When attempting to prepare for any sort of travel mishap before you hit the road, it can be easy to pack extra bulky products that use valuable luggage space and vacation funds. But what if you were able to handle a multitude of trip stresses, all with an easy-to-pack, affordable item from your laundry room?

STATIC: Dealing with static electricity on the road is a common annoyance. One way to deal with it that doesn't involve a spray bottle or other hard-to-pack product is good, old-fashioned dryer sheets. For example, a used sheet can be pressed into service as a way to remove clingy particles from your laptop or tablet screen. If you notice the legs of your suit pants clinging or the skirt of your dress trying to climb up your legs, simply grab a sheet out of the storage box or travel bag and wipe down your socks or pantyhose in order to provide a protective barrier that eliminates the cling altogether. I've also used them to conquer fly-away hair upon removing sweaters, fleeces and other layers after a day of sightseeing. It's a quick fix to tame your tresses when you need to change into something dressy for dinner, and don't have an excess of time.

SMELLS: It's no secret that after a few water activities or strenuous walking days, your travel gear can begin to develop a serious funk. So can your pooch, if you happen to bring it along for the ride. Both can be dealt with by factoring dryer sheets into the equation. By giving Rover a quick wipedown before he jumps back in the car, and shoving a couple of sheets into your laundry bag and sweaty athletic shoes, you can save yourself the aggravation of an unnecessarily smelly highway ride. If you decide to streamline the process by keeping an open box of your favorite brand under one of your vehicle seats, you'll have the added benefit of not having to purchase a separate air freshener. Dryer sheets can also help gear and seasonal clothing stay fresh when you need to store them for extended periods of time. Simply tuck them inside sleeping bags, winter boots, bags of heavy socks and even your camping tent prior to putting everything in trunks for the next year.

CLEANING: If you're going on a road trip, dryer sheets can also give your car chrome a light pick-me-up. Used sheets work a bit better for this, so just grab one out of the mix when you take your travel clothes out of the dryer at the laundromat. Then, wipe down the dusty silver bits on your vehicle as you are packing up your fresh laundry to get back on the road. Solotravelgirl.com's Jennifer Huber also uses wet dryer sheets to deal with a common road trip problem in her home state of Florida. Cleaning love bugs off her car. During seasonal population increases, residents of the Sunshine State find their vehicles peppered with the remains of this particular insect.  They also have another use for the frequent traveler and hiker. “I use dry ones to keep mosquitoes away when I'm outdoors in mosquito-prone areas,” says Huber. “I just stick that dryer sheet under a hat.”

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