15 Dollar-Store Travel Hacks to Make Your Life Easier


by Leah Ginsberg, Yahoo! Travel

Who doesn't love a dollar store? Not only is it fun to browse, but as it turns out, you can find some stuff that's pretty useful for travel. Yahoo Travel hit our local spot, Jack's, and spent no more than $1.29 on each item. With some creativity and a $20 bill, we came up with these easy 15 dollar-store travel hacks.

1. What to buy: Multi-compartment pill case

The hack:

Use it to organize small jewelry.

2. What to buy: Clothespins

The hack:

Hate when your hotel room drapes won't quite close all the way? Throw a couple of clothespins in your bag to clip the drapes together.

Bonus hack: You can also use one to keep the end of your travel-size toothpaste flat while you try to roll the last remnants out.

3. What to buy: Colorful duct tape

The hack:

Everybody's black roller bag looks the same on the luggage carousel. Make yours stand out by attaching brightly colored duct tape to the handle.

4. What to buy: Straws

The hack:

Slide your necklace through the straw then fasten it to keep the chain from getting tangled.

5. What to buy: Small hair clips

The hack:

Use it as a clip to keep your headphone neatly coiled.

6. What to buy: Binder clips

The hack:

Place a clip over the head of your razor to prevent an accidental nick while digging through your travel case.

Bonus hack: Binder clips also work to hold your coiled up headphone wires — and any other wires for that matter.

7. What to buy: Baby wipes

The hack:

Use them for quick clean ups and wipe downs on the airplane.

Bonus hack: Carry a small package when camping or traveling in case you run into a no-toilet-paper situation.

8. What to buy: Balloons

The hack:

Stick a balloon over the top of your bottle of lotion, shampoo, or other liquid to keep it from leaking in transit.

9. What to buy: Kids' games and small containers

The hack:

Make your little ones surprise airplane packages to keep them occupied during the flight. And because you only spent $3, they're totally disposable.

10. What to buy: Plastic zip ties

The hack:

Secure the zippers on your luggage with zip ties to make them tamper proof. (TSA can easily get in by snipping them, so it's totally kosher.)

Bonus hack: Use them to keep various cords together so they can be more neatly packed.

11. What to buy: Reusable grocery bag

The hack:

Pick one that's collapsible so you can pack it in your luggage. On the way home, bust it out and use it to hold all the souvenirs you bought.

Bonus hack: It makes a nice beach bag.

12. What to buy: Travel essentials

The hack:

Why spend big bucks on things like travel first aid kits, sewing kits, luggage straps, and packable rain ponchos? If you buy them at the dollar store, you can leave them behind when you need to make room in your suitcase for your new souvenirs.

Bonus hack: When they're this cheap, you can leave a set in each of your cars for impromptu road trips.

13. What to buy: Plastic storage bags

The hack:

Place each individual shoe in a bag so that you can stuff them in available nooks and crannies in your suitcase — it's a good way to make the best use of space.

Bonus hack: Bring a few extras to pack things like wet swimsuits and dirty socks.

14. What to buy: Cool gadgets

The hack:

Browse the aisles of the dollar store — you never know what you'll find. We snagged this smartphone amplifier, which is great for playing tunes while traveling.

15. What to buy: Reusable Velcro wraps

The hack:

Use them to keep your cords and wires neatly together and untangled for packing and while using the gadgets.

Bonus hack: Keep all your mysteriously disappearing hair ties together — the Velcro allows easy access.