Useful multitasking items to take with you…

When you’re packing to a strict weight limit, it’s essential to try and streamline your packing but this is easier said than done…so I’ve been having a think about multitasking items that are handy for travelling!

Tiger balm

Although I made sure to take the white tiger balm on my RTW trip – and it’s already a multitasking marvel…I’ve recently discovered another use for the balm (thanks to my Auntie Kate) – an overnight spot shrinker! I was a bit dubious but after the immediate tingling sensation disappeared and I got used to the smell, I was pleasantly surprised when I woke up the next morning. I initially bought the white balm because it’s best for easing headaches etc. and I used it a few times in Asia if the toilets were a bit gross. But now, it has established itself as a permanent weapon in my arsenal. NB: only use it on the spot itself!

Squash ball

This is another of the weird items I took on my RTW trip after reading a recommendation online. Most hostels (for some unknown reason) don’t have sink plugs…which for most day-to-day tasks is fine but if you’re using the sink to wash your clothes, it’s much easier to do with a sink full of water than under the tap – not to mention better for the environment! So, take a squash ball and shove it into the plughole and voila, you can wash your clothes with ease. Another handy use for this could be, for hurling at a dorm mate’s wall to try and stop them snoring/making noises, depending on the quality of your aim it could be useful for throwing at spiders or cockroaches etc. / playing squash with (hey, I don’t know what kind of holiday you’re going to be taking!) / giving yourself an easy foot massage…also it’s really small so it won’t take up much room at all.

Hairbands/rubber bands

I used hairbands to keep my clothes rolled up when they were in my rucksack and then, they were there if I needed a hairband. Rubber bands would do the same job and could be used as hairbands if you were desperate.

Big scarf

I used my scarf for so many different things when I was backpacking…a scarf, rolled up as a cushion, a sarong/dress, towel, curtain around the bottom bunk for some privacy, something to sunbathe on…I bought a huge ‘oversized’ scarf which was really lightweight. I wouldn’t have been without my big scarf, it was so useful!

Clear plastic bags

These are so unbelievably handy. I used them for putting leftover food in, my travel wash that liked to leak, wet swimming stuff…they’re obviously reusable if you need them. I just bought a full pack from a supermarket before I left, I didn’t use them all but I used A LOT!

Shampoo and conditioner soap

Now this is something I didn’t take travelling before but I bought one for the campervan and will definitely take them if I go on any other backpacking trips. I knew you could get shampoo/conditioner/shower gel sheets but only recently discovered the soaps. There are loads of companies that do them now and you can get eco-friendly ones too. They take up a tiny amount of space compared to two separate bottles and you can get different ones for different hair types plus ones for shower gel. I went for a moisturising shampoo and conditioner combined. When you’re using it, you can put it inside one of the aforementioned plastic bags or if you’re staying somewhere for a while, a good tip is to put a beer top or something similar on one side so it doesn’t slip and slide everywhere or get stuck to the sink.


Now this one is a bit of a cheat as it’s already a multitasking marvel but I thought I’d better put it on as mine came in so useful when I was away – mostly the tweezers and the corkscrew…a good investment for travelling in my opinion!

Sticky tape

You can use this for loads of different things. Fixing your ‘Ray Bons’, sticking things into your journal, making plastic cutlery more sturdy (just wrap it around the bits you don’t put into your mouth), resealing packets of sauce, securing pesky lids of shampoo bottles etc., using to tape your face up if you’re bored and want to scare your dormmates/travelling companion, covering up holes in the wall/door of the hostel as a kind of anti-bug measure. Like below:

Anti-mosquito device

Yes, you’ve probably seen this before on my blog but I’m very proud of this creation! Neither Kim nor I got bitten while we were staying here (to my knowledge anyway!) I also used hair grips for this, which are also pretty handy for using in times like this or as a faux bookmark or paperclip. I also used them to keep my various pieces of paper like used tickets and brochures that I wanted to keep as souvenirs.

Do you have any multitasking items that you don’t go travelling without? Let me know!



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