If you are flying in a premium cabin, or even economy on some international carriers, it often means that you’ll be presented with a travel amenity kit filled with all the basic essentials to help you feel more comfortable during a long-haul flight.
After the flight, these kits are often discarded or left behind, but there are plenty of ways to reuse these kits in your everyday life! From using it as a mini first aid kit to donating them to your favourite charities; here are 8 ways to reuse your in-flight amenity kits.
(PS: all these tips can be used to re-use ipsy bags too!)
What to do with travel amenity kits when you get home
1. Donate them to a charity
Many women in domestic violence situations leave home with nothing, and your airline amenity kit (plus a few extra items) can help give them some much-needed assistance during this tough time. For other people, being able to wash themselves with a bar of soap and brush their teeth helps to restore some of their dignity.
Homeless shelters and women’s shelters are always on the lookout for new (sealed) toiletries and other supplies, and this extends to good bags to keep the precious supplies in them. Alongside full bags, consider filling travel amenity kits with new boxes of feminine hygiene products or other small ‘travel-sized’ items – you can find many of these in your local supermarket or beauty store for only a dollar or so.
Another way to donate good quality airline amenity kits is by including them in your Operation Christmas Child or Shoe Box(es) of Love. Alongside some toiletries; fill the airline amenity kits with games, stickers, coloured pencils, and other small activities.
PACKING TIPS: Carry-on travel essentials
2. Use them as a pencil case or makeup case
No longer just a pouch with a zipper, today’s travel amenity kits are often decked out with pockets (some with zippers!) inside them. With all the pockets, they make the perfect pencil case or makeup case for travel!
If you are content with your current makeup and stationary set-up, consider using them for your cords. (More on this below!)
3. Sell them!
Believe it or not, travel amenity kits are hot commodities for collectors on sites such as eBay!
One of the most collectable is the amenity kits made by German luggage maker Rimowa, currently found on Lufthansa, Eva Air, and Thai Airways. Known for their almost indestructible polycarbonate roller bags, the cases handed out onboard are made using the same high-quality material as its signature bags, making them perfect for protecting delicate gadgets such as cameras, external hard drives, and portable power banks; and they’re the perfect size for an electric shaver! And unlike other airline amenity kits, the Rimowa case is resistant against liquids and stains.
The Delta One Tumi hardshell kits are also popular, alongside collectible tins and other items from special flights, such as the Eva Air Hello Kitty flights and commemorative flights.
If you are planning on selling your in-flight travel amenity kit, to get the most amount from them, try to keep them sealed in their original bag. If shipping internationally, make sure you can ship the contents (such as shampoo, perfume, etc.) – many postage companies have strict regulations on posting flammable liquids.
4. Fill them up for guests to use
Let’s face it: travel can be quite a stressful event and even the best preparation can sometimes see you forgetting something.
Whether you are welcoming friends or family to your home or perhaps an airbnb guest; make them feel more at home by filling an airline amenity kit with essential travel items.
I like to include a toothbrush, toothpaste, and some floss. A razor, cotton pads or buds, and an extra bar of soap never go astray.
5. Use them as a travel game kit
Games always seem to come with a million pieces, and even the best-designed ones with magnetic clips seem to have a habit of losing a piece or two. Don’t lose any by storing games in a re-purposed travel amenity kit.
6. Use it to hold your tablet
Many airlines have moved away from the traditional dopp kits and shifted to more practical forms which can be easily utilised for other products. The new pouch-style travel amenity kits you’ll find on airlines like Qantas and Air New Zealand.
Qantas and Air New Zealand are among the carriers currently offering this perfectly-sized pouch which will provide a snug padded home to your tablet or eReader!
7. Turn it into a travel size first aid kit
Whether you are an avid adventure seeker, sports person, have kids or are a little clumsy – that would be me! – taking a small first aid kit with basic essentials never goes astray. Keeping it stowed in a separate bag from your toiletries allows for you to just grab it and stash it in your day bag for any adventures, without having to find pockets to store separate items.
Alongside paracetamol, ibuprofen, band-aids, insect repellent and insect bite relief, antiseptic wipes, and a small bandage; choose some items which are destination or activity specific. Consider Loperamide tablets (Imodium) if you are travelling to countries which may cause you to have an upset stomach, antihistamine tablets if you are prone to allergies, or antibiotic creams (like Savlon).
Norbert from GloboTrek’s article has some great tips on how to prepare a travel-sized first aid kit.
8. Use them to store electronics cords or other small objects
Breeze through security by separating your cords from the rest of your carry-on baggage. When you get to security, simply pull out your cord bag and put it on a separate tray with your toiletries.
With the influx of cords and technology we travel with, airport security needs to be sure that the mess of cords in your bag is innocent. By keeping your cords in a separate bag allows the team to quickly identify if they need to re-screen or check your bag, and your perfectly planned carry-on bag won’t be tussled.
It’s also a handy way to keep organised at work, so that everything in my bag is organised and ready for wherever I need to go.
Let me know in the comments below