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.


A first aid kit must – ZipStitch or Steri Strips 1

You’re traveling, perhaps in a foreign country. You get cut/laceration/gash. What do you do? Do you need stitches? Or do you have what you need to close that gash? If you get cut while you’re traveling, will your first aid kit cut it? While traveling in populated areas, it’s likely you’ll be able to find medical treatment when you need it, but you might not always want to rush off to a doctor or hospital. I don’t offer you medical advice, but thought you might like to know about these First-Aid options to potentially pack into your travel bag. A backstory Twenty years ago I somehow cut my hand. It looked like might need stitches to close the gash but it wasn’t gushing blood. I wasn’t traveling at the time, but medical treatment in Los Angeles is costly, both in time and dollars, so washed it, I covered it with […]


Best hair dryer for travel – Conair Travel Smart

Travel with a hair dryer is viable. Even when living out of a single carry-on bag for an extended time. I know because I am doing it. And I’m so happy that I am!

Bottom Line: From my experience, any American who would like to travel with a hair dryer will be wise to take a Travel Smart® hair dryer by Conair. Specifically, the blue 1200-Watt Tourmaline Ceramic Hair Dryer, Dual Voltage, model TS263. (SRP $29.99)
(Unless it is replaced by an even better model when you read this.)

Conair Travel Smart TS263

Packing a hard-bristled brush 1

Once in a while, we who travel come into a packing dilemma and have to either give up the item or become creative.
For me, that was this hairbrush.

The issues:
It has too long a handle so it didn’t fit in a fabric pencil case, makeup case, etc.
The spikes grip everything they touch, eating clothes and everything else — including any typical fabric they’re wrapped in.
It takes too much precious room.

The solution…


Will your Amazon purchase be what you expect – or counterfeit?

If you’re shopping on the Amazon website, you need to read this!

As you prepare to travel are you looking at travel supplies, items, or clothing on Amazon?
While slow traveling or digital nomading, are you thinking of buying something at Amazon because it can be sent to you?
Are you living in a country that lacks certain products and using Amazon to get them?
I’ve been reading articles and press releases from TheCounterfeitReport.com for a few years now. The things they report are always disturbing — and important! Wherever you live, if you end up with a counterfeit power cable, your device may become damaged, and even fire is a possibility. If your SD card is counterfeit, you may lose your cherished travel photos. And what good will a fake not-waterproof raincoat do for you on wet travel days.

In everyday life, counterfeit products are a disappointment, perhaps with a serious cost. But as you travel, your loss may well be even greater. So, I want you to be aware of what’s going on at Amazon. (Other sale sites too but today the focus is on this most popular website.)

Rather than try to write this all for you, I have received permission to reprint the press release in full. 
I hope you’ll read it.

The-Counterfeit-Report_logo

A favorite travel top by KikiSol

Once in a while, you happen upon clothing that’s absolutely perfect for travel. Here’s one that’s a go-to top for me in 2018. It’s a brand called KikiSol and this top is called Storm — Black Back and White Jagged Tee. I love KikiSol’s fabrics; they are “printed by hand.” The top has depth and feeling. Plus, it’s cotton! I LOVE cotton clothing — it’s healthy and comfortable.

It takes up almost no space in any travel bag.


Pack an umbrella for travel?

Is it worth the space and weight to pack an umbrella for your travels? There were too many times having to carry my backpack was already bringing me to tears, so I resisted. But an umbrella can be so much nicer than a rain poncho at times, so I’d buy one, then discard it and buy another later.

This changed when I discovered the Fjord Folding Trekking Umbrella by Innate. It’s the thinnest in diameter and lightest umbrella I have found. Yet, it’s durable.

Now that I’ve put this Innate umbrella to the test, I can tell you about it and recommend it.


RhinoShield CrashGuard Bumper Case, RhinoShield's image

Minimalist phone case for travel – RhinoShield bumpers

I have loved the RhinoShield (Evolutive Labs) CrashGuard™ “Bumper” protecting my iPhone. Light and minimal while doing a great job of keeping my iPhone from breaking — and keeping in my hand where it belonged when in use.

I didn’t have to worry about my phone sliding out of my pocket or handbag because the CrashGuard™ bumper keeps it from sliding. At the same time, it wasn’t thick and sticky, not difficult for me to pull the phone out or a pocket or my Lewis N.Clark Waterseals water-resistant pouch when I needed it.  This and a plastic (not glass) over the screen was a perfect combination for my phone’s protection while traveling.

I’m excited to have my new RhinoShield case coming! It’s called the Mod and it’s a next-generation bumper but with an optional backside too.


Take this towel when you travel long-term or short-term 2

When you travel, always bring a towel. (But the right towel — and I have one to recommend!)

“You got a towel with you?” were some of the first words said to Arthur Dent as he started his adventures through the universe. And so they went, towel coming in handy. Today, I ask you the same, and offer you the same advice.

Matador’s new Nano Dry Shower Towel ended my search for a great travel towel.

This is the story of finding the right towel and why it’s so good.


Killed my hair dryer

I was absolutely determined this time to carry a hairdryer and have hair that looks nice and polished each day. That was not meant to happen.

Be careful what you wish for. I am carrying only a 50-L carry-on duffel bag that converts to a small backpack and after logging in around the Miami airport for a day and walking 5 or 6 miles in one day just to find a plane out of Miami and another 5 miles the next day to get somewhere, I was feeling the load. I was wishing my backpack would be lighter.

Having finally escaped from Miami because of a sympathetic American Airlines staffer who fully understood the situation, I was in New York City JFK airport. But frankly, I smelled. I certainly did not feel good look decent. I had hoped American Airlines and their Ambassador lounge people would understand the errors made and in sympathy allow me to use their shower for five minutes but their rules didn’t allow for this. So instead I bathed in the public women’s room. And… I blew dry my hair. That was my downfall.

The hairdryer that died once and I killed later.

Less tech is more travel experience

This blog is called Tales of Travel and Tech, but I’d like to remind everyone that traveling doesn’t mean taking all your tech with you on your vacation.

Want to maximize your travel experience? Then skip the tech!
Most of the time, that is. Not all of the time.
There’s plenty a bit of tech can do to expand your travel, but not if it blocks you from experiences!


Getting ready to travel again 1

I’m getting ready to travel again. I’ve really enjoyed having the past year with my family. I must confess I had a bit of a dilemma deciding whether to travel again or to stay put in a comfortable apartment home close to my family and friends. But in the end, I chose the travel my soul craves over the comfort my heart craves.

I have been out of that apartment for a few weeks now and I have my ticket to fly to Europe.


Untied and tied cables

Best cable ties for travel and tech

Traveling or not, how do you stash your cords, cables, and wired earpieces? Here’s my favorite solution of all time — the Cord Taco by This Is Ground.

I have four great ones to recommend.
For many cables, Cord Tacos by This is Ground.
For larger cables such as one to plug in your laptop, Gear Ties by NiteIze
For larger items and hanging items, Pixi by Blue Lounge or perhaps Bongo Ties.

Meet the Cord Taco, a durable, remains-beautiful, premium leather cable wrap that keeps your cables untangled better than anything else I have ever tried, and I have tried pretty much all cable organizers. This is on of the original Cord Tacos. I have been using it since January 2014, almost 3.5 years. This size is approximately 3.25 inches in diameter. And meet Gear Ties, a new and very welcome addition to my travels.


Best beach or picnic blanket for travel – Matador Pocket Blanket

As I have said several times, I have happily been using my sarong as a beach blanket, picnic blanket, or as a sheet at times. But recently, I realized that a larger length of ripstop nylon would be handy for the outdoors and not impact me greatly. I planned to get some next time I’m downtown LA. But then I met the Matador folks at the International Travel Goods Show — and they showed me their Pocket Blanket 2.0. I actually had no intention of considering the Pocket Blanket when I came to see Matador for their NanoDry Shower Towel. But then they pulled the corner out and handed it to me. When I first touched this pocket blanket, I just smiled. I couldn’t believe how thin it was. In a life of travel, that’s a major joy. The Matador Pocket Blanket 2.0 is brilliant. It packs tiny and light (98 […]


Going away? A pre-travel security checklist for your home

This is for those of you who do leave your home empty as you travel.

SimpliSafe, a new style, low-cost alarm system and company, created this pre-vacation checklist to give you — or remind you of — ways to protect your home while you’re out traveling. These are very basic but wise. Maybe it will get you started building your own list of ways to take care of and protect your home while you travel.