Buy All Your Travel Gear at IKEA Without Losing Your Mind
Travel gear hacks parents need to know for easier traveling with the kids. By Yahoo! Travel
Pressa is a great spot for your wet delicates to hang out. (Courtesy Ikea)
How can you tell when you’re close to an IKEA store? All of the hybrid cars have little couches strapped on top.
I actually saw two hybrids carrying sofas and one Smart car with a furniture box wedged between the driver and passenger on my recent IKEA adventure. But I wasn’t headed there to shop for furniture. Since I’m always on the lookout for travel hacks, my mission was to find nifty things to simplify my packing for an upcoming trip to Italy for Yahoo Travel.
The Upptäcka briefcase might make for a handy “personal item” to take with you on planes. (Courtesy Ikea)
1 - The first thing I found was an octo-looking hanger with clips on each arm, called Pressa Hanging dryer. It’s perfect for hanging swimsuits or hand-washables in compact spaces.
2 - I absolutely fell in love with the Upptäcka briefcases. They have pockets for paperwork, supplies, and electronic devices, plus ample space for a laptop. Even the back strap that loops over your wheeled luggage handle has a zippered pocket.
Just walking through IKEA makes you crave organization. It wasn’t long before I began fantasizing about dividers or pockets to keep everything neat and tidy in my suitcase. I found both.
Lightweight folding boxes for organizing your drawers at home can also be arranged inside your suitcase to separate small clothing items, shoes, and slippery scarves that tend to slide around during transit.
Related: 11 Things You Never Need to Pack
Consider this a handy packing aid. (Courtesy Ikea)
3 - The Pressa assorted zippered mesh bags also work to make packing and unpacking a breeze.
I wasn’t actually shopping for luggage but was thrilled to see the variety of options that incorporate IKEA’s innovative design features to make them lightweight and sturdy.
4 - Also in the luggage department, you can find brightly colored Upptäcka toiletry and accessory bags, plus everyone’s favorite 3.4-ounce bottles, all at affordable prices.
5 - I’m a fanatic about taking a first-aid kit along when I travel. I crossed plastic bandages off my list with a cheap assortment found near the luggage display.
This Upptäcka backpack has zippers galore. (Courtesy Ikea)
6 - Backpacks are the ideal carry-on option. IKEA has more than one size and style, all with padding and multiple pockets. My favorite was the Upptäcka two-piece model that can be downsized with a quick zip when you don’t have as much to carry.
Dimpa hampers to go! (Courtesy Ikea)
7 - Don’t you hate the tiny plastic bags that hotels provide for your dirty laundry? I spotted lightweight, collapsible bags in displays scattered throughout the store. The material is paper but stiff enough to stand up as a portable hamper. These appear to be a limited-offering item, but the Dimpa recycling bins might work just as well.
8 - With all the craziness about hotel cleanliness, taking your own bed-in-a-bag doesn’t seem like a bad idea. The bedding department had a selection of colors and sizes that included a pillow, all rolled up neatly in a matching bag.
9 - The coolest things I found were Isiga ice-cube bags (of course the pun is intended). You fill a bag with water, which flows into little compartments, and quickly turn it upside down to seal. After you freeze the bag, you break apart the cubes and voilà! Ice cubes!
I’m not sure when I might need those ice bags, but just knowing that IKEA is loaded with travel hacks made me feel better prepared to face any challenge. The next time you venture into an IKEA store, skip the sofas and get your travel-gear fix — most of it won’t even have to be strapped to the top of your car.
By Melinda Crow