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8 Travel Hacks for Stuff You Forgot to Pack

Forgot to pack an important item for your trip? Forgetting to pack something essential for your trip is something we’ve all gone through. Believe it or not, it has happened to me almost every single time I travel, regardless of how great of a last-minute packer I think I am. Fortunately, sometimes, you can make use of something else as a substitute of what happens to be missing. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, either way it’s usually a lot better than just moping about that missing item!

Travel Hacks for Stuff You Forgot to Pack

1. Toothbrush

jim carrey asparagus

(Photo By: Reddit)

When you’re busy thinking of what clothes to pack, it can be easy to forget things we use every day such as a toothbrush. If you forgot to pack a toothbrush and aren’t staying in a hotel that could just give you a new one, there are a few things you can do.

Of course, first try to find a local supermarket or drug store. In the event that you’re in a rural area and can’t find out, crumble up a napkin or piece of paper and rub it along your teeth, then even chew it, and spit out all the yucky plaque and tartar you just scraped off. Then, swish water in between your teeth and you will have semi-clean teeth!

2. Shampoo and Conditioner

frustrated at airport

It is better for your hair if you don’t wash it often, but if you are in absolutely need of shampoo and conditioner and can’t find a store, you can opt for natural methods. These include using Apple Cider Vinegar, lemon juice, or even mayonnaise. You can always just rinse with water, too!

3. Deodorant

Uh oh, forgot to pack Deodorant? Worst packing fail ever! Perhaps you’re in a country that doesn’t believe in using deodorant and no one will notice (just kidding), but you probably prefer to not smell like B.O. This is a hard one because it’s a bit hard to substitute something else for antiperspirant.

If you happen to find a communal fridge, you can take some baking soda and dab some on your arm pits, or you can use anything with high alcohol content like hair spray, hand sanitize, and even vodka…to kill the smell and dry out your pits.

4. Hair Dryer

women overlooking waterfall

I purposely forgot to pack my hair dryer at home when I went to Iceland because I assumed the hotel I was staying at would have one. They didn’t. So I not only had no way of drying my wet hair, but no way of styling it either. Using a towel works although it takes longer, but so does any type of powder, including your face powder!

I’m actually glad I forgot to pack the hair dryer because I realized that once I took my hair down, it made really pretty natural curls (see picture above.) The trick is to pull it up like a high-pony, twist the whole thing, wrap it around in a circle starting at the base, then CLIP the end piece at the base of the bun. Give it a try!

5. Warm Clothing

I’m always so pleased with myself for not over-packing, yet there have been 3 distinct times when it led to me being absolutely freezing. Jackets aren’t always cheap to buy, and you may not have anyone to borrow one from.

If you can find a thrift store, that’s your best bet, or if you’re staying at a hotel, ask if there’s a lost and found bin that you can borrow from. Of course, wearing every article of clothing you did bring is an option, but sometimes it’s still not warm enough.

If there’s a pharmacy nearby, get disposable heating pads for your back. They double as GREAT personal heaters and last for about 12 hours!

A more creative option would be wrapping yourself in the hotel pillow cases then layering your clothes on over them. You gotta do what you gotta do!

6. A Phone/Laptop Charger

forgot to pack

Forgot to pack a phone or laptop charger? That is extremely frustrating, especially if you’re in another country where these things aren’t as abundant. Even if you do find an electronics store, it won’t be very cheap. So here’s what you do; before your battery dies, look up a few hostels and cafes and write down their location.

Go to the hostels (or hotels) and see if anyone is sitting in the lobby who happens to be using the same device as you. Be super friendly (or just offer to pay them) to let you borrow their charger. Also, TV’s usually have a USB outlet, so check the ones wherever you’re staying.

7. An Adapter

Adapter plug for South Africa

It was very disappointing when I forgot to bring an adapter to Iceland, and there were no “travel stores” any where that sold them. Luckily the car I was renting had a USB outlet so I could charge my phone while I was driving. Unfortunately, that doesn’t work with my laptop.

I ended up asking the hotel front desk if they knew where I could buy one, and voila! She happened to have one that someone had left behind! Long story short, ask if they have one at a hotel…they don’t even need to know if you’re not staying there.

8. Other Forms of Money

In the event that you lose/run out of money or get your credit cards stolen, get online and find the closest Western Union and wire yourself your money if you need cash but don’t have a debit card.

If you happen to be somewhere that doesn’t accept your card (hotels in Thailand wouldn’t take my AmEx), tell them you’ll be right back, go find wifi, and book the hotel online with your card, then go back and check in.


Alyssa Ramos, My Life’s A Movie | August 24, 2016


Alyssa is a self-made, full-time travel blogger who accidentally started specializing in solo female adventure travel and GoPro “proper selfie” photography two years ago when the travel bug hit and she had no one to travel with! Now, Alyssa has traveled to a total of 44 countries, more than half solo, and has successfully turned her passion for travel, writing, and sharing positive vibes into a successful career as a travel blogger, social media influencer, and professional waterfall chaser. She enjoys sharing tips that are actually useful on her blog, photographs that inspire others on her Instagram, and real time feeds of her travels on Snapchat, so that others can see the world and get inspired to go travel, at any time of the day!

Follow Alyssa on Instagram: @MyLifesATravelMovie | Snapchat: MyLifesAMovie.C

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