Always pack a flat rubber water-stopper for leaky bathtub and sink drains. I've needed it even in highly rated hotels.
When traveling with a child in diapers, prepare a grab-and-go package of diapers and wipes. Put three or four wipes in a snack-size plastic bag, then put that and one diaper in a quart-size bag. Place these single packages in a carry-on or diaper bag. For a diaper change, grab one pack and go. Save the leftover wipes in their bags for the return trip. I use one of the leftover wipes to clean Baby's hands. He tends to touch the changing table a lot, and no one wants those germs on their kid. Make sure you make enough packets to last you from the time you drop your luggage to the time you pick it back up.
When my husband and I travel we always keep two "chip clips" in our luggage for the drapes in the hotel room or on the ship. It's great for keeping the curtains together, preventing light from coming in the room.
Take scented dryer sheets in plastic bags. In a lot of countries, people still smoke. You can wipe down your clothes and hair and remove some of the smell. They can freshen a musty hotel room. If you are seated on a plane with someone who doesn't use deodorant and thinks showering is optional, it can distract you from the body odor. After you are out of sheets, you can put your dirty laundry in the bag.
Keep a couple of American dollar bills handy so you will have what you need to feed into the luggage cart system. After a big trip, you may need those carts.
For hotels that ask for passports, leave a copy of the photo and data page from that document in a clear plastic sleeve of the same size. If you leave it behind, no problem — as long as you have the original passport.
Shirley J. Lane
Carry a half-full (or small) plastic bottle of water in your carry-on. I drink the water while waiting to go through security. I keep the bottle which I later fill so I have a bottle ready for my journey from airport to hotel.