Necessity is the mother invention, especially when you’re facing a crisis (big or small) while traveling. With limited resources, sometimes it’s merely a question of doing your best to suffice for the time being. By using what is available and accessible, packing a few extra versatile items just may save you when the need strikes.
Oops 1: Broken Glasses
Aside from $10 reading glasses or plastic shades you can find at a pharmacy, real prescription glasses are hard to replace in a jiffy, so try this: find a twist tie and strip away the outside layer of paper or plastic to reveal the thin wire underneath. Affix the arm to the eyeglass frames by threading the wire through the hole where the screw once was. Twist and wind it until the arm is secure. Ta-dah, MacGyver!
Oops 2: Lost Camera Lens Cap
You don’t want to risk damaging the lens of your pricey camera, so now what? Protect the equipment with the paper coverings from your hotel's drinking glasses and secure with an elastic band or hair tie. They fit perfectly. If you’re stuck on the road, slip a sock over the lens to prevent scratches.
Oops 3: Stained Your Shirt
For a quick fix, wet the area and rub in a dime-sized amount of shampoo on the stain. Let it sit for about five minutes and wipe with a clean, damp cloth. Shampoo is formulated to remove grease from hair so it works on clothing, too!
Oops 4: Hotel Curtains That Just Won’t Shut
No one wants to be woken up in the morning with a blazing bright beam of light on their face. To close the gap between the curtains, use a clothespin or a binder clip to secure the panels together.
Oops 5: Forgot Shaving Cream
You could use bar soap, but that's pretty harsh on the skin. A gentler option is hair conditioner. It’s full of emollients that will leave your face or legs soft and smooth without razor burn.
Oops 6: Tangled Cords and Headphones
Dig out that old sunglass case from your bottom drawer -- it’s a perfect size container to keep small electronics with cords neat and tidy.
Oops 7: Muddy Shoes or Hiking Boots
You'll want to contain the mess from getting all over the rest of your clothes, so store your shoes sole-side down in the shower caps from your hotel room. You can ask for extras from housekeeping -- voila, instant shoe bag.
Oops 8: No Free Internet at the Airport
Grab a map of the airport to scout out the business class lounges. You may be able to pickup their WiFi if you stand just outside the front entrance. Not all lounges require a password, but if they do, check on FourSquare. Often times the password is listed right in the comments.
Oops 9: Stinky Clothes
A dryer sheet does wonders for making your clothes smell fresh even when they aren’t. Simply tuck a couple into your luggage. Plan B: Unwrap a bar of soap from your hotel and toss it into your bag. It will help mask the stank until you can get to a washing machine.
Oops 10: Lost Chargers and Electronics
It's easy to misplace things when you're on the go. Tape a business card to the back of your phone, laptop, iPad, or any other electronic device to help boost your chances of getting it back. Chargers are the most forgotten items in hotel rooms so fold a business card in half, wrap it over the cord and tape the open end.
Oops 11: Painful Blisters
Blisters are a traveler’s arch enemy. A must pack item is moleskin, a very thin, adhesive bandage you can use to cover the affected area, which is available at most pharmacies. As a preventative measure, you can also pick up Body Glide Anti-Blister Balm, a non-greasy formula to stop friction on spots over toes and feet.
Oops 12: Lint and Pet Hair
A lint brush is not something you’ll likely pack, but to de-fluff your garments, simply pull apart the long, white airline tag from your luggage. It should be plenty sticky for you to pat yourself down and neaten up.
Oops 13: Dull Shoes
You should have given your shoes a quick polish before you left, but life got in the way. Now, they look pretty sad. The folks at Jergen’s won’t tell you this, but you can actually rub body lotion on your footwear to help them gleam brightly again.
Oops 14: No Travel Pillow
Travel pillows are expensive and they don't pack well. If you don't want to carry one around, a better option is to buy a small inflatable beach ball and inflate it halfway once you’re on the plane. If you have lower back problems, you can also use it as lumbar support.
Oops 15: No Suitcase Lock
Sometimes it’s nice to have a little extra security on your suitcase or backpack (especially in large crowds where pick pocketing is prevalent). Thread a twist tie through the holes of the two zippers, which is enough to slow down any would-be thief.
Oops 16: Damn Rain
While we can't control the weather, if you need to waterproof your backpack, laptop case or small suitcase in a jiffy, simply steal the plastic garbage can liner from your hotel room to affix over your bags. It works!
Oops 17: Damp, Smelly Room
Your hotel research failed and you’re stuck in a funky space that reeks. Dryer sheets can help mask the odor, or you can pick up some vinegar from the grocery store. Pour it in a glass and leave out to help deodorize the air.
Oops 18: Forgot Your Address or Room Number
If you hop around a lot and stay at different places, remembering your room number or even your hotel's address can be a real challenge. Before you leave for the day, take a picture of any important numbers or street signs. It's also a good idea to snap a pic so you remember where you parked your car.