These must-haves recommended by frequent-traveling experts take up little space in your luggage and weigh next to nothing. Don’t leave home without ‘em.
- Tennis ball and T Spheres
I toss a tennis ball into my carry-on and T Spheres in my makeup bag, and I have an instant massage anywhere. Roll one on stiff legs on hour six of a flight, lean against a wall to get rid of a pinch, lie on top and feel the tension melt.
—Pavia Rosati, founder, Fathom
- Compact power strip
There are rarely enough outlets. “My room has too many outlets” said no hotel guest ever. Even at the airport, when you finally hunt down power, it’s great not to have to fight other passengers for it: You can charge more than one device at a time and even share a single socket.
—Gary Leff, founder, View From The Wing
- Peanut butter
I haven’t left home without it in 14 years, and now it comes in those convenient individual packets. This is my survival food for unexpected airport delays or arriving at a hotel very late but starved. You can find anything to go with it: a banana, pretzels, crackers…. If you’re really desperate, you can just stick your finger in it!
—Samantha Brown, host of the Travel Channel’s new show 50/50
- Super Glue
I never realized how handy it comes in until I packed it accidentally. Now I will never go anywhere without it. It has saved my shoes, purses, flip flops, necklaces, and luggage in a pinch!
—Jessica Seba, digital marketing coordinator, Journey Mexico
- Chapstick with SPF
I use it not just for my lips but under my eyes during a flight. Also, if shoes rub on your feet, rub on the chapstick and it will stop blisters from forming.
—Paula Froelich, editor at large, Yahoo! Travel
No need to eat bland food on the road when you have your favorite garlic salt and hot sauce!
—Christina Thomas of GO Epicurista
- Plastic drycleaner bags
When I travel, I have to pack two to three suits and five or more dress shirts. I hang each garment on its own hanger, encase it in plastic, then trifold the garments and place them at the top of my suitcase. Nothing ever creases, and I almost never have to iron. It’s magical.
—Jonathan Epstein, president, Celebrated Experiences
- Chip clips
I have a set of chip clips that I use to keep hotel curtains drawn.
—Micheline Maynard, author and educator, MichelineMaynard.com
- Lavender oil
Sprinkle it on your hotel pillows, or rub it on your temples. It aids relaxation, helps de-stress, and eases jet-lag symptoms.
—Rachel Pantoja of Sorted Travel
- Duct tape and plastic cable ties
With a small roll of duct tape and plastic cable ties, you can fix just about anything. Duct tape is also great for blisters!
- Wine bags.
I bring a couple of WineSkin Bottle Bags even when I’m not going to a wine destination. They’re great for bottles of all kinds—olive oil, vinegar, liqueurs, etc.
—Gwen Kozlowski of Exeter International
- Poly envelopes
Pack large plastic folders that tie closed with a string because you can put in them all the memorabilia from each day or each stop. When you get home you have all the items (ticket stubs, pamphlets) in one place, organized for your scrapbook or files.
- Egyptian Magic skin cream
This all-in-one salve is great for everything from dry, irritated skin to insect bites—and technically it’s not a liquid, so there’s no spillage.
—Ana Silva O’Reilly of Mrs. O. Around the World
- Shower caps
I save all those little transparent shower caps from hotels and use them as shoe covers.
- Exercise bands
—Wendy Perrin, TripAdvisor’s Travel Advocate