A 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.
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