3 unusual things I never travel without

3 unusual things I never travel without

Here’s why I always travel with these three things…

I once heard wildlife broadcaster, Steve Backshall, mention that he never travels without superglue. He’s not the only one; I never travel without it either.

Here’s why – plus two other unusual things I never travel without:

1. Superglue

It’s true. Superglue is so incredibly useful – especially when you’re on the move. It’s powerful and of course quick setting.

I’ve used superglue for all sorts of things: repairing the zips on my backpack; sealing the toe of one of one of my boots when it started leaking while I was trekking in rainy weather; sticking one of the lenses of my glasses back into the frame after it fell out one day on a bus…

When you’re travelling, superglue can be an invaluable short-term fix. What’s more, the tubes are small enough to comply with the rules about liquids on an aircraft.

I think my favourite example so far though is when I was staying at a house on my own and the key broke in the lock as I was opening the door one day. Thankfully the lock was quite large and I could see the other end of the key inside it.

So I put a dob of glue on the end of the piece of key that was in my hand, and then I put that piece carefully into the lock so it joined up with – and stuck to – the other half of the key.

Once the join had set I was able to gently pull the whole key out. (Just be careful you don’t accidentally stick the key to the inside of the lock!)

2. Tea tree oil

This is my favourite essential oil and I take it everywhere. It has amazing properties and it can be used in so many ways. The oil is like an entire first aid kit in itself.

It’s antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral.

When you’re on the move in more remote places, you need to have something with you to deal with basic health issues. I’ve used tea tree oil as a concentrated mouthwash to heal toothache (and the toothache never came back); I’ve used it to eliminate athlete’s foot and itchy skin in tropical climates; I’ve also used it on my skin as an insect repellant – in diluted form.

I’d much rather use natural things to keep myself healthy, and many natural remedies have multiple properties to help with multiple things, which means you don’t have to carry around so much stuff. What’s more, a tiny bottle of tea tree oil lasts a long time and is small enough for carry-on luggage on a plane.

(It’s strong stuff, so always check out how to use it first.)

Glass jar of chocolates with pink ribbon

3. A length of ribbon

I do a lot of house sitting, and I always like to leave a little gift for the home owner when I leave.

Ribbon weighs nothing and takes up no space in your luggage – and it’s an easy and convenient way to make a gift look even more special. I often make chocolates or little vegan treats for homeowners, and I love how easy it is to create something that looks so nice – in a very simple way.

If you carry some ribbon with you in your luggage, then you don’t have to hunt around for some while you’re travelling – and you don’t have to buy a whole roll.

What do you never travel without? Leave a comment below.


  1. Gareth Everson 2 years ago

    Ooooh, great list, Angela. When I’m off the beaten track or staying in more run-down areas, I like to have a door stop (for door security from the inside), a plug (to shave and wash without wasting water) and something to use as a washing line. When I’m just travelling with my backpack, a zip lock wallet to keep paper things dry is good too.

    • Author
      Angela Sherman 2 years ago

      Those are great ideas, Gareth – thanks. Yes, I used to carry a door stop around, but then I lost it somewhere (probably under a door!), and ever since then I use a spoon. Sounds nuts – but if you have the concave bit of the spoon face down and push the handle of the spoon under the door, it’s very hard to open the door. Also, I like things that are multi-purpose. 🙂

  2. Gareth Everson 2 years ago

    Not sure my little plastic spork would keep a door shut!

    • Author
      Angela Sherman 2 years ago


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