The most important thing you can do before traveling a long distance is pack wisely. Wise packing should include lots of thinking outside the box.

You'll have your laptop, phone, tablet, and chargers. You'll have your book, your snacks, and an extra sweater. But there are several more unusual items you can pack to enhance your travel experience.


1. Your Dog

They don't call them man's best friend for no reason! Dogs are incredible companions to bring on international trips. You can lodge with them and take them on walks, and they're great conversation starters.

If your pet is a vital companion who provides emotional support, it's best to register the dog as an emotional support animal.

Depending on the airline, you also want to check if the new TSA regulations affect whether your pet can travel with you. But if you can fly with them, your next trip can be an incredibly rewarding experience.


2. Napkins

Everything produces grease and mess, from the driest of crackers to the messiest of salads and sandwiches.

Traveling with a pack full of napkins ensures you don't have to disturb your whole row time after time by getting up to rinse your hands.


3. Duct Tape

Lots of things can go wrong while traveling. The sole of your shoe comes unglued. The arm of the seat goes loose. The back of your phone pops off and won't hold the battery.

Traveling with a roll of duct tape will ensure you get out of any sticky situation (pun intended).


4. Portable Life Jacket

Planes making emergency water landings isn't common, but it does happen. Fortunately, it has happened enough times that airlines have developed extensive guidelines for passengers.

Bringing your own portable life jacket in your backpack is a good addition if anything with the plane life vests fails.


5. Tea Light Candles

Like bringing a life jacket, bringing candles is good if you end up stranded without power for too long. If you end up stuck somewhere in cold weather, provided you have even a tiny shelter, tea light candles can provide a surprisingly efficient source of warmth.

Candles also can be a useful source of light, especially if you lack a flashlight or need to preserve your phone battery. If you're traveling by air, know that TSA doesn't allow lighters on board, so you'll need to bring a book of matches.


6. Dryer Sheets

Why would you bring dryer sheets on a plane? Simple! You can keep your feet smelling fresh. Just place a couple of sheets between your socks and shoes if you will be wearing them for a long time.

Dryer sheets smell great, and they're also hyper absorbent. Any perspiration that exudes from your feet is going to get soaked straight into your shoes. That's not something anyone wants to smell.


Stay Prepared, Stay Happy

You're bound to have a great time if you prepare before you travel. No one wants to be stuck on an 18-hour flight with no snacks, nothing to do, and nothing to use to clean up after themselves.

Plan ahead, and you'll be traveling smoothly and in style.