Packing

Pretty much as soon as you start reading or talking about travel, you come upon packing tips.

I’ve read some tips I learned by living and was happy to see are on the web I once also read some that I wish I could tear off of the web as they were clearly written by a non-traveler who clearly just happened to be assigned an article. I’ve found some that although written with a tone of authority, were not my own experience in my 20s and definitely don’t apply to more mature women (or to men).

The posts tagged as “packing” here are either my own personal experience or those of people that I know know how to travel. As with all of my writing, I write only what I know to be true.


Hanger tricks for travel

When staying someplace for a few days or more, it can be really nice to get some of your clothes out of your backpack or wheelie bag and let them breathe.

These two tips may help.


Should you refrigerate your eggs?

As I have traveled outside of the USA, I noticed that eggs are not sold in the refrigerator section of any market and that people didn’t tend to put eggs into their fridge when the get them home.

Have you noticed this and wondered why? Or wondered if you have to refrigerate your eggs? Here’s the answer.


Pack Vicks VapoRub or Tiger Balm

Either Vicks VapoRub or Tiger Balm should be in your bag as you travel, especially when you travel long-term. Either will likely turn out to be one of the best values for its weight and size.

Both of these similar ointments are helpful for a wide range of medical conditions.

Both are available in my counties.


More packing tips: space-saving travel substitutes

It can be difficult to leave luxuries behind. Fortunately, in some cases, you don’t have to. There are often alternates to those nice things.

I’ve already written about how many things a sarong can do.

Here are some more of my substitutes. My goal is to take up very little space and weight.

Don’t worry: I am not going to tell you to cut a neck and arm holes in a plastic garbage bag to make a rain coat.


Redondo Beach get-away packing

I’m back to living in my adopted hometown for a while, so you might not call that traveling. But LA is a major travel destination — and I am traveling within it this weekend! From Friday – Tuesday, I’ll be a guest of a friend in Redondo Beach. I get to show her all the tricks of the iPhone, see friends, and enjoy the beach air and all that Redondo Beach and the Redondo Beach Marina and Pier have to offer.

Wondering how I packed?


Best deodorant for travel – Crystal

The Crystal Body Deodorant Stick is the perfect deodorant to take traveling! It is small, pure, long-lasting and doesn’t contain anything that can clog or otherwise damage your body.

Images of my Crystal Body Deodorant Stick over time shows this is a top choice for deodorant for travel.


Giving up heavy shoes

I’ve traveled so many years, for years at a time, that you’d think I knew the best packing. I think I do — but we all make mistakes…

These shoes were not a good travel item.

While a nice sandal, the Columbia gave me no ankle support, so they were not a good choice. They were also very heavy. Heavy in my backpack — and heavy to lift on my foot with every step so walking in them made me tired.


My Safe Skies Cable Lock finally failed

Nothing will change that I loved my Safe Skies Cable Lock — but sadly, I now have to report that this lock has failed me. It reached its limit, so I have a use warning for you now.

The lock still looks almost brand new, even after using this lock daily for about 1 year and 5 months and even more when you add intermittent low use, for about 9 months after that heavy use.

However, one day months ago, during the low use time, while sliding the lock open, it failed me and it is no longer usable.


Living the downsize: from 2 bedrooms to 65 liters

This time 4 years ago I lived a typical American life in a two-bedroom condo. It was home to my furniture, photos … two dressers full of clothes…. kitchen full of fine appliances…home office.

Now I’ve virtually been living out of a 65-liter backpack. If something fit into that backpack, I don’t take it with me.

Sometimes I miss my old stuff but If I still had it I would need to still have a place for it to — and I would not have had the freedom to be in whatever country I happened to be in at that moment.

The truth is, we really need very few physical items to be well-dressed, clean, well-groomed, and comfortable. And your perception or definition of “very few items” will even change as you live the downsize.


Buying Peanut Butter in Israel

This is for all the Americans backpackers and other Americans who are traveling to Israel and love our Peanut Butter.

