Travel clothes and travel gadgets

Dec 12th, 1999, 08:49 PM
  #1  
Q. P.
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Travel clothes and travel gadgets

I can't help it--I love browsing through catalogs that have clothes and gadgets specifically for travellers. It's part of the fun of planning a trip, even when I only actually take along a few such things. What are your favorites?

Some favorites of mine lately: In the"clothes" category, I'm completely sold on wickable CoolMax knit briefs--comfortable on hot days, and they dry *so* much more quickly than cotton ones. I also take along one of those "pack towels" that campers use; they weigh almost nothing and are really absorbent. Also an inflatable neck pillow, not as comfortable as the ones filled with buckwheat hulls, but not as expensive or nearly as bulky, either. (Also foam earplugs.) I usually use an Eagle Creek around-the-neck passport and cash holder, but it's a little awkward, and may try one of the inside-the-waistband kind on next summer's trip. I'm also thinking of taking the clip-on booklight that I've grown used to using at home, as being handy on flights, trains, etc. Last time I took along a package of those plastic fasteners sold at Radio Shack for tying electrical cords, and found them perfect for tying luggage zippers together, attaching name tags, and many other things; cuts easily with a keyring-size Swiss Army knife. One hot summer I took a tiny, cheap battery-operated fan that turned out to be a lifesaver in the air-conditionless B&B I stayed at.

Has anybody worn the "microfiber" clothing that TravelSmith, for instance, features in their catalog as wrinkle-free and lightweight? What about the silk "sleep bags"? Any other travel clothes or gadgets you've found especially handy, or have wished you'd had along?

Q.P.
 
Dec 13th, 1999, 01:13 AM
  #2  
Craig
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Q.,
Once again, from the camping supply store, those little plastic containers for your toiletries (saves alot of bag space compared to lugging econo sized toothpaste and mouthwash and also less likely to leak). I had a fantastic time this summer with khakis that had zip off legs -- thus turning them into shorts. They were very comfortable all day, hot or cold, and also worked for casual dress dinning. Safety pins, paper clips, tape, and zip ties (as you mentioned) can be worth their weight in gold when you need them.
 
Dec 13th, 1999, 05:59 AM
  #3  
Beth
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Q.P,
my husband bought Travelsmith's tropical microfiber blazer. It did indeed stay very neat through packing, and looked great. It was perhaps not as cool as the "tropical" label led us to believe. But then, it was 95 degrees F in Rome when he wore it.

I've also become a big fan of the "pack-it" envelopes you can get from Travelsmith and from Eagle Creek. They do keep the clothes better organized, and less wrinkled, and they pack them tight, so they take up less space.
 
Dec 13th, 1999, 07:13 AM
  #4  
elvira
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Thanks, Beth, on the microfiber testimony - I'm thinking about doing a dress in that, since 'dress up' clothes are always my problem (and I'm getting REAL sick of broomstick skirts).
Travel gadgets I cannot lived without: Swiss Army knife; bungie cord clothes line (even if you don't do laundry, you will inevitably get caught in a rainstorm and have wet socks); dandy halogen light combo (stand-up booklight/clip on booklight/flashlight) that's about 6x3x1 and weighs nothing); passport cover that conceals the front of my US passport; wind-up travel alarm clock (not only does it always work, but it scares the bejeezus out of security guards when they hear 'tick tick tick' - sorry, that's the humor to which I'm reduced after 2 weeks on the road).
 
Dec 13th, 1999, 02:02 PM
  #5  
Marilyn Ham
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I like the new Swiss Army knife that is shaped like a credit card. It has a very small pen (which I've used many times), a pair of tweezers, a small knife, emery board, and small scissors. I put my clothes in the 2-gal. ziplock bags and squeeze the air out--carefully, so there are no wrinkles. I also take a mask and earplugs for sleeping.
 
Dec 14th, 1999, 06:29 AM
  #6  
pam
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
RE: coolmax briefs/microfiber--try Bali or DIM brand 'barely there' microfiber undies--$6 to $8, cheaper than I found CoolMax or REI's versions to be. (Sara Lee Corp owns Bali and DIM, so the 2 brands are the same product.) Cool, quick drying, etc.
 
Dec 14th, 1999, 10:05 AM
  #7  
Paul
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Well, to throw in my 2 cents worth...here are some of the items that I travel with. It's worth noting that some are more available at this time of year!

o Ziplock bags, in 2 sizes - they have so many uses!
o Swiss army knife - don't leave home without it!
o Flashlight and extra batteries
o Picnic supplies: we like to stop at local stores and pick up groceries, then we stop for lunch at a scenic spot.
- Flexible cutting board (these are available now in my local "drug store" (CVS))
- Knife with cover: I found the Joyce Chen "My Favorite Knife" years ago, and still have it. Usually in stores during holiday season, but can be ordered online.
- Picnic cloth of some sort (lightweight and washable)

What we don't take: plastic/paper plates, plastic forks/knives, cups - all available at larger supermarkets.
 
Dec 14th, 1999, 01:40 PM
  #8  
Judi
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I borrowed my daughter's microfiber coat (with hood) for our trip to Ireland in April and wore it every day! When I got home I was ready to order one from TravelSmith but found one by London Fog on sale at a department store for a lot less! January would be a good time to look for a microfiber coat in your local department store if you are in the market for one. I also have some suede-looking black polyester pants that don't wrinkle and wash well. Thermalsilks from Land's End are lightweight and fairly warm.
My husband has TravelSmith's tropical blazer as well. I have stuffed it in a two gallon baggie and it comes out without a wrinkle.
Another gadget I like is the money-x-changer by Zelco.
 
Dec 16th, 1999, 07:54 PM
  #9  
julie
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
We have travelled the world, and many back roads too, where facilities are nonexixtant. Here's my secret, ladies. Get a plastic bottle, not too big non -transparent for sure, and keep it in the car. If you get in a situation (we were stalled 4 hours in Spain while road crew was blasting, another time stuck in a tiny mountain pass due to snow)then you can guess what use the plastic bottle may have. Most useful item that I carry on auto trips. Second is a small alarm clock that emits "white noise" when needed to assure a night's sleep in places where insulation and sound proofing are not known.
 
Dec 17th, 1999, 02:27 PM
  #10  
Nick
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Patagonia. Patagonia. Patagonia. Pricey stuff, but you will never need to buy again. I like the silkweight long underwear and my mega tough rain jacket has huge pockets (including a super safe zippered inside pocket). Try the outlets. They will let you mail order over the phone and you can save big bucks.
 
Dec 20th, 1999, 03:52 AM
  #11  
Mary Ann
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
We too can attest to the Travel Smith microfiber blazer. I did not get my husband the tropical one because we were going in the fall. It was great with its hidden pockets and lack of wrinkles. I took a black Jones New York sueded silk pant suit. It was great! I never look good in those generic black dresses, not enough shape and the silk looked great after 3 weeks in the suitcase. My favorite gadget was probably the detatchable garment bag in our 21 inch expandable rolling carryon. If we did not need it we took it out (saved hauling up stairs at the B & B in Chamonix). Also, travel gadgets the compressed bathroom deoderizer the size of travel hair spray, just wonderful. Also for security pouches, the one that fits on your belt as opposed to the one on the belt. Travel mirrors are also good for couples who need to have a mirror outside the bath for make up etc. And those cargo pants are also good with the pockets down at the knees, that buttom close. If your are going to cold climates (alps) take a head band for your ears. If your camera is not panoramic, pick up a disposable, they are great for the price.
 
Dec 20th, 1999, 07:17 AM
  #12  
elvira
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I just found a terrific 'handbag' for the new millenium! It is of microfiber or nylon, and is designed to be slung bandolier style. The strap is set on an angle, and wider near the bag. The front has a velcro flap over a good sized pouch (for maps, toilet kleenex, handwipes, etc.) and in the back (against one's thorax) is a zipper pocket for money, passport, other valuables. A Loon's daughter bought something similar in Germany this summer, and lent it to her mother for the fall trip. Momma Loon LOVED it; it was comfortable, easy to access (for her, not bad guys), and didn't wreck her back. We found our American versions in Marshall's ($12.00 or so; a brand name I don't remember, like NineWest or Esprit) and in Target (hoo hoo marked down to $7.40). Navy blue, black and dark brown were the colors.
Can't wait to try it in London this winter (yes, and we go to the Sahara in the summer).
 
Dec 20th, 1999, 10:11 AM
  #13  
Dick Hardy
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I'm not sold on microfibre pants - they don't seem to iron well after washing. But the best travel gadget isn't in any catalogue - it's a nightlight. Plug it in to the outlet in the bathroom and you'll never have to stumble around in the middle ofthe night.
 
Dec 20th, 1999, 06:39 PM
  #14  
maureen
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I took a "hadnbag" like Elvira mentioned to Italy this fall. bought it at lord and taylor in june, so it may be in the discount stores. It was fantastic, one of the best things I did. I put my camera, water, etc, never worried about thieves, there's no way they'd get to it.. even put loose money for quick access. the second best thing was an umbrella that was in a pouch that slung over my shoulder, yes I did look a little odd, but who cared it was raining. that I found at tj maxx.
 
Jan 1st, 2000, 12:32 PM
  #15  
Q. P.
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
These replies have been wonderful. I especially like the idea of taking a flexible cutting board and a lightweight slicing knife (I often snack in my room cheaply on lots of local market items like bread and cheese, and a paper napkin and pocket knife just don't do the trick). And can completely agree on the need for a small Swiss Army Knife--mine's on a keychain, has lasted years, and I couldn't get through life without it.

Emboldened by the endorsements here, I finally ordered a microfiber tropical blazer from TravelSmith for this summer's trip!

Thanks for all the ideas--anybody have any other clothes or gadget suggestions they'd like to share?

Q.P.
 
Jan 1st, 2000, 02:19 PM
  #16  
jeanne
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
One more microfiber fan. I first discovered this in Europe-my husband is French and they make a ton of stuff-dresses, rain coats and more recently, underwear (at least for women) and they are all great-they also make a very memorable souvenir-if you haven't bought French lingerie-you are missing a whole travel experience Also, in the US, there is a line of microfiber clothing called Babette which is wonderful-they make more business like clothing-wonderful relaxed original pleated, with jackets that snap or zip and elastic band long skirts or really nice long sleeveless shifts in black, navy, beautiful wine colors or olive-realy a nice range of great colors. I have found them in 2-3 places in Seattle and they have their own store in SF on SouthPark. I use their stuff a lot on biz trips in Europe and many times get away with a carry on for a two week trip because they are so easy to pack and I have been wearing the same outfits for 6-7 years now. So needless to say, I am a big fan
 
Jan 2nd, 2000, 01:15 PM
  #17  
Bob
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
We really enjoy the hang up travel kits. With small European bath rooms you are usually limited for shelf space. The travel kits that unzip and then hang up are great.I got one first and then my wife added one.

Another travel tip: Save that underwear you are going to throw away. Take it to Europe with you. Wear it "one last time" and then throw it away in Europe. Saves carrying it around with you and you add space as you travel.

 
Mar 5th, 2001, 03:44 AM
  #18  
Jan
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I always bring a folded fan for those stuck-on-the-tarmac-and-the-air-conditioning-won't-work times!! Cost Plus sells these lovely little paper fans with oriental birds or flowers which fold up to about 5" x 1/4" x 1/4" for about $1. I've put ones in my car, my briefcase, my airplane at-my-seat bag and have given numerous as Xmas stocking stuffers. They're terrific for sultry nights cafe sitting in San Francisco or Rome, for waiting in hot post office lines or for the movie or opera to begin. Great little pieces of comfort travel gear!
 
Mar 5th, 2001, 06:40 AM
  #19  
mbb
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Not quite mysophobic but travel with two small children. Bottle of hand sanitizing soap for use without water is indispensable, seat cover and tissue kits and general disinfectant spray. In addition, I too am incredibly gadget oriented because I love the convenience simplicity. The catalog people love me. I've got the battery travelers, lead lined camera bags, magnifying glass and light, jammer for trains, you name it!
 
Mar 5th, 2001, 07:05 AM
  #20  
lisa
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
If you are going to a hot climate read this.
Last year we were in Israel during a hotter than normal heatwave. I had purchased a Misty Mate (sold at B.J's in summer) and have also seen them at Pet stores- identical thing just marketed for pet owners to cool their dogs.
It is a cylindrical bottle with a pump and a long tube. It has a strap so you can wear it and a clip to attach the tube to your collar.Fill with water, pump and open the valve and it emits an extremely fine cooling spray. (The same idea that hotels at Vegas and Phoenix have at their exits.)
Rather than getting wet, it gives a very fine spray that cools.
If I had brought extras, I could have made a fortune. Everywhere we went, we were the envy of all. We were also the most popular people on our tour.
We'll definitely be taking them this year for the hotter portions of our trip.

 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:50 PM.