There’s one stop I always make before I hit the road, whether I’m heading for the airport or driving to my destination: The dollar store.
Even if you’re not a regular shopper, it’s worth swinging by to pick up some essentials for the trip at a fraction of what you'll pay elsewhere.
Let’s start with the items that live in my suitcase all year round:A deck of playing cards: Tiny packaged rain poncho:
Now, even if you buy all these things, they only take up a tiny bit of room in your suitcase, while providing lots of practical uses. And you’ve only spent $8, compared to $20 to $40 for the same items anywhere else.
Here are some other items that you might want to pick up while you’re there:
FOR THE KIDDIESThree-pack of tennis balls:
FOR ADULTSCrossword puzzle and sudoku books. Mini-packages of staples Individual servings Small sizes of emergency supplies Sunscreen and aloe vera gel: Sunglasses and sun visors Flip-flops: Itty-bitty book lights: Headphones: Flashlights: Mini-clothesline kits:
And let me finish up by saying there’s one thing I would never travel without, even though it cost me a few more bucks than at the dollar store: My synthetic money belt.
I bought a good quality, lightweight synthetic money belt that’s comfortable to wear, which is very important. Because I wear it everywhere on a trip. Inside, I keep my plane tickets, passports for myself and the kids, most of my cash, driver’s license, credit card and ATM card.
I wear it tucked inside my pants all the time. There have even been times I wore it while I slept.
That way, I know we can always get home, no matter what happens. Even if I got robbed, the thieves would only get my purse with a small amount of cash in it. And I never have to worry about accidentally leaving it behind somewhere, as I did my purse on my first trip to Italy.