All over the internet, I see packing lists, packing hacks, ways to pack your bag smarter, etc. I’m not going to rehash those posts – what I want to share with you are some of the more unusual items I always pack that make my vacations better:

  • Diffuser and essential oils. There have been times I’ve been tempted to leave this at home (it does take up valuable space that could be used for another pair of shoes), but somehow I always squeeze it in. And I’m always so glad to have it. I love coming back to a hotel room that smells delicious instead of stale, and my eyes are never as dry in the morning if I’ve had it running by my bed all night. Curious about which oils I pack? I did a whole post on Essential Oils on Vacation.
My diffuser always travels with me.

My diffuser on vacation!

  • Rice sock and/or Thera Cane Max: Trigger Point Massager (Blue). Hotel beds can be lumpy. Car and airline travel can make for very sore backs. These two items help with those issues immensely! If I know there will be a microwave available I pack my rice sock. This is simply a sock filled with white rice. Heat it up in the microwave for a minute and enjoy the delicious warmth on sore muscles. My Thera Cane Max: Trigger Point Massager (Blue) was purchased on the advice of my massage therapist and it is a lifesaver for those sticky spots on your back that you can’t reach to rub out. The one I have breaks down for convenient travel and I’ve never had it turned down going through airport security.
  • Tennis Ball.  For trips where space is really limited, pack a tennis ball – you can use it between your back and a wall to work on trouble spots and it feels heavenly when rolled under your foot after a long day of walking.

TheraCane and Rice Sock are lifesavers for sore muscles when traveling.

  • Bottle opener. Until I started keeping one of these in my bag, I found myself making random trips to Walmart while traveling to pick one up. Even if I take multiple trips without using it, it’s so small, that it’s wonderful to have on hand when needed.
  • Deck of cards. From playing solitaire in the hotel room when I can’t sleep to euchre with friends at a bar during a five-hour layover, a simple deck of cards has given me hours of enjoyment – definitely, a must have.

Always take a bottle opener and deck of cards when traveling!

  • Cleaning Wipes. I usually throw a few of these in a Ziploc bag and use them when I arrive to wipe things down. Once I heard another traveler mention that they use the hotel drawers for their dirty laundry and that was all it took for me to start sticking these in my bag!
  • Plastic bags. Either a used grocery bag or a few Ziploc plastic bags have been super useful through the years for leftover food, dirty shoes, wet bathing suits, keeping liquids from spilling. and so on. They take up no extra weight and can be so helpful for so many occasions.
  • Portable Yoga Mat. It folds up easily and is perfect for morning yoga, pilates or just stretching in a hotel room.  Here is the one I have and love:

What do you pack that’s a bit unusual? Anything that you absolutely can not travel without? Please share in the comments – I love to get ideas for making my trips more comfortable!

*This post may include some affiliate links which means that I get compensated at no additional cost to you. I will always only recommend products/services I personally love to use.*

Don’t forget to pin this for later so you can have a well-packed bag too: Unusual Things to Pack for a Better Vacation!

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