Tuesday, January 29, 2008

WFMW- Travel Essentials

With Shannon and Sophie preparing to jet off to Uganda- I thought I would share some of my favorite packing tips. In the last 4 years, I have been on 3 short term mission trips to Tanzania and am planning to return again this summer- this time for a full month.

So without further ado- in addition to the basic packing list of clothes and toiletries- here are some of the things that I won't travel without-

Money belt- I put mine on before I leave for the airport and wear it religiously throughout the trip. I have even been known to sleep with it on when we've been in slightly shady locations... I only keep enough money in my pocket or day pack that I could afford to lose if pick pocketed or if I lost my day pack. The bulk of my money, my passport, a credit card, and extra photo ID are safe and secure under my clothes...

Duct tape- I take a whole roll. But if you don't want the extra weight just wrap it around a shampoo bottle etc a few times. This has been invaluable when a duffel bag zipper has broken, etc.

Electrical Zip Ties- throw a few in a baggie and use them to secure a double zipper before checking a bag, securing extra items to the outside of your backpack, etc. Once when the bubbles we brought to Africa had no bubble wands- we looped a couple of zip ties and blew bubbles with them!

A carabiner- You know the things rock climbers use. Buy a cheap one or two at your local sporting goods store. I use one to hook my water bottle onto my day pack, but have also found lots of other handy uses like hooking an extra bag onto my pull along suitcase.

Split key rings- Yeah like the one your keys are on. I travel with a day pack that I keep with me all the time. When we are in airports or any other location where pickpocketing might be a problem I use a key ring to hook the two zippers together instead of a lock. I don't have to keep track of a key or remember a combination, but it's still enough to deter petty thieves.

Gallon Ziploc bags- Use them for packing- put your folded clothes inside and squeeze the extra air out. When you arrive and unpack- you'll find lots of uses for the empty bags. You can buy fancy travel bags that do the same thing- but you'll pay a lot more!

Feminine hygiene products- When I travel with a team on a missions trip I always pull the girls aside the week before we leave and give them 'the speech'. International travel can do a real number on your system and you may need supplies unexpectedly. American style supplies can be hard to find, especially in a third world country. Trust me- you do not want to have to make do with what the local women are using.

A flashlight- Power can be unreliable in third world countries. I like the mini mag light because you can easily turn it into a mini, table-top lantern.

A first aide kit- Pack one with supplies for basic scrapes, etc. I also add stuff for blisters, cold medicine, a pain reliever, pepto bismol tablets, benedryl (can double as a sleep aide), and whatever medications you regularly take.

Bubbles- Anytime we stop for a few minutes, I can whip them out and I have an instant crowd of fascinated children (and instant friends)!

So anyway- those are few of my essentials when I travel... Head on over to Rocks in My Dryer for more Works for Me Wednesday tricks and tips!


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

good ideas. I especially like the bubbles.