Sunday what we’re reading: 8 handy travel items, countries with cheapest gas, puzzling borders


Today we look at common items you should bring with you when traveling, but may not; get a list of the 10 countries with the cheapest gas in the world; and take a look at five borders that pose some unusual problems.

8 items you never pack … but should

This article lists items that you probably wished you brought with you on your last trip, but didn’t. Personally, I already have three of these tool in my briefcase and use them all the time. Here are two in the list. Click this link for the other six.

Duct tape
From bandaging up exploded luggage to removing lint from clothing, duct tape earns its all-purpose reputation. Carry a small roll (about $5) with you to patch tears in shoes, bags or clothing; baby-proof your hotel room by covering outlets and securing drawers shut; hold together a well-worn guidebook when the spine gives out; and more.

Travel mug
To prevent damage, transport sunglasses or delicate souvenirs in an empty travel mug with a wide mouth — just make sure it’s got a secure screw top. During your trip, the mug can be an ecofriendly to-go cup or a great decoy for stashing valuables in your hotel room (a coffee-stained thermos is an unlikely target for thieves). OXO Good Grips LiquiSeal Travel Mug, $20.

Ten countries with the cheapest gas at the pump
Forbes Magazine presents us with this list of countries with the cheapest gas. The list is interesting, but the story behind the list is better. Is cheap really cheap for each economy? Click through to read the whole story.

Cheapest at the Pump
It’s not that way everywhere. In fact, in some countries gas is given away or downright cheap. The countries where you can find the cheapest gas at the pump, in U.S. dollars per gallon (2010):

1. Venezuela (7.6 cents)
2. Iran (37.9 cents)
3. Saudi Arabia (60.6 cents)
4. Libya (64.4 cents)
5. Qatar (71.9 cents)
6. Bahrain (79.5 cents)
7. Turkmenistan (83.3 cents)
8. Kuwait (87.1 cents)
9. Oman ($1.173)
10. Algeria ($1.211)

5 Puzzling International Borders
International borders are often complicated, just city limits in Boston where a friend of mine owns a restaurant with the bar in one town and the main dining room in another. It makes for interesting approaches to taxes and laws. Some countries’ borders are just as complicated in towns that may find couples sitting at a table having lunch or dinner with someone sitting in another country. Wild.

Here’s one example. Click through for the other four in this article.

Dutch-Belgian Border

The official border between Belgium and the Netherlands runs through living rooms, yards and cafés, so it’s possible – indeed, it happens more often than you’d think – to sit across a table having a cup of coffee with someone who is actually in a different country.

For a while, a Dutch law requiring dining establishments to close earlier than they did in Belgium laid the foundation for an absurd, nightly charade in some Baarle restaurants. At closing time in the Netherlands, patrons would have to get up and move tables, over to the Belgian side. … Baarle’s complex borderline has to do with how regional lords and dukes divided up their land hundreds of years ago

  • Davidtgordon

    No link to other 6 top travel items

  • Bucksmba

    If you don’t actually want to carry a roll of duct tape, I’ve wrapped around my travel size shampoo bottle several feet of tape.

  • Mapsmith

    Or use two (or four) strips of Duct tape to make a big “X” on the side of your bag to help identify them. 

  • Stephanie

    This is exactly what I do.  I find something to wrap duct tape around, because you can just reuse it.  When I hike I put it on my hiking polls.  

  • Bodega

    I actually bought a travel coffee mug to take with me in my suitcase and your suggestions of other uses for it are good.  Now if I could find a good travel coffee maker that packs well I would be a happy camper.   

  • Ton

    if i’m correct the price of a gallon gas in the netherlands would be somewhere in the 9/10 usd region. so i would say bring by the hummer:)

    as for the border, yep it is an odd situation there a couple more though,

  • Larry

    That is the cost of a LITER of gas so multiply times four for a gallon.

  • Azeem Ahmed @ Traveltamed

    Nice informative article. Bit surprised to know Venezuela can give Gas at just 7.6 cents. Is it Venezeula has plenty of Gas? Also, thanks for the essentials in a travel. Nice tips.

  • Shamis

    Great tips. Will remember the next time I head out on my trip and pack my suitcase.

  • Deus Lux

    Go to the dollar stores; they have duct tape in smaller rolls.They are the single best thing to take.For identifying suitcases put on brightly colored surveyors tape, you can find at any hardware store.

  • Michael

    More handy items for traveling can be found here

  • JS

    It is going to be on my bucket list to be standing half in the Netherlands and half in Belgium.