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Travel Gear Tuesday – Ziploc Bags

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Ziploc bags are the most essential travel gadget, period. Sadly, even a seasoned traveler like myself forgets this sometimes. I should have been reminded by Road Warriorette’s post on the same topic, if only it had been the week prior to my Orcas Island trip! Or if I had been using the uPackingList application for my iPhone I might have remembered as well.

Normally I always have them in my suitcase, but apparently I had run out and forgot to replace them before I left. I was able to purchase some at the grocery story by the ferry landing, but unfortunately, being an island, I paid double.

There are so many uses for this little plastic bag there is no way I can list them all, but here are some ways that I have used them:

  • To keep bottles containing liquids, gels, lotions from getting all over my clothes when they inevitably open. This leads to the most essential items number 2: tape (duct or packing) to keep bottle lids closed.
  • As a complete replacement to a toiletry kit, not sexy, but functional!
  • To keep socks that I have walked around in all day away from the rest of my dirty clothes when I forget a dirty clothes bag.
  • To organize smaller items together so they don’t get lost in the corners of my suitcase.
  • To hold all the business cards and expense receipts in one place when I go to conferences.
  • To hold postcards and other paper souvenirs when I am on a personal trip.
  • When visiting multiple countries with different currencies, I keep the coins in separate bags (in my purse, not my suitcase!) so I can pull them out when needed.

A few other things to note:

  • Please make sure to use these bags until they are dead as they are not the greatest for the environment.
  • Buy Ziploc and not a generic version, they will last longer and stand up to more use.
  • Use the traditional “pinch close” variety and not the zip kind, liquids can leak through the zipped portion.

How about you? Got any travel related Ziploc tips?

Trip Report - Orcas Island
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Saturday 4th of December 2010

I worship the goddess Ziplockia.


Saturday 4th of December 2010

@Anne, love that!


Thursday 22nd of July 2010

great suggestions. When I travel I put my underpants in one, then the security guys can 'see' what is there w/o putting their hands on my delicates!! Learned that somewhere and assume it works..

Recycling? Always.. In the old (80's) days I used to recycle the bread bags and wrap as much in them as possible, though the advantages of the ziploc are too great to pass up.

Carolyn Jung

Wednesday 21st of July 2010

Someone else just gave me that great advice -- PLUS an additional recommended item. And that is -- a little bit of bubble wrap. Now that you can't pack liquids in your carry-on, a sheet of bubble wrap sure comes in handy to pack a wine bottle or jar of jam you picked up on your travels with extra care in your check-in bag.


Wednesday 21st of July 2010

@Carolyn, I now no longer travel without one of these as well!

Alisa Bowman

Wednesday 21st of July 2010

Make sure you store them in your suit case at the hotel. Other wise the cleaning staff is liable to think they are trash.... tis a tragedy when that happens.


Wednesday 21st of July 2010

@Alisa, wow, never had that happen to me, but good point!


Tuesday 20th of July 2010

(For some reason, my comment didn't post so here goes again. Apologies if it turns out to be a repeat.)

"Ziplocs are a must! I can't tell you how many times they have saved my suitcase innards from exploding bottles of goo.

One thing I do to help the planet is wash and reuse them. Turn them inside out and wash with soap (if neccessary). Then, to dry, I make a ziploc-drying rack by saving the chopsticks from chinese takeout and standing them up in an old vase. Place one ziploc over each chopstick and let air dry. You can reuse them 2 or 3 times this way."


Tuesday 20th of July 2010

@Lyn, awesome tip with the chopsticks! I try to use them until they die as well!