As Christine Amorose of C’est Christine told us in her One Little Thing interview, reusable bags like the Chico Bag are useful when you’re traveling. Stuffable bags are easy to pack and you will use them for everything.
Why Should I Pack Stuffable Bags?
There’s nothing more frustrating than having to carry items around and not having enough space. The small reusable bags can be folded up and clipped onto your purse for whenever you need it. Stuffable bags have lots of features that make them worth packing.
- Multi purposed: One tote bag has about a million different uses, ranging from grocery bag to laundry bag to carry on bag.
- Environmentally friendly: Prevent more plastic from ending up in landfills by bringing your own bag to the store. Let’s keep this earth beautiful for the next generations of travelers.
- Easy to pack: These bags take up as much room as your palm when folded up. They’re even smaller if they come with a case.
- Cheap: They cost around a dollar, so it doesn’t matter if you lose it or something spills on it.
Types of Stuffable Bags
Stuffable Day Packs / Backpacks
These little backpacks are so handy! Even if you have a proper day pack that is padded for computers and technical gear, a stuffable backpack fits into a pouch (or the palm of your hand) and is able to be pulled out at the grocery store or at markets in a pinch. Brooke has been happy to have her Sea to Summit stuffable backpack (Amazon link) with her on her current travels and will be reviewing the bag in the near future.
I try to pack a laundry bag when I travel to keep my dirty clothes separate from the clean ones. They’re cheap to buy and I had some leftover from college. Tide makes a travel laundry bag that absorbs odors to keep your clothes from smelling bad. Laundry bags are nice to have when the laundry facilities at your hostel are on another floor than your room and you don’t want to carry your clothes around in your arms.
Reusable Grocery Bags
It seems like most stores you visit these days offer reusable cloth grocery bags for sale for $1 or less. I have dozens I’ve acquired from Trader Joe’s, Target, Forever 21 and Cotton On that I use when I travel. For that reason, I’m never too upset when something happens to one of these bags. They are very handy for bringing groceries home to your hostel or trips to the local markets. I used one to store my food in the hostel pantry, so I always remembered what was mine. Reusable grocery bags are more environmentally friendly than plastic.
Many places, including France and Hawaii, are now charging customers who don’t have reusable bags. Hawaii is doing away with plastic bags altogether. If you’re having a picnic or taking a trip to the beach, it’s nice to have a tote bag to throw your book and sunglasses into. There’s the added bonus of not having the bag rip when it’s full of food. Nylon bags will also keep out water.
While they’re less environmentally friendly, plastic grocery bags are nice to use as trash bags when you’re in places that don’t have trash cans available, like planes and trains. I have them handy to wrap up wet clothes and to prevent shampoo bottle leaks. The bigger trash bags are also useful as an impromptu poncho or rain cover. Just remember to recycle them when you’re done!
Do you pack stuffable bags when you travel? Are there any uses we forgot?