5 Essential Pack Items From the Dollar Store
As a thriftster one of my favorite places to shop is the Dollar Store (aka 99¢ only store). Growing up I didn’t think much of these stores and for good reason, they generally, at least in my mall, had crap. But then I walked into a 99¢ only store in Los Angeles 10 years back, and as Snoop said, “I had to back up off it and sit my cup down.” It was a heady experience. I mean the store was the equivalent of a grocery store–household goods and all–but everything cost less than a $1.
For those planning their upcoming travels, I suggest checking out your nearest Dollar Store. But Randy, what could I possibly need from the discount chain? Great question, I’m glad you asked. In my opinion, there are actually five essential items for your packing list that can be bought at the Dollar Store.
Electrical Tape: If you are carrying electronics on the road, like an iPhone or laptop, then I suggest packing a roll of electrical tape. Not only is the black tape perfect for mending electrical cords, like the iPhone USB cord, it also works well as a temporary fix for non-electrical issues because it stretches easily and doesn’t leave a sticky residue when removed.
Wine opener: Bummed is what we were when we discovered in Paris that our Swiss Army knife didn’t have a corkscrew. Sure it wasn’t hard to find one, but it cost us about six times what we would have paid if we had bought one at the Dollar Store before our trip.
Bandana/Handkerchief: It’s really just a piece of cotton cloth, but that doesn’t stop Target from selling them for $12.99. Stylish, lightweight and multi-functional, a handkerchief is one of my favorite pieces of travel gear.
Bungee cords: You may never need a bungee cord, but if you do, you’ll be happy that you brought one along on your trip. For example, on our last leg my backpack broke, and we had to rig it up to a wheelie cart with a bungee cord. Because bungee cords are compact and weigh only a few ounces, they are a great item to place into you pack and forget about.
Sewing Kit: Ripped jeans may be making a come back, but for me, especially if I’m traveling, then I like to keep things sewed up. Packing a sewing kit enables you to make quick, cheap fixes during your trip. And while I’m no doctor, I think you could actually temporary stitch up a wound with one.
Do you have any favorite travel items that you’ve found at the thrift store or Dollar Store? If so, we would love to hear about them in the comments below.
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