9 Essential Travel Items You Can Get From the Dollar Store
These Handy Items Don’t Have to Hurt Your Wallet
Preparing for your next adventure? Make sure to hit the dollar store before you go!
There are quite a few handy little things you can pick up from your neighborhood dollar store that will allow you to pack lighter, make your travels easier and save you money on the road. You’ll be glad you have these travel essentials on hand for every trip you go on.
Chances are when you go to another country, the electrical plug sockets will be different than yours back home so you will not be able to plug in your laptop or charge your smartphone. Head to the dollar store and pick up a couple of plug adapters so you are prepared.
If you travel often you might want to buy one of the multi-country plug adapters that can be used for many different regions.
Travel Sized Toiletry Bottles
Why lug around a full-sized bottle of shampoo when you can squirt just the amount you need into a much smaller plastic bottle? You can find travel toiletry kits with small squeeze bottles for your soap, shampoo and conditioner at many dollar stores.
Check the regulations for the airline you are flying with and you might even be able to pack these in your carry-on luggage if they are within the size limits.
Most dollar stores sell padlocks and bringing one with you is a great idea if you are going to be staying in a hostel. Most hostels will supply you with a locker where you can keep your valuable items secure, but they expect you to bring your own padlock.
Plastic Picnic Fork, Knife and Spoon
Among the dollar store travel items you may not have thought of are forks, knives and spoons. Look for a plastic cutlery set at the dollar store — the type that is sturdier than your typical disposable cutlery. Carrying cutlery around with you when you travel can be handy.
Sometimes you want to be able to grab something at a market or store to eat on the go and you might not have anything to eat it with. Or, you might be traveling in Asian countries but haven’t quite gotten the hang of chopsticks yet.
Also, sometimes hostel kitchens are lacking in cutlery that isn’t old, bent or grimy.
Small Pack of Laundry Detergent
If you see a small sized pack of laundry detergent at the dollar store, pick it up. A mini portable pack of clothes suds will save you a lot of money because you won’t have to pay to get your clothes laundered.
At the end of every day, hand wash that day’s outfit in the sink and hang it up to dry. This works great in hot climates, as the sun will dry your clothes quickly.
Power Bar and Extension Cord
Sometimes you get to a hotel room and find that the only plug socket for your electronics is in a really awkward position. Bringing a small extension cord and power bar means you can plug it in and then place the power bar in a convenient location in the middle of the room or next to the bed.
Sleeping Mask and Earplugs
On your travels you might find yourself having to sleep in uncomfortable situations, such as on a plane, on a bus, in an airport during a long layover or in a crowded hostel dorm. Sometimes the difference between being able to get to sleep in these environments or not is the ability to block out light and sound.
A comfortable eye mask and a pair of good quality earplugs can help you to get at least a little bit of rest no matter where you are, making these invaluable travel accessories.
Pick up a small handheld flashlight or even a head lamp when you are in the dollar store. They are really handy for when you are getting into bed late at night or waking up early in a hostel dorm and you don’t want to turn on the main light and wake everyone else up.
Your dorm mates will really appreciate your consideration. Also, having a light with you is handy in some more remote and rural travel destinations as they might not have many streetlights or ambient light after dark.
Luggage Tags with Contact Details
Another handy item to pick up at the dollar store is a set of luggage tags with room to write your contact information such as your mobile phone number. That way if your luggage is delayed the airline can easily call you and let you know.
However, avoid putting your home address or your home landline on your luggage tags. Someone could easily read this and then they will know where you live and that your home is currently vacant.
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While there are some toiletry items such as shampoo and conditioner that you can get away with bringing travel-sized versions of, there are others you don’t want to skimp on. There’s no way around it — you’re going to want a full-sized toothbrush for your trip. This seems to be something people always forget, so pick up a couple extra from the dollar store and stash them in your suitcase.
Only going away for a few days and don’t want to even bring showering things? Most hotels will supply shampoo and soap, but bringing some natural dry hair shampoo will ensure you are never in a sticky (or greasy, in this case) situation. What dry shampoo does is soak up the oils in your hair so you can go longer without washing it. When it comes to how to use dry shampoo, then, it makes sense to mostly focus on your roots.
You can even buy volumizing dry hair shampoo, if that’s something your hair needs. Dry hairspray is another big seller on the market now, making it totally possible to look good when you don’t have access to a shower!
Lastly, wet wipes or cosmetic wipes are another great thing to bring along with you for “just in case” situations. It might not be glamorous, but taking a wet wipe bath is better than nothing!