My Favorite Packing Tip

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Postby Hadleycat » Tue Oct 16, 2007 5:24 pm

Another idea is to take clothes you don't really like or wear anymore but are still usable. You can then leave them with the locals who will gladly take them and use them. Or sometimes the guides will take them to a school or orphanage for people that are just glad to have a shirt on their back.
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packing tips

Postby debandpat » Tue Oct 16, 2007 10:30 pm

hi all... i buy clothing at thrift stores and garage sales to wear when i travel, with plans to give them away as i go. in developing countries they are wanted and put to use! my beloved josef seibel shoes will stay in morocco this year... not "nice" enough to wear to work here anymore, but definitely with many miles and tread left for someone who might have no shoes. deb
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Postby Tall Paul » Wed Oct 17, 2007 11:45 am

Hey;

In addition to the above adjectives used to describe GAP traveller clothing that is beyond its freshness date I also prefer the terms (i) crusty and (ii) self-motive. The latter describes an advanced form of crustiness in which the articles in question acquire the ability to move around by themselves. Although I seldom travel with tongs, I have found the application of a vigorous beating, usually with a large stick, to be an effective remedy to clothes that are so dirty they have acquired a mind of their own.

Paul
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Postby Tall Paul » Wed Oct 17, 2007 11:47 am

Hey;

Thanks for the responses. I agree they have merit. However that still leaves me with a small pile of cotton underwear and t-shirts that are beyond salvation and that no self-respecting African would want to wear.

Either I wear a t-shirt 250 times and throw it out or I wear it 100 times and then give it to someone else to wear 150 times before they throw it out. Both options leave us in the same place, ecologically speaking: one dead cotton t-shirt that looks like an elephant wiped his bottom with it.

Paul

P.S. I tread as lightly as I can when generating garbage overseas. Hopefully this discussion will keep us thinking along this important line.
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Postby little_miss_sunshine » Wed Oct 17, 2007 2:02 pm

Tall Paul,

you are cracking me up.

:)
lms
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More tips...

Postby carmstrong » Sat Oct 27, 2007 9:11 pm

Disposing of old clothes as you go is great. But how about hearing a few others, like:

1. Get a number of the large ziplock bags, one for T-shirts, one for underwear, one for socks, etc.. If you sit on them to get the air out, then zip them shut, you save a lot of luggage space.

2. Versatility is the key - pick a sweater that you can use to keep warm, but that also can look respectable in a city or decent restaurant with a pair of better slacks.

3. Wear your clunky footwear on the plane, and pack your lightweight footwear.

4. Ditto for a jacket, if you need one at all.

5. I love the idea of lining up everything you'll need, and then putting half of it back. The problem always is, which half? We were recently in Newfoundland in July, and packed jeans and a fleece "just in case", but mostly warmer summer clothing. Darned if it wasn't about the coldest July week on record, and we hardly ever took the fleeces off, let alone putting on shorts and sandals!

6. Travel light, you'll never regret it. We once wound up with two suitcase each, due to carrying sport gear, holiday wear, plus business attire for a conference that we tied in. Never again!

Lots more if I think about it, but let's hear yours...
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Postby Sierra_Travels » Tue Nov 06, 2007 3:29 pm

After spending 5 weeks traveling around China, and then on to Kathmandu, Bangkok and Tokyo, I don't think I'll ever use anything but my backpack to travel again! I used to think wheelie luggage was convenient, but it's only convenient so long as you have smooth ground to roll it upon. (Not to mention the double benefit of helping improve your fitness level by carrying it around!)

Also, by sticking to just one bag, you get a lot more thrifty both in what luggage you pack, and what you buy along the way. I admit I mailed home some stuff, too - including a "dressy" shirt that I decided just was NOT going to get worn at any point on the trip.

* * *

My travel tip is to print out address labels for anybody that you plan to send a postcard to. This serves double purposes: 1. you save yourself risking losing your address book along the way (not to mention saving the weight of carrying it). 2. once you've used a label, you know you sent a postcard to whatever person you intended.

The other benefit is that there is no question about the address being illegible. ;)
Life's a journey. Get lost along the way.
meryddiansjourneys.blogspot.com
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Top Tips

Postby Dinarobin » Fri Dec 07, 2007 7:26 am

I travelled from Beijing to Singapore overland taking in all inbetween over 3 months, 5 years ago. When my sister did a similar thing this summer, I gave her these tips:

Take a thermos mug, with lid and many coffee sachets (pick up in hotels in advance) for Chinese trains where boiling water is available. You can give away as you leave China as not as useful anywhere else

Take a small bottle of shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and some sachets of each so that when you run out, use the sachets until you buy another bottle, never having to carry two bottles.

Take old underwear which can be disposed of along the way

Take lightweight, cheap tops which can be rinsed and dried quickly (Primark in the UK for real bargains)

Take a couple of pairs of zip off trousers, a fleece (that can double as a pillow), a lightweight skirt and shirt (to look smarter in cities)

Take a lightweight waterproof jacket that rolls up really small

Take a silk sleeping sheet (or purchase in Vietnam for 1/10th of the UK price)

Take trekking towlels which are lightweight and try quickly

Take a couple of sarongs (or buy there) which you should use for the beach instead of a towel.

Take trekking sandals and a pair of black flip flops which look smart enough for cities but are light (can also be purchased there)

Pack using lots of plastic bags or zip top bags, squeezing the air out allows you to fit more in and can give the appearance of ironed. Use different bags for worn once and dirty clothes.

Donate clothes along the way - particurally if you buy more for yourself!

Take a bag of crayons, colouring books, baloons and novelty toys to play with children and then leave with them. It is better than giving money to beggers and you will get real satisfaction from the smile in their faces

take a head torch, ideal for going to the loo in the night when its 100 metres from your bamboo hut!

make business cards with your name, email and job - such as International Traveller, before you go to give out to friends you meet along the way. They can be done at machines for a few pounds in the UK and are a really nice touch.

take a pack of small post it notes to play the post it game on long journeys!

take a couple of books but exchange them along the way. Write your name, the date you read and where you were in the front cover to start an interesting chain for the next reader

take an underwater disposible camera. I have lots of photos but none of me kayacking, bamboo rafting, tubing etc which is a real shame.

Take a smile and friendly attitute. Embrace differences. Savour every sight, sound and smell, you will really miss them when it is over.
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Postby anonymoose » Wed Dec 19, 2007 7:29 pm

RE: books - if you have computer access I would recommend recording it on http://www.bookcrossing.com before you give it away... and you might even be able to pick up a few freebies yourself along the way!

Keep a spare copy of your itinerary in your luggage. That way, if you lose yours you have an extra, and if the airline loses your bags they might be able to find you while you’re travelling.

Depending on where you're travelling you may want to take a little laundry detergent with you in case you can't find any. Either use your own resealable containers or go to your local laundromat and pick up a few of their mini-boxes.
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Postby Coralie » Tue Feb 26, 2008 1:23 pm

To cut down on bottle packing for personal hygene reasons, I absolutely love traveling with "bath and body gel" from the Shunga collection sold by fantasia (it also existe from other companies, but this one has a good taste). One bottle sells for about 20$ and is the size of a normal shampoo bottle, but the nice part about this is that it is VERY versatile, so it cuts down on how many things you need to carry along. It can be used as shampoo, toothpaste, hand and body soap, clothes detergent, deoderent (although I don't really recomend it for this use), and while I was in Nicaragua, I noticed I was attracting less bugs on the days I used it. It is very concentrated, so even if you use it for all uses, it last for a long time, for example, my bottle lasted for my entire 9 week trip, and I still had about half of the bottle left.
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Postby Alpine_Resort » Tue Feb 26, 2008 3:59 pm

[th "bath and body gel" from the Shunga collection sold by fantasia (it also existe from other companies, but this one has a good taste).

Hi Coralie;
Where do you get that stuff? You use it as TOOTHPASTE as well? I can't imagine using something to wash my hair AND brush my teeth. I'm willing to give it a shot if it cuts back on the stuff I have to pack.
Jodi from rural Ontario, Canada
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Postby Coralie » Tue Feb 26, 2008 9:27 pm

Hi Jodi,
The one I tend to buy (purely because of taste and ease of finding it) is sold by fantasia and you can find it at (http://www.fantasiacanada.com/proddetail.asp?prod=1104 you can either order it online or find your nearest rep). Be forwarned this is a sex toy and products page/company. And yes, I actually do use the same thing for shampoo and toothpaste, you just have to use a VERY minute amount when using as toothpaste (otherwise you end up with way too much lather).

Happy lighter travels
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Postby amazon0313 » Sat Mar 08, 2008 1:33 pm

I'm so glad someone posted about Book Crossing! It's excellent!

As a not terrifically seasoned traveller I only have a couple of tips:
1. tech fabrics. Tech t's are so much lighter than cotton. And they dry quickly, so you can wash them in the sink overnight.
2. dry face clothes (biore, etc.) instead of face wash. Cut them in half, one sheet is way too big. They foam up with just a little bit of water. They dry out again quickly to allow you to pack them out until you can dispose of them somewhere. And they're light.
3. extra socks. I'll be bringing twice the number of socks that I am underwear. The feeling of fresh socks halfway through the day really perks up your feet. I always pack extra.
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Postby fuzzypuppy » Thu Mar 20, 2008 1:52 pm

Actually, the body wash as toothpaste isn't really as effective as actual toothpaste.

Toothpaste isn't just a soap you use on your teeth, it's actually more of an abrasive cleaner, which means it's a very fine grit in paste form that's used to polish your teeth. They add SLS (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodium_laureth_sulfate) to make it foam as a psychological measure, not because it makes your toothpaste any more effective. If it weren't for the fluoride the they add to toothpaste, plain old baking soda would be just as effective.

That's also why using a good tooth brush is just as important as a good toothpaste.
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Re: My Favorite Packing Tip

Postby Tanya » Mon Jul 21, 2008 12:50 am

Someone else mentioned dry face cleansing cloths. I also pack these when I travel. Saves carrying along all the other cleanser/toner/moisturizer etc some of us are used to. Then, when it has been used for the face, I use it as a washcloth with a bit of soap for the body. I am a huge fan of packing as few liquids as possible, because stuff leaking over everything in your pack can be a pain, especially when laundromats or running water is not available.
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