You’re Going for How Long?
Gee wizard! I am an able bodied person in suburbia. The world is out there. My psychic is saying see it. Why just dream? There! I hope I have inspired at least one dreamer.
I am often ask the inevitable wardrobe question, ‘What do you take for a year?’
‘Not much.’ I reply. In Europe, I wash out my personal items and some shirts in my room. I take dark clothing, my old navy sweatshirt. The Mediterranean climate, allows me to wear my pants/jeans until they stand alone in the corner. Whereas in hot sultry Asian countries, I have to change my clothes more often, but laundry prices in Asia are so low, it doesn’t matter.
Also, never forget the golden rule of travel and clothes: There are clothes for sale in every country in the world!
My Clothes list below covers travel in more then one climate zone.
- Two or three pairs of long pants.
One of which is of fast drying material that also rolls up into a pedal pusher length.
- One pair of Bermuda shorts (These cannot be used, particularly by women, in many Asian countries where modesty prevails).
- Three light weight natural cotton blouses
- One very light weight cotton short sleeve shirt (new from Landsend) great for layering
- 2 long sleeve shirts (I use one as a night shirt if I am in a coed Hostel room –
I have a pair of long stripped pajama bottoms, which can also be substituted for long pants for wearing on the street). I like convertible clothes.
- One set of silk long underwear
- One cotton nightgown
- One light weight travel sweater
- One sweatshirt
- One fleece
- One wrinkle free dress
- Four sets of undies
- Bathing suit
- One pair of flip-flops (to use in showers for sanitation if needed, slippery floors, etc.)
- One pair of walking shoes – I prefer no shoe strings and comfortable support
- One pair of sandals (convertible for dressy evenings)
- Water proof hiking boots and proper socks
- Fold up rain pouch
- One fleece jacket or pullover
My list: Necessary items
1. Drain cover for hand washing laundry in B&B washbasins
2. Self-hanging clothesline for drying clothes over night in the bath/shower
3. One quick dry towel
6. Camera (extra battery)
- Light weight computer (I use a Mac Air)
- Novel and Tour guide (if traveling in more than one country, these can usually be sold for half price to a used bookstores along the way. Then buying a new/used guide for your next port of call is a thrifty move and lightens my load).
- Money belt (in the US, I like Triple A’s).
- Luggage locks for use in hotels and on transport other than Airplanes
- Skin So Soft lotion from Avon with Deet to ward off mosquitoes
- International electrical plugs
- My pants belt loop belt is also a money belt in which I carry crisp new US dollars, which are often necessary for the purchase of visas at many country’s borders.
There are almost as many necessary extraneous items as clothing. Some travelers I know take more clothes than they need, packing some of their oldest, and divesting themselves of these as they travel, buying new when necessary. This helps clean out their closets, gives a lot more variety to their wardrobe, and for shoppers, a chance to do what they enjoy most.
Other choices in travel clothes are the new lightweight materials found at Obris.com, and other specialty travel stores on the web. The last are the new linens, which are more wrinkle-free, easy to maintain and have a smart look of sophistication. Although I continue to prefer cottons particularly in warm climates, and in colder climes, at least one pair of lightweight cords and the LLBean mixed material oxford cloth shirts, which are instant dryers overnight and always look freshly ironed (not).
Regarding luggage: Not having the upper body strength to use a large back pack, I use a 23 inch suitcase (I like Eagle Creek), just one inch longer than most carry-on suitcases, a small good quality backpack (The North Face/Jan sport), and a shoulder purse in which I carry my computer, camera, and any other personal items I like to keep on my person.
If like me, you are not a backpacker and can get all your gear into a twenty-one inch carry-on, you’re the bomb. In one climate zone it works for me.
Note: onebag.com is a great packing guide website.
Note: When my travel includes trains in India, rather than carry it, upon arrival, I buy a lock and chain, to chain my suitcase to the medal loop designed just for that purpose located under my train seat.
Note: Find the nearest travel/adventure store to you, particularly for good fitting waterproof hiking boots (I shop at Travel Country in Orlando, Florida). Any products sold by LL Bean or REI will stand up to the rigors of long-term travel as well
Note: Take patience, common sense, and a good sense of humor as all three are needed for long-term travel. I for one, never grew up, I just got an old face. With the enthusiasm of youth and the wisdom of age, I’m good to go. But then so are you. . Take deep breath, and board that plane.