When showering or bathing isn't practical, a wipe down usually will do, plus reapplication of ammonium alum, a natural mineral salt, under the arms. This often permits reusing a shirt for a longer period of time, depending on the person and conditions.
Hand washing is more important than bathing; do it often. If there's no water and soap available, use hand sanitizer. Hand washing will help keep you healthy.
Carrying liquid or powder detergent risks the contents spilling in your bag. Better to carry "detergent bars" sold in many developing countries. It looks like a bar of soap, but it's for clothes. They are perfect for hand washing garments at night. It's impractical to find laundries in many countries. They might be available, but you have to spend the time to hunt for them. If the hotel or B&B has shampoo in the bathroom, I use it to wash shirt, socks and underwear. It's more effective than bar soap. I have the hotel or B&B wash bulky items.
One trick to get a garment to dry quickly is to wring it out, roll it up in a dry towel like a burrito, pound it, then hang to dry, preferably in a ventilated area. You can hasten the process with a hair dryer, provided by many hotels. If the garment is too bulky (such as a fleece), I have the hotel or B&B wash it. In a pinch, it's OK to wear damp clothes, particularly if you're in humid places such as the Amazon. Your body heat, plus any air movement, will help dry them.
I don't usually travel with solid-color shirts. Dirt and stains show up more. Plaids, for example, will mask them. Dark colors (navy blue and black) tend to attract mosquitos, as do personal-care items with fragrances.
No need to carry knives, screw drivers, scissors and other tools. Borrow them, or "make do" with alternatives. Need to cut cheese and sausage? Ask the shop to do it for you, or use the plastic knife you saved from the deli or fast-food restaurant. Waste not, want not. The more you travel, the more ingenious you're likely to become.
I am old and have no problem wearing shorts and flip flops on the flight, don't get fussed about a lot of foolishness at my age. get a pair of pants with a zipper at the knee, you wear them as pants or as shorts.
"Some people who only travel with a single bag or pack and never have a check in bag. They may be comfortable with very few clean clothes to change into or maybe even shower less" Hard to see the sites if you spend all of your time in the shower.
[ Edit: Edited on 11-Jul-2015, at 05:33 by katzgar ]
Some people who only travel with a single bag or pack and never have a check in bag. They may be comfortable with very few clean clothes to change into or maybe even shower less.
Other travelers are comfortable wearing the same grubby clothes for two or three days because maybe this is just like they do back home.
That's a hilarious yet 100% inaccurate assumption.
It's simple to travel light with carry-on only yet still wear clean clothes every day.
"Thanks for the assumption that those of us who travel light don't shower very often!"
Of course there are always a few exceptions! But for some people once a week is often enough for a shower. Nothing like taking a shower and putting on the same old sweaty used clothes. When you read some posts where the poster brags about how he traveled all over Asia (or some other area of the world) with just a couple T-shirts and a spare pair of shorts - what are you supposed to think? I have no problem washing underwear in a hotel room but you still have to wait hours until the clothing dries even after rolling the wet clothes in a towel. If you have the room in your bag or pack why not take some spare clothes and other creature comforts with you?
It all depends on the person and how he or she prefers to travel. There is no right way or wrong way. The original poster asked for the "essential things to carry while traveling." Several people offered their suggestions. As I mentioned before, some people think more clothes (and other items) are essential for their well-being and comfort while traveling. Others don't.
Some people hate washing clothes. So they bring extras and then have the hotel or laundry do it for them. Yes, clothes can take hours to dry. But that's not a problem when you wash at night; and it's dry the next morning when you wake up.
It's all a matter of priorities. I think personal cleanliness is important, if only because health (both physically and mentally) depend on it. But do I need to wash and bathe daily, or change clothes once or twice a day? It depends on the circumstances. In cold weather, it might not be as necessary as it is in hot weather. Sometimes, it's not practical nor is it possible, such as in the desert. Then you just have to make do.
karazyal, you're just digging yourself deeper. If your mistaken assumptions/misconceptions weren't so funny then I'd be taking offence as well.
Terry (Who just finished washing his quick dry travel clothing - underwear, shirt and pants - where even in the oppressive heat/humidity here in Havana they'll be dry enough to wear in a few hours.)
I guess this is very dependable. It depends upon your needs, the places where you are travelling, is it a family trip or not, the purpose of travelling, for how long you gonna stay, what's the weather there, and many other questions.
Still the less you carry the more you enjoy is my very loved strategy. Your all bank cards, some cash, and a few clothes according to season are the stuffs like oxygen to me.
Hope it helps!
"karazyal, you're just digging yourself deeper. If your mistaken assumptions/misconceptions weren't so funny then I'd be taking offence as well."
What assumption are you referring to? The one where when you have fewer clothes to change into you wear dirty clothing longer? Or if you only have a couple extra t-shirts or undershorts with you you will change less often? Lost track of what misconception is involved! I know that when I