Bunnings’ best travel item costs just 93 cents

 Think the sausages are Bunnings’ best value buy? Think again. This frequent flyer says it’s an absolute steal when it comes to travel essentials.

First, the bad news: you can’t take your sausage sanga from Bunnings on the plane.

All right, strictly speaking you can, but it will be a cold, soggy and sorry affair by the time you get to eat it. So you’ll have to source your cheap airport food elsewhere.

Despite that snag, the hardware giant does stock quite a few items that can be useful for frugal travelers. And with 300-odd locations around Australia and long opening hours, it can be handy for last-minute additions.

To be clear, for travel staples, it isn’t always the cheapest choice. You can pick up international power adaptors and power cubes at Bunnings, but you’ll find them for less at Kmart or the Reject Shop. And pricing for luggage tags is line-ball with other bargain retailers.

A twin-pack of travel tags will set you back $3.10, which is just above the $3 you’ll pay for a similar pack at Kmart. If you want an even cheaper alternative, use a key-ring tag to label your luggage instead. A single one of those costs $0.93, or you can pay $1.05 for a slightly larger version.

If you’re travelling with the family, go bulk and buy a pack of 20 for $8.10. That’s less than 40 cents a tag. The only cheaper option is to grab a cardboard tag at the airport, but that’s not as robust or reusable.

As well as being useful for whacking your name on your luggage, key tags are also great for labelling packing cubes inside your case.

For an upcoming four-city trip, I’ve got my clothing for each city packed in a separate cube and each labelled with a tag. When I leave each city, the dirty clothes go back in the same bag to await washing when I get home. There’s no way that I am paying hotel rates for laundry.

If you’re an in-room knicker washing specialist, Bunnings also stocks a 20-peg portable drying rack for just $3. It’s too bulky for carry-on, but lightweight if you’re packing a suitcase.

Another area where Bunnings has quite an impressive range and reasonable prices is vacuum flasks.

These are especially handy when travelling in Europe. No one bats an eyelid in a Scandinavian hotel if you fill up your Thermos with coffee in the breakfast room. Indeed, it’s expected behavior.

Finally, for $11.95 you can pick up a 30-piece first-aid kit, complete with bandages, tweezers, gauze, tape, safety pins and other essentials. That can be a useful inclusion, especially for longer family trips.

Just remember not to put the kit in your carry-on luggage, as the scissors will inevitably lead to an unpleasant discussion with airport security.

Quite aside from not wanting to lose the scissors, who wants to be the embarrassing person who is holding up the rest of the security queue?

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