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What do you stock up on during your travels that you can't get at home?

What do you stock up on during your travels that you can't get at home?

Old Jul 4, 03, 10:36 am
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What do you stock up on during your travels that you can't get at home?

Reading a recent trip report from wideman he mentioned he buys socks and Labello brand lip balm in France. Of course, I had to go in search of Labello and now wideman's converted my son from his hemp balm to Labello. Any additional reasons to go to Paris are fine with me.

I'm curious what else people buy on their travels that they can't find at home. I'm not talking so much about buying wine in France or bargains on art and such, but mundane, everyday products that seem to be of better quality than what you get at home.

I usually stock up on Charles Worthington hair products in London and my son buys the Botanics face creams there and the Garnier cleansing pads. We also buy the Humex cold medications in France. They seem to work so much better than what I get at home.

A friend of ours recently tried out some little stinging prduct from the drugstore in France that's supposed to provide relief from itchy bug bites - or at least distract you from one to the other. Anyone have experience with this and know if it works well?

A lot of people seem to buy eye drops in France - the name escapes me now but it's something Bleu. I'm a little reluctant to try them because I get eye problems regularly when I fly so don't know if they'd be a help or a hinderance. Anyone use those?

What do you stock up on?


Edited to fix the spelling on Labello. I don't know how many times I looked at that tube and thought the a was an o. Thanks wideman.


[This message has been edited by letiole (edited 07-05-2003).]
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Old Jul 4, 03, 11:40 am
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I stock up on lingerie and other underwear, especially in France and Italy. They both have such a better selection than what is offered here and usually at fairly good prices.
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Old Jul 4, 03, 12:06 pm
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France: I usually visit Sephora (you thought they only had stuff for women righ?) but there are a couple of Paco Rabanne stick deoderants which I really love which not even the US stores carry.
Also Stabila fine point pens cost about 0,5 EU very hard to find even in US art stores.
I might even stuff a 6 pack of my favorites soft-drink Orangina into my luggage.
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Old Jul 4, 03, 12:36 pm
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When I lived in the US and travelled to Europe I used to buy:
1. mentholated kleenex - one whiff and you breathe free
2. Airwaves menthol-flavour chewing gum
3. Solpadine (from the UK) which is a paracetamol and codeine mix, it's the best thing to get rid of really bad headaches and codeine is prescription only in the USA.

Now that I live in Europe, when I travel back to the US I buy:
1. Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
2. chocolate chips
3. moisturizer from Bath & Body Works. I have really sensitive skin and I don't have allergic reactions to their stuff and I love the scents they offer.

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Old Jul 4, 03, 12:47 pm
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normally it's stocking up on good chocolate, nutella (the made-in-europe stuff just tastes better), and other junk food (there are these kangaroo shaped chips called Jumpy's that are paprika flavoured..mmmm).

my mother usually gets lamb flavoured bouillon as it's nowhere in the US, as well as note cards.

I'll second the French cold medicine...stuff is just so much better. my grandfather has very irritated skin, and likes a cream called Ultralan that requires a prescription in the US, and in Europe as well, but they don't really check. it's rather amusing going in to one pharmacy after another looking for this itch cream. before I spoke french, it was even funnier trying to explain that "it's not for me, really!"
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Old Jul 4, 03, 12:50 pm
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Australia: Vegemite and Tim Tams (how original, I know). Friends love the Tim Tams and are probably equally pleased that I didn't give them the Vegemite instead.

Mersyndol (Paracetamol/Acetamenophen, codeine, doxylamine succinate) - great for sleeping on flights.

Bonds T shirts.

UK: McVities Chocolate Digestives.

Germany: Gummi Bears (from Bären Treff - www.baeren-treff.de ). Normally I'm not that big a sweet tooth (despite the Tim Tams and Choc Digestives) but these are really, really good.
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Old Jul 4, 03, 1:09 pm
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OK, there's more than just Labello:
  • Sweetened hazelnut butter -- like nutella, but without the chocolate -- that's the world's best spread for toast. I used to find it (called creme de noisettes) from a line called La Vie Claire, but a few others put it out as well. The Italian version (crema di nocciola) is just as good. I haven't found anything close in the States.
  • Throat lozenges. "Strepsils," available in Europe, are way better than anything I've found in North America. Unlike in the US, Strepsils do not make you choose between good taste and effective sore throat relief.
  • French band-aids ("pansements") are much better than the crummy ones we have in the US.
  • Roger and Gallet soap. Yes, you can get it by mail order in the US, but the selection and of course prices are way better in France.

Incidentally, if one's issue continues to insist on Labello (which would speak well for him), it's available throughout Canada at just about all drugstores, or by Internet order through Glebe Drug in Ottawa and probably other places, too.
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Old Jul 4, 03, 1:29 pm
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Swiss neighbouring countries:
Germany: 4711
Austria: Sacher Torte (Vienna)
Italy: virgin balsamico
Fürstentum Lichtenstein: latest stamp editions
France: foie gras frais (mostly from the Restaurant I also dine)

other European countries
Finland/Sweden: Aquavit (special 'jubilee' editions)
Belgium: some beer from so far (for me) unknown monasteries
Holland: another special Genever
Spain: original Cuban cigars

USA: another original item from a professional sports game (baseball, ice-hockey, football, basketball) that I did visit
Canada: Marple syrup
Mexico very rare Tequila
Brasil Gaspacho di pitù
Australia: Vegemite
Thailand: memories of a million 'smiles'


[This message has been edited by Rudi (edited 07-04-2003).]
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Old Jul 4, 03, 2:08 pm
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Canada: Canadian quarters, Tim Horton's donuts (ok, I don't actually stock up on Tim's, but I make sure to grab one every time I pass through)
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Old Jul 4, 03, 4:18 pm
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In the UK - Marks and Spencers Biscuits, single malt scotches you can't get this side of the pond.

In the US - J Crew clothing

In Western Canada - Old Dutch Potato Chips

I also send Coffee Crisp Chocolate Bars to a friend working on a cruise ship, only available in Canada and she ports out of MIA.
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Old Jul 4, 03, 4:18 pm
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Comes to mind:

Australia
- sponges (somehow better than Swiss ones)

France
- 'Cochon' brand wart remover, more effective than Dr.Scholl's

Greece:
- olive oil

Japan:
- 'Unacool' mosquito bite treatment (great applicator, instant relief, no residue, the best this perpetual mosquito target has found on 5 continents)
- office supplies: lots of nifty goodies, such as mechanical pencils, mini-brooms, etc.
- yokan
- space-saving computer accessories
- lightweight and strong folding umbrellas

Korea
- mosquito coils: far more effective than the less noxious Swiss equivalent
- dried laver: better price/quality than in Japan

Philippines:
- cotton T-shirts, always high quality heavy gauge material

US:
- Oral-B waxed dental floss; due to late removal of my wisdom teeth, this works best for me
- Theraflu
- aerospace-certified titanium bicycle parts (European makers tend to use Russian CP titanium)
- Quickgrid conductive pen
- jeans
- burrito mix
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Old Jul 4, 03, 5:42 pm
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Switzerland and Germany: Ovaltine chocolate bars

Southern Spain: Virgin olive oil (5l canisters)
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Old Jul 4, 03, 9:15 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by PsychoFreakGoalie:
Canada: Canadian quarters</font>
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Old Jul 4, 03, 9:19 pm
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Europe and Canada - Gum. The stuff they sell in US is junk compared to Stimorol or Dirol

Continental Europe - clothing for Celio and Cool Cat . Vodka. Motzart liquer

UK - socks and underwear
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Old Jul 4, 03, 9:35 pm
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In France, I always go to the pharmacy and buy URGO band-aids. Actually, they are called Urgo"discret transparent et esthetique."
These are the best band-aids in the world. They are packed well , they stick well,and don't cause rashes. They are described as
"hypoallergenique." I have also found them in Italian pharmacies. There is no acceptable substitute. Blisters on your feet from walking--go for the URGO!
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