It’s one of those old idioms that’s been around since the early 1900s – the one about packing the kitchen sink.
“Your mother wants to pack everything – I’m surprised she doesn’t pack the kitchen sink”
“Wow, your suitcase is heavy – got the kitchen sink in there?”
So ‘the kitchen sink’ has become shorthand for describing the way that some people pack for every eventuality when they’re travelling – so much so that they even take the kitchen sink with them, just in case.
But hang on a minute – would taking the kitchen sink with you really be so crazy? Of course it would, wouldn’t it? The weight to lug it around, the space it would take up … daft idea, right?
And yet just think how handy it would be, having the kitchen sink with you. No more washing coffee cups or wine glasses in the bathroom sink in the hotel for one thing – that always struck me as being just a little unsanitary.
And if you were ever in a camper van in the Atlas Mountains trying to wash dishes in a freezing cold stream, (just a handy example that sprang to mind – I can still feel that freezing water after all these years) then you’d really appreciate something like a kitchen sink.
So If I told you that a collapsible sink or bucket – the type used by campers – could be invaluable when travelling, you’d more than likely sit up and take notice, right?
Here are a few of the uses you’d find:
- Carry water from the hotel (or Airbnb) bathroom to your room to wash dishes or yourself
- Fill it with ice to keep drinks cool when you’re on a picnic or the beach
- Bath the baby (or a toddler)
- Enjoy soaking those tired feet after a long day hiking or sightseeing
- Use it as an impromptu carrying basket when you’re shopping
- Use it as a trash can when you’re outdoors or if one isn’t supplied in your accommodation
- Ahem … use the bucket or sink as an emergency toilet
- If fishing is part of your trip, use it to keep your catch in
- Camping, picnicking or at the beach, use it for lugging dirty stuff like logs, charcoal etc.
- Use as a waterproof bag for towels and swimsuits
- For holding water when you’re washing the car
- As an emergency clothes washer
- Use for washing outdoor items such as sandy flipflops or muddy hiking boots
Of course, it would have dozens of other uses if you were marooned on a desert island but even if that doesn’t feature in your immediate travel plans you’ll still be able to travel with a collapsible sink or bucket as they are very compact and extremely lightweight. And I bet that you can think of dozens more uses, on your travels or at home.
See some examples below: