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beach ball suitcaseEvery Wednesday, we’ll feature one practical travel tip here, on our blog. Get our clever weekly tips and other travel resources in your inbox by subscribing to our blog (top right) or signing up for our newsletter.

The one thing you should always pack on your travels is … a beach ball? In Must-Pack Items from Our Readers, Eileen H. says, “I never travel without a small blow-up beach ball. It can become a pillow of any size, a back support or a soft seat on a long journey, and is a great connector with little kids around the world.”

It sounds somewhat crazy to pack a beach ball unless your final destination is, well, the beach. Your travel partner might get confused when he sees you packing a deflated beach ball for that ski trip to Aspen. But Eileen has me sold. As I wrote in The Most Embarrassing Travel Gear, an inflated beach ball could function similarly to the SkyRest airplane pillow, allowing fliers to bend forward and rest their faces on a cushy pocket of air.

What’s your take? Will you pack a beach ball on your next trip? If not, what’s the one item you never travel without?

— written by Caroline Costello

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2 Responses to “Travel Tip of the Week: The One Thing You Should Always Pack”

  1. TravelBird says:

    I always take my travel towel – a large sheet of soft absorbent material that takes up much less space than a conventional towel, and drys really quickly. I remember it being expensive when I bought it, but that was over ten years ago and it’s certainly proved it’s value. Apart from being a handy spare towel, it’s great for taking to the beach (and on camping trips) as it folds up so small and drys in minutes. It also makes a good light-weight blanket too.

  2. Gerry Manly says:

    I always pack of pair of light weight long underwear, summer or winter regardless of destination. It comes in handy if the temp drops. It is invaluable if a hotel room or other location is too air conditioned. If I don’t use it during a trip, no problem–is was cheap insurance for my peace of mind.

    ps I am an ardent never-check-luggage traveler. See onebag.com

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