Whether you choose to call it “duck” tape or “duct” tape, you’ll find that it’s pretty amazing and comes in handy in all sorts of ways. Uses for duct tape are endless, and its benefits in cruise travel range from simply keeping unwanted light from awakening a late sleeper to saving a person’s life with a makeshift bandage.
Sure, maybe it's not as trendy as its classier and pricier cousin, "gaffer’s" tape, but it’s prettier and has a catchy name. Duct tape (especially “Duck” brand tape) now comes in all sorts of colors and prints – from cartoon characters and animal prints to NFL team logos. After all, a whole outfit, complete with accessories, can be made from duct tape.
The story behind this adhesive miracle maker varies, depending on whom you talk to. The tape was originally used to join seams and repair heating and cooling ducts, and apparently was used by the military to patch bullet holes in airplanes – hence the term “duct” tape. It was quite popular in WWII when troops needed waterproof tape because water rolled off it, similar to “… water off a duck’s back”, and consequently earned the name “duck” tape. Most likely, someone probably thought “duct” was a “duck” and simply confused the two. Since “Duck” is also a brand name for duct tape, I’ll refer to it as “duct tape” here, so as not to ruffle any fowl feathers.
Whatever story you believe, you can’t ignore all the inventive ways to use duct tape on a cruise. It’s a traveler’s trusted friend. Following are 25 creative uses for this sensational sticky stuff:
1. Repair a broken suitcase handle.
2. Hold the bag closed if the zipper’s busted.
3. Wrap duct tape around your luggage to deter theft by less than honest airport workers (after you go through security, of course).
4. Decorate your luggage with brightly colored tape to find it easily in baggage claim, both at the airport and cruise terminal.
5. Fix a tear in your raincoat or windbreaker.
6. Tape up a fallen hem.
7. Add some extra insulation to your boots or shoes. Tape the insides with duct tape, placing the shiny side against your foot to reflect heat back to you.
8. Patch holes in jeans. Use brightly colored animal or floral prints and make a fashion statement.
9. Secure a detached sole onto your shoe or boot until you reach civilization.
10. Remove lint and pet hair from your formal night clothes.
11. Repair a broken sandal strap.
12. If you sustain a twisted or broken ankle, wrap it in duct tape to brace it – but not too tightly - until you get help.
13. Likewise, create a splint by immobilizing the limb with a stick and wrap with tape.
14. Use duct tape in place of a band aid.
15. Create an emergency sling with rope fashioned from duct tape. Yes, really. See “Shore Excursions” below.
16. Did you step on glass, and are you miles from help? Clean the cut with water or the first-aid kit you hopefully remembered to bring, and then seal the wound with duct tape. Foot wounds are not to be fooled with.
17. Remove a wart from your foot. Cover with duct tape, and the wart dies in a couple of weeks, as no air penetrates the tape.
18. Cushion a blister on your foot.
In your cabin
19. Close up gaps in curtains to keep the light out if you’re a late sleeper.
20. Don’t trust the security of your safe? Tape an envelope of valuables on the underside of a piece of furniture.
21. Repair a cracked toilet bowl seat as a temporary fix until maintenance arrives.
22. Hold the shower curtain in place so it doesn’t creep up your behind.
23. Got a curious toddler with you? Baby-proof your cabin. Tape all those tempting drawers shut, keep the outlets covered and secure the wires to the wall.
(Just be careful where you attach the stuff, as it can leave a sticky film to the surface.)
24. If you find yourself in need of a rope, stick an edge of duct tape to something, pull out long pieces and twirl them, creating a sturdy piece of duct tape rope.
25. If you get hopelessly lost in the woods, miss your ship and find yourself starving to death, tape an arrowhead or shard piece to a stick. You’ll have a handy spear for fishing or small game catching. Not that I condone hunting on a cruise, but it beats going hungry.
By Janice Neves, CruiseCrazies Contributor
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