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Travel Gear You Can Use Around the House

travel gear use around house

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The most frustrating part about buying travel gear (besides the cost factor) is the fact that it is generally only used while on an actual trip.

Wouldn’t it be great if those same items were things you could use at home around the house?

Just like our favorite travel clothing is clothing you can wear in your daily life, our favorite travel gear is gear you can use when you’re not on the road. More purpose means more value, right?

To help you get the maximum value out of your travel purchases, and help you lead a more minimalist home life, we put together a list of the travel gear you can use around the house. Here’s our list!

Turkish Towels

How to use Turkish towels around the house.
You can use your Turkish towels as home decor or as a yoga mat towel. Photos courtesy of The Bali Market.

My love for Turkish towels runs deep.

While I have classified them as travel gear because I truly see the benefit in that regard (and rarely recommend a standard pack towel these days), these towels originated as bath towels. What that means is their usefulness at home when not traveling ranks high on the list.

At home, Turkish towels can be used as:

  • Bath towels
  • Light throw blankets
  • Towels that go on top of your yoga mat

In the summer, they’re so nice to use after a shower when a bulky towel would otherwise feel heavy and hot. I also love that they come in varied patterns and colors. They look so fun when several are rolled up into a basket in the bathroom!

In addition to using them at home, I usually take mine to the gym, to the beach, and I love that they can be worn in a pinch if the weather calls for it. 

Many girls with curly hair have said the Turkish cotton is great for their hair because it doesn’t break the curl.

Turkish towel by The Bali Market

Grab a Turkish towel from The Bali Market for 20% off.

Use code HPL20 at checkout.


Laundry Line

laundry line hanging clothes
Rick Steves Braided Laundry Line, photo by Diana Szpotowicz.

Those braided laundry lines are brilliant at home for your delicates that require hand-washing. Since they can be tied up easily, and fit in awkward spaces, they’re perfect for drying items that would normally be taking up extra space in your bathroom or laundry room.


Packing Cubes

organizing closet with packing cubes
You can use packing cubes to organize your closet and store unseasonal clothing.

Packing cubes store and organize clothing in your luggage, so why wouldn’t you use them to do something similar at home? 

Packing cubes work well for clothing that doesn’t get worn all that often or that is seasonal in nature. For example, you can pack up all your beachwear and swim gear into a big packing cube and store it in the back of your closet during winter.

An instagram follower (@piabrinkschulte) said she uses packing cubes “to keep all of my hats, mittens, and scarves organized in my wardrobe.”


Luggage Tags

Labeling drawers with luggage tags
Fun idea for a kid’s room. Use luggage tags to label drawers.

I have acquired a large collection of luggage tags over the years that have been gifted or included with other purchases. I got the idea to use these luggage tags to identify and label things that I have stored away into plastic crates or suitcases in the closet.

If you have a lot of them stacked or lined up, this can look quite cute!

If you have some especially nice ones, you can even work them into your home decor! Hang some off the handles of different side table drawers or use them to label baskets in a shelf.


Wacaco Minipresso

wacaco minipresso
The Wacaco Minipresso makes espresso with no electricity needed.

The best travel espresso makers work just as well at home or on the go. The Wacaco Minipresso was recommended by a follower on Instagram, and I am SO in love with this – it’s going on my birthday wishlist!

The best part of this minipresso would be the fact it requires no electricity to produce the same pressure of commercial machines. Use it at home, but take it with you on your next camping trip.


Travel Tea Kettle

gourmia travel kettle
The Gourmia collapsible travel kettle.

One of my friends once lived in the tiniest studio apartment with the tiniest little kitchen. She was so tight on space that she avoided investing in an electric kettle even though she wanted to be able to make tea every day.

So I bought her a travel kettle, and it was the best thing for her! It fit in a drawer folded up, and it got her enough boiling water for her morning tea without needing to put a pot of water on the stove.

Even if you don’t live in a tiny apartment, a travel kettle can serve as a second kettle in a room that’s not near the kitchen. Maybe it’s your personal tea kettle in your home office or in your bedroom.


Tom Bihn Travel Tray

Tom Bihn travel tray as a wine bottle holder
Tom Bihn Travel Tray as a wine bottle holder, courtesy of Tom Bihn.

The Tom Bihn Travel Tray helps you keep your small bits in one place. The tray works wonders on your hotel side table, providing a home for your keys, wallet, change, lip balm, and other small items.

Use it for the same at home! Or, put it on your coffee table in the family room to hold your remotes and coasters.

A lot of knitting travelers are especially fond of the travel tray to store yarn while on the move.


GoToobs Toiletry Bottles

GoToobs toiletry bottles
You can use your GoToobs as sauce bottles! Photo source.

