Packing hacks: Travel light with these multi-purpose essentials

One problem that most people have when it comes to travelling is overpacking, bringing a lot more than is actually needed.

Resist the temptation to pack the ‘just in case’ items! Use a little creativity with the bare minimum and you will be McGyvering your way to more luggage space for those souvenirs and saving money on extra baggage fees with these must carry items while travelling, just like the pros!

Body Lotion


The humble body lotion has many purposes, and not only that, they usually come free in most hotels! Shrink your toiletry bag by using body lotion as hair conditioner and shaving cream. You can also save money on purchasing anti-static sprays in winter by rubbing a little on your leggings or socks.


Ditch your soap and laundry detergent and just pack a bottle of shampoo! Not only does it make your hair feel and smell fresh all day, you can use it as a body wash as well as to wash your clothes! If you are going swimming or snorkeling, you can rub a little shampoo on the inside of the lens to keep it from fogging.

Dental Floss

Most dental floss is made with either nylon or Teflon fibres and are a lot stronger than they may appear. Use dental floss as sewing thread for those clothing emergencies, a fishing line when outdoors, a clothes line for your smaller pieces of clothing, and a cheese/cake/bread slicer when you are in need of a knife!


This one’s not just for the ladies! A staple in most survival kits (even for the men), tampons are great as a bandage for emergencies. They also come in handy as tinder when you want to start a camp fire, or when you need a filter when clean drinking water is not available. All you need to do is shred the cotton and use a little creativity!

Petroleum Jelly

Not only used as lip balm or for cracks and blisters, petroleum jelly can be used to shine your shoes. Run a little over stuck zippers to get them moving again or draw a ring of petroleum jelly around your food to keep the ants away. Having trouble with a squeaky hotel room door? Rub some petroleum jelly on the hinges for some peace and quiet.



Full of abrasives that assist in removing plaque, you can use toothpaste to remove ink or lipstick stains on clothing. If you don’t have ice on hand, dab a little toothpaste to soothe insect stings and burns. Dabbing a little on pimples help shrink zits and you can also use a little to keep hair from flying in your face by smoothing a little over wild tresses.

Baby Powder

Baby powder is a great all rounder and a must for every toiletry bag! You can use it to freshen shoes after a day walking around in them. Sprinkle a little over your hair as a dry shampoo for lazy days when you don’t want to wash. Apply a little on your body when you are in need of some deodorant and for the ladies, you can pat a little on eyelashes to keep them looking plump!


Not only a fashion item, scarves can be used as a blanket, a mat, a makeshift divider, a sarong when you are out on the beach, an emergency towel, and to cover up when visiting places of worship like temples. Also, you can tie the ends to make a bag. One piece of cloth, many uses!

Duct Tape

Perhaps the most underrated travel must-have, survivalists and long-term travellers swear by duct tape! Use it to hem clothing or fix a rip, as a quick fix for torn or broken bags. Wrap a little around broken cables when there are no stores available. You can also use some to remove lint from clothing, kid proof sockets in a hotel room and as a sink stopper when none are available. Sky is the limit when it comes to uses for duct tape.

Do you have any other packing hacks or uses for everyday  travel items? Do let us know in the comments below!

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