let your thoughts wander

Category: Travel Essentials

Two airplanes flying opposite directions through a golden colored sky

Travel checklist

As our departure date draws near, below is the list of things Bill and I are sure to take care of before we embark.

  1. Put the mail on hold
  2. Set light timers
  3. Check in for our flight
  4. Print boarding passes (if possible)
  5. Pack our liquids in our REI Co-op 3-1-1 Air Travel Liquids Bags
  6. Place all of our travel documents needed at the airport (boarding passes, IDs or passports, TSA Pre-Check cards, bus tickets) in our leather RFID blocking passport ticket holder
  7. Place all of our destination information (itinerary, restaurants, confirmation numbers) in the blue thing
  8. Ensure our compression socks, headphones, gum, and my EarPlanes and Benadryl are accessible

 

Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase. If you enjoy my blog and would like to support this website in some way, using these links will help do exactly that. If you have any questions, please put them in the comments below. I’m happy to answer any questions you may have.

Photo of colorful striped sock

Never buy socks again

In search of socks to wear with my hiking boots, I decided to investigate deeper into socks I had noticed in the store one time. They had a catchy and ironic name that caught my attention – and their packaging said they had a lifetime guarantee. (That last part REALLY caught my attention.) Have I kept you hanging long enough? The brand is – drumroll please – Darn Tough. The extra bonus? They are made in Vermont. Support American businesses – yes, please!

The catch on their lifetime guarantee? There is none! That’s one of the best parts. (And pretty much the only reason I am ok with spending around $20 on a pair of socks.) Direct from the Darn Tough website: “In a nutshell, if you wear a hole in them, we will replace them free of charge, for life. Our socks are guaranteed to be the most comfortable, durable and best fitting socks you can buy.”

Long story short, I put several different pairs on both my and Bill’s Christmas lists in preparation for our trip to Nepal. A couple thicker pairs for when we were in the colder climates higher up, and a couple light weight pairs for when we started out, and for more regular use during our hiking around home. Below are links to the options we chose. If you prefer flashier styles, they do also offer quite a selection of fun patterns in an array of weights and purposes.

Bill

Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew Cushion Socks, Light Gray

Darn Tough Vermont Men’s Merino Wool Micro Crew Cushion Hiking Socks, Oatmeal

Darn Tough Merino Wool Micro Crew Sock Cushion, Black

Me

Darn Tough Socks Women’s Light Hiker Sierra Stripe Micro Crew, Moss

Darn Tough Vermont Women’s Boot Cushion Socks, Green Tea

Darn Tough Light Hiker Micro Crew Light Cushion Socks, Moss/Eggplant

 

Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase. If you enjoy my blog and would like to support this website in some way, using these links will help do exactly that. If you have any questions, please put them in the comments below. I’m happy to answer any questions you may have.

Photo of women's tan bikini underwear

Underwear – more like NONEderwear

Raise your hand if you actually enjoy wearing underwear. That’s what I thought. I felt the same way until I decided to search for underwear that would be good for our trek to Everest Base Camp. That is when I found (and fell in love with) Patagonia Barely Bikini Briefs. I now own three pair. They are so great I forget I even have underwear on when I wear them. They are also quick drying, so they are perfect for outdoor activities, camping, and traveling. If you are tired of underwear that ride up constantly, you MUST try these. Yes, they are a bit pricey, but trust me, you will thank me later.

Woman standing in front of a temple

The perfect travel skirt

Knowing how easy it is for things to fall out of pockets, I opt for apparel that has zippered pockets whenever possible.

While planning for our April 2016 trip to Siem Reap I decided to seek out a skirt that would cover my knees and was made for travel. That search lead me to the ExOfficio Women’s Wanderlux Convertible Skirt.

Knowing the skirt had a zippered pocket was the number one reason I was interested in it. It is also versatile and can be worn as a dress or a skirt. I have only worn it as a skirt, but that’s not to say I may not decide to wear it as a dress some day. Having worn it multiple times, I can attest to the fact that it is one of the most comfortable and soft skirts I own. Not only do I wear it on long distance trips, but I often choose it for long car rides as well.

My skirt is more of an army green (was the less expensive option in my size at the time), but I have semi-actively been considering purchasing at least one other color. Especially since Bill does not prefer the green one I have.

 

Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase. If you enjoy my blog and would like to support this website in some way, using these links will help do exactly that. If you have any questions, please put them in the comments below. I’m happy to answer any questions you may have.

