I love to travel, and have found that the key to a stress-less trip is to be as prepared as possible. That means I bring as few things as possible. I’ve shared my simple travel tips with friends, only to be met with awe and envy.
First, pack an empty pill bottle with some large safety pins, single shoe laces, small carabiner clips, a few rubber bands, binder clips, paper clips, a few adhesive return address labels, and the tiny screwdriver from a glasses repair kit. This little fix-it kit goes thru security without hassle, and has saved my bacon more than once when things have broken.
Second, stuff one bottle full of a dozen or so long thin plastic bags, like what they use to deliver newspapers for home delivery or produce bags. Or get bread bags or some of the doggie-job pooper-scooper pick-up bags.
Use those bags to pack shoes, for a wet bathing suit; a wet fold-up umbrella, or a few shells or stones you found while beach-combing. Use them to separate currencies from different countries, as pill bottles don’t rip or tear like envelopes do, when you have amassed too many coins or euros.
Pill bottles were really handy on a recent trip to Patagonia where Chile and Argentina both use money called pesos, but have very different values. Chilean money went into the chili-red bottle, and the Argentine went into the green one.
Third, use a large pill bottle to assemble a small first-aid kit. Several sizes of Band-Aids, antiseptic, alcohol wipes, acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen, diphenhydramine, blister pads, eye drops, lip balm will fit in there easily.
Fill every extra nook and cranny in your suitcase with empty plastic bags…..you will find a million uses for them, from trash bins on bus trips, or during your own car trips, to bringing home liquid souvenirs that you want to be waterproof in your luggage.
And all these together weigh only a few ounces, which is very important with the strict limits now on planes.