As you shop for Peanut Butter in Israel, you’ll find plastic jars with screw tops like we’re used to in the USA — but you’ll also find a solid plastic contain with either a green or red lid.

It’s not the same as the stuff in the screw-top containers. See how liquidy it is.


Identify your belongings in a unique way 1

I bought 3D Slick paint that works on fabric. My intention was to use it on my backpack. But as I started to practice using this paint, decided to give my equipment a nicer looking identification than just my name written in permanent marker

I love that I have a unique identification method. Plus, it’s fun to take an artistic break once in a while.


Pack a sleep mask — my choice is Nidra mask

When you travel, you don’t get to control the darkness in your room. There’s always that gap in the curtains or a room is pretty but not pretty dark.

So I did sought out the best possible mask and best value for the money. My choice is the Nidra Deep Rest mask. Light-blocking, but lightweight. (You know I love that!) MOLDED so it lets me sleep in darkness but be able to open my eyes fully. And best yet, it doesn’t create eyebrow wonkiness.


Ladies… that lace…

Another Packing Tip: Ladies, that lace undie you love… Leave it unless you can weave it. Lace undies are beautiful. They make us feel good. And best for a traveler, they are light weight. However, lace is fragile and the garment won’t last long when worn and washed every two weeks or more as will be the case as you travel. So don’t count on fragile threads lasting. If you bring that lace, be ready with your sewing kit to reweave the pattern or pull the connected sections together. Buying new undies in various countries, especially outside of big cities, is a challenge and sometimes not even possible if your size and shape is not common wherever you happen to be so don’t make the mistake of thinking you’ll just replace it. [This post was inspired as I sat sewing a thin bit of lace on an otherwise durable garment that I […]


Shirt folding in under 2 seconds — video by DaveHax

I can’t take credit for this but  I love being able to share any good travel packing tips. It’s pretty amazing. (I also like the shirt packing board that comes in the Travelling Light Shirt Folder by Sea To Summit — a handy packing item/tool for men who travel.) How to fold a shirt in under 2 seconds — a video by DaveHax


Best Travel Spirit Songs

[updated Feb 13, 2015] Every now and then I come across a song that exudes the sprit of travel, puts words to the song of the travelers soul, or just fits a traveling mood.  Last night, May 17, 2014, in a house concert in Austin, Texas, USA, I heard another song like that and realized I wanted to start sharing these songs. So here’s my ongoing blog entry of best travel spirit songs. I’ll add to it from time to time. And if you meet me on the road, you’ll know these are on my iPod. I am opting, for the time-being, to not embed performances on this page as I don’t want to slow the page down.


Pack 4 white skirts? Can’t do. So…

My favorite travel skirt (one no longer sold by Gap) wore out past wearability a month ago and my other tore, leaving me needing to fully replace my travel skirts. Since I’ve been home: I pulled the twin of that favorite skirt out of its Space Bag to bring on my next trip. My favorite was tan. This one, though, is as close to white as possible, without being white. Pulling out the twin of a heavier favorite but now too-worn skirt out of its Space Bag, I found that Space Bag had turned this once light turquoise skirt white. A friend gave me a great wrap-around skirt. It was too long for her, but perfect for me. I love that as I travel, a part of her will be with me. That wrap-around is pure white. Another friend gave me an above-the-knee skirt with a comfy wide elastic waist, saying “It looks fantastic on you; you have to take […]


Rethink your hair brush for travel? Maybe!

This post is likely just for the women out there. My question to you: how large is your hair brush? Here’s my favorite brush. I actually have a larger one that used to be my favorite, but I started using this one to get used to a smaller, more travel-fitting brush. I won’t lie; It was difficult. A smaller diameter or surface area totally changes how you style your hair, In fact, to an extent it changes your hair style. But as I practiced and experimented, I got used to it and found ways to get the same results as the larger brush. So, did I take this brush when I went away for a year and a half? Actually, no. I took a much thinner one. I found one that had plastic bristles that wouldn’t ruin my clothing and that took up much less space. (Yes, every centimeter really does matter.) But I […]