Travel-Related New Uses for Old Things
Plastic Drinking Straw as Knot Preventer
For tangle-free jewelry during your travels, unclasp the chain, thread it through a plastic drinking straw, and reclasp. For a shorter chain, cut the drinking straw to the desired length.
Button as Earring Holder
Travel is best done in pairs (think of Lewis and Clark or Thelma and Louise). To keep a set of earrings together on your next overnight jaunt, fasten them to a button so they won’t get lost in your suitcase pocket.
Newspaper as Packing Material
Pack delicate items. Wrap frames and figurines with several pieces of newspaper, and then crumple the remaining sections to fill extra space in the box.
Conditioner as Shaving Cream
Lighten your carry-on load and sub conditioner for shaving cream.
Contact Lens Case as Travel Spice Holder
Pack small amounts of salt, pepper, and spices for a camping trip.
Cereal Box as Sweets Carrier
Attention, PTA members: Here’s a practical Transport Alternative for the bake sale. Tape a cereal box closed, then cut away the front or back panel to create a tray for those top-selling brownies. Best of all, you can just "donate" the box.
Hanging Wash Bag as Cord Storage
Store chargers, power cords, and extra headphones in the clear pouches of a hanging jewelry organizer. You'll be able to find exactly what you're looking for and packing your tech is that much easier. Submitted by: jloper
Luggage Tag as Decorating Aid
Avoid decorating mistakes. Tuck fabric, wallpaper, and paint swatches inside so you can ensure a perfect match.
Scratched CD as Safety Reflector
Want drivers to see—not sideswipe—yourmailbox at night? Glue headlight-catching CDs onto its side.
Confetti as Packing Material
Don't ditch excess confetti or shredded paper. Use it to cushion breakable items so they arrive in one piece.
Tissue Paper as Wrinkle Preventer
Avoid ironing while on the road. Pack clothes between layers of tissue paper and they’ll arrive wrinkle-free.
Drink Holder as Fruit Protector
Rough commute? Slide a drink cooler over an apple to keep it from bruising in your lunch tote.
Suitcase as Toiletry Container
Keep extra travel-sized toothpaste, shampoo, cotton balls and other personal items in an old suitcase. With a trunk full of toiletries, you'll never run out of necessities. Plus, you'll save valuable shelf space for the things you use every day.
Luggage Tag as Gift Label
Slip a gift label inside a tag.
Easter Grass as Packing Material
Don't trash that plastic Easter grass (but do keep it away from your pets; it can be dangerous if consumed). Use it as packing materials for delicate items—so you won’t need to worry whether Uncle Bob's favorite Chianti will make it to his wine cellar unscathed.
Cork as Sewing Kit
Make a compact sewing kit by sticking needles and pins in a cork. For a little zip, wrap it with a few lengths of thread.
Cotton Swab as Travel Makeup Kit
Make an on-the-go cosmetics kit by applying a bit of your favorite eye shadow, concealer, and lip gloss to the ends of cotton swabs and stashing them in a plastic bag in your purse.
Address Labels as Travel ID Tags
Tag your precious travel items, such as your iPod and digital camera with return address labels. If you accidentally leave a device on the airplane, a Good Samaritan will know where to mail it. Consider them homing devices for your airborne companions.
Book Cover as a Tourist Disguise
A travel guide screams "I’m lost!" but cloaking it in pretty paper or the jacket of a book in the native language will let you blend in with the locals. You'll be more likely to be asked for directions than taken for a ride.
Bubble Wrap as Jewelry Organizer
For tangle-free jewlery on the go, place chains and earrings on a length of wrap, roll tightly, and tape closed. Your necklaces will emerge from your suitcase ready to wear, even if the same can't be said for your clothes.
Business Card Holder as Sugar Packet Carrier
Use a business card case to make packets of your favorite sweetener portable. You'll always have coffee your way―without a purse full of powder from torn packets.
Button Bag as Pill Carrier
When you’re on the go, leave the bulky pill bottles in the medicine cabinet and place only what you need in a plastic bag. You can keep your daily dose all buttoned up.
Checkbook Case as Travel Wallet
Separate foreign currency from American bills in your handbag or wallet so you don't mix up your paper trail.
Coasters as Gift Tags
For clever gift tags that capture a travel memory, hang on to cardboard coasters from the bars and the restaurants you visit on your journey. When you return home with souvenirs for friends and family, punch a hole near the edge of the coaster, tie a ribbon through the hole, and write a quick note in an empty space (or on the blank side).
Contact Lens Case as Pill Storage
Easily transport non-prescription pills without all the bottles. Pop it into your handbag and you'll have a headache remedy handy when the man in seat 7A drones on about his herniated disk. Plus you'll keep pills out of contact with everything else in your purse
Digital Camera as New-City Navigator
Don’t make yourself a target by looking like a tourist. Snap a photo of your map and it will look as if you’re scrolling through snapshots, not street names.
Eyeglasses Case as Manicure Kit
An unused glasses case makes a convenient storage spot for nail files, clippers and other manicure essentials while on the go.
Film Canister as Manicure Kit
Assemble a mobile manicure kit by cutting a sponge into small pieces, saturating them with nail polish remover, and storing them in the canister.
