Minimizing travel costs is always a challenge. From airfare to accommodations, and even food, #TheStruggleIsReal when it comes to innovating ways to spend as little as possible.
Perhaps pre-trip expenses, which I haven’t seen a lot of discussion about (compared to other topics), deserve some consideration! 😀
For this post, I swung by two dollar stores to see what travel merchandise they had available. Although I’ve been to these kinds of stores before, I don’t go often enough because I was shocked with the quantity of decent items available for travel purposes (and beyond, of course).
I picked up a total of 16 items I thought were of reasonable quality and determined would serve useful while on the go. They’ll also all fit into a carry-on bag.
From left to right (as best as I can), along with a description of the purpose, here are the items in this shot:
- Delicates washing bag. This one says “Bra Protection Bag” but it can really hold anything delicate. This is something I’ve forgotten on a number of trips and this whole time it’s been available for $1.
- Food storage containers. If you stay in a hostel, this is immensely useful. This set includes four containers. (Tip: you can put other items into the container when packing to save space.)
- Wet wipes. Good for accidental spills, wiping your face to feel refreshed, cleaning your hands before eating, etc.
- Dental floss. Flossing is important!
- Plastic pancho. Here’s a cheaper alternative to an umbrella, although an umbrella is still a good investment. If you’re traveling to a region where it might rain, this is pretty dope.
- Toilet seat covers. I’ve never really had an issue with toilet seats during travel EXCEPT when I was in the Philippines. But regardless of where you end up, it’s still a nice backup to have these babies, especially if you’re not a fan of sitting on unshielded toilet seats.
- Travel toothbrush and toothpaste. No explanation needed 😀
- Travel-sized Kleenex. Useful for purposes similar to wet wipes, and also if you catch a cold.
- First aid kit. For $1?! This one comes with bandaids and alcohol pads, among other things.
- Card holder. I like to keep my cards separate from my wallet because if anyone tries to steal from you, they go for the wallet where the cash is.
- Four pairs of earplugs. Can’t sleep with the rumbling engine of an airplane or through the incessant snoring of a hostel roommate? These definitely come in handy!
- Hand sanitizer. It’s always useful to have hand sanitizer. Plus, these are small enough to make it through airport security.
- Tote bag. I’ve used this to carry my clean and dirty clothes into and out of shared bathrooms, as well as my dirty clothes when doing laundry at hostels.
- Loofah. For scrubbing in the shower.
- Trash bags. I believe you can never have enough plastic bags while traveling. They’re necessary for a wide variety and number of uses: to hold shoes, for dirty clothes, for wet clothes (maybe you end up going to the beach!) and other wet belongings, etc.
- Sandwich bags. You probably won’t need to bring this whole box, but these bags are useful for packing food (like sandwiches) while exploring and for storing liquids for TSA purposes.
Half of these items cost 99.99 cents each, while the other half cost $1.11 each. That puts the subtotal cost at $16.88, and the total cost (with 9 percent tax in Los Angeles County) at $18.40. All of this for less than $20, along with the fact that practically all of these items can be used multiple times, is good to me! 🙂