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That one thing you wish you had brought/left behind...

That one thing you wish you had brought/left behind...

Old Dec 4th, 2011, 05:32 PM
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That one thing you wish you had brought/left behind...

Hi all,

I'm packing for a 6 month trip around the world. Wondering if anyone can think of that one thing that they got on the road and said "damn I wish I had that." I would like to pack that thing.

Similarly, was there one thing that you regretted hauling around in your pack.

Just curious....
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Old Dec 4th, 2011, 08:54 PM
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The best person to answer that question is thursdaysd. I don't know if she checks this forum, but you could probably search for her and see if has already posted something similar.
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Old Dec 4th, 2011, 11:05 PM
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Some trips I have taken a travel knife-fork-and-spoon set and never used them, and regretted immensely taking them (my old set were bulky). Likewise a travel iron. However there have been other trips that these were essential. I think the former depends on how much you'll be eating picnics in the hotel room (hard to plan meals for each day in my book). The latter can usually be researched beforehand by seeing what your accommodation has in the way of facilities.

Lavandula
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Old Dec 5th, 2011, 03:17 AM
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onebag.com good tips

a good medical kit mdtravelhealth.com antibiotics

something for the trots and nausea.

I used too pack WAY to heavy with LOTS of dated guides

leave all of them at home use wifi on the way print out

exactly what I need.

I always pack lots of dripdry travelsmith.com quality clothes

Carry onebag.comon never check bags these days

Travel light frugal VERY freeing... insuremytrip.com saves...

Happy Journey
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Old Dec 5th, 2011, 07:24 AM
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Thanks Tentek!

shirley, I've done several long trips, so you may find my packing list, and things-to-do before leaving list helpful. Start here: http://mytimetotravel.wordpress.com/...take-part-one/

The one thing I take I should leave at home? Binoculars. I always forget I have them. I also took a fleece and long underwear on my last trip, and it never got that cold.

A couple of things I take you might not think of immediately: a silk sleep sack (Dreamsacks) which is good for overnights on dubious trains and less great hotels, and a lightweight folding umbrella which does double duty as a sunshade.

I've never taken a travel iron, my clothes need to drip-dry or I don't take them, and I didn't have a hairdryer on my last two trips and most places I stayed had one.

Have a great trip! Are you blogging? And/or posting from the road on Fodors?
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Old Dec 5th, 2011, 07:35 AM
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Oh, I forgot. The one thing to take (besides everything in your money belt, lol)? A netbook. Not an iPad - I took one on my last trip and found it annoying to use for things like blogging. I don't have an iPhone (I travel with an old unlocked quad-band Motorola) but I think a combo of netbook (for in the hotel) and iPhone (for on the street) would be the best current technology.
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Old Dec 5th, 2011, 12:58 PM
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Duct tape!

I always take a small chunk of cardboard (about 5" long and barely wider than the tape) and wrap duct tape many times around that. It doesn't take up near the space or weight that the entire roll would but it's come in handy on pretty much every trip. Many people roll tape around a pencil but that makes for a pretty fat little roll. My way keeps it flat and easy to stash in the a day bag pocket.

In Ireland it fixed a strap that broke on a bag and was perfect for wrapping up a purchase in cardboard to be checked on the way home. In China it was an impromptu ankle brace. In Europe years ago we fixed someones pants when he ripped out the entire butt seam.


Another handy thing to have is light weight long underwear (such as Underarmor or Cuddle Duds), but that depends on where you're going and when. Layers are important in packing light and it's much easier to add a baselayer like that than a heavier coat or extra sweater. I love taking my 3-in-1 style coat. It's a windbreaker/rain jacket, a fleece and/or a warm coat. It's easy to go from a simple fleece to a full coat as the weather/destination changes.

A mini sewing kit. I have one that's about the size of a large matchbook and the buttons, needles, tiny scissors and safety pins have been used (and replaced as needed) many times.


Unless you're dressing up an iron seems like extra weight. Hang your clothes up over night and the wrinkles will release, especially if you hang them in the bathroom and have a really steamy shower.


Depending on where you're going, you can probably easily pick up anything that you decide that you need along the way.
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Old Dec 6th, 2011, 07:07 AM
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I agree about the binocs...I always forget to use them...zoom on my camera instead.
Also agree on silk underware...I prefer back. I have used them as sleep wear, leggings under skirt, to snorkel in as sun protection and of course as underware for extra warmth. Can't imagine leaving home without them!
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Old Dec 6th, 2011, 07:59 AM
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take: small strong flashlight, a couple plastic hangers
don't take: travel iron, clothesline
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Old Dec 6th, 2011, 03:49 PM
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Take:

Sorry, I like to have small binocs. They are good for inside churches with domes too.

Silk long johns and top--can be underwear or pjs

a headlamp--better than a flashlight

a rubber wedge to stick under the door in iffy lodging. It drives me nuts, but my husband likes to take a bear bell (large jingle bell hikers use to warn off grizzlies) to stick on the doorknob or on the window in places he is worried about security.

a warm scarf and a very lightweight scarf that can double as a shawl

my Macabi skirt--one of my can't get along without it items--the pockets are fabulous. And, they are on sale now. I've always worn it in warmer climates, but my neighbor uses hers with leggings when it cooler. http://www.macabiskirt.com/

immodium

partial leftover roll of toilet paper

safety pins

a lightweight cable lock (depending on where you are going & your mode of travel)

teeny, small compressible sack about the size of a tangerine (stick it in my purse) for purchases during the day--better than trying to carry a plastic bag whose handle cuts into your hands

a plastic plate

a small assortment of various sizes of ziplock bags
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Old Dec 6th, 2011, 09:47 PM
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Last trip we found out the hard way that we should have brought some medication like Tylenol or Advil. In many countries these are not readily available like in the US. You have to go to a chemist or pharmacy - which is not always open when needed!

I was extremely happy I brought the silk underwear (from REI) - so comfy for sleeping, useful as an extra thin, lightweight layer, and can wash and dry quickly.
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Old Dec 7th, 2011, 07:32 AM
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Good reminder! Definitely a small first aid/emergency kit. I use a zippered-mesh cosmetic-size travel pouch with: Bandaids, packets of Neosporin cream, Advil, Immodium, cutips, tweezers, safety pins, flashlight, ballpoint pen. Takes up almost no room and can save the day.
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Old Dec 7th, 2011, 10:38 AM
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A few things that were easy to carry and were useful.

Detergent sheets. These are postcard shaped sheets that are impregnated with both detergent and softener. When doing a laundry, just throw one in for a load. If drying in a machine, transfer the same sheet to the dryer. I put a half dozen or so in a zip lock sandwich bag. It weighs next to nothing.

Small microfiber towel or two - hand towel size. These take up minimal luggage room. You can spend a fair amount and get them in a camping supply store or get the same thing for cheap at an auto supply store.

Small compass - it is surprising how handy one can be.

Lenticular lens. These flat, very thin plastic lenses come in all sizes and are great magnifyers. I carry one that is the size and thickness of a credit card so it fits in my wallet. These are great for map reading and other tiny print. I consider the one in my wallet a spare pair of reading glassess.

One of those key fobs with a built in LED light.
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Old Dec 8th, 2011, 07:18 PM
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Wow, detergent sheets, what a great idea. Where can you get them (preferably online)?

Lavandula
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Old Dec 8th, 2011, 08:27 PM
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Purex makes them and I think there are other brands as well. We bought ours at the supermarket but they are not widely carried. You can get them online - amazon has them. Just google Purex laundry detergent sheets for the link. They are low sudsing so good for front loaders and also work in the sink if you want to wash by hand.
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Old Dec 9th, 2011, 09:38 AM
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Thanks basingstoke for the tip on detergent sheets.
The handy gadget I keep clipped to my geocaching bag is a combo compass, thermometer (alcohol), fold out magnifier and whistle.
It has a small clip that I can unclip from the bag when I use it. My most common use is to see small letters and numbers on geocoins etc. If the GPS fails, I can use the compass to find my way back to the road.
I bought this at least 5 years ago in the sporting goods section of WalMart.
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Old Dec 10th, 2011, 12:29 AM
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In my medical kit I have special blister band-aids. $5 item that can save your trip if you happen to end up with a blister, takes up no space/weight to speak of, and really works. I never leave home without this item.

Agree with others about binoculars. When I take them I forget I have them and when I forget to bring them I wish I had them. No good answer on these.
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Old Dec 10th, 2011, 04:25 AM
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I take "New Skin" for blisters. It's in a small bottle and you paint it on the blister with a nailpolish-like brush. You can also use it on small abrasions or cuts. Get it at any drug store.
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Old Dec 10th, 2011, 04:55 AM
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JaneB - I used to use New Skin. When you get a chance give the blister band-aids a try. They're simply amazing.
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Old Dec 10th, 2011, 06:32 AM
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We've got New Skin too and didn't know there was anything better. Are blister band-aids available in any drug store?

I forgot to mention my other absolute favorite that we never travel out. A platypus collapsible plastic bottle. As the name implies, it folds flat when empty and doesn't take up any space. Much, much, much better than the regular round plastic bottles. In places where it is safe to drink the water, it can be filled from a fountain after going through airport security. When we travel places where you can only drink bottled water, we just buy big jugs to keep in our room and then fill the platypus. They are under $10 and ours have had years of use and are still going strong. They come with just a regular lid, but for anothe $1 or so, you can purchase a locking spout lid. Bought them at REI, but I suspect they are available elsewhere.
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