There are many allures of travelling: spectacular landscapes to explore, glorious local food to devour and enchanting cultures to uncover. But before all the fun bits, there is something most travellers do not look forward to – packing for the trip ?
It may not be the most glamorous chore but a well-packed bag could prepare you for some unexpected scenarios especially as a Muslim on-the-go. Being able to pack effectively is a trait of a smart traveller and these multi-purpose items could be just what you need, leaving you with valuable room to bring all your souvenirs home.
Here's some handy products you probably never knew you'd need for your next trip!
1. Water bottle
Remember to stay hydrated while out exploring the world with a sturdy and travel-ready water bottle. Instead of buying bottled water, opt for this eco-friendly alternative and fill your bottle up wherever you go like water stations in airports or ask a friendly waiter at a restaurant.
Credit: HYDAWAY Collapsible Water Bottle on Facebook
Having a water bottle on you also makes it convenient to take your wudhu! Something we always do is to ensure our bottles are filled with water just in case there are no nearby washrooms during prayer times, or no proper facilities to perform our wudhu. The water in our bottles would come in handy especially during times like these ?
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There are many types of water bottles in the market: collapsible bottles that can be folded down to a cup or flat squared bottles that does not take up too much space and even bottles with built-in filters for outdoors travellers. Choose one that is most suited for your needs and pack this essential in your day bag (just remember not to fill it before boarding your planes!).
2. Ziploc bags
Don’t shun this kitchen item during your travels for there are many uses of a Ziploc bag. Prevent spillage of your toiletries by securing the bottles in one, or store away dirty laundry from the rest of your fresh clothes. You can also waterproof your things by stashing them in a Ziploc!
Ziploc bags come in different sizes, with large ones being able to accommodate an entire outfit! These clear bags are great yet simple organisation tools ?
Credit: Ziploc on Facebook
For a Muslim traveller, finding halal food may not be an easy task so it is best to have some snack on hand with you. Stash some almonds, a piece of fruit or a couple of your favourite snacks from home in a Ziploc and throw it in your day bag for those stomach grumbles when you haven’t found a suitable eatery for lunch ?
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#HHWT Tip: Do check if your destination has strict quarantine laws for food items from other countries before bringing in food from home.
3. A light throw (blanket)
For all the times you’re stuck in a cold airport waiting for your delayed flight or entrusted into a less-than-promising budget hotel room where the sheets seem shady, a throw is a real life-saver! It can keep you warm for when the A/C is too low or be used as a cover over bedsheets.
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Plus - while less than ideal but if the situation calls for it – a throw can also be a substitute for your prayer mat. Just remember to keep it clean ?
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A throw is typically very thin and can be folded with ease to take up a tiny space in your bag! The comfort, durability, and versatility of a throw makes it multi-functional and a great addition to your packing list.
You can buy one mostly anywhere or try one of IKEA’s throws!
If you are a hijab-clad traveller, maybe a scarf is a more convenient option for you than a throw. A normal scarf actually has incredible versatility that goes beyond just an item for women to cover themselves. This small, light and quick-drying item takes hardly any room in your bag and has a plethora of practical uses!
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Scarves can be used to cover your head when visiting places of worship and used as shawls when temperatures drop in the evening. It is the perfect transition garment for protection against the sun in the day and against the chill at night ☺️
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And if you’re looking at a beach vacation, large scarves make great beach rugs too as well as a trusty covering to keep the sand out of your belongings. Alternatively, consider using a sarong!
5. Cleansing wipes
What is an adventure without getting some dirt on yourself, am I right? ? After a day’s worth of being out and about in the sun, a quick way to freshen up would be to wipe yourself down with a cooling cleansing wipe. Just imagine the grime melting off your skin and the ensuing refreshing feeling!
Credit: @ecocareorganic on Instagram
Cleansing wipes can also be used to rid makeup before taking your wudhu. Carrying around liquid-based makeup remover can be a real inconvenience especially while you're on the-go, so cleansing wipes are super handy to have!
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Facial wipes are real time-savers and gentle on your skin but be sure to go with a brand that agrees with your skin because we don’t want a break-out while on vacation!
6. Microfibre travel towel
Bringing cotton towels from home can feel comfortable and luxurious on your skin but being big, bulky and slow to dry makes them unsuitable for travel. A wet towel in your luggage is a huge no-no ?
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Instead, consider bringing travel towels made from microfibre! These are awesome because: they are quick drying, lightweight, absorbent and super compact such that they fold nicely to take up hardly any space.
These towels vary in softness, dimensions and absorption abilities across brands so be sure to compare the products to decide on the best value for your needs. Some even come with a loop of some sort which makes it easy to attach to your day bag so you can easily reach for it to wipe your sweat after a day of sight-seeing or hiking ?
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This travel item is also easy to carry around for wiping your feet after taking your wudhu in a public washroom so as to not wet the surrounding area ?.
#HHWT Tip: We recommend buying them in stores (if possible!) to feel the material and choose the right size for your needs.
7. Hand Sanitizer
Whether you’re trekking up mountains or walking through maze-like cities, you’re likely eager to glide your hand over things and surfaces. So hand sanitizers are truly the next best thing to have when you’re travelling and have no access to soap and water!
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The typical formula kills up to 99.9% of most common germs so you can be assured your hands are super clean after using it. Hand sanitizers are really your moving wash basins ? Stay clean and hygienic with just a squeeze of the bottle and you may just find yourself spared from falling ill abroad!
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These nifty bottles are also great for removing little stains on your clothes! That drop of ketchup or that little smear of makeup on your shirt can be easily be taken care of with a blob of hand sanitizer and some rubbing ?
#HHWT Tip: We recommend checking the ingredients beforehand and finding the non-alcoholic ones, as most contain some form of alcohol.
8. Packing cubes
Packing cubes do wonders for organising your suitcase and even backpacks! These are small containers made of fabric, often in a rectangular shape, that zip closed and are small enough that you can fit several into your bag.
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They help you organise your items by dividing them into different uses. Say, packing clothes by outfits or by tops and bottoms. You can even use smaller packing cubes to store your cosmetics and electronics separately. It's a really wonderful feeling to know exactly where everything is as soon as you open your luggage!
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You can also easily unpack your packing cubes from your suitcase and into the drawers of your hotel or toss what your need into your day bag at your destination. Things like your travel prayer mat and prayer garment can be transported easily and without fear of being sullied from your dirty laundry. A stuffed packing cube of clothing can also serve as cushion-y pillows!
9. Multi-purpose portable charger
Keep your vital tech alive with a reliable, reviving power pack. Portable power banks are a lifesaver and are one of the best phone accessories which you can invest in! If you’re a traveller and have had your phone battery die amidst a great adventure, you'd know the struggle ?
Credit: @hypermac on Instagram
Since a portable charger is a true essential, why not opt for one that has a dual purpose? Be it being fitted with a flashlight, or combined with a compact mirror, the possibilities are endless. You’ll be thankful for that extra bit of battery life to see you through the next few hours, for sure!
These multi-functional products may just be what you need the next time you’re discovering a new travel destination. So be sure to pack them for your next trip and let us know how useful they were ?.