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Throughout my travels, I have found an ordinary pillowcase to be a wonderfully multi-purpose item.  Think about packing a pillowcase on your next trip.  This lightweight and compact object is more useful than you think!

Laundry bag: I always find it amazing how people can manage to do their laundry while traveling.  How often do we think to pack a laundry bag with us though?  Luckily a pillowcase can help.  It’s big enough to fit a load of dirty duds but packs nicely into the bottom of your luggage.

Hotel/hostel pillow cover: We can’t always pack our own pillows, and we don’t always know who the last person to sleep in our “bed” was. When all else fails, the familiar feel of a clean pillowcase may be all you need to feel comfortable and rested.

Tote bag:  I’ve used a pillowcase as an makeshift bag before, and it actually works nicely.  Cut one slit on either side, about two-three inches down from the open part of a pillowcase to make “handles” for your bag.  This is particularly useful for shopping at local markets or picking up souvenirs along the way.

Cut handles at the top of your pillowcase to make a shopping bag “in a pinch

Sit-upon: Women are lucky enough to have pashminas to fulfill this purpose, but what about something for dudes?  Luckily, pillowcases are gender neutral.  I love outdoor movies or picnics in the park, but I don’t always like to sit directly on the ground.  A pillowcase is less bulky than a blanket and small enough to stow away in your day pack.

Dirty shoe holder: Shower caps are good for this too, but what if you’ve got more than one pair of dirty shoes?  There are only so many shower caps hotels are willing to dole out.  Throw them all in a pillowcase and you’re good to go!

Pillow!: Why not?  This particularly comes in handy when you wear 17 layers of winter clothing onto a flight to save suitcase space.  On a recent trip to Iceland, I wore my coat onto the plane but then stuffed it into my pillowcase to make something more substantial than the little baby pillows airlines offer.  My Icelandic hostel also only offered one pillow per guest, but folding some sweaters into my pillowcase provided some extra support.

Do you have any more creative uses for an ordinary pillowcase, especially while traveling?  Leave a comment below so others can benefit from your pillowcase genius!

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