Whether you’re going away for a long travelling experience or a short break, there are some items you should try not to do without:
1. Packable shelves. Keeping your suitcase organised is always a struggle, but packable shelves make it easy, concertina-ing neatly into your suitcase, keeping clean and dirty clothes separate, before lifting just as neatly out in one to hand straight in the holiday wardrobe.
2. Money Belt. One of the venerable classics of travel essentials, money belts keep your finances tucked away safe under your clothes. Certain models, such as Safari Money Belt, even pass as a real belt – worn over the clothes – and hold up your trousers too!
3. Sleep Mask/Ear Plugs. Bundled as one item! These are vital if you want to be sure of restful sleep, whether travelling or staying over.
4. Luggage Scale. Save hundreds in overweight-luggage fees with an inexpensive luggage scale. Weigh your suitcase before showing up at check-in with your bag. This is even more vital on return flights, when you will have obtained a souvenir or three.
5. Duct tape. It may seem odd, but a roll of this can be used for many holiday emergencies – including waterproofing, repairing holes in bags or tents, pinning up skirt hems, taping valuables under hotel beds, making impromptu luggage straps and covering blisters. Duct tape truly is the Swiss army knife of gummy stuff!
6. Swiss army knife. What better to follow the previous entry? And do we even need to explain why a Swiss army knife is an essential? From peeling fruit to making quick luggage or clothing repairs. For the very best, pick the Victorinox Outrider, with its high-quality scissors and pull-out tweezers.
7. Luggage Ties. Keeping your luggage locked and safe is a key part of global travel management, but good padlocks can be costly. Plastic zip-ties are a fantastic and cheap alternative, being tough enough to stop opportunistic pilfering and inexpensive to replace.
8. Worldwide Plug Adapter. Now that travelling with an array of smartphones, laptops, digital cameras and video recorders is de rigeur, you need to make sure you can keep them powered. Take a couple of these, and you’ll never be caught short.
9. Soft-fibre travel towel. These are a great advance on standard towels, which can quickly become damp and smelly when taken on your travels. They are light and small and dry in triple-quick time. They are also impregnated with an anti-bacterial agent, keeping them fresh and healthy during those trips to the tropics. It will even double as a sarong or travel pillow!
10. Squash ball. Why bring a squash ball? Well, ever stayed at a cheap hostel or hotel and found the sink and bath without plugs? Tried improvising with toilet paper? Was it a success? Fear not – a cheap and light squash ball will create a watertight seal on almost any plughole.