7 Surprising Things That Come in Travel Size

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man packing carry-on luggage
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There’s one universal truth about traveling: You’ll always want to bring more than you should. But luggage space is precious, and heavy bags are a literal drag. Plus, the cost of checked bags is ever increasing. You’ll definitely want to know the “7 Ways to Avoid Paying to Check Bags When Flying.”

Most travelers know that shampoo and toothpaste come in small sizes for travel, but you may be surprised by how many unusual, yet practical, items are available in travel sizes. Here’s a look at some of them.

1. White noise machine

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Between jet lag, the excitement and stress of new places, and an entirely different bed, travelers may find sleeping difficult. White noise machines provide a sort of consistent background hum that relaxes some sleepers and helps them nod off.

There’s a 3.8-ounce version available now that fits easily in a carry-on suitcase or backpack and includes a lanyard so you can hang it on your luggage for use in your hotel room.

Of course, you could also use your phone and search for white noise tracks on your streaming music app of choice.

2. Washing machine

Woman with laundry
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A washing machine you can travel with? Kind of. The Scrubba portable hand washing machine is described as a “washboard in a bag.” Put clothes, soap and water inside the bag, rub against the internal washboard, then remove and rinse. We could see this being useful on cruises, when camping or on an RV trip, where there’s just no laundry service around.

3. Weights

Woman lifting weights in a gym
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Even the most dedicated bodybuilder isn’t going to pack regular dumbbells in a suitcase. But you can take your gym with you thanks to these water-filled travel weights. You can make them heavier or lighter depending on how much water you fill them with.

4. Pod coffee maker

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Maybe you’ve broken up with Mr. Coffee and make your morning cup in a Keurig machine that uses coffee and tea pods. Keurig not only offers a tiny brewer, the K-Mini, but also you can purchase a compatible travel bag, not made by Keurig, with multiple pockets and a shoulder strap for easy carrying.

5. Kettle

Using an electric kettle
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Boiling water can have many uses while traveling, including making coffee, tea or soup, warming baby bottles and thawing frozen vegetables. If one or more of these uses sound helpful, consider a collapsible travel kettle, which squishes down for easy packing.

6. Iron

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Many hotel rooms offer irons. But if you’re heading off to a church or other venue for a wedding, graduation or pageant, that’s a whole new wrinkle. You may want to bring a compact iron you can take to your event. Check into a travel iron — they’re designed to be portable. Some even come with their own carrying bag.

7. CPAP machine

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A CPAP, or “continuous positive airway pressure,” machine can be a life-changer for those with obstructive sleep apnea. But CPAP machines are neither small nor easy to pack.

Thankfully, travel CPAP machines are smaller, lighter and designed to be portable. And, according to SleepFoundation.org, some can be plugged into a car’s auxiliary power outlet and run off its battery while others are even TSA-approved for in-flight use.

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