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.