The one unexpected item you should never travel without…

This article was created for The Travel Project by Marina Nazario, a freelance writer with a one-way ticket around the world.

Someone recently asked me what the one thing that I always take with me during my travels is. The most obvious answer is underwear, but rather than be a wise guy, I did a replay of my normal packing routine. What’s one thing that I get the most unconventional use out of?

It may be out of the ordinary, but I never leave for a trip without one small item: Vaseline. Here’s how the multi-purpose petroleum jelly might be your best travel product.

Makeup remover

When you travel, makeup wipes tend to dry out and oils can get messy. If you remember to take off your makeup after a night out in a foreign city, dab a Q-tip or a cotton ball in Vaseline and gently wipe it over your eyes. Your eyeshadow, eyeliner and mascara should come off instantly. Pat yourself on the back—most people don’t remember to take off last nights makeup.  

Helps perfume last longer

After spritzing perfume on in the morning, rub some Vaseline over the spot or area where your perfume is and the scent will last longer. This hack can be especially helpful to travellers as we might get sweaty and smelly after a day of exploring a foreign city. (Maybe that’s just me.) You can rest easy knowing you won’t be the smelliest one on the bus.

For chapped lips

Chapped lips are common for travellers who are adventuring through different climates. Fun fact: In 1909, Vaseline played an integral role in one of the first successful expeditions to the North Pole with Commander Robert Peary. The explorer took a jar with him to keep his skin safe because he knew Vaseline wouldn’t freeze. So whip out that mini-tube of Vaseline from the deep, dark depths of your backpack and dab it on your lips while you’re exploring the Arctic. This reliable little product will help heal and soothe irritation no matter the weather.


Give your travel skin a little glow

Flying and travelling through different climates can seriously dry out your skin. Give it a little sheen in those Instas and Snaps by smoothing a thin layer of Vaseline over areas of your body that are dry and flakey. The magical petroleum-jelly will hydrate your skin and give it that travel glow that makes your friends at home super jealous.


Remove rings

This handy tip is for all those travellers who forget to take off their rings before stepping on a plane. I don’t know about you, but my fingers blow up to the size of a balloon when I fly, and it makes getting my rings off super painful. When or if this happens, rub Vaseline around the ring and it will slide right off. Phew! It makes me anxious just thinking about when that happens!

Protect new tattoos

Did you have a total YOLO moment and get a tattoo with your new travel mate while visiting Germany? Same. Instead of searching high and low for unscented hand lotion in a foreign city, just grab some Vaseline, it works just as well. Don’t forget to keep applying it to your new tat for the next two weeks so it doesn’t crack or rip!


Rub it on a sore nose

It’s common (and super annoying) to get sick while travelling. Catching a cold can be inevitable when you’re stuck in contained places like planes, buses or dorms. After sneezing and coughing your guts out, rub Vaseline around your nostrils to soothe the irritated area. It won’t cure a cold, but it will make you a little less miserable.

Heals burns

This is a little hack that I learned from a fellow traveller, and ever since then, I use Vaseline to heal and soothe my sunburn. It’s not just sunburn that it helps heal, it’s all types of burns. So if you nicked yourself while cooking in the hostel kitchen, run to your room and get out that Vaseline. Thanks to some supernatural properties of the jelly, the burn will heal quicker.


Now you’re prepared for what the world has to throw at you, why not check out where we go? 

Have you got some unexpected travel packing hacks? Share your stories with us here and you could see your work published on six-two…