Whether you’re on the road for business or pleasure, overnight, for a weekend, or for a week or more, a well-stocked survival kit in your suitcase can be a lifesaver when dealing with travel glitches large and small.

What constitutes a travel glitch?

My definition runs the gamut from a lost wallet or a natural disaster to inconveniences encountered in hotel rooms and airports that may start as mild irritations and blossom into headaches.

When faced with a problem on the road, I often turn first to my travel kit. It gets refreshed after each trip, updated regularly and often saves the day.

Here are some of the items in my kit you might consider when making a kit of your own.

  • Medications – prescribed and over-the-counter – plus some basic first aid supplies. Include enough for your planned trip and for a few days extra in case of a detour or delay.
  • Paper copies of your passport and/or driver’s license (with another saved in an electronically accessible way), plus paper copies of your airline, hotel and rental car reservations, along with contact numbers in case of a problem.
  • Earplugs and eyeshades. They’re handy on airplanes crossing time zones and in hotel rooms when you’ve got noisy neighbors or curtains that don’t quite block the streetlight glare.
  • Small flashlight (some travelers recommend headlamps), a fully-charged gadget re-charger, sanitizing wipes and a stash of extra cash, which can come in handy if, say, an earthquake knocks out electric power and the electronic credit card machines.
  • A small shrink-wrapped towel (in some countries hotels do not provide washcloths) and a pad of sticky notes, which I’ve used for everything from replacing missing “Do Not Disturb” signs on hotel room doors and asking flight attendants not to wake me.
  • Downy Wrinkle Releaser Plus. It comes in TSA-compliant 3-ounce spray bottles and battles fabric odors and static cling as well.
  • A mini roll of duct tape, useful for everything from mending hems to repairing suitcases. A top-seller at Minimus.biz, which sells more than 250 travel-sized items.
  • And, of course, some food.

Dried fruit, nuts, dark chocolate, a collapsible bowl, spork, and energy bars will come in handy during delays at airports and on airplanes. Put some single-serve instant oatmeal packets in your kit too, as well as some prepackaged meals you can microwave in your hotel room if you arrive after the restaurant closes, if room service prices are exorbitant (they usually are) or if you want to eat something you already know you will enjoy.

A good choice: Tasty Bite meals, which are all-natural, and nicely-spiced. The pouches require no refrigeration or additional water), which makes them great for travel.

Pouches of Tasty Bite’s dozen rice dishes can be packed in you carry-on bag and, after a few days of taste testing, my family declared the Ginger Lentil Rice, Tandoori Rice and Asian Vegetable Rice offerings good enough to be meals on their own.

If you’re checking a suitcase, pack some of Tasty Bite’s Asian and Indian entrees. In addition to a few rice dishes, I recently road-tested the Punjab Eggplant, the Peas Paneer and the Kung Pao Noodles and am now updating my survival kit checklist to include these meals (and a few others), a collapsible bowl and a spork.

Tasty Bite in bowl with sporks
Tasty Bite Survival Kit supplies