packing


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?


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 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 […]


Tetanus & Travel

Tetanus is not necessarily a required vaccine, but I personally think it can be a wise decision to get one. I did, for Central America. Here’s an article that may help you decide for yourself. How Dangerous Is Tetanus Really? 10 FAQs by James Hubbard, MD, MPH — The Survival Doctor. This article about Tetanus and the debate about getting a Tetanus shot — and many more that may be of help to you are on his website, The Survival Doctor. His survival-medicine website, as he says: “provides general information, not individual advice. Most scenarios assume the victim cannot get expert medical help.”


Travel with children: Custom coloring activity idea

As friends talk about the issues of traveling with children, I am reminded of the travel kit I made for a four/five-year-old child because he and his dad were heading onto a very long airplane flight.

Rather than just giving him some coloring books, paper, and crayons, knowing he’d soon be asking “what should I draw” or “may I have more paper,” I created play scenes for him — my own take-off on coloring and Colorforms®-like scene play.


Small things, so helpful

When packing to travel for an extended period with just one bag, regular sized containers of stuff are out of the question. My toiletry pack included one 1-ounce sized facial scrub. I used it sparingly, only when my face really cried out for it. And now, after over 7 months, it was nearly gone. Tonight (Oct 21, 2012) I asked a very, very nice gal from Los Angeles if she had any on her, as she is traveling for just a week. She did! And without a word, she simply handed her full-sized, 6-ounce tube to me. I asked if I could have enough to refill my tube and she said, sure, she has enough. So now I have perhaps an ounce again – the amount that fit comfortably in the tube and then squeezes into my toiletry container. I passed her tube back with money to go toward her […]


I miss(ed) Dove soap

If you haven’t used Dove, you simply won’t understand this post. But someday you might… Dove has been my body and face soap of choice since I was 16 and the dermatologist who treated my (second degree) burned face and hands recommended it. I’m not one to recommend you pack a year’s worth of your favorite soap. I had two bars of Dove left when I packed so, happily, I was able to fit them into my backpack/suitcase. After that, I knew I would simply use what I can find. I’d done that before, each time I’d traveled. The thing is, despite claims, no other soap in the US or elsewhere, is a creamy, soft, and residue-less as Dove. So when I ran out I missed Dove. I found some in Walmart in San Salvador. They were the smaller sized bars, but the price wasn’t too horrible. However, they didn’t […]


Toothpaste you can travel with

EVERYTHING you pack matters when you’re packing to travel.

One of the hardest things to find in the US as I packed to travel was a tube of toothpaste. Sadly, flip tops have become the marketing rage, and they do not close well. Whether on the light weight, minimal space-using tube or on the horrid plastic-wasting heavy thick-sided toothpaste containers, those flip lids are far too likely to open as you travel.

The best toothpaste cap for any travel is the good old screw top that you fully remove in order to get to your toothpaste. But finding this is not always easy.

I can actually recommend brands for the USA and for Central America.


Double Duty Packing – Bring a Sarong 1

When living out of just one bag, every item matters For years, I have had a large black and white sarong that remained in my dresser drawer. I am not a sarong type of gal. But while packing up my home of many years and giving away my stuff, I recognized the value of this large, thin fabric garment. Some of the many uses for a sarong This light-weight garment plays several roles. In cold New York and Boston at the start of my trip, my sarong was my bathrobe, keeping me warm after a shower. This continues through much of my travels. In hot Mexico, it helped me dry off after a shower because in humidity my travel towel only does so much. At night in Mexico and later elsewhere in Central America,  when the fan blows to cool down the room and keep Mosquitos away, my sarong becomes a […]


Scrubbing away the grubby

I write this in my head with every shower so odd as it may be, I just have to write this. One of the things I put quite a bit of effort into was finding the best solution for keeping my skin feeling fresh, clean and alive as I live out of a backpack. At home I would have a fresh washcloth, one of those newfangled plastic round soap-up things, or a nice long loofa sponge. On the road a washcloth might be an answer but it can easily become rancid smelling. That big round thing is a space issue and would hang like a Pom-Pom from your pack to dry. I love a loofa because it enables you to rub gently or scrub harder to give you as much clean as your skin needs. (If you are from a cool climate you will understand once you hit a tropical […]