As a regular traveler, there are things that one must carry, whether it's for a weekend trip to Ocean City, Maryland, or flying across the globe to Singapore. When you travel, you want to spend your money on more important things, like a better hotel or great souvenirs at your destination.
Bargains abound for buying air travel necessities, including stores like Dollar Tree. For the uninitiated, this is a store that sells everything for one dollar or less. Items range from holiday decor/ornaments to baby supplies, to arts and crafts items, to books, to kitchen wares, to electronics, and even food. So before you take your next trip, check out 20 travel-related necessities you can buy at a dollar store.
Depending on where you go, you may need an umbrella to guard against rain or beating sun. There are plenty to choose from, including tiny ones that fit into a purse or backpack.
If you encounter rain on your trip and did not pack any raingear, you might want to consider a rain poncho to protect your clothes. These roomy ponchos usually fit most sizes. If you are on a trip in Florida visiting its many theme parks, this poncho can save you lots of money. Instead of a family of four shelling out $40 at Disney for rain ponchos, you can cover up for just under $5.
Block out the noise—cheaply—with earbuds from a store like Dollar Tree. They do not compare to something like Shure 215 Sound Isolating Earphones (pictured), but they will do if you want to save money.
Portable Dental Floss Sticks
You do not always want to whip out a string of dental floss while you are traveling. So these flossing sticks are a good, more discreet alternative. And if you have braces, the tip of the stick is good for dislodging food.
Duct tape is a traveler's best friend. For $1, it can be used for everything from fixing a damaged piece of luggage to doing an emergency hemming of a dress or a pair of pants.
Germophobes would be horrified at all the places nasty stuff can hide on a plane. As another layer of protection against germs, travel-sized hand sanitizers can help. You can find a variety of scents available such as neutral, lavender, and lemon.
If you have allergies or are traveling with a cold, you cannot leave the house without tissues. Pick up a package of eight travel-sized packs of tissues that can fit into a carry-on.
Travel Cosmetic Jars
Most cosmetics are in glass containers or are too large to bring in carry-on bags. Buy a small set of TSA-friendly, two-inch plastic cosmetic jars can be used to hold wet and dry items.
Coloring & Activity Books
If you travel with kids, you know it is best to keep them busy. And one of the best place to get things like coloring and activity books, along with crayons and colored pencils, is a dollar store. And if they get lost or damaged, you will not get upset about the loss.
Many years ago, airlines would give out sleep masks and fuzzy socks for long-haul flights even if you were flying coach. Those days seem long gone. Instead of making a splurge purchase at the airport, think ahead and grab a cheap set at the dollar store.
TSA-approved travel bottles
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) can get very picky about the size of travelers' liquids. The limit is usually 3.4 ounces per container, stored in a ziptop baggie. Get a package of three 3-oz bottles to store your facial cleanser and hand lotion. If you want to bring hairspray or other products, you can get a set with a spray bottle or a pump bottle.
You can buy 8-packs of Sunbeam or Rayovac AA and AAA batteries. They are not alkaline, but they can still last fairly long. You can also get 4-packs of Panasonic alkaline batteries for that same dollar.
Everyone always seems to forget about their nails while on vacation. If you go away for week, that means a week of growth. You will need a set of nail clippers or emery boards to keep your nails in shape. The dollar store usually has small manicure sets that fit easily in a handbag. You can also buy nail polish remover pads and cheap nail polish in case you need an emergency touch-up.
You cannot take water past security, but you can buy this bottle and fill it up once you have cleared the checkpoint. You can also ask a flight attendant to fill it for you on long-haul flights.
It gets dry in an aircraft, so you need to keep moisturized. You can find two lip balms in different flavors and SPF 15 at Dollar Tree. Keep one in a pocket or purse and one in your toiletries bag.
At a dollar store, you can get ibuprofen, aspirin, cold medicine, cough drops, generic Neosporin, a first aid kit, band-aids, antacids, melatonin strips (great for combating jetlag), and cold/hot pads in case your aching body parts needs some relief.
Wisp disposable toothbrushes are great for freshening up after a red-eye or long-haul flight. Kick bad breath in pinch. These come four to a pack. For even fresher breath, fill a three-ounce bottle with mouthwash and use that too.
Baby wipes are a universal travel tool. These are great to refresh your face after a long flight or you can clean a tray table or other surfaces in an instant. These are a good way to clean your hands after eating the meal you brought aboard, and they fit nicely in a plastic sandwich bag.
Travel Vacuum Bags
Use travel vacuum bags to pack and compress your clothes so you can get more into your checked and carry-on bag. Dollar stores usually have a variety of tote bags in case your other bags become too full.