A girl’s best friend

Upon starting to plan for our Everest Base Camp trip, Bill kept insisting I needed a”female urinating device”.  I knew he was probably right and did some research on which one made the most sense for me.

Shewee

The shape and the need to attach an additional tube to extend its range made me uneasy and afraid of leaks. Not to mention the need to still wipe after going.

GoGirl

Too similar to the Shewee. Its funnel shape and design came off as awkward and hard to clean. With it being made out of a flexible material I can also imagine it might be difficult to keep in place.

pStyle

We have a winner! One solid piece, easy to clean, built in “wiping” mechanism – the perfect solution. And the reviews made it seem even better.  Now, having used it quite a bit, I can attest that the pStyle is great, and I would highly recommend it to all women searching for the perfect alternative to squatting. I also purchased a Planet Wise Travel Wet/Dry Bag in the Jewel Woods design to be extra discreet and fashionable at the same time. My only disappointment was that there were no foxes on my bag – the main reason I wanted that design.

My experience with the pStyle

I practiced a few times at home and while hiking in local parks before our trip. Through these practice runs I realized it is quite a bit harder to go standing up than one would expect. It’s as though your body is trained that you must be sitting for that to happen and it does its best not to cooperate.

Thankfully, after a couple days of trekking in the Himalayas, things started flowing more smoothly and it almost became second nature. The trick to staying dry is making sure you cover all the important parts and don’t leave gaps to avoid making a mess. I did have one mishap along the way and learned my lesson quickly!

Having to use an Asian style toilet for other things, and dealing with shaky legs that have done 25+ hours of hiking in 5 days, I am beyond ecstatic that I did not have to squat every time duty called!

Thank you, pStyle, you are truly one of this adventurous girl’s best friends.

 

Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase. If you enjoy my blog and would like to support this website in some way, using these links will help do exactly that. If you have any questions, please put them in the comments below. I’m happy to answer any questions you may have.

My travel go-to’s

Anytime I am flying, especially overseas, these are my travel go-to’s – the things that are essential to pack:

EarPlanes

I have been using these for over 15 years – am I actually that old?! Since I was little I have had major ear problems. Constant ear aches when I was younger, and ongoing pressure issues when flying. One time I went down to Texas to visit my aunt I had several days in which I was not able to hear well. A few years after I started dating Bill, my mother-in-law introduced me to EarPlanes. Since then I have not boarded a plane without them. I lost my first pair in the middle of a trip and was fortunate to find them for sale at the airport before boarding to come home. And for a not-so-terrible price!

Chewing Gum

Helps with the ear pressure issues.

Benadryl

Helps with the ear pressure issues, and also puts me to sleep, which makes the flight that much shorter.

The blue thing

Keeps itineraries, confirmation information, restaurant locations, trip insurance, and miscellaneous paperwork acquired throughout the trip organized in one location.

Clear bag for fluids

Basically required, especially for traveling in and out of airports in the US.

Compression socks

Have become a staple since Bill had blood clots in his leg.

The strawberry bag

One of the best gifts we have ever received. Perfectly compact when not needed, and readily available when necessary – especially when browsing local markets.

My Passport

A MUST.

The leather thing

Keeps boarding passes, IDs, passports – all necessary documentation readily available when going through security and boarding the plane.

 

Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase. If you enjoy my blog and would like to support this website in some way, using these links will help do exactly that. If you have any questions, please put them in the comments below. I’m happy to answer any questions you may have.

The blue thing

A seemingly ordinary blue folder, affectionately know as “the blue thing” has accompanied Bill and I on nearly all of our trips. It is likely one of, if not THE most important thing that goes with us when we travel. The blue thing is a simple blue folder, but it is far from simple. It holds our analog database of information for each trip: reservation confirmation information, lists of well researched food establishments, local foods to try, interesting activities and locations to consider, daily itineraries, and, when necessary, detailed lists of artwork and locations within the museums they reside. Bill is not an art enthusiast, so I try to lessen the blow by documenting where to find each piece I am interested in before we even enter the museum. He was especially appreciative of this when we visited the Louvre.

As the trip progresses, the blue thing’s contents expands with receipts, maps, and little artifacts that are gathered along the way. Everything from eating utensils to the little paper place mats that come on the food trays during our flights. I like to keep utensils with us so we do not clutter landfills more than necessary, and I collect different paper scraps along the way in hopes of someday finally working on my scrapbooks.

The blue thing is certainly a staple with it comes to our travel and I highly recommend anyone who travels finds their own blue thing to carry with them as well.

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