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11 things expert travellers carry in their suitcase

SAVVY TRAVELLERS: Escape readers share their top travel packing tips.
SAVVY TRAVELLERS: Escape readers share their top travel packing tips. dorian2013

OUR readers are a well-travelled bunch - and a peek inside their suitcases reveals they're super savvy when it comes to packing.

And most of their smartest tips of what to pack are small everyday items that don't cost much, but may end up saving a lot of time and money.

Like a packet of dental floss for instance - we never knew there were so many uses for this humble $2 item.

Here are 11 things we're now putting on our packing list, thanks to our readers' suggestions.

1. DENTAL FLOSS

The value of dental floss can be underestimated when travelling, from reattaching the earpiece on spectacles when that pesky little screw lets you down to extra strong emergency sewing thread. So pack a canvas quality needle and a small stitch unpicker and forget about heavy locks and cable ties on luggage (they can be difficult to remove). Use dental floss instead, very strong, easy to see if any interference has taken place, quick to tie but not easy to untie - hence the stitch unpicker. - Irene Flynn

If you don't have a pegless clothesline, carry dental floss. It's very strong and doubled over it works as a clothes line to dry your stuff overnight before you move on. - Alek Cirakovic

Dental floss is the best thing for emergency repairs. Cannot be broken, only cut! I have used it to replace shoelaces, wrap around torn soles of shoes, stitch up torn zips on suitcases and travel bags, to attach the hinge arm of your glasses as it will fit through the screw hole, sewing on buttons and fixing many other unexpected problems. The BEST thing to take ... - Elizabeth J. Brown

2. ZIP LOCK BAGS

Whenever I travel I always include in my luggage two or three zip lock plastic bags. They take up no space but are great back-up for occasions like keeping something separate for customs inspection, sealing up something that has started to leak or using as an emergency icepack if you sprain your ankle or, as I did, hurt my knee. The hotel barman is always happy to provide ice in an ice bucket for your icepack. - Deborah Wiseman

3. SCALES

Pack a handheld luggage scale if travelling by air. With these days of strict luggage controls by budget airlines it's a very handy apparatus to have on hand. All your friends will want to use it too! - Cecilia Gribben

SAVVY TRAVELLERS: Packing a roll of cling wrap is a smart idea when protecting baggage items that are precious or could spoil other items in your bag.
SAVVY TRAVELLERS: Packing a roll of cling wrap is a smart idea when protecting baggage items that are precious or could spoil other items in your bag.

4. CLING WRAP

Lay out necklaces and jewellery on a sheet of cling wrap and seal with another sheet of cling wrap to stop jewellery from tangling. And when packing hand creams and sanitisers, put a layer of cling wrap on the opened bottle then replace lid to stop packages exploding at high altitude. - Carmenita Green

Always take a cheap roll of cling wrap and duct tape. They have served me well time and time again for a million uses. My best use was when I flew from Japan to Cairns on Jetstar (with a 20kg allowance) and then flew from Cairns to Perth on Qantas (23kg allowance, but only one bag allowed). My checked-in luggage was split between two bags which was fine on Jetstar. When I checked into Qantas at Cairns they tried to charge me $40 as I had two bags. I wrapped the two bags together using the cling wrap to avoid the excess charge. - Julie Anderson

SAVVY TRAVELLERS: Once you have (enjoyably) emptied an old ice cream, take it on your travels to use for all sorts of emergency support from quick rinsing, to protective packaging to a whole lot more.
SAVVY TRAVELLERS: Once you have (enjoyably) emptied an old ice cream, take it on your travels to use for all sorts of emergency support from quick rinsing, to protective packaging to a whole lot more.

5. ICE CREAM CONTAINER

An essential item in my luggage is the humble ice cream container. I put things that might leak in it on the way there and breakable souvenirs on the way home. It is lightweight and can be used as a bucket for washing small items, the dreaded vomit and a multitude of other uses. - David Dem

6. TOILET PAPER

When travelling, always pack a spare toilet roll in your luggage. Treat this like a parachute - if you only use it once it's a life saver. - Gary Balnave

7. TWO-MINUTE NOODLES

Instant soups and/or noodles make a quick and cheap meal if on the go and arriving late at hotels or transiting at airports. Just carry unbreakable mug and small teaspoon in carry-on luggage, ask for boiling water (free or 50c max at airports) or hotels do for free at their bar area. - Barbara White

SAVVY TRAVELLERS: A light-weight combination lock and cable is a great idea when two or more people are travelling together.
SAVVY TRAVELLERS: A light-weight combination lock and cable is a great idea when two or more people are travelling together.

8. BIKE LOCK

When travelling overseas we always pack a bike lock with us. It comes in handy in tying your bags together when travelling on trains, buses or even in the boot of a hire car. A bike lock makes it a bit more difficult for thieves to carry two bags tied together. It can also be used to tie your bags together in your room/luggage storage areas. - Sharon McKean

9. BUBBLE WRAP

Fill under packed travel cases with bubble wrap to ensure items don't move around in your cases. Less ironing, breakages, etc, and it can then be used to wrap valuables and items you buy while travelling. - Lisa Maree Wilkinson

10. DOOR WEDGE

On numerous holidays, I have struggled to keep the hotel room door open long enough to get myself and suitcases in before the door slams shut. Not any more. A small plastic door wedge, easily stored in handbag for a quick retrieval, has solved the problem. It easily wedges offending doors open for a safe entry into and out of the room. - Lindsey Evans-Hunter

SAVVY TRAVELLERS: Pack at least one light-weight coat hanger; it's amazing how much use you can make of it.
SAVVY TRAVELLERS: Pack at least one light-weight coat hanger; it's amazing how much use you can make of it.

11. CLOTHES HANGERS

Take a cheap pliable metal clothes hanger, put it in the inside of the lid of your suitcase for easy access. In hotels, hangers are fixed on a pin which you have to slide inside the wardrobe. You cannot use them to hang your wet shirt or undies to dry in the bathroom. Problem solved. I tell you it is the best solution on your travels. - Liz Copini

I hang several clothing items onto each of my hangers (tops, dresses, cardigans, jackets), put an elastic band around the hangers to keep them together, pull a couple of plastic dry cleaning bags over the lot and then pack into my suitcase. At the other end, I just take the plastic and elastic band off and hang up. Easy! - Carmen Rakic

This story was first published in Escape

Topics:  travel travel-australia travel-international travel tips


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