A few years ago, my wife and I hosted a workshop at Pinterest’s headquarters in San Francisco. My presentation was on how to find cheap flights and Natalie shared all kinds of packing tips. The woman is an amazing packer! RELATED: Flight Attendant Shares Her Top 10 Travel Hacks Including Some I’ve Never Even Thought of Before
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I chimed in with my packing hacks and said I always carry duct tape because it can be used for everything, from fixing a suitcase and blocking out the little annoying lights found on some air conditioning units and TVs to holding the curtains together, although here’s another brilliant hack for keeping curtains closed in your hotel room. I also use duct tape to tape towels to sharp table corners so my son and daughter don’t get cut when they’re running around the room like little Tasmanian devils.
Duct tape is amazing. I even saw someone drive by me once with duct tape holding their front fender together! However, the big problem with duct tape—which my buddy Spud Hilton (former travel editor at the San Francisco Chronicle) pointed out—is that it leaves a residue behind, which is a real pain to clean.
Spud says he uses gaffer tape instead because it’s just as strong as duct tape and doesn’t leave the nasty residue. Of course, the first thing I did when I returned to our hotel was head to Amazon and purchase gaffer tape.
Sure enough, when we arrived home a couple days later, it was in the mailbox. I’ve now replaced my duct tape with the gaffer tape. It’s not only residue-free but also non-reflective and easy to tear.
I highly recommend gaffer tape for travelers; it can be used for a multitude of purposes and you’ll be glad you have it on hand. If you don’t want to travel with such a large roll, buy some mini rolls or create your own smaller roll by wrapping tape from your large roll around a small object like a straw or lip balm like I do. Then pack the larger roll in your checked baggage.
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