Everyone brags about the latest must-have techno wizardry for the travel game, but I think these low-tech items deserve a mention. They’re cheap, take up very little space and should present no security issues at airports. Little things can make a big impact when you travel.
Clothes pegs: You might not be the type of traveller who does laundry in their hotel room, but packing a few clothes pegs is still a good idea. Even the finest hotels can have issues with curtains that leak sunlight, (in design terms, it’s called spring-back), while you try to nap in the middle of the day. Clip them shut and catch up on your zzzs. A few clothes pegs will also keep your swim suit from flying off the resort balcony.
Fan: I’m referring to the classic folding Chinatown fan. They’re compact, practical and a great conversation starter. Unfortunately, men who aren’t willing to channel their inner Karl Lagerfeld are out of luck on this one.
Chopsticks: While in Chinatown buying your fan, pick up a set of chopsticks in a plastic case. Shorter ones are easier to handle and will take up as much room as your toothbrush. Combine with a plastic knife for take-out meals and picnics.
Zippered baggies: I bring a range of sizes, from snack bags to jumbo. Useful for sneaking snacks from the buffet or packing wet bathing suits and laundry for the flight home. Decant your sundries from the puny security bag into a roomier one and hang it up using the …
LOW-TECH TRAVEL Photo Gallery
S-Hook: Available at hardware or dollar stores, a slim metal s-hook is great for bathrooms where counter space is at a premium. Hang it from a towel rack, door knob or shower rod.
Candle & matches: Ideal for atmosphere, bathroom aromatics and lighting your way in a blackout.
Universal bath plug. This flat rubber disc is good for sinks, tubs and a foot soak in the shower if you didn’t follow my advice about buying a proper city Map.
Flip-flops or thongs: By any name, these casual sandals, like a pair of Brazilian Havaianas, are handy for both high and low end accommodation. High – you can wear them at the pool or health club – low -you may need them to get from your bed to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Unlike slippers, you can wear flip flops in the shower or at the beach. Though you may be tempted, wearing flimsy footwear while touring is not advised.
Hat & scarf: Take your pick from baseball caps to wool tuques and from pashmina wraps to cotton sarongs, this combo is indispensable. A hat can keep your head warm or cool, a scarf or sarong adds flair to an outfit and can even be used as a picnic or beach blanket.
FA TIP: I can’t believe you didn’t pack at least one pen.
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