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 Remember to pack three key items, and they might save your life. Always travel with a flashlight, a battery-operated smoke detector, and a roll of duct tape. In case of an emergency, you'll be prepared. Keep your flashlight on the night stand by your bed in your hotel room. The flashlight can guide you, the smoke detector will warn you, and if you're trapped in your hotel room during a fire, the duct tape can protect you. Just use it to seal off the vents and cracks in the door so no smoke gets in.

Always take a thick, black marker on your vacation. You can use it to address packages if you mail souvenirs to family and friends. If your shoes get scuffed from lots of walking, you can also use the marker to polish them.

Pack a small roll of electrical tape into your luggage. Its many uses will amaze you. You can use it to fix a skirt hem or remove lint from a dark sweater. You can also fasten souvenir items into your journal or securely tape a piece of luggage closed if you have to leave it in your room for a few days. And don't forget, you can also use it for packing and shipping gifts home.

Save those plastic bags your newspaper comes in for a rainy day. They make great umbrella covers. Shove a bag in your purse or pocket before you leave the house. When you enter a car or building, take out the bag and slip your wet umbrella inside.

Instead of throwing away those extra plastic checkbook covers your bank sends with each box of new checks, save them. You can use them to make your trip more organized. Store theater tickets, receipts, or even cash in a checkbook cover. Just make sure to keep it closed with rubber bands.

Next time you pack for a trip, bring a few large garbage bags. They won't go to waste. You can use them to store dirty laundry during your return trip. A garbage bag also serves as a waterproof layer inside your luggage to protect your stuff You can even make an emergency raincoat out of a garbage bag by cutting slits for your head and arms.

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