Pack these 8 items to save you money on your next vacation

Summer travel is lots of fun, but it can also be incredibly expensive. The expenses you expect are bad enough – the cost of the plane ticket, the hotel, the rental car, the meals – but it's those little (and big) unexpected costs that get you in the end, resulting in a heavier credit card bill than you ever anticipated.

Here are eight items you can slip into your carry-on bag or suitcase that will help you save on those unexpected costs, keeping you from having to buy something expensive on the trip or pay for a very expensive emergency.

[See: 12 Frugal Ways to Save on Vacation.]

Pack these items to save money on vacation
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Pack these items to save money on vacation

A money belt is a pouch that you wear under your shirt that holds your money when you're out and about. Having that pouch under your shirt keeps you safe from pickpockets. It's a good idea to use one of these whenever you're traveling, especially in busy areas. It's wise to condense the contents of your wallet before you leave, so that it lightly fits in that money belt and then use it as your primary wallet. You can find them for just a dollar or two at most department stores.


An emergency contact info card that you carry in your money belt or in your pocket contains the basic information that you would want to relay to an emergency responder should something happen to you while traveling. It should include your name, address, insurance provider, insurance plan information and emergency contacts' information. This will help get you up to speed with emergency services and quickly involve people who may be able to help and make decisions on your behalf.

(i_frontier via Getty Images)

An empty water bottle and travel mug are incredibly valuable in the airport where they can save you a lot of money on beverages. They're also useful when you're out and about on your travels. It's easy to fill a water bottle from a fountain. In fact, many new water fountains are designed for water bottle filling. On the way home, they can also be lined with an extra piece of cloth to safeguard fragile items, such as a new pair of sunglasses or a small bottle of souvenir liquor.

[See: 11 Easy Ways to Slash Travel Costs.]


Some snack bars are also invaluable in an airport or a train station if you find yourself on board for a long time or waiting on a delay. Having a snack bar can keep you from indulging in an expensive and unhealthy snack or even a meal on board, keeping that money right in your pocket. A $1 snack bar with free water is way cheaper than a $5 snack or a $20 meal.


A foldable thin jacket is a perfect item to pack, no matter where you're going on vacation. You can't always rely on the weather being absolutely perfect everywhere, and a thin fleece jacket enables you to keep up with your plans, even on a slightly chilly day. Without it, you might be buying such a thing unexpectedly, or you might be reworking your plans.


A small power strip makes it much easier to keep all of your devices charged when in a hotel room with minimal outlets. This simple device keeps you from having to go buy one when traveling (usually at convenience store prices). In the event that you can't find one at all, it makes sure that all of your devices actually stay charged, so that you can effectively record your vacation memories and keep in contact with people.

A roll of duct tape seems like a strange choice, but duct tape can keep broken luggage from completely failing before the end of your trip, enabling you to get home before having to seek replacement. It can actually provide quick minor fixes to many things, such as phone cases or glasses. You can also use duct tape to remove lint from clothing by simply applying a piece gently to fabric and quickly removing it.

A book that is truly interesting to you, tossed into a carry-on bag, can keep you from completely draining your smartphone battery at the airport and also keep you from wandering into airport shops and spending more money. Borrow a book from the library for free before you go, and you'll find yourself with many hours of entertainment without having to spend a dime.

[See: 10 Fun, Frugal Ways to Spend Your Free Time.]

(Sandra Starke / EyeEm via Getty Images)


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