Insider Advice

NeverBeenBeforeSavvy travelers and road warriors have certain items they won’t leave home without. I polled my flight attendant friends, peripatetic buddies, travel writers and my own suitcase to compile this list. None of these things take up much space in your suitcase, and they all add to your comfort, safety and peace of mind.

 Earplugs will drown out the chatter of the guy behind you on a long flight or muffle traffic sounds outside a noisy hotel room.

 A sarong (lightweight cotton fabric) can be used as a shawl, beach cover-up, head wrap or an extra sheet. Choose a neutral color and save the Hawaiian prints for the tropics.

 Dental floss has been used to secure a bag tag, loop a jacket closed, tie back a ponytail, hold down a flapping blind – oh, and floss teeth.

 So has duct tape. Except for the ponytail and the flossing.

 A clip-on-book light means you can read away the hours of jet lag-induced insomnia and your partner can keep sleeping. It doubles as a flashlight, too.

 Re-sealing baggies, large and small, will store and segregate maps and receipts, travel documents, sandy shoes, wet bathing suits, snacks, the container you thought was leak proof, and much more.

 A few safety pins and rubber bands.

 Your very own, customized kit of emergency medical supplies. See Just-in-Case.

What will you never leave home without?