Lip Balm as Cuticle Moisturizer
Rub a bit of lip balm on dry cuticles for a quick and easy way to soften them when you're on-the-go.
Lunch Box as Toiletries Bag
Keep shampoo from crossing unauthorized borders by packing toiletries in a sturdy lunch box in your luggage.
Plastic Wrap as Box Handle
Carry unwieldy packages by twisting several feet of wrap into a sturdy rope, tying it around a box, and knotting the rest into a handle.
Suitcase as Linen Storage
Keep off season linens and other decorations in a suitcase when you're not traveling.
Sunscreen as Shaving Lotion
While a bottle of expired sunscreen will no longer protect you from UV rays, it can still protect you from razor burn. Use it when lubing up to keep legs smooth all year long.
Towel as Plant Waterer
Keep your plants hydrated. If you’re going away for a week or so, place a towel in a bathtub or sink and fill with about two inches of water. Then thoroughly water the houseplants, and place them on top of the towel. They’ll soak up the water.
Vitamin Organizer as Travel Jewelry Box
Pack enough jewelry for a week away. The individual compartments are the perfect place to keep earrings, necklaces, and rings safe and tangle-free.
Wristwatch as Earring Holder
Keep track of your earrings while you hit the gym (or the spa). Place the studs through the holes on the watch strap and then attach their backs.
Zippered Plastic Bag as Compact Case
Fend off pressed powder by storing your purse compact in a securely zipped plastic bag.
Vitamin Organizer as Travel Makeup Palette
Skip individual travel-size bottles and load lipstick shades and cream foundation into the compartments of a multi-day pill case.
Duct Tape as Luggage Tag
Make your suitcase easier to identify. Stick a few pieces of duct tape to the sides of the bag to avoid the usual "Is that mine?" routine at the baggage carousel.
Hair Conditioner as a Shave Gel
All out of shaving cream? Rather than skipping the shaving session altogether, reach for the conditioner to help soften your skin.
Makeup Case as Art Supply Storage
Now that your travel toiletries have taken up residence in a plastic bag, stash markers and colored pencils where the makeup brushes used to, and tuck stickers and stamps into the case's smaller compartments.
Matchbook as Hotel Locator
Carry a matchbook from your hotel when you're visiting an unfamiliar city to direct a taxi driver when the address escapse your memory.
Matchbox as Travel Sewing Kit
Once the sticks are gone, fill a matchbox with a few sewing essentials: needles, thread, buttons, and a few safety pins. No more need to panic when a button emergency strikes on a business trip.
Oven Mitt as Heat Guard
When you don’t have time to let your styling tool cool (say, you’re headed for the airport or going straight to work from the gym), stash it in a heat-resistant mitt before packing it up.
Altoids Tin as Crayon Box
Corral crayons for an instant kids’ distraction kit. Keep the tin in your purse for the next waiting room for perfectly quiet little Picassos.
Plastic Bag as Makeshift Rain Hat
A 30 percent chance of rain… hmm. Do you tote around an umbrella (maybe for nothing) or head out sans protection (and risk getting drenched)? Third option: Tuck a plastic bag into your pocket or purse. Then, if you're caught in a downpour, you can use it as an on-the-spot rain hat to protect your do.
Plastic Wrap as Spill Preventor
Stop leaky toiletries from putting a damper on your next vacation by covering each bottle and tube with a layer of wrap.
Ribbon as Umbrella Tie
A rainy day equals wanting to stay in bed, under the covers. That’s rarely possible, but there is a silver lining. You can brighten up a decidedly utilitarian umbrella by tying a pretty bow on it.
Shower Cap as Shoe Bag
Prevent dirt or sand-covered shoes from mingling (and soiling) neatly packed clothes in your suitcase.
Soap Case as Camera Carrier
Protect your picture taker from getting knocked around in your carry-on by placing it in a hard plastic travel soap case.
Suitcase as Linen Storage
Store seasonal dishcloths, napkins, and tablecloths together for easy-access table settings.
Travel Bottles as Salad Dressing Containers
Prevent salads from going soggy in your lunch bag by storing your favorite dressin in a travel bottle until lunchtime. Then pour it on and toss.
Socks as Shoe Protectors
Use athletic socks to sheathe your nicest shoes inside a suitcase. Protecting them from wear and tear when you're on the road.
Water Bottle as Souvenir Storage
To prevent souvenir maps, ticket stubs, postcards, and museum brochures from bending or tearing in your suitcase, just roll them up and drop them into a dry, wide-mouthed bottle. Your mementos will stay well-preserved.
Zippered Plastic Bag as Beauty Product Storage
For overnight trips, fill bags with single portions of shampoo and conditioner. Protect Q-tips and cotton balls from moisture, or stash powder compacts in bags to prevent spills in your purse.
Zippered Plastic Bag as Record Keeper
Keep receipts handy and wrinkle-free. Corral keys, your phone, and loose change before hitting airport security. Store your car’s insurance card and registration in the glove compartment.
Zippered Plastic Bag as Jewelry Storage
Snack-size bags are perfect for packing a weekend’s worth of jewelry. Bag silver jewelry to reduce tarnishing. Dedicate a bag to extra earring backs.
Luggage Tag as Portable Photo Frame
Carry a photo of a loved one with you at all times. Slip a favorite snapshot in a luggage tag and attach it to your key ring.