The 10 Best self-catering essentials


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The Independent Travel

1. Zippo Lighter


A lighter is a must. For lighting the gas hob, romantic dinner candles or just finding your way to the fuse box in a power cut, you'll almost certainly need one.

2. Casio LED travel clock


Travel clocks are pretty essential if you don't have a reception desk to wake you. This one is thin, palm-sized, has an adequately annoying alarm and a backlight.

3. Kuhn Rikon knife with holder


Knives in self-catering properties hardly cut butter, let alone meat. So take this carbon steel knife with a safety holder.

4. SKK detachable handle frying pan


This has a detachable handle, so it can collapse to a manageable size. And it's made of iron, so you can use it at home, too.

5. Acrylic case


You'll want some spices, salt and pepper with you on your trip. So get one of these acrylic jewellery cases and re-purpose it as a holder for all your seasonings.

6. Clip-on reading light


Make sure you've always got enough light for your bedtime reading with this LED lamp. Just clip it on to the top of the book, click the button and you're away.

7. Sewing kit


Slim as a post-holiday wallet yet full of thread, buttons, safety pins and needles, this sewing kit will see you through any mishaps with your skirt/dress/shirt/trousers.

8. Ickle Bockle


Ignore the silly name, these 100ml screw-top bottles are really useful. You can decant your favourite toiletries into them if you don't want to buy a travel kit.

9. John Lewis Waiter's Friend deluxe corkscrew


Don't spend your first evening searching for a corkscrew. This gadget also has a flip-top opener, foil cutter and mini knife.

10. Malin + Goetz Essentials Kit


This kit includes everything you need, all organic and chemical-free. And, at 29ml each, you can carry them in hand luggage.