The most unusual thing I pack

I always end up packing more stuff than I actually need for a trip.

Most of the time, this is camera gear that I do not use or maybe clothes for the wrong season.

However, there is one unusual item that I always pack and I always use.


I always stow away a roll of duct tape. I first read about doing this on an online forum. My first thought was that it was crazy-mad, a waste of time and effort.

Then I went on a cruise and found that I could not sleep because a cupboard door was banging as the ship moved during the night. After laying awake for a while and trying to ignore the banging, I eventually relented and put a shoe in the door. I had to repeat this for every night of the cruise.

From that point on, I packed a small roll of duct tape. If faced with a door that banged or curtains that would not close properly, then I could tape it up temporarily.

Duct tape can be easily torn to size and can be removed from anything.

Here are some things that I have used the duct tape for:

  • Connecting the handles on my soft-sided travel bag so they don’t get ripped off or caught in the baggage handling machinery.
  • I sometimes also put a piece of tape of the zippers on my bag to stop them from being damaged.
  • Attaching cruise baggage tags
  • Securing the tops of shampoo or conditioner bottles during travel to stop leakage.
  • Securing hotel room curtains that don’t close correctly.
  • Removing dog fur from some clothes I was wearing
  • Put along the bottom of hotel doors to stop noise and light from coming in.
  • Seal up any bags of food that we may have opened and need to keep fresh.
  • We once went to a hotel where there was no plug for the sink. As we were in a hurry, I just slapped a piece of tape over the drain hole.
  • Sometimes rooms can have some super-bright LEDs or air-conditioning panels. A small piece of tape over these will darken the room.

When travelling, I usually put the roll of duct tape into one of the outside accessible pockets of my travel bag just in case that I need it.

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