WHAT do you reckon is the most-loved travel product? Four-wheeled luggage? Noise-cancelling headphones? An iPad?
All would be high on the list, but these high-priced items pale into insignificance compared to the most humble of inventions that costs mere cents to buy — the ubiquitous Ziploc bag.
Also known in Australia as sandwich bags, resealable bags, zip bags, or resealable sandwich zip bags if you want to have all bases covered.
Of all the travel tips readers submit to Escape, Ziploc bags seem to be the gift that keeps on giving. From keeping your liquids from leaking all over your belongings to making the most of your packing space, there appears to be no end of creative ways to use these see-through pouches of ingenuity.
“After years of travelling, my ultimate travel tip is to travel with little containers of shampoo, shower gel, and toothpaste,” writes Matt Jonston.
“Travelling with full size bottles adds weight, takes up room, and increases risk of spillage. So even the small bottles should be kept in a Ziploc bag. You should also keep a spare toothbrush in a separate bag in case of contamination from unclean water.”
But why bring your own toiletries? Lisa Reale packs extra bags for the hotel supplies: “Always pack extra Ziploc bags with you as [they are] great storage for those hotel toiletries that are taken back as souvenirs or use them to take with you to put rubbish in them.”
Fiona Murray appreciates the bags for visibility: “When I travelled to Africa I took a variety of clear Ziploc bags to store dirty shoes, wet clothes, toiletries and pills such as vitamins, headache, malaria etc. I take the pills out of their box/bottle and slip the strips into the bags so you can still see what each item is. It saves a lot of space and I also got my GP to write a cover note describing my pills so I wouldn’t have any problems at border and custom checks.”
Then there’s always using the sandwich bags for … uh, sandwiches.
“When we travelled through France, Italy and Germany, we had hotel with breakfast included. We filled up big at breakfast and ate heaps. We packed a box of Ziploc bags and made a small sandwich to take with us, just to tide us over till dinner time. This saved us a small fortune in lunches,” writes Lisa Redman.
Plenty of readers preferred to use them for non-edible uses, however, with clothing the preferred option.
“Put undies in one, socks in another, bras in one, singlets in another, shorts in one, short sleeve tees in another etc. compress the air out as you zip and a vacuum effect results in space saving. No more rummaging through that suit case,” suggests Jennifer Kenelley
Chris Auton also appreciates the bag’s vacuum seal abilities: “When you pack your carry-on bag, put a change of clothes, jumpers, shirts, underwear into large Ziplocs.
“Roll up from the bottom leaving the top open. When you have rolled all the way to the top seal the bag. It’s like using vacuum bag storage.
“This is a really good if you are travelling with infants and babies as you can put a complete outfit in each bag. The amount of space you save is amazing. I have also packed my main case like this as well. Quality Ziplocs work better as they hold the vacuum longer.”
And Sandra Frank has found another novel way to combine Ziplocs with that other ubiquitous clear plastic product — cling wrap.
“I always travel with a roll of cling wrap. This weighs almost nothing, takes little room and holds my Ziploc bags down the centre core. This is invaluable when packing breakfast, lunch or even just wrapping cut fruit,” says Frank.
And Dee Wright has come up with a clever idea for the germ-hating traveller: “Always put the hotel TV remote and air conditioner remote each in a separate Ziploc bag to prevent the spreading of germs. This enables use of the remote but without touching any nasty germs.”
And finally, Darryl Kelly likes to have a Ziploc bag handy for an event no traveller would want to face: “In emergencies, retrieve passport, phone, cash etc. from the overhead locker when the pilot announces that they are about to commence descent and place items in medium Ziploc bag.
“If you need to evacuate plane, your most important items are in your possession and water proof. If you are required to enter the water, unzip corner and breath into the bag to inflate and re-lock bag. Your items will now float and remain water proof.”
Well, at least your passport and phone will be safe.
Source – News.com.au