Travel Gear: 10 Reasons to Pack Duct Tape When You Travel

We're minimalists when it comes to specialized travel gear, but the one thing we never leave home without is a small roll of duct tape (also called duck tape). Here are some terrific uses you've probably never considered.

  1. Repair broken luggage or tape closed the area where a zipper has failed.
  2. Once you've left the US (and TSA) tamper proof your luggage by wrapping duct tape around it. While someone can still get into your luggage if they really need to, they'll probably skip yours and rifle through someone else's bag.
  3. Use colored duct tape, or a personal design to mark your suitcase for visibility
  4. In a hotel, close gaping blackout drapes
  5. Create an extra label for your suitcase by writing your name and address on some duct tape and sticking it inside.
  6. Seal over the drain in a hotel room sink so that you can wash laundry
  7. Babyproof a Hotel Room
  8. Entertain the kids: Use the tape to outline a hopscotch design or a race track for toy cars
  9. In case of fire, seal off door & air vents to keep smoke out. Some say that duct tape is more effective than damp towels, and it certainly works better to cover an air vent on the ceiling.
  10. First Aid: In a pinch, duct tape can be used to make band-aids (with some tissue or cotton), a finger splint (with two popsicle sticks), or to remove a splinter

You can buy mini-rolls of duct tape from a travel store, but it's easy and cheap to make your own. Wrap the tape around a popsicle stick, short pencil, crayon or expired credit card.

What are your favorite uses for Duct Tape on the road? Let us know in the comments!

Baby Proof a Hotel Room
Ten Great Travel Toys You Already Have at Home
Packing Lists for Travel With Kids

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  1. mamabunny on February 28, 2008 at 3:15 p.m.

    it also works well as a lint brush if you turn a bit sticky side out and form a loop that you put over your hand.

  2. Suzy on August 19, 2008 at 3:32 p.m.

    I was once on travel and my fuel door hinge broke. As I traveled down the road people kept flagging me down to let me know my fuel door was open. I’d have to tell them it broke. I used the band aids in my first aid kit to close the door, but every time I stopped for gas I had to replace the band aids. I went into a truck stop and purchased some duct tape and temporarily fixed the problem until I could get it into service.

  3. Debbie on August 19, 2008 at 3:45 p.m.

    Thanks for your ideas. These are great examples of why I think it's worthwhile to keep a small roll of duct tape in your suitcase... you never know when it will come in handy.

  4. Ronda McCoy on January 13, 2009 at 5:15 a.m.

    We use black electrical tape to cover up annoying red or green lights on tvs in motel rooms...but duct tape would work too.

  5. Gigi on April 14, 2009 at 4:14 p.m.

    I wished I had some duct tape when the tray table on the back of the seat in front of me would not stay closed.
    Once I wished a could tape closed the mouth of a lady who talked loudly for 4 straight hours on the plane..but of course that was I wish I couldn't have really done.

  6. Bryan on July 25, 2010 at 3:14 p.m.

    That comment about the loud-mouthed lady made me laugh! I've been in that situation and I should probably be glad that I didn't have any duct tape!