When it comes to travel, my favorite toiletry bottles are the tiny Nalgene bottles, but I do often supplement them with a squeezy GoToobs bottle, too. Both of these brands serve me well, and I can recommend them without hesitation.

However, when it comes to travel gear you can use around the house, the GoToobs bottles top the list! Did you know you can use these guys in the kitchen? If you made a new cashew cheese sauce or a homemade jam, these squeeze bottles are the perfect vessel.

And when you go camping, they’re great for holding the ketchup and barbecue sauce.


Compression Sacks

Kelty compression sack
Why not use a compression sack to save space in your closet or wardrobe.

If you aren’t using your compression sacks at home, you’re missing out. Whether you want to store things under your bed, in drawers or in closets, compression sacks take the bulk out and make it easier.

Consider things like big comforters, blankets, pillows, giant winter coats… the list goes on.


Scrubba Wash Bag

The scrubba wash bag.
You can use the Scrubba Wash Bag to wash delicates at home. Photo courtesy of Scrubba.

The Scrubba Wash Bag is your portable washing machine when you travel, but it doesn’t have to get stored away when you come back home.

You can use the little wash bag when you want to wash a couple of small things quickly – saving you both electricity and water (and probably time, too). It’s better for the environment and easy on your clothing that requires hand-washing gentle care.


Noise-canceling Headphones

Bose noise cancelling headphones review
Noise cancelling headphones. Photo by Victoria

Great for flights, but even better for when you need to block out excess noise from housemates. A good pair of noise-canceling headphones proves its worth time and time again whether being used for watching movies or listening to music, so making the investment isn’t a difficult decision.

The problem is choosing which pair to buy!


Travel Eye Masks & Earplugs

best earplugs for pressure changes while flying

If the best sleep-aids can help you get sleep in the most uncomfortable place (you know, on a plane!), then imagine what they can do for your sleep at home.

A good travel eye mask and the best earplugs are godsends on nights when you find yourself tossing and turning, or when your neighbors decide to have a party.


Did we miss something? Have travel gear that you regularly use around the house? Share in the comments below!

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Written by Brooke

I run the show at Her Packing List and love packing ultralight. In fact, I once traveled for 3 entire weeks with just the contents of a well-packed 12L handbag. When I'm not obsessing over luggage weight, I'm planning adventures or just snuggling with my pet rabbit, Sherlock Bunz.

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Gear We Use

speakeasy hidden pocket travel scarf ad
Speakeasy Hidden Pocket Scarves

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Splice Jaisalmer Reversible Tunic
Splice Reversible Jaisalmer Tunic

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Eagle Creek Compression Packing Cubes
Eagle Creek Compression Packing Cubes

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tom bihn 3d organizer toiletry bag
Tom Bihn 3D Organizer Cube

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Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Daypack - Fits in the palm of your hand!
Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Daypack

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Turkish Travel Towels

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Travel Resources

HPL Learnables

Handbag Packing Masterclass – Learn to pack your lightest bag ever in this revolutionary packing class run by HPL founder, Brooke.

Creative Ways to Minimize Your Toiletry & Beauty Kit – Practical tips alongside DIY recipes designed to help you pack lighter, smaller & with fewer liquids. (Also included as a bonus to Handbag Packing Masterclass.)


Book Your Trip

Viator – Enhance your trip experience by booking from thousands of tours across the globe.

Booking.com – Search for hotels, hostels, and apartments using this one resource. Use it for flights, car rentals, and airport taxis as well.

Trusted Housesitters – Save money on travel accommodation by becoming a housesitter. Housesitters often have extra duties, like caring for pets and gardens.

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Lotta says

    I have a travel pillow that I use at home all the time. It has its own small pillow cases that match the rest of the covers. My only problem is that now that I want to travel even lighter than before, it’s getting too big for me to bring along, as it’s at least 1.5 litres in size and doesn’t compress. Sigh!

  2. Gwen says

    I love my Tom Bihn travel tray! My ear plugs, eye mask, and daily medications live there, on my bedside table, whether I’m at home or away. It makes it that much easier to pack and go.

  3. Linda C says

    I’m going to check out the travel tray. It will work well when I’m relaxing on my deck.
    I love Turkish towels for all of you reasons and then some. I recently turned one into a beach cover-up by following directions on Pinterest for making a kimono out of a large scarf. Super easy, fashionable and functional!

  4. Gillian says

    Thank you for writing such a thoughtful article! I have roommates, and they can get noisy sometimes. Thankfully, I have earplugs on my nightstand for when I need quiet.

    I also use my travel kettle every day. Instead of going to the kitchen, I can make a nice cup of tea in my bedroom. Along with my kettle, I use a travel mug, so I don’t have to worry about my tea getting cold anytime soon. Recently, I found one with a sturdy lid and a handle. It’s incredibly comforting on the road, in my office, and in my room.

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