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29 August 2011 / leggypeggy

Tips for travellers—Part 3

No wonder it was hard to find a hardware store. Not the typical grand entrance that we're used to seeing

The next three tips hit me like a thunderbolt. How could I not have mentioned them before?

1) Don’t wear white—unless it’s a napkin given to you by a waiter or a hospital gown you are forced to wear because of some ailment. I learned the hazards of travelling in white at least 25 years ago when I made the mistake of wearing a black top and white slacks on a train trip with two kids in Burma. Four or five hours later, when we arrived at our destination, my slacks were blacker than my top and both my kids, who had been crawling on the carriage floor for most of the journey. Heck for good measure, Petra, who was two-something at the time, grossed everyone out by eating a June bug/Christmas beetle. So leave the whites at home, or be prepared to look like a complete slob from Day 1.

2) Bring at least one padlock. This is great advice that I totally forgot to follow this time. I always used to take padlocks—attached to my bag. But in these days of uber-security, when inspectors cut locks off on a whim, I no longer even bother to secure my suitcase. Of course, the first night we stayed in a hostel, I realised that a padlock would be a handy way to safely store our belongings in the cupboard in our room. Poor John and I have been searching for a lock since then. Finally, we found a hole-in-the-wall hardware store in Tbilisi and they sold Poor John a sturdy abloy padlock for less than $2.

3) Buy toiletry bottles from a camping or hardware store. I needed two small plastic bottles for shampoo and body wash. The ‘thieves’ in the hair care shops wanted $10 for three tiny bottles. I got tougher, larger-necked and slightly bigger bottles at a camping store for $1.80 each. And when I ran out of body wash the other day, I topped up from the pump soap dispenser in a hotel shower stall. I never bother taking the little bottles of shampoo and conditioner—just too much fiddly stuff to carry.

Also don’t forget to pick a number before 29 February 2012.

6 Comments

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  1. brucecastleman / Oct 8 2011 6:20 am

    These tips about things to bring along are spot on! Especially the Leatherman. We traveled by train from St. Petersburg to Hong Kong three years ago with a Sundowners group and had those things with us too.

    What about a tube of Vegemite? When our group reached Beijing, we crossed paths with a westbound group of Aussies. One of them had a tube of Vegemite and was passing it around. I think she could have got gold for it, ounce for ounce. 😉

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    • leggypeggy / Oct 8 2011 4:02 pm

      You are so right about the Vegemite.I took on jar and three tubes of Vegemite on our African trip. Toward the end, I gifted the last of the jar to a group of Aussies. They nearly wept with joy.
      I’ve brought Vegemite on this trip too. The jar has been polished off by several on the truck and I have a yube hidden away in my backpack. Shhh! Don’t tell. 🙂

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  2. Derrick / Oct 30 2011 11:22 pm

    I have always used a Swiss Army multi tool, prefer them to the leatherman, I usually have 1 on my belt, one in my rucksack (or bergen)

    Another tip I have found it take plenty of zip lock bags, they keep stuff dry, in place, you can put any pills/tablets in them, even all the multi plugs, even ipods/phones if you are worried about them getting wet

    maybe even use 2 for passports 🙂

    Never seem tubes of marmite, so maybe its vegemite from here on

    Like

    • leggypeggy / Nov 2 2011 11:42 am

      Leathermen are quite bulky, and my Swiss Army has been all I needed. Ziplock bags are a great idea too, although I haven’t used many this trip—weather has been so good most of the time. And the truck has several containers of Marmite.

      Like

  3. leggypeggy / Nov 2 2011 11:37 am

    Leathermen are quite bulky, and my Swiss Army has been all I needed. Ziplock bags are a great idea too, although I haven’t used many this trip—weather has been so good most of the time. And the truck has several containers of Marmite.

    Like

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