safety pins

Photo by Laineys Repertoire.

The humble safety pin might not be found on most people’s packing lists but since it weighs virtually nothing and takes up hardly any space, it should be on yours.

Here are seven reasons why:

1. Hold together your clothing. Use a safety pin to temporarily hold your shirt/blouse/pants closed in case a button pops off. It can also be handy if your hem starts to fall (as is duct tape). If you travel with a sarong, safety pins can be a useful way of fastening the fabric after you’ve fashioned it into a skirt/shirt/bag/etc. since not all of us are adept at tying a sarong and being sure it won’t unravel as we’re wearing it! Women can also use a safety pin to drape and secure a wide scarf around their shoulders so it looks like a wrap. I don’t do this often, but I find if I’m traveling with a backpacker’s wardrobe and want to go to a nice venue (e.g. restaurant, opera, ballet), this is a simple way of making myself look more dressed up.

2. Pin curtains shut. You know how some hotels have that annoying gap between their curtains that lets in super bright sunlight before you’re ready to wake up? A safety pin or two and it’s no longer a problem.

3. Hang your clothes to dry. If you’ve washed your clothes but the available clothesline doesn’t have any/enough clothes pegs, use safety pins to secure your garments to the line.

4. Secure your bag. If you’re walking around with a backpack as your day bag, use safety pins to join the two zipper pulls together, thus making it harder for thieves to get inside. The pins can also serve as a useful replacement if one of the zipper pulls breaks off, or the pull is too short to be practical.

5. Hold keys together. Use a large safety pin in lieu of a key ring or use a pin to fasten a key to the inside pocket of your pants. This is useful if you’re putting your belongs in a locker that shuts with key, e.g. at a gym or a hostel.

6. Fasten a bandage. Pretty straightforward – if you injure yourself and have to wrap a bandage around your arm/leg/whatever, use a safety pin to clip it together.

7. Keep like items together. If you are always losing one glove, pin the pair together.

What do you think? Do you know any other uses of safety pins for travelers?