Change Yourself…Change The World.

Packing Post- Randomosities
August 24, 2009, 7:44 am
Filed under: Travel Tip

Hi friends,

Today is another update in the ‘Packing Posts,’ which is targeted to traveler’s staying long term (that is, traveling for more than one month) in developing countries (developed countries works as well, as I traveled through Europe with this same pack list). Now I am focusing on those uncategorized things you bring on trips- such as batteries, an alarm clock, ear plugs, etc.

The top five MOST essential things (I say most because most of them are pretty essential) I use in my ‘Random’ Kit are:
1) My Jack Knife
2) Alarm Clock
3) Head Lamp
4) Inflatable Sleeping Pillow
5) World Travel Converter

As always, click on the extensive list if you’re interested.

Well, there are some REALLY key and important things here, even though I call them ‘Random’ because I don’t have a category placement for it. These are useful if you’re traveling through a developing country, or if you’re traveling really cheaply (for example, a clothes line DOES come in handy if you’re traveling through Europe on a shoestring), or even if you ARE living the nice life while traveling- alarm clocks come in handy no matter where you go. So this is an ‘all-to’ guide for those questioning what important things they should bring on a trip. As I’ve stated before, some things are personal preference. Some things have to do with WHERE you’re traveling (and since I am going to South America, things like aloe for sun burn is important in my view). Some things have to do with what kind of budget you’re looking for (if you can stay in a 5 star hotel then I don’t really think you need a jack knife).

So here are a bunch of random things (in random order):
-Aloe. This is a new item that I didn’t bring on me through Asia. Why is this new? Because after all of the countless aching sunburns, I realized this would probably be a smart idea.
One thing I hate about having to buy things like aloe are the large containers they come in. I usually have small containers that I put lotions in, so that I don’t have to bring a huge ‘aloe vera’ bottle when I’ll only use 5% of it.
– Sun Screen. Another new item, since the sunburns. Also, I am traveling through South America and spending lots of time at the beach and outside. This is muy importante on my list. Since I’m traveling for four months (and I’m allergic to anything but baby suntan lotion, a commodity hard to come by in developing countries… actually, sun tan lotion in general is hard to come by in developing countries), I brought the full bottle.
– Ear Plugs. You never know when these will be useful. That being said, I’ve never used them.
– Chopsticks. Actually, I got these when I was in Taiwan and they come with this really cool cloth case. They just look so cool that I just feel like bringing them along with me. Besides, a lot of Asian food is rice. Rice+Chopsticks=Fun. Let’s see how much rice I’ll get in South America.
– With that being said, I also have a fork and spoon (in this cool little case) that I got as a present in Taiwan. Actually, it’s turned out to be really handy if you get take-out food from restaurants and they don’t provide the utensils.
– Jack Knife. ESSENTIAL item. They can be used for so many things- I’ve used them most importantly for peeling fruit, cutting food, and for safety and security (I carry it around with me if I’m in a sketchy place at night). There really is no limit to what you might need this for.
– Meditation Beads. Random, right? I told you this was a random list. I got them as a gift in Thailand and I like to use them sometimes if I can’t fall asleep.
– Small compact mirror. Self explanatory.
– Alarm clock. Self explanatory. I have a small one that also plays local radio stations, which is kind of cool.
– Two small coin purses. I use these for two purposes; one, (and most importantly), if you’re traveling in a developing country (and a female), you can put money in the coin purse, and then put the coin purse in your bra (if you sweat a lot, because it’s usually hot in developing countries, your money will get soggy- so it’s good to put it in a coin purse and THEN put it in your bra). Also, I like to collect change from whatever country I travel in, so I store them in the other one.
– Inflatable Sleeping Pillow. I cannot tell you how many times this thing has saved my life. Plane rides, long bus rides, train rides… I absolutely love this thing, and it’s VERY small.
– Eye pillow. For IF and when you’re traveling with people you trust, and you want to go to sleep in a lighted area (such as a train). Or if you just like sleeping with one generally while you travel. This also has been a great investment.
– Two regular school folders. One of them holds cards and notes from friends and family that I like to look at from time to time. Another one I use for random papers, and schoolwork.
– A composition notebook. For fun things and because I go to school.
Books for school. I also like to bring fun books to read, as I’m an avid reader. Depends on how many you like to bring. Since I’m trying to travel light, I only brought four books- all for school. The beauty about traveling as well, is that there are usually bookstores with cool literature in any country you go. It’s not too hard to find reading material.
– A plastic bag with print-outs of my passport and visas. This is a very important thing to have, in case your passport gets stolen. To have this as a backup is really important. It’s also good to make a print out of your visas and passport picture and leave it at home too.
– One small ‘diary’ (mine is 4”x6”) that has a small envelope in the back of it. That small envelope holds pictures of my friends and family, and lots of people I’ve met while traveling who has given me their card. It’s a really nice memory holder. I also use the ‘diary’ to paste in important information (like pasting in the instructions to my stopwatch).
– One VERY small notebook (hand sized) that I like to carry on me at all times in case I need to write something down, like a phone number or an address, or I generally feel like ranting about something.
– A drawstring bag. I usually put all of my dirty laundry in here.
– A pencil case. This is essential for me because I’m at school while I’m traveling. Mine holds pens, highlighters, permanent markers, and pencils.
– A 1L water bottle. I don’t use this too often because I usually buy bottled water. But if one is being leaky, then I pour it on in.
– Pepper Spray. This is a new item, and I’m only bringing it with me because my friends who have traveled to South America suggested it.
– A Head Lamp. ESSENTIAL. Especially in developing countries, there are power outages. To have this is fantastic. Also, even if you’re traveling with friends or staying in a hostel room and lights go out, it’s a nice thing to have to read. I absolutely love having this thing.

I also have a waterproof bag that holds all of my electronic things (such as batteries, chargers, etc). The things in this bag are:
– about 8 AA batteries. You can find batteries in any country but I always like to have some because it’s convenient, and if you’re in a SUPER rural area they’re hard to find. Also if something runs out on a train ride, then boy does it suck if you don’t have any.
– I also have about 6 AAA batteries, since some of my electrical devices hold AAA.
– two replaceable batteries for my head lamp (my head lamp has a long life, but in the past two years it’s run out)
– A world travel converter. Basically it converts your plug to any plug in the world. Pretty awesome.
– An 8 GB pocket hard drive. This is important, in case you want to transfer your photos onto a computer (even in an internet cafe) and need somewhere to store them, or you want to keep some computer data on you just in case.
It’s definitely essential for me since I’m at school.
– One small voice recorder. This is a new thing I’m bringing just for South America because I have to do a lot of interviews for my internship.

That’s the gist of the random stuff I bring. Hope it helps.

Much love,

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