Before I cared about $200 suitcases, I was mostly interested on traveling on what I could.. which was, well, nothing. Even the backpack I used was a cheap knockoff I borrowed from my parents.
This post originally appeared on Map Happy.
But dude, where there is necessity, there is invention. It shouldn't come as a surprise that even a quick trip to the local dollar store will get most people's needs taken care of. There's also totally tons of little travel DIY hacks out there using things found in a kitchen or bathroom. There's always Amazon, too, if you can't be bothered to get up from the computer.
(I'm also a little bit amazed at how efficient pill boxes are for storing items. Stock up on pill boxes! And if you've got more tips of your own to add, please shout out in the comments below.)
Buying travel bottles
And if that's too much, most dollar stores sell plastic bottle sets for $1 apiece. That's 33 cents per bottle. Manufacturing plastic is cheap. Cause, China.
Get creative with contact lenses or pill boxes
Hail the Ziploc bag
For secret cash...
Or put it in your deodorant.
Simply open your existing deodorant, twist it up to remove the top portion, place your valuables (credit card, cash, etc) inside, and replace the top. You can do this with a new deodorant and still have room for most things, but a nearly empty stick has a bit more space.
Plastic bags for dirty items
It's not glamorous but it does get the job done. If you're looking for something more "adult," these nylon shoe bags ($2.29 for a set of three on Amazon) fit the bill. Old shower caps to cover shoe bottoms are a nifty little trick in case plastic bags are in short supply. (They are definitely in cities where they charge for one!)
The nylon bags will also double as small laundry bags, as long as they're sorted. Maybe one for intimates? In case you're not feeling that or the grocery bag, an old pillowcase also works. Just dump the contents and the pillowcase in the machine to clean both!
Compression bags on the cheap
I personally still use a compression bag from Daiso, a Japanese "dollar" store that now has stores in the U.S. It's not possible to buy individually online but hey, at the worst case, you've got 20 compression bags for less than a dollar each? As far as I can tell, the one I've had has held up for a couple of years and some 300,000 miles.
The DIY travel rack