One trick I learned on the first trip I took to Washington D.C. a few years ago was to bring along a few garbage bags. You know the big black bags that stinky stuff goes into and is taken away to the landfill. They are so compact (lay them on the bottom of your suitcase or fold them into a hockey puck size) and versatile to use. I had originally taken them to keep my dirty and clean clothes separate.
On the first day I was in Long Beach and everything was wet. I pulled out one of the bags and laid it on the bench. It also provided a little barrier to the freezing cold bench.
While I was stuck in New York overnight, a few garbage bags provided a barrier between me and the hard floor. A few shirts stuffed into the bags offered a little cushion.
Though I didn’t have to use it on this trip, a garbage bag is a great impromptu rain coat. Turn the bag upside down (opening should be at bottom) and tear a little hole in the opposite end of the opening (what was the bottom). Stick your head through the hole and you’ve got yourself a rain coat. If you need to use your arms, tear holes at the appropriate height on the sides.
Another benefit to the garbage bag is that it can insulate you from wind and keep your body heat contained. I guess that was why we always had a garbage bag in the emergency earthquake kits we brought to school at the beginning of each year.
But don’t throw your garbage bag away just yet. It can be used as filler when packing stuff in a box to ship yoursouvenirshome.
Who said a garbage bag is just for garbage?