The Smart Traveler's Passport

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Poster protector I travel with a mailing tube in my suitcase because I often buy paintings, drawings, and maps. My souvenirs always arrive home safe and sound. I just leave the mailing tube in my suitcase until the next trip. --Abbie-Stuart Fox, Durham, N.C. (Photo: Kate Lacey)
Light reading I always pack a Petzl Tikka Plus headlamp. It's small, weighs next to nothing, and is perfect for reading in bed at night without disturbing my husband. They're sold online and at outdoor-gear stores for about $33. --Linda Smejkal, Hazelhurst, Wis. (Photo: Kate Lacey)
Bungee fun Bungee cords make versatile travel accessories. Use them in the airport to lash a duffel bag to a wheeled suitcase, or hook a few together for a hotel clothesline. While camping, use them to secure tarps or to hang a lantern from a tree. They even hold your pants up if you misplace your belt. --Keith Saul, Kokomo, Ind. (Photo: Kate Lacey)
Disposable bath mat Paper place mats can be useful anywhere there's an outdoor shower. By stepping onto a place mat after a bush shower in Botswana, I managed to keep my feet clean and avoided getting dirt in my clothes. --Sandy S. Hogan, Las Vegas, Nev. (Photo: Kate Lacey)
Farsighted To avoid walking around gawking at skyscrapers while sightseeing in cities like New York, I pack a small pair of binoculars. When I spot an interesting building, I step out of the flow of traffic on the sidewalk, back up to a wall, and enjoy the architectural details or read inscriptions. --Virginia Hendley, Rio Rancho, N.M. (Photo: Kate Lacey)
Floss leader I never leave home without dental floss. I've used it as a clothesline between tents in Botswana's Okavango Delta and to replace a lost screw for my sunglasses in Malaysia. I even cut off a piece of floss the size of my waist and headed to the night markets in Bangkok. My "tape measure" assured a perfect fit! --Kristi Hemmer, Cordova, Tenn. (Photo: Kate Lacey)
Bad-weather friend Put a few plastic trash bags in the outer pockets of your suitcases and carry-ons. If you arrive at your destination and it's raining, you can cover your luggage with the bags while you make your way to your hotel. Just cut a slit for handles or straps. --Barbara Gesse, Greensboro, N.C. (Photo: Kate Lacey)
Sarong it's right Lightweight, washable, and multifunctional, a cotton sarong is a practical addition to every traveler's bag. I've used mine as a swimsuit cover-up, a picnic blanket in the Loire Valley and a temporary skirt (over shorts) in a Bangkok temple. It's also handy as an airplane blanket, towel, or tablecloth. --Nicole Serafica, Langhorne, Pa. (Photo: Kate Lacey)
Hey, mister! During the summer, I plan to travel with a very small spray bottle. I'll fill it with water and use it as a mister to keep cool. I got this idea when we stayed at the Noga Hilton in Cannes. On the dresser was a pink aerosol can full of Evian water. While out sightseeing, wow, was it refreshing to spritz water on our faces! --Joy Shebroe, Walnut, Calif. (Photo: Kate Lacey)

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