remember to bring some money!
Travel Tips

Five useful things that you might never think to pack

Always forget to take something you need when you go travelling? I feel your pain. I’m one of the worst packers ever: it doesn’t matter if it’s an overnight bag, hand luggage or a giant suitcase, I’ll always leave at least one useful item behind.

Thankfully I’ve never forgotten the really important things because I repeat the mantra ‘money, tickets, passport, medication’ over and over until the packing is done. But even though I get by, I’ve often been frustrated when I’ve discovered that something that would have been really useful in that moment is actually in its usual spot at home.

With that in mind I’ve created a little checklist for you of things that you might never think to pack, but could end up being very useful!

An extra memory card for your camera

Always take a spare memory card

Maybe you’re quick thinking enough to always take this with you, but on one occasion I was dappy enough to forget to clear my memory card between trips and started my holiday with very little space for new photos!

Even if you do have a clear card, it’s always worth having a spare just in case you get trigger-happy with your camera and don’t want to have to delete some great shots!

A shower cap

I always ‘presume’ that hotels will have a shower cap in the bathroom when I arrive, but over time I’ve discovered that it’s a 50:50 chance. If you have long, thick hair like me it’s not worth the risk, so just pack one!

save the blow dry shower cap

My hair takes ages to dry (not fun at all when travelling in a cold climate!) and if my fringe goes damp I end up with an Elvis-eque quiff, but I was sent a really great shower cap called Save The Blow Dry (STBD)* to try out, and now I’m a total convert.

It’s really roomy, so great for long hair, but it’s super great for style-savvy travellers as its been designed to help you keep hair styled, meaning less time getting ready and more time exploring.

Beneath the outer waterproof layer lies a second layer of absorbent microweave towelling, which keeps humidity and condensation at bay, leaving your hair in tiptop shape. I can say that from experience, as my straightened hair was still good to go after grabbing a long shower wearing this cap.

Plus, as I feel the cold I also really liked the fact that the towelling layer meant it was really warm, so there’s an extra bonus too! If you have long, or styled hair, it’s well worth checking out.

Plasterspack band aids when traveling

Come on now, how many of you actually remember to pack plasters? These small little blighters can be really useful to have at hand, so whether you’re prone to shaving accidents or stubbing your toes on door frames, be sure to keep one or two of these in your bag – saves for embarrassing bleeding accidents!

Plastic bags

Want to stop yourself from having a stinky bag, or worse still, hotel room? Then take along a couple of plastic bags!

I always throw in several carrier bags on top of my clothes when I travel – simply so I can keep my dirty and clean clothes separate. By tying them in a knot when full and chucking them back in the case when you head home, it also means you won’t feel the need to wash all your clothes if they haven’t been worn, as they won’t whiff of smelly socks!

Your local currency

remember to bring some money!

We’re great at making sure we have our destination currency ready to go when we leave the house, but we often forget to make sure we have at least a note or two of UK money when we head off. You might not think it’s needed, but having some of your local currency is really useful for the beginning and end of trips. What if you want to grab a quick drink or snack at the airport, or give your taxi driver a tip?

Try to make sure you have a little bit of local cash on you, just to play it safe.

Do you agree with my list? I’d love to hear your thoughts and find out what you’d add to my ‘useful things’ checklist, so let us know in the comments below!

Products marked with an asterisk (*) have been sent to us for review. All opinions are our own and we’re under no obligation to review anything we are sent.

Images via: Pom Pom’s Ponderings,, Samsung Tomorrow

By day Co-Editor Keri is a freelance journalist and copywriter, but spends most of her free time either travelling or planning her next trip!  A complete travel fanatic, she has a love of tropical climates, wildlife and afternoon tea (hence the creation of her Global Afternoon Tea Challenge!)


  • Ania

    Some good ideas here! I, too, try to remember plasters and plastic bags – and usually manage to overpack..!

    Another thing I’ve found really handy, instead of carrying loads of money, is having a pre-paid currency card that can be topped up, and used just like a debit card. Quite a few people still don’t seem to know about these, but they’re great!

  • Keri

    Ah yes, those prepaid cards can be really useful! We used them when we travelled across New Zealand! It was really useful as that trip also included a visit to Hong Kong and Tokyo, so it mean one less currency to worry about taking along. 🙂

    • Keri

      That’s a good one Alexa, yes! I remember I needed painkillers when in the US as I hadn’t brought any with me and it was so hard to work out which ones were best for me (i.e. didn’t mess with my other meds!). In the end I picked some up that were much stronger than I expected and was a zombie for the rest of the day! :s

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