Must-Have Travel Items That Cost Under $10

by SharonKurheg

We have several things we always bring when we travel. They’re not very large and we don’t need them every trip but we’re very glad we have them when we do. By this point, we don’t even bother to take them out of the suitcases when we unpack, because if we did, there’s a chance we’d forget to put them back. The best thing about these items is they all cost under $10 each and you might already have some of them in your own home.

Chip Clip


Have you ever stayed in a hotel where the window curtains have a 1/2-inch space that stays open? No matter what you do or how you pull the two sides together, some light always gets through. I find it amazing how that narrow sliver always lines up exactly so the light source outside the room shines directly where you rest your head when you’re lying in bed.

(Our reader Eric P. doesn’t bother with a chip clip – he says if the pants hanger in the hotel room’s closet has alligator-style clips on them, he just uses that).


When you’re sharing a room with someone, the last thing you want to do at night is wake them up by turning on the lights so you can go to the bathroom. Previously, we’d leave the bathroom light on and slightly crack the door so we could see our way. However, this caused problems of having to regulate the light levels before we went to bed and caused conversations like this one:

“Too Bright!”
(move door by 1/64 inch)
“Too Dark!”
(Yes, we really used to do that)

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We bought this 2-pack nightlight set on Amazon for less than $10 (Joe has one and I have one) and it’s worked like a charm. It has just enough light so you can see where you’re going and what you’re doing, without being too bright or too dark.


This is a Sharon addition to the list. Joe never would have thought of bringing a flashlight but it’s so easy to throw this in the bag and you never know when you’ll need it.


A small, simple LED flashlight is cheap and lasts for years.

Nail Clippers

I don’t know what it is about going away that makes my fingernails split and my cuticles peel. It just automatically happens and I’m horrible about remembering to bring my clippers with me. I’ve purchased 4-5 of them on different trips so I’ve started to keep a pair with my luggage and that way I won’t end up forgetting them (wait for it) again.

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Even if you splurge for the fancy Revlon ones, as I did, it’ll still only set you back less than $10 at Walgreens.

Phone Charger

There’s nothing worse than leaving your phone charger at home. You probably have an extra one lying around so go and put it in your suitcase right now, I’ll wait.

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You might want to spend a few more bucks on this one, but I said in the article the items were under $10 and I’m sticking to that. If you’re a person who has another brand of phone, well you’re on your own ;-).

Flushable Wipes

Here’s where the post can get into the TMI (Too Much Information) area really fast. I’ll just say that if your hotel has toilet paper that was sandpaper in a previous life or if eating away from home has caused you to develop some digestive issues (either way), these can save your ………. you know.


A pack of “on-the-go” wet wipes are much, much less than $10.

Stuff to Clean Your Clothes

If you’re not going to do a full load of laundry, you may want to get some packets of detergent made specifically for hand washing in your sink.


Amazon sells these for way less than $10 for a pack of 6. Thanks to Lisa H. for the idea!

So there you have it. Some of the items we bring with us every time we travel, each of them costing under $10. Do you have any things that you think we should add to the list?

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ER April 22, 2018 - 6:05 pm

We always bring a few Tupperware containers and various sizes of Ziploc bags. We like to go to grocery stores instead of eating out all the time, and these always come in handy!

SharonKurheg April 22, 2018 - 8:37 pm

Great ideas. We always have few Ziploc bags too…especially quart and gallon sized ones! 🙂

Billy Bob April 23, 2018 - 1:54 am

Single use laundry soap

nationalparkswitht April 23, 2018 - 9:38 am

Yup, I actually carry a sandwich size ziploc in my wallet, in case I need to protect my phone and gallon size ziplocs in my backpack to protect my camera and lenses

Bear May 14, 2023 - 2:30 pm

We just use shampoo for handwashing items in the sink. Soap is, after all, just soap.

Naveeda May 16, 2023 - 1:23 am

Ziplock bags for sure

LuAnne May 16, 2023 - 8:42 am

Check out a product called EARTH bREEZE.iT’s a pagage of laundry sheets.They look like a dryer sheet but are a detergent sheet,that comes in a flat package.I discovered them on the American Air shopping site,also Amazon may carry them in 2022.Subscription at that time cost $12.99 for 60 loads.It has become one of my fave travel products.

Jason May 19, 2023 - 9:59 am

Dr Bronners liquid. Serves as soap, shampoo, dish liquid, laundry detergent, etc.


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