Travel and Storage Packing in a Pencil Box
The pencil box has become my favorite way to pack small items for travel and storage. While many have used them for safely transporting their crayons, pencils and markers, most have yet to discover how truly versatile the pencil box can be for travel. They’re also inexpensive and water-resistant, which makes them ever so clever!
Here’s a few ideas for using snap-closure plastic pencil boxes to transport and store items while traveling. But don’t stop there. Pencil boxes are also great for storing things in small spaces like RVs, cabins, art studios and apartments. You’ll most likely think of dozens more items you can store by the time you finish the article.
It may be hard to believe you can get all the items pictured in my travel first-aid/emergency essentials kit into one pencil box, but scroll down to see how it’s done. I did it in my last Croatian Island tour .
I Told You It Would Fit!
What’s included in my basic travel/first-aid kit that fits in a pencil box?
- An assortment of band-aids
- Ear plugs
- Alcohol wipes
- Lens wipes (works on glasses, laptops, cell phones and cameras)
- Dental floss
- Allergy medicine blister packs
- Small tube of headache relief (Tylenol, aspirin or Motrin)
- Sample size Origins Peace of Mind (a light cream containing essential oils that calm and relieve)
- Individual packets of burn cream, insect bite cream, lip balm and skin lotion
- Small roll antacids
- 3-4 Cough drops
- Small sewing kit
- 2-3 sticks chewing gum
When packing this many items, I like to think of it like the video game Tetris – move the blocks around so they are interconnecting. I pack square and flat items on the bottom, then fill in the gaps. On the top are the individual packets. The snap closure box only slides out about 1/2 way, but with a little finesse, you can slide the interior box from the sleeve.I can easily drop this into a backpack for hiking and day trips, or into a large handbag or carry-on when I travel by plane, train or bus. Not only have many of those items come in handy for me, but I’ve been able to share with others when needed.
NOTE: If you use a pencil box to store prescription meds, never, ever share with others – especially while traveling.
Packing Tip #1
If you pack individual blister pack OTC meds like Benadryl, AZO, Tylenol Cold etc. make sure you can read the label on the back. If not, use a fine point Sharpie to label the packet.
- I honestly use them for so many things like:
Extra reading glasses
- Phone chargers, plug converters, earphones, USB cables, flash drives and SD cards,
- Playing cards and dice (1 deck of cards + 5 dice + small notepad + copies of Yahtzee score pad I printed online = HOURS of fun on family trips, in hotel rooms, on a boat, a train…)
- Makeup brushes, Q-tips, lipsticks, eye shadow quads and cosmetic sponges
- Doggie-doo bags and extra plastic grocery bags — see link below on how to fold them into tiny triangles!
- Condiments, wet wipes and plastic (or metal) cutlery
- Craft supplies (beads, tools, scrapbook embellishments)
Packing Tip #2
Store multiple packed pencil boxes in a shoe box, tackle box or similar sized plastic box. Shoe boxes can be conveniently stacked on shelves. Tackle and plastic boxes with handles go easily from the trunk of a car to a boat, motel room or vacation rental.
Packing Tip Videos on YouTube
Check out these handy travel packing tips and be sure to watch the 2nd video in this list for the how-to guide on folding plastic grocery bags into tiny triangles for really compact storage. (You could put about 30 of these in a pencil box if you fold them correctly as shown in the video!)