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Travel Tidbits

Ten Packing Essentials

The next time you are packing for a trip, whether it is for an adventure-backpacking trip to the jungles of Panama or for a weekend in New York , consider our list of “can't do without these” items:

  • Expandable clothesline and clothespins – These are handy after you have hand-washed your clothes in the river or hotel sink.
  • Paperback book – A book will help pass the time on a long plane trip or a wait in a customs line.
  • Small hotel-size shampoo bottle – Shampoo is actually a mild detergent, handy for washing your hair, of course, but also for washing your clothes.
  • Travel alarm clock – Don't depend on wake-up calls or a hotel clock to keep you from an important meeting time.
  • Small flashlight – You never know when a flashlight will come in handy. Even five-star hotels have been known to lose power at times. Invaluable for snake spotting at night in the woods!
  • Zippered plastic bags – These are so handy for storing a number of things: snacks, dirty clothes, wet clothes, small items that would get “lost” in your bag, like pens, tape, and your expandable clothesline and clothespins!
  • Guidebook – There are many great guidebooks that range from guides for students on a shoestring budget to guides on shopping for fine antiques in Italy . Take advantage of available research to obtain general background knowledge of your destination.
  • Backpack – Backpacks are versatile, easy to carry, and have enough style variations to appeal to all ages and sexes. They hold a lot of your essential items!
  • Packing cubes – Packing cubes are zippered nylon bags that are great for organizing your packed items. You can squeeze the air out of the packed cubes, conserving space in your bag.
  • Bubble wrap and tape – Keep a few feet of small-sized bubble wrap in your bag for wrapping breakable souvenirs you pick up along the way.