Sunday, February 27, 2011

The things I carried

I spent my first trip abroad staggering under the weight of a backpack that might actually have been bigger than I was, lugging separate guidebooks for countries I would spend at most a few days in, the contents of an entire medicine cabinet, and a month's worth of socks and underwear.

Since I still put my foot down at doing laundry on vacation, I'll never join the ranks of those who travel light. But I have trimmed down a bit since then.

Out quickly went the money belt, the portable locks, the ugly "travel towel," and, eventually, the dozens of rolls of film. A mini Ziploc bag of assorted meds still makes the cut, as does the flip-open alarm clock that's been digitally ticking since 1998. (It now stays at home on trips to places where my cell phone will work.) So does my Swiss army knife, though it's seen most of its travel action slicing bread and cheese for make-shift meals.

For long travel days, I have favorite pants (smart but comfortable) and a favorite fleece (the interior pocket is conveniently passport-sized). Since I really, really hate flying, plane trips require an iPod of favorite songs, perhaps a sentimental piece of jewelery as a good-luck charm, and Dramamine with which to knock myself out. (Ambien has been suggested as an upgrade.) And I'm still a sucker for a print guidebook, though I try to keep it down to just one per trip.

NOTE: What piece(s) of travel gear do you never leave home without? Check out other Lonely Planet travel bloggers' must-have items in the Blogsherpa Blog Carnival: Travel Gear, hosted by Vago Damitio of Vagobond.

1 comment:

David (Blogsherpa) said...

Never leave home without a long piece of rope to tie things down.