What to wear/pack...Part 6

May 26th, 2008, 12:57 PM
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All those sleeveless dresses call for some sort of wrap, both for warmth and decorum (if you're going in a church, for instance).

So I brought the following:

Silk/wool red paisley shawl (the same one I use as a blanket on the plane---I bought it in Florence)
Orange cotton scarf/shawl with multicolor floral print (I bought it in the south of France)
Black silk scarf/shawl with multicolor floral print (ditto south of France)

Each of these is big enough to use as a wrap (and small enough to slip into my purse folded, or tie onto my purse strap when not in use).

I also brought:

Black cotton cardigan with embroidered bodice

What I didn't bring on this trip was a raincoat, instead opting for a small umbrella (that fits into my purse) in case it rained. Which it did, along with getting very chilly one day, so I was very glad of my cozy silk/wool shawl.
Therese is offline  
May 26th, 2008, 01:09 PM
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Next stop, lingerie.

Yep, those dainty unmentionables can take up a lot of room. For this trip I brought three bras (two black, one beige), four slips (all black, different lengths), two cotton bikinis, two microfiber high waist briefs, four microfiber thong bikinis (wow, this really is way more than anybody should know, isn't it?), and four bike short style (Assets, from Target). I also brought something like eight pairs of black stocking (I didn't count them, I'm afraid).

I don't always bother to pack a nightgown, but did this time so as to have something to wear around the apartment other than actual clothes. The apartment had large windows and great views of a park, and I didn't want to scare any of the locals (assuming that if I could see them they could see me).

I also brought a bathing suit, and flip flops. Anybody know why?
Therese is offline  
May 26th, 2008, 01:14 PM
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I know! I know! You were going to the thermal baths?
Kristina is offline  
May 26th, 2008, 01:15 PM
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Yep, that was the plan. Except that I ended up not going for lack of time. Darn that work!

Guess I'll just have to go back. ;-)
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May 26th, 2008, 01:20 PM
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We didn't make it there either but we did peek inside. Next time...though honestly I'm not in a rush to go back to Budapest. If I do, I'll make sure to go in summer. It was really dreary there in March 07.
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May 26th, 2008, 01:26 PM
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I always pack a bathing suit. If there is *any* possible chance there will be an opportunity to use it... a hotel or public pool, lakeside beach, thermal baths, whatever.

Therese, I have to say though, I'm having a really hard time picturing everything on your incredible packing list fitting into one 19" suitcase. That's what you're describing here, right?
suze is offline  
May 26th, 2008, 02:54 PM
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For the outbound trip, all of the AV gear and non-AV gear (including chargers), books, my toiletries (which I've not yet listed), jewelry case, silk/wool shawl, and my purse all fit into the backpack (with plenty of room to spare).

All of the clothes and shoes (and some other stuff that I'll mention later on) fit into the suitcase, and although it seemed pretty snug at the time you'll see later that there actually was room to spare there as well.

So, what about those shoes? A woman can't get by on just boots and flip-flops, can she? Especially since I won't wear flip-flops anywhere other than a shower or a pool, ever.
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May 26th, 2008, 03:06 PM
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Shoes, the key to a woman's heart. Well, mine anyway.

Shoes are key to comfort no matter who you are, though, and if you're going to be doing a lot of walking you're going to want to have sturdy, comfortable shoes. Budapest has great public transit, with three different metro stations within a three block radius of my apartment. Trams in Budapest were a bit harder to use, in part because one of the main bridges is under renovation right now, but I did use them as much as I could because I really like them.

Never, ever get on a tram without a valid ticket or pass. Random "controls" by plainclothes transit personnel are carried out frequently. Check out the movie "Kontroll" for a really hilarious look at the process.

Anyway, shoes are important. So, in addition to the knee-high low heel boots I wore on the plain, I also brought:

High-heel mary janes (with an ankle strap)
Mid-heel dress mules

Neither of these are intended for touring, but are sufficiently comfortable for four to five block walks and standing around at meetings. I wore the mary-janes to the opera ("Tosca"), along with the low cut black dress, the black silk scarf and some sparkly blue topaz earrings.
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May 26th, 2008, 03:17 PM
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Therese, I love your posts! Most informative and great writing style. Thank you!
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May 26th, 2008, 03:32 PM
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Toiletries. In these post-9/11, post do-it-yourself bomb days, the prospect of fitting all of one's toiletries in a single one quart (or one liter) ziploc bag seems especially daunting. But actually it's not even a little bit difficult, and I was already packing most of my toiletries within these constraints before the rules changed (and they actually changed while I was away in holiday in New York with my husband and two children, so we did check our bags that trip).

I do take advantage of a lot of solid products: powder eye shadow and blush instead of cream, powder instead of foundation, solid deodorant instead of aerosol, but I don't go overboard and only use those items because I prefer them to the liquid version. I haven't yet switched to tooth powder or cake mascara, for instance. I also take only as much of bulk liquid items as I think I'll need for the trip, often disposing of the container on my way back home.

So, the liquids:

eye make-up remover
salicylic acid scrub
micro scrub
face moisturizer/sun screen
under eye moisturizer
under eye concealer
perfume (Burberry Brit, Tendre Poison, and Chance)
ointments (three types, I won't burden you with the details)
eye drops


Dove soap (I take a partially used bar and throw away the little left at the end)
Lush Shine solid shampoo
Lipsticks, eyeliner, etc.

Miscellaneous grooming stuff:

dental floss
toothbrush (already mentioned upthread)
cotton swabs
nail file (non-metal) and buffer
shower cap
barrettes (why do I bring these? I never wear them)
jewelry (a small box that contains about 30 pairs of earrings and a few bracelets)
disposable razor
pills (OTC and prescription, all in one bottle)

Note that I could have packaged the eye drops and ointments separately. I transferred two of the scents into small atomizers that I'd purchased at Sephora, and the third was in a relatively non-bulky bottle, and almost gone (so I used it up and threw the bottle away in Budapest).

Therese is offline  
May 26th, 2008, 03:46 PM
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Thanks, lucy_d. I really enjoy writing, especially when it means that I get to re-live the trip.

Anyway, that pretty much covers what I brought with me. Oh, except for a couple of items that I've not yet mentioned that I always bring with me. Those of you who've read previous threads of mine should be able to figure it out. It's inclusion of these items that prompts most readers to assume that I'm completely and entirely unhinged.

So, what are they? And how on earth do they ever fit?
Therese is offline  
May 26th, 2008, 03:58 PM
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Wow, thank you, Therese for all the details! They make for long lists, but for a beginner traveler, this is exactly what's needed: the stuff that can help you have a great first trip, rather than learning what to take/not take over the course of several trips. I hope many readers find this thread and its useful lists!

Now, have you listed a link to the great apartment on a thread??

scotlib is offline  
May 26th, 2008, 04:25 PM
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Here's a link to the three apartments in this group. I stayed at the largest of the three, Max.


Apartment Max was exactly as pictured and described.
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May 26th, 2008, 04:27 PM
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While you're trying to figure out what crucial (to me) items I've left off my list, I'll also mention that I did a little shopping while I was in Budapest. Which means I had to somehow get it home, right?
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May 27th, 2008, 07:04 AM
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Just remembered another toiletry item that comes in quite handy: dry shampoo. Not solid shampoo that you wet and it makes a lather (like the Lush product that I list above) but a powder that you sprinkle in your hair and then brush out. The amount that brushes out depends to some extent on the how oily you hair is. Mine is fairly oily, so quite a bit of it stays behind, which is just fine with me as I end up with great volume.

I use dry shampoo at home as well, only washing my hair every three days or so. It saves me money on hair products, keeps my hair color looking fresh longer, lets me sleep in longer (seriously, how much time do you spend doodling with your hair in the morning?), and saves water. This last point may sound a bit silly if you don't live in a drought area, but those of us who do know the lengths we'll go to in the interest of conserving water.

This product is especially handy for traveling. Imagine that you've just flown 10 hours, penned up in a cabin with a lot of strangers, trying to sleep, and haven't showered in well over 24 hours. Your hair is now well beyond flat and limp, it's downright unpleasant. Now imagine fluffy, bouncy hair that smells fresh.

It's a great product, and because it contains no water is very lightweight.
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May 27th, 2008, 08:21 AM
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Therese, can you give us a brand name for the dry shampoo? I used one years ago but have not seen it in years.

LCBoniti is offline  
May 27th, 2008, 08:23 AM
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Okay, so I think we're finished with packing for the trip over the ocean, and now it's time to deal with the return trip.

I not infrequently check luggage on my return trip, as I've often made purchases of liquids that preclude my doing carry-on only, and it's not really any big deal if my bags are delayed as I'm already home (and live in Atlanta, so late bags are typically only delayed a couple of hours, and arrive at my front door via cab) and have a spare toothbrush and plenty of clothes and so forth.

But there is a disincentive to checking even for me: I have to wait at baggage claim to retrieve my bag before proceeding through customs at ATL, and then have to re-check my bag (yes, even though I live in Atlanta) and re-claim it at the main baggage claim. This last step can take more time than you'd think it could, and the two waits together probably add about 30 minutes to my trip time.

In this instance there was problem of a connection in Prague: not only does this increase the chances of my bag going missing, but it limits my flexibility. Had there been a last minute issue with the flight from BUD to PRG, for instance, checked bags might have kept me from taking advantage of a quick re-routing through AMS or CDG. So I decided to stick to the carry-on only plan.
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May 27th, 2008, 08:26 AM
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I've been using the Oscar Blandi dry shampoo lately. It's a nice texture and has a nice, somewhat lemon-y (lemon verbena, actually, so more like lemon Pledge) scent. I've used others (including Klorane and several that are tinted brown) and it's my overall favorite.

A regular size container last months for me (and I use it on average five times a week).

You can get it in a small travel size, too.
Therese is offline  
May 27th, 2008, 08:37 AM
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The trip home is not the same as the trip over. I'll be awake, so need to be entertained and fed, and I've generally done some shopping.

So, I've already mentioned the entertainment, via DVD (so it and three DVDs went in the backpack, along with my headphones). I left both the guidebooks and the novel I'd brought (and finished while in Budapest) in the apartment for future tenants.

In-flight food has become increasingly problematic for me. I can barely stomach even the smell of the food (seriously, I actually cover my nose and mouth with a scented tissue) and the last two times I ate it actually threw up. The problem is not Delta-specific, either. So I pack my own food for the flight, and I'm much happier as a result.

I usually make sandwiches, and this time was no exception. One with sheep's milk cheese and ham, the other with goose liver (a Hungarian specialty). I also brought cookies (okay, these I lifted from the Czech Airlines lounge at PRG, which is a very, very nice lounge), chocolate, nectarines, and cucumbers. So that all went in my backpack as well.

Now all I have to worry about is the shopping...
Therese is offline  
May 27th, 2008, 08:48 AM
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bookmarking - thank you so much for doing all the thinking for me!
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