Wicks can be made from strips of cotton fabric, shoelaces, clothesline or twine. Cotton is usually best, but if water will wick, it doesn't matter what material is used. Make each wick long enough to reach from the bottom of the water container to the plant.
Generally, plants can survive up to 7 days without water. However, your plants' type and maturity level may affect how long they can go without water. Full-grown tropical houseplants can survive 2-3 weeks without water, while succulents and cactus can survive up to 3 months.