Packing lists are all over the interwebs, reminding you to bring enough underwear and an umbrella (does anyone actually bring an umbrella? I don’t.) and all these other practical, *duh* items that you’ve probably already thought about. How about some little weird items that won’t take up much precious bag space, but will keep you prepared for the most annoying situations.
- Soft ear plugs. A couple pair of these things fit into a case the size of a film bottle (oh my God does anyone even know what a film bottle even is anymore?!) and although you probably won’t need them, you’ll be so glad you packed them if you do. From a snoring roommate to city street noise at night and definitely to block out that baby on your red-eye flight from California to the east coast, these will save your sanity and sleep.
- Travel pack of baby wipes. What, you think just because you don’t have a baby you won’t use these? Think again, my friend. Baby wipes are basically just gentle-cleansing cloths, making them perfect for freshening up after an air-condition-less shuttle bus ride from Charles De Gaulle Airport to the center of Paris, or cleaning up sticky hands from devouring street food. Oh, yeah, and do I even need to mention when you realize mid-pee that the bathroom stall is out of paper?
- Moleskine notebook. Because your iPhone notes app is great until you have to write down information to give to someone else. Or your iPhone dies. Or you need to draw a picture because you’re trying to communicate with someone in a foreign language like a game of International Pictionary… although the new Notes update has a draw function. (I also use mine to take extensive notes on places I went, things I did, etc.)
- Extra hair ties. It never hurts to have a few spares in your bag, and they do more than just hold your hair up. I’ve used them to secure a broken eye shadow palette closed for the trip home, knot up my maxi dress when it got too hot, and even stretched over a rolled-up bag of snacks to save some for later.
- A portable phone charger. I actually use this quite often when I travel, especially if I’m someplace unfamiliar or don’t have easy access to an outlet. It’s an added comfort to know I can access GPS directions, call for help, or just waste time on Twitter during a long wait for something without running down my battery.
The best part about all of these items? They take up minimal space, so you won’t feel like you lugged it around for nothing. And they’re all meant for situations you hope you won’t encounter, but will make you feel so much more prepared and at ease if you do.