5 Unexpectedly Useful Travel Items Under $2

20 February, 2016

Everyone has their own personal list of travel essentials- passport (definitely), moisturisers, portable power banks, neck-rest cushions… As a frequent solo traveller myself, I’ve developed my pet list of simple and humble items over time that have been unexpectedly useful during my travels.

1. Ear Stud

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For every girl (or guy) with pierced ears, here’s when your ear stud actually becomes really useful. Imagine visiting multiple cities and having to repeatedly change multiple microSIM cards- it’s a pain to search your luggage for your iPhone pin every time you need to switch between cards. To save yourself from unnecessary hassle, simply pull out the sharp part of your ear stud and use it to remove your microSIM card instead. Works like gold every time.

2. Plastic Bag

The humble plastic bag is one travel item I always have stuffed in my hand-carry bag. Having difficulties in finding a rubbish bin? Just chuck your used tissues and wrappers into a plastic bag beforehand, saving you trouble in carrying that half-eaten sandwich around for the day. Alternatively, if you forgot to bring a pouch to contain your travel essentials while boarding a flight, simply use a sturdy plastic bag to hold your passport, boarding pass, handphone and wallet for easy access and retrieval at the airport.

3. Wet Wipes


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Never underestimate the power of wet wipes. They keep you refreshed and clean in hot and humid weather while you shop your heart out, and are particularly useful on long-distance inter-city travels. Here’s another tip for girls- With just a bit of makeup removing liquid, wet wipes work way better than normal tissues in removing your makeup at the end of the day as well.

4. Leftover CNY Angbaos / Envelopes

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This is my all-time favourite travel essential. Remember the old axiom of splitting your money just in case you lose your wallet? To split my money, I typically divide them into different envelopes to budget my expenditure for different days. My choice of envelopes? Leftover CNY angbaos, since they’re usually small and convenient to carry around- more importantly, they’re much more inconspicuous in containing money (ironically) than stuffing all your cash in an oversized wallet (aka easy target for pickpockets).

5. Rubberbands

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Yes, the humble rubberband is actually one very useful travel essential, keeping your cords and cables neat and tidy, or securing your passport and boarding pass tightly before a flight. For easy access, just keep a rubberband around your wrist, so you can use it any time that you need it.

Cheap, easy to obtain and usable in multiple ways, these 5 items are definitely on my packing list for my trips. What’s your favourite cheap and humble travel essential that you can’t leave the country without? Share these tips with us by commenting below!


Featured Image Credits: Shutterstock

Astrid Lim

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