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Information about a little piece of luggage to use so little items don't get lost

Good afternoon!

Sometime in the last six months, I read a series of postings about luggage. One of the postings referenced a small bag that could be placed on a table/night stand to collect small items so they didn't become lost.

I have searched the France forum and can't find the posting. So, I thought this section might be able to provide some information since I neglected to make note of the website that was referenced.

If I remember, the bag was small, perhaps with a drawstring and cost under $20.

Thanks for any help in advance!


Posted by
199 posts

Hi Bev,
I also believe that the previous reference was for a Tom Bihn Travel Tray, the only one I know of with a drawstring.
I have one and it is super convenient. I just scoop everything into the Tray and go, especially if I'm in a hurry. It's also very lightweight and holds a lot. Because of the shape, you can also stuff it with odd shaped items.

Have a great trip!
Best, Carole

Posted by
198 posts

I bought a set of 3 packing squares from Eddie Bauer. They are small, so I'm using the smallest one for the nightstand stuff: jewelry, watch, eyeglasses, etc. Another will hold all the miscellaneous stuff for the plane: travel toothbrush, eye mask, earphones, etc. The third is a bonus that I don't have a plan for as yet. But they are brightly colored, have mesh sides so you can see what's in them, and the cost was right at $20 -- I happened to shop when everything in the store was 30% off, so that was a real score!

Travelon Packing Squares

Posted by
345 posts

Thank you so much! This was exactly what I had seen. It is a little more expensive than I had thought but as long as it works, that would be great.

Again, thanks!

Posted by
2349 posts

It seems I was the one who brought the Tom Bihn travel tray up in the earlier thread. I have used it a lot, and I love it a lot. It has evolved into a place to keep those odds and ends that I often forget, but want close at hand. Right now it has a spare phone charger, a spare pair of readers, lip balm, a small hand lotion. I can put it on the hotel table and throw my money and keys in it. I attach my phone to the charger and leave both in the tray.

Another hint- I had been looking for a pill holder with just two compartments. One for morning meds, one for evening, for just an overnight trip. I knew I'd seen them, but couldn't find one. Finally I picked up some cheap contact lens cases. Perfect! I keep one of those in my tray as well. Actually, I call it my crock, because we've always kept keys in an old one gallon crock. So it's my soft travel crock.

Posted by
1068 posts

I'll admit, on my first couple of trips friends lost a few of my things and since then I have looked for a way to "organize" my misc junk when in the hotel room. A drawstring may be great, but I like these two from Red Oxx Travel Basket and Travel Tray. Two luxuries I appreciate when I travel.

Posted by
4407 posts

Thanks, Eric! This tray from Magellan's is one that I've used for several years; it's just like new. It goes with me wherever I go. And I really like the $14.50 price tag ;-) although that's twice what I paid for mine years ago 8^O

Posted by
1194 posts

Why not use a plastic coffee can lid? It is light weight, cheap, and you can use it as a spare plate or cheese tray for picnics etc.
The important thing is to have a target area to store your small things so that they don't spread out all over the place. Something low sided keeps items from rolling off.

Posted by
3 posts

I always save and collect the heavy, clear, plastic bags that pillow cases, sheets, and blankets come in. This is what we use to pack like items together in our luggage, so everything stays together, and you can see at a glance everything that is in them.

Posted by
81 posts

I agree with Ray. We have the Travel Basket from Red Oxx that we have used for about many years now, and it still looks good as it did the day I bought it. We have used it for every vacation and for every college football weekend game (Sept. to Dec.) trip during the past 5 or 6 years. Red Oxx also has a lifetime warranty so if it tears up they will replace it or fix it for free. We have other items of luggage from Red Oxx and they have terrific gear. You can find the basket or the tray (one is a bit bigger than the other so if two of you are going to use it, I would recommend getting the larger one) here:

Posted by
5697 posts

Found a bright yellow fake leather zip-up bag at a garage sale this weekend -- looks to be big enough to hold my change, watch, hearing aid in one place on the nightstand, bright enough to not leave behind, and at $1.00 cheap enough to toss if it doesn't do the job.

Posted by
2349 posts

As nifty as those fold-flat trays look, I prefer my bin with the drawstrings. You have to put all that stuff away in the flat trays- your loose change, the phone charger, lip balm, etc. I can just keep it in there and pack it.

Posted by
67 posts

I like my Tom Bihn drawstring bag/tray too. I empty my pockets into it when I go through security and keep it on the nightstand in my room. I like that the sides are deeper than the trays (and coffee lids) I have tried.

Posted by
524 posts

Arcecifamily...what a great idea! Those large coffee lids have a nice lip to them, and they are very lightweight. I would like to not purchase another gadget...and this was a great DIY idea! Thanks.

Posted by
13919 posts

@Pam S, thanks for the lead on the Eddie Bauer travelon cubes. I picked them up last week and while I don't like that they don't open flat that is probably an advantage. I'm using the Pink one for charger cords and will use it bedside. They are bright enough that I won't overlook them while packing up. It is big enough to contain my small ziplock of by-the-bed stuff like chapstick, OTC sleep remedies and earplugs. Phone can go on top. I actually wish it was a smidgy bigger so it would hold my iPad mini but that's OK.

And thanks Bev for starting the thread!

Posted by
222 posts

This comment may apply more to women travelers than men BUT.... I use the small zippered bags that come with cosmetic "freebies" with a purchase. They serve to keep chargers together, small items that have no other home, even makeup. One is my "Necessaries" bag.... sewing kit, nail file, bandaids, safety pins, tweezers, duct tape, spare pills in a tiny ziplock, moleskin,etc. Otherwise, the bags tend to accumulate in the vanity. They can be labeled with a Sharpie and fit nicely into the bottom of the suitcase.

Posted by
9554 posts

Oh my gosh I love packing discussions and little packing and toiletries features in magazines and on blogs etc. and that Tom Bihn drawstring bag/nightstand corral is like magic!!

Posted by
3696 posts

I bought a set of 3 packing cubes from TJmaxx in a variety of sizes, all of them small. One holds my makeup, one for electronic stuff, and the other is not designated yet. The top does not open flat as it has a pleat, but I am going to cut it so that I can flip open the lid just like my larger RS packing cubes. It is so handy to keep things organized this way. I am also thinking I will have a notecard in top of each one that has a list of the contents, to remind me to check for those chargers and adaptors.