Unconventional Items to Take Abroad

Add these accessories to your packing list so you’ll be prepared for any obstacle that comes your way during your next trip overseas.

by Rachael Crawley Sigsbee

Unconventional Items to Take Abroad | Packing Pro | The Jet-Set Edit

Water bottle: Whether you’re filling up with fresh water from a small, mountain stream, or stopping off at a hydration station once you’ve passed through security, having a water bottle with you when traveling keeps you from getting dehydrated and spending a fortune on bottled water, which costs more than wine in some countries. SIGG Traveller White Touch 0.6L, $19.99

Washcloth: Don’t slack on your beauty routine while you’re on the road. Pack your own washcloth to ensure you always have a fresh towel at hand. REI MultiTowel Small Towel, $11

Flashlight: You never know when you’ll find your Land Cruiser broken down on the side of a road at night in the middle of nowhere. Mini Maglite, $17.50

Travel Clothesline: If you’ve ever had to dry your socks and undies on the balcony of a five-star hotel, say, in Monaco, you’ll never leave home without a travel clothesline again so you won’t be faced with having to air out your dirty laundry, literally. REI Clothesline, $7.50

Swiss Army Knife: “127 Hours” with James Franco. Enough said. Swiss Army SwissChamp Pocket Knife, $103

Sewing Kit: A broken button, an even bigger rip in your jeans, a new tag that you just cannot get off the darn shirt. The list of wardrobe malfunctions that seem to happen at the worst possible times are endless. Pack a sewing kit so you’ll have all the essentials you need to play seamstress if needed. Singer Sewing Repair Kit, $3.49

Notebook & Pen: When you’re jet-setting from city to city, you may not have the time (or energy) to stop and charge your electronics. Keeping a notebook and pen on you at all times ensures you always have a way to jot down your thoughts and details of the trip. Plus, flight attendants can get cranky if you ask for a pen to fill out your custom forms. DaySpring Christian Travel Journal, $16.99; Bic Ballpoint Retractable Pen, $2.49

Antibacterial Wipes: Maybe you’ve driven overnight through the French countryside and haven’t had time to stop to freshen up before reaching your first vineyard, or you’ve just eaten your way through the bazaar in Old Delhi, India. Whatever the case, antibacterial wipes offer a safe, quick cleanup in any desperate situation. Wet Ones Antibacterial Wipes, $3.89

Guidebook & Map: This may be a given to some, but for the latest generation of jet-setters, traveling with a good old-fashioned guidebook and roadmap is just as outdated as wearing a money belt. However, unless you activate your international plan on your phone, you might be SOL trying to navigate the South Island of New Zealand without the use of Google Maps. “Lonely Planet New Zealand Travel Guide,” $27.99

Neck Scarf: There are few accessories as versatile as the neck scarf. An upscale version of the bandana, this square scarf serves a variety of purposes, such as a headband to hide unwashed hair the morning after sleeping in a barn-turned-hostel in the Swiss Alps, or a face mask to help you survive the dusty dirt roads that travel on to reach the Serengeti in Africa. Nicholas Kirkwood Scarf, $130

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