1. Duct tape –can repair anything, from ripped suitcases and backpacks bursting their seams to eyeglasses and charger cords. Roll it around a small pen or pencil.
2. Earplugs – honeymooners in the room next door? Bar brawls in the street below? No problem if you pack these.
3. First aid kit – a two-day supply for every problem you might have – cold, flu, diarrhea, heartburn…plus bandages and antibiotic cream.
4. Twisty ties – twist one through the two zippers in your suitcase and it increases the degree of difficulty to open your bag and deters light-fingered baggage handlers and nosy hotel maids.
5. Plastic knife – now that I can’t take my beloved Swiss army knife in my carry-on, I’ve discovered that a serrated plastic knife — the kind you get in fast food joints or the super market deli — can easily slice apples, cheese, bread…and even soft tomatoes and hard carrots.
6. Moleskin – a small square is all you need to keep that red spot on your heel from turning into a blister
7. Razor – one of the most common items that women forget.
8. Sewing kit and safety pins – hems rip out, straps break, whatever duct tape can’t fix, a safety pin or needle and thread can.
9. Battery operated votive candle – you’ve got your cell phone for a flashlight, but if you find yourself without power, this tiny lightweight candle lights up a large space and has a very long battery life.
10. Umbrella – because you never know what the weather will bring