"This Can Save Your Life": Seasoned Travelers Are Revealing Their Travel Must-Haves That You Probably Never Even Thought About

Travel can be equal parts exciting and stressful (especially if you're a last-minute packer and planner, like me). Sometimes, it's hard to know exactly what you'll need and when you'll need it, which is why I often scour r/travel to find out what seasoned travelers swear by bringing on all their trips. Recently, Redditor u/anonymousquestions56 asked the community to share their travel essentials that aren't on the "basic lists." Here are some go-to items people shared that you may have never thought of.

1."Laundry detergent in the form of sheets. I got them on Amazon, so I don’t have to buy laundry detergent."

someone holding a brown paper package of laundry detergent sheets

2."An S-shaped hook is always in my toiletries bag. Handy if the showers don't have a way to hang clothes."


3."Ziploc bags."

clothing and other travel items laid flat

4."A simple dry bag: keep dirty clothes from making the rest of your backpack smell, keep electronics dry, or works as a collapsible grocery bag in a pinch. I most often use it to do laundry while traveling, though. I fill the dry bag (with dirty clothes) with warm water, add detergent, close it, and knead/agitate around for a while. The agitation is what really cleans the clothes, and that is something that is difficult to achieve in a sink. When done, let the soapy water out and rinse the clothes. Hang the dry bag along with the clothes to dry it so it's ready to use again."


5."I have a USB plug in fan that goes everywhere with me. Tiny and quiet, but has made some stiflingly hot nights a bit more bearable."

a usb fan hanging on the seat of a bus

6."I always bring a pashmina or long scarf to wear on cold airplanes. I also wear it in warm weather in restaurants that are freezing due to air conditioning."


"The pashmina is SO versatile! Also works as a mini blanket and is great for sitting on grass."


7."If you’re solo backpacking, a door stopper. So you can always be sure the door stays closed."

an alarm door stop placed behind a door

8."I always bring a small extension cord so I can charge my phone on the bed."


"This. I always buy an extension cord with USB outlets and the correct plug for the country. It makes life so much simpler."


9."A little bag with basic OTC medications (paracetamol, etc.). It's much easier to deal with a minor illness if you aren't trying to also juggle finding out where to find these things and what they're called wherever you happen to be."

someone holding a silicone bag containing medication

10."Reusable shopping bag. You can just fold it and put it in a purse or daypack. It can double as a beach bag or be used for grocery/snack runs. I always bring one when I travel."


11."I like the soft silicone earplugs that have a little nylon rope between each plug. Keeps my travel buddy's snoring from disturbing me at night. And if one falls out, just follow the cord to find it. Also handy for the airplane if you are by cranky babies or loudly sleeping adults. I bring a few so I can share with others."

pink and yellow ear plugs connected with a yellow rope

12."One large-ish spoon and a pair of (reusable) chopsticks so that you can sometimes buy food from the grocery store on the go (or stir your coffee)."


"Some take out places give you a plastic knife, fork, spoon, napkin, and salt and pepper in a sealed plastic bag. I always keep a few of those in the front pocket of the luggage."


13."Retractable portable clothesline."

clothes hanging outside on a clothesline

14."Empty pillowcase to stuff with bulky jackets/coats for traveling. Can be folded up snug when not in use."


"I like to bring a pillowcase as well because I don’t really trust that all hotels change their pillowcases every single time, so I like to use my own. At the end of the trip, I like to stuff the pillowcase with dirty clothes (if they fit). Then I just dump all the dirty clothes as well as the pillowcase into the washer to do laundry when I get home. So easy."


15."I often travel light (short trips on budget airlines), but regardless of how much baggage I take, I always take a couple of Compeed blister plasters in my wallet."

a package of compeed blister plasters

16."Small roll of electrician's tape. Easy to tear off a little bit and apply to every single little LED in a hotel room that seems to blaze with the light of a thousand suns when you turn off the light at night."


17."An Airfly. It’s a little device you plug into the flight entertainment plug so you can use your Airpods with the entertainment system."

an airfly device on a table next to wireless headphones

18."Headlamp. Usefulness may vary depending on your destination and activities planned."


"A headlamp with a red light feature is super useful when trying to find things in your bag in a dark hostel dorm room without disrupting other people."


19."Small sewing kit with safety pins."

a sewing kit with colorful thread, needles, and a safety pin

20."Not just a charging cord for your phone, but one of those 6 to 10 foot long ones, because sometimes outlets or USB charging ports are in stupid places in hotel rooms."


21."Baby wipes."

a pack of unopened baby wipes

22."Charcoal tablets. Helps massively with digestive issues (although can interfere with some medications)."


23."Plastic zip ties (wire ties). They can fix damaged luggage straps, make hanging loops, and so much more. I even used some as a trousers belt on a week-long sailing trip."

a plastic bin full of colorful plastic zip ties

24."Take photos of all your important documents such as passport, insurance docs, rental docs, emergency contacts, etc., and email to yourself or store on the Cloud."


25."Portable carbon monoxide detector. Saw a newscaster mention it was something he always takes on travel. Less than $10 and gives me peace of mind."

a plugged in carbon monoxide detector

Are there any items you swear by when you travel? Let us know in the comments or fill out this anonymous form!

Note: Responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.