Any good traveler knows that packing is an annoying yet crucial task. So to make your experience more effortless, Brittany Jones-Cooper presents the six weird household items to use the next time you pack.
1. Shower cap
When you’re packing, it’s ill-advised to put your dirty shoes next to your clean clothes. My problem is that I don’t own any shoe bags. I mean, who does? Either way, a shower cap can do the job. Just slide each of your shoes inside of a cap and you’re good to go. I usually have a shower cap or two lying around the house, and they’re also cheap to buy. Double bonus: If you’re staying at a hotel, they usually have them in the bathroom amenity kits.
Packing jewelry can be a pain in the you-know-what — especially necklaces. I tend to just throw them in the pocket of my makeup bag, and then when I take them out, they are in a tangled mess. That’s where a straw will come in handy. You simply take a straw, thread the necklace through, secure the clasp on the other end, and bam! — you’re tangle free.
3. Empty pill bottles
Every shampoo known to man comes in a big clunky bottle. And because of the TSA’s three-ounce rule, you can’t put them in your carry-on … so what do you do? Just take empty prescription bottles and use them for your gels and liquids. The seal is pretty strong, plus you typically have to put liquids in little zipped plastic bags anyway, so I’ve never had a problem with leaking.
4. Rubber bands
Depending on whom you listen to, the best way to pack certain items is to roll them. I usually roll my T-shirts. The problem is, if I end up unpacking or repacking, I have to reroll my shirts. That’s why our next travel hack is the simple rubber band. Use them to secure your clothes after you’re done rolling. You definitely have these lying around the house, and ladies, hair ties will work as well!
5. Oven mitt
The last thing I do before I leave my hotel or house is unplug my flatiron, which means that it is usually the last thing I pack, and it’s typically still warm. So, to keep from burning up all my clothes, I’ve been known to solicit the help of my handy oven mitt. You just slip the flatiron in, place the mitt in your bag, and you’re good to go. I don’t cook, so my oven mitts are purely decorative anyway.
6. Mini bottles of booze
You can crack open one of these bad boys while you pack, and that’s a surefire way to make it more fun. Also, because they are under three ounces, you can throw a couple in your carry-on to mix with that half can of soda most airlines provide. Everyone’s a winner!