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Share your favorite travel "secrets"

Share your favorite travel "secrets"

Old Aug 7, 16, 8:28 am
  #1  
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Share your favorite travel "secrets"

What are the things you've always done, because they just work?

What are the things you wish you'd known years ago?

Share with the rest of the class, please!

Here are a few of mine:

1. Dry shampoo. I don't wash my hair every day at home (in fact, my dry, frizzy mess goes in for a professional blow-out once or twice a week). At home and on the road, dry shampoo is a great thing to have on hand for those days when my roots need a bit of a boost, but the rest of my hair is perfectly clean.

2. Speaking of hair (and other "necessities") . . . In big cities, when I am on a longer trip, ask the concierge for recommendations (and to just plain make me an appointment) for a good blow-out and/or mani. A little time off for me during a long trip can be a great "moment" in the midst of all the museums, cathedrals, and restaurants.

3. Take the "fancy underwear". Those La Perlas, Wolfords, etc., are made of thin synthetics that are easy to wash in the sink and, more to the point, dry quickly overnight, making them the perfect travel underwear for those who believe in packing light. Take seven pairs and wash every night (or every other night). No matter how long your trip, you'll have clean undies.

4. The oh-so-bearable lightness of the bralette. Never mind underwires, padding, and other inventions. The bralette gives my ittie bitties just enough support, and does not bind, pinch into my protruding ribcage, and (depending on style) can look like a cami under a low v-neck top. Also take up very little room in my suitcase. Love.

5. The thin cashmere turtleneck. I wear it alone as a top. As a more casual top with a suit. Under sweaters. As faux long underwear when it's very cold. I have owned mine (Wolford) for over five years, and it is good as new. The only thing it doesn't do is launder itself, and I am sure the wool industry is working on that.
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Old Aug 7, 16, 9:03 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2005
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1. always carry a first-aid kit. doesn't have to be big or elaborate, but antiseptic wipes, little packets of antibiotic ointment, packets of insect bite relief ointment and bandaids are probably one of most important things I pack, and certainly something I've shared as often as I've used it for myself. Minimum.biz sells most of I pack.

2. a pair or two of peds (below the ankle socks) can be slippers, keep your feet warm at night or on the plane and are just generally useful, including to cushion fragile items on the way home.

3. if you wear glasses, a tiny glasses repair kit can be a life saver!

4. double-check before you leave that you have all the right power cords and adaptors for your devices (I can recommend a nice little electronics shop in Rome )
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Old Aug 7, 16, 10:23 am
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Join Date: Jul 2009
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I've learned so much from the internet over the years! I don't know if I have anything earth-shattering or new though

I try to always pack a swimsuit - you never know when you might want/need one and even when I'm packing light, it doesn't take up much space. A quick dip in a hotel pool (or even better - a hot tub) at the end of a long day of meetings or touring can be really refreshing.

Always pack something of the opposite climate/weather than you're expecting. Which means I always have a pair of pants and a sweater (usually a cardigan) when going to hot places, in case a/c is too high or the weather changes. That's not a problem because I always fly in pants. When I'm expecting cool temps and/or rain, I make sure I have a dress with me in case it warms up - while normally I'd wear with tights & boots, I can go with bare legs if I want to cool off.

Wipes for everything. Flashlight in my purse always (and on my body when I fly - I stick a tiny flashlight in my passport pouch that I wear when I fly) Travel toilet paper (I have these little rolls in plastic covers - I found originally at Target and then I couldn't find again so I ordered a case from Amazon - I think I'm set for many trips to come)

My husband and I switched to a single "medicine" bag a couple years ago - either of us take it when we travel solo (we rarely travel solo at the same time) or one takes when we travel together. Keeps our toiletry bags smaller. I'm a multi-packer anyway (meaning I'd rather take a few small bags with distinct items than one large bag with everything).

Whatever I bring for lounge/sleepwear is something that can be used for something else. Like silk long underwear that can be an extra warmth layer or exercise tights & wicking tank I can exercise in (when I do this, I bring 2 sets and trade off/wash every other night)

Looking forward to new ideas!!
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Old Aug 8, 16, 8:32 am
  #4  
 
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When my husband and I are traveling together we“cross-pack” an outfit ( or sometimes two).
That means I have an entire set of his clothes packed in my luggage and he has an entire set of my clothes packed in his luggage.
If either of our suitcases is delayed or lost in transit we at least have the clothes we traveled in plus the set of clothes packed in the other person’s suitcase to get by on until our “tardy” suitcase catches up with us.
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Old Aug 8, 16, 11:02 am
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Originally Posted by east_of_the_sun View Post
When my husband and I are traveling together we“cross-pack” an outfit ( or sometimes two).
I've read this hint a few times and we've done it at least once, but I *always* forget when we're packing It's such a great idea when checking bags - I don't know why I can't remember to do it!
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Old Aug 8, 16, 12:39 pm
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I always take over-the-counter medicine with me (cold & allergy pills, tylenol, something for upset stomachs - whatever I normally use at home). I've had experiences in the UK, and even the US, where I needed something and couldn't find the products I use at home in Canada. So, I had to spend far too much time in a pharmacy trying to figure out what to buy. For example, cold pills with pseudoephedrine are only sold behind the pharmacist counter in the US and require you to present photo id and sign a very official looking statement saying that you aren't using it to make meth and the penalties for doing so. It's all a bit intimidating when your nose is running and you have a pounding headache.
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Old Aug 8, 16, 1:05 pm
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Originally Posted by Low Roller View Post
I always take over-the-counter medicine with me (cold & allergy pills, tylenol, something for upset stomachs - whatever I normally use at home). I've had experiences in the UK, and even the US, where I needed something and couldn't find the products I use at home in Canada. So, I had to spend far too much time in a pharmacy trying to figure out what to buy. For example, cold pills with pseudoephedrine are only sold behind the pharmacist counter in the US and require you to present photo id and sign a very official looking statement saying that you aren't using it to make meth and the penalties for doing so. It's all a bit intimidating when your nose is running and you have a pounding headache.
ITA. We learned our lesson in Italy, when my husband got a bad case of food poisoning, and, after a couple of days of being unable to be too far from the bathroom, decided it was time for some Pepto or its functional equivalent. Little did we know that trying to figure out what the functional equivalent of OTC meds in foreign drugstores is no easy task, especially when don't speak the local language all that fluently . Since then, we bring our own basic OTC meds, just in case.
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Old Aug 8, 16, 1:45 pm
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Join Date: Oct 2004
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My Roma wrap dress from Icebreaker can (and has) served as an ad-hoc cardigan or robe.

I always carry a linen handkerchief from Fog Linen.

Last edited by edcaya; Aug 8, 16 at 1:51 pm
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Old Aug 8, 16, 2:38 pm
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I always bring a wide scarf that can double as a shawl if it gets cold on the plane and do triple duty as a beach wrap
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Old Aug 8, 16, 2:46 pm
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Join Date: Oct 2003
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Bring two+ of items you'd be totally hopeless without like
1. USB Chargers
2. Cables
3. Meds (especially if you're used to having American OTC options)
Sure, you might be able to find a shop that sells something "close enough" but is it so much nicer to have a backup should you need it. USB C isn't common enough, yet, so bring an extra cable and charger if you have a device which uses it.

Pack a fork (and chopsticks). Bring a favorite condiment. I like shopping in foreign grocery stores. They're often more affordable and time efficient for busy itineraries than sit down restaurants. Sometimes it is also more comfortable to "dine in" in some cultures.

Rent places that have washers and carry a bit of detergent. I still have some detergent sheets but may switch to small packs of pods from minimus.biz when those run out. Shout wipes or tide stick are useful. Fine grain artificial sweetener is good for soaking up oil stains (oh, I so wish I had known this before having a new silk blouse ruined by cruise ship laundry service when they attempted to launder it)

Women specific - panty liners make hand washing underwear easier and great for "freshening up" on long haul flights.
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Last edited by freecia; Aug 8, 16 at 3:49 pm
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Old Aug 10, 16, 6:07 am
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Join Date: May 2013
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Mine aren't anything earth shattering but here are a few.

I always bring a small washcloth in a ziploc bag.

Since most of my travel is solo I wear a small crossbody bag on the plane. This bag holds my wallet and passport and stays on my person at all times. This way the essentials are always with me, regardless if I'm asleep or heading to the bathroom. I also keep things like a tissue, single hand wipe and travel packs of Zantac and Advil in the sip picket on the front. This way I can stow my carry on and still have quick access to these things.
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Old Aug 10, 16, 6:21 am
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Originally Posted by rsqrott View Post
Mine aren't anything earth shattering but here are a few.

I always bring a small washcloth in a ziploc bag.

Since most of my travel is solo I wear a small crossbody bag on the plane. This bag holds my wallet and passport and stays on my person at all times. This way the essentials are always with me, regardless if I'm asleep or heading to the bathroom. I also keep things like a tissue, single hand wipe and travel packs of Zantac and Advil in the sip picket on the front. This way I can stow my carry on and still have quick access to these things.
I am so glad you brought up the idea of the small crossbody for the plane. I have been giving thought to this since the recent Emirates emergency landing, where some passengers were trying to get at their carry-ons. Not to be morbid, but it occurs to me that it is not only safe and practical to have your passport, wallet, and meds on your person when you are sleeping on a plane, but in case of emergency, it probably makes sense to have these things on your person as well. In my case, I would not be able to keep all of my meds in there, but I would be able to keep a couple of days' worth of meds in there. Some of us are on medication that, if we don't take it each day as prescribed, the consequences can range from extremely unpleasant (out of control migraine) to life-threatening (heart issues, seizures, etc.).

I hate thinking about these things, but I guess it doesn't hurt.
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Old Aug 10, 16, 11:01 am
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Join Date: May 2013
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Sadly my little cross body was the first thing that I thought about when I read about that Emirates flight. That I would have just been able to get off of that plan without a second thought. Plus my little bag enables me to grab my wallet without having to dig through my whole carry on. Handy for airport purchases, cabs, even when checking into a hotel. I even keep a pen in there for filling out landing cards during the flight.

You have an excellent point about medications. My concern was if I've got agita on the red eye and don't want to rummage through my carry on but for people that need medication having it on their person in case of emergency is an excellent idea.

One other thing occurred to me. I have a small, stainless thermos that I travel with. If I am flying overnight I'll fill the thermos with coffee at the airport prior to departure so that I can have hot, fresh, non airplane coffee upon arrival. This may sound frivolous but it really makes a difference in how I feel when getting off of that plane. The thermos takes up about as much space as a water bottle.
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Old Aug 10, 16, 1:05 pm
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A couple more:

A small (travel-sized) tube of Elizabeth Arden original Eight Hour Cream. It smells terribly medicinal, but works as a lip balm/gloss, as heavy duty hand cream, as protector under a bandage if you have a cut or other boo-boo, helps prevent blisters if your shoes are rubbing a spot on your foot, moisturizes dry cuticles, elbows, and cracked heels, helps keep eyebrows in place, and a million other things.

I always travel with a box of those individually wrapped feminine wipes, and have a few in my purse on a trip. I use them to wash my hands if they get dirty (gelato on the street in Italy). They are great when there is no TP in a public bathroom (this happened at a Mayan site in Veracruz -- thank goodness I had lots, I was everyone's best friend that day!). They are also useful to clean up benches before you sit. All sorts of useful uses.
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Old Dec 8, 16, 3:54 pm
  #15  
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For travel in warm climates, a foot kit: a bit of talc, a few alcohol pads, waterproof plasters, adhesive foot cushions, liquid bandage.

I had an extremely annoying and unfortunate experience with a "helpful" French pharmacist who refused to sell me what I needed for blister prevention and instead insisted I purchase something for blister protection and healing. She had what I needed hanging behind her head on the back wall behind the counter

At least I discovered Compeed on that trip....
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