How to Build an Emergency Repair Kit for Travel

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Have you ever forgotten to pack something for a trip? Have you ever broken a zipper or torn a shoe while traveling? Unexpected clothing or equipment mishaps occur all the time. But when we’re away from home, the resultant hardship can be significantly more inconvenient. I found that out the hard way on a recent trip to the Peruvian Amazon when I packed only one pair of flip flops. On my third day at our jungle lodge one of the toe straps broke. For the rest of the trip I had to wear my hiking boots – even when just walking around the lodge. With temperatures in the high 80s and humidity at nearly 100%, that was not a pleasant experience.

After returning from that trip I built myself an emergency repair kit for travel and take it with me everywhere I go. The contents are inexpensive and small in size. Even the container itself (a quart-sized zipper bag) can be used for multiple purposes. I recommend all travelers have one.

emergency repair kit

Here are the items you’ll need for your emergency repair kit for travel. Image credit: Cherri Megasko

Here are items you’ll want to include in your emergency repair kit for travel:
  • Clothes pins – To hang wet items to dry, secure gaps in curtains or close snack bags
  • Safety pins – To replace a lost button or improvise for a broken zipper
  • Paper clips – To replace a lost zipper pull for a suitcase or jacket
  • Rubber bands – To replace lost or broken hair ties or improvise a room key wrist band
  • Bandana – To substitute for a napkin, bandage, hat or wash cloth
  • Nylon cording – To make a clothesline or improvise for a broken luggage strap
  • Super glue – To repair damaged shoes or broken suitcase handles
  • Plastic eating utensils – To eat takeout or street vendor food
  • Drinking straws – To avoid contact with dirty beverage can tops
  • Zipper bags – To transport wet clothes, seashells or leaky toiletries
  • Tape – To secure bandages, repair torn maps or salvage broken eyeglass lenses
  • Miniature sewing kit – To temporarily repair clothing or cloth bags
  • Binder clip – To use as a vice for super glue repairs or secure miscellaneous loose objects
  • Cotton string – To improvise for broken shoelaces or replace broken drawstrings
  • Plastic carryout bags – To transport dirty shoes or dispose of smelly garbage
  • Twist ties – To temporarily repair broken jewelry or improvise a key ring
  • Eyeglasses repair kit – To replace lost screws on prescription eyeglasses or sunglasses
emergency repair kit

All your emergency repair kit items can fit into a quart-sized zipper bag. Image credit: Cherri Megasko

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36 thoughts on “How to Build an Emergency Repair Kit for Travel

  1. Robin (Masshole Mommy)

    We always keep an emergency kit in the car. We take lots of road trips and I don’t want to be caught unprepared.

  2. Nancy

    Oh gosh, these ideas are awesome. I’m such a scatter brain when it comes to packing myself, our dog, and my husband up when we want to go anywhere. I’m usually forgetting a few things. And most times we need scissors. I don’t know why I never pack them.

  3. Digna D.

    Great list. This is something I am seriously lagging on. I rarely do any traveling but my hubby has to drive to and from work so I should make sure he has one. Thank you for sharing.

  4. R U S S

    Luckily, I have not had any emergencies while traveling. I can imagine how uncomfortable and annoying it may be, but a little precaution goes a long way. I do have a kit similar to what you have, only I don’t have the plastic utensils & straw. Imma add them next time 🙂

  5. Fi Ní Neachtáin

    This is great advice. I’d have never have thought to include all these things in a repair kit. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Beth

    As someone who travels for a living, I agree with this to some extent! I always travel with my tiny sewing kit and a few first aid items, just in case!

  7. Courtney

    This is something I should make. I travel a lot and so far I’ve been lucky and nothing has happened but you just never know…

    1. eliz frank

      I’d like to add that whenever I travel and forget my travel sew kit, I regret it. We need a kit for those fast emergencies that rear their head at the worst possible moment. 🙂

  8. OurFamilyWorld

    This is a really smart list of things to bring on travel trips or even camping trips. I will have to make my own rescue kit for me and my son, me for traveling and my son for his camping trips.

  9. Gabriel Bregg

    Not what I was expecting when I clicked the link – I was thinking in terms of keeping spare clothes and food, etc in the trunk of the car. This is a great idea that I’m going to modify for when we camp though

  10. H.Evans

    Great emergency kit.I add to that double sided tape , hand sanitizer (great for stains) , dryer sheets (for static) ,extra earring backs ,and a travel lint roller.

  11. Tiffany

    I LOVE the idea of keeping a kit that is packed and ready to go for every trip… You could really just leave this repair kit in a pocket of your suitcase so you never forget it!

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