The tape every traveler should carry with them is not duct tapeA few years ago, my wife (@NatalieDiScala on social) and I hosted a workshop at Pinterest’s headquarters in San Francisco. My talk was on how to find cheap flights and Natalie’s was on packing hacks. The woman is an amazing packer!

I chimed in with my hacks and said I always carry duct tape because it can be used for everything from fixing a suitcase to blocking out the little annoying lights found on some air conditioning units to holding the curtains together. I also use it to tape towels to sharp table corners so my son and daughter don’t get cut when they’re running around the room like the Tasmanian devils.

Duct tape is amazing. I even saw someone drive by me once with duct tape holding their front fender together! However, the big problem with duct tape—which my buddy Spud Hilton (former travel editor at the San Francisco Chronicle) pointed out—is that it leaves a residue, which is a pain to clean.

Spud says he uses gaffer tape instead because it’s just as strong as duct tape and doesn’t leave the nasty residue. Of course, the first thing I did when I returned to our hotel was head to Amazon and purchase a 30-yard roll (two-inches wide) for $12.

Sure enough, when we arrived home a couple days later, it was in the mailbox. I’ve now replaced my duct tape with the gaffer tape. It’s not only residue-free but also non-reflective and easy to tear!

I highly recommend it for travelers, though not such a large roll in your carry-on because many airlines don’t allow it (in fear you could tie up a crew member). Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a travel-size roll, so I suggest creating a smaller roll for your carry-on by wrapping the tape around a small object like a straw or lip balm like I do. Then pack the larger roll in your checked baggage.

Want even more travel tips? Sign up here for the Daily Travel Tip newsletter! Just fill in your email address and check the Daily Travel Tip box—and you’ll have Johnny’s best tips, straight to your inbox each day!

The comments on this page are not provided, reviewed, or otherwise approved by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

10 Comments On "The Tape Every Traveler Should Pack Is Not Duct Tape"
  1. Bruce H|

    I use gaffers tape every day. Great stuff. It will leave a residue eventually if you leave it on something for a year or so.

  2. Barron Fujimoto|

    Gaffer tape is great! I use it all the time. From covering up my laptop’s webcam to adding a bit of stealth over the logos on my cameras, it is super-useful! Just a note, however, that over time (say a year), the adhesive can get gummy so you might want to check on it if you leave it a while.

  3. Kathy|

    I saw smaller rolls of gaffer tape on amazon.

  4. steven aguirre|

    Hi jonnie Natalie and Jack
    Just wanted to remind everyone not to carry a roll of tape in thier carry on luggage … I got my new roll trashed at the Manila airport last week!!! I hate waste!!!!

  5. G Tompkins|

    Adding to what Steven said, you will have it confiscated if you try to carry it on the plane!

  6. Lori|

    Is there a way that you can have your posts fully readable in feedly? For some reason, it only shows the first paragraph, so most times I don’t bother to read the rest since it requires more steps. Is there a way that you could fix that so it is like other blogs? Thanks.

    1. Johnny Jet|

      Good question! I will look into it. Thanks

  7. Brian Bagnall|

    Gaffer tape is very nice BUT it’s almost impossible to tear off a piece with your fingers
    Need scissors that are not always available when travelling
    Old duct tape’s best because you can tear quickly tear off any number of pieces

  8. Brian Bagnall|

    See my comment above

  9. Anonymous|

    I have taken duct tape, but not a roll. I usually take about a yard or so and roll it back up on itself so it is about 3/4 inch diameter. I have NEVER had it even questioned. I put it in a pocket of my toilet kit with toothpaste, 3 oz., and other small items and it is never even looked at. It is enough for anything I’ve had to use it for.

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *