Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Efficient & Happy Traveler

In all my years of traveling, I've learned a lot of things the hard way.  But I've also honed my ability to pack a bag that will equip me to do everything from working in a professional environment to hiking any mountain I come across.  Here are a few tips from my suitcase...

Always pack a towel if you're leaving the United States. Even if you think you'll be staying in nice hotels during your entire trip, you never know when your hotel room could be coincidentally double booked.  Or you might show up in the middle of the night and not be able to take a shower because there's no one around to ask for a towel.  I recommend this one from REI -- it's a high-absorption microfiber that dries you off quick and dries out completely within an hour.  My favorite thing about it is that it's super thin and comes with a little polyester/mesh sack that packs it up the size of a thin paperback book. I bought one large one that I use for both a washcloth and towel. But they're available in many other sizes and weaves as well.

Consolidate products. Unless you have the means to hire a personal butler for the entirety of the trip, you're not going to want to lug around your whole bathroom cupboard. Picking which items to bring depends on the trip and the climate you're traveling to, but try to minimize as much as possible; creams and liquids are very heavy! Invest in one lotion that you can use as hand/body lotion, face moisturizer, and makeup remover.  I love Gold Bond's Aloe Vera lotion, but haven't found it sold anywhere outside the States.  If I have to restock while traveling, I buy Dove Intensive Nourishment Hand Cream.  Both are multi-purpose and work great! All Gold Bond products are gluten free, and most Dove products are as well.


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