purpose Travel Tools

April 9, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

To most people, “best” implies expensive. This is not the case when it comes to travel essentials. SmarterTravel.com recently published a list of 10 travel tools that help you make your journey a little easier. We picked five of the favorites that we have found to be indispensable in our own travels.

Let’s start with resealable plastic bags. They’re reusable, practical, and affordable. Use quart and gallon sizes for wet clothes, breakable liquids, tech stuff, snacks, and dirty laundry. Larger bags can even keep an outfit together, serving as packing cubes, or you can pack dirty shoes in them so you don’t stain your clothes. And covering a television remote with a small bag can prevent the spread of germs — or you could pack a few antibacterial wipes in a bag to wipe down your remote.

Speaking of antibacterial wipes, we might as well add them to the list. These disposable towels are an easy way to protect yourself from germs. Use them as soon as you enter the airport: Wipe down the check-in kiosk, the armrests on your chair at the gate, and then the armrests, headrest, tray tables, seatbelt, and your seat’s touch screen on the plane. There are several other places in a hotel room, such as light switches, countertops, and door handles to wipe down too. Be sure to wipe down your phone and tablet too, as these items can harbor as much as ten times more bacteria than a toilet seat. (Don’t forget to read our article on how to disinfect your airplane seat to get some more ideas for using disinfectant wipes.)

Next, I had always heard about Turkish towels, but I didn’t realize how handy they were or what they even did. A Turkish towel has numerous uses: blanket, pillow, scarf/shawl for chilly temps, or lay it out flat and tie it up in a bundle as a makeshift sack. In a pinch, it works well as a towel, too. If you’re a fan of the scifi-comedy classic, The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, you’ll know exactly what you can do with a towel, and you’ll want one of these with you at all times.

A couple binder clips holding up an iPhone. These are some of the multi-purpose travel tools worth taking on your next trip.Here’s a new one on me: Binder clips! Those black metal clips you use to hold a lot of papers together. Turns out they’re more useful in the home or on the road than they are in the office. Clip one to a desk and run your charging cords through the metal handle so they don’t fall on the floor. Clip your toothpaste tube as you roll it. Hold drapes together in your hotel room. Use a small one as a bookmark or to hold business cards so they don’t scatter in your briefcase. You can even use it as a razor protector, clamping it over the blade before you pack.

If you want something a little more durable than a resealable bag, try a few packing cubes for sorting and organizing the smaller items in your suitcase. Pack all your socks and underwear into one. Put your t-shirts and workout gear in a medium cube. And fold your pants and dress shirts in a larger one. This lets you compress everything, squeezing out the air, so you can fit more items into your bag. (We’ll have some of these available on our site by June)

What are your essential multi-purpose travel tools? What do you never leave home without? Share your suggestions and recommendations on our Facebook page, or on our Twitter stream.

Photo credit: Rich Sipe (Flickr, Creative Commons 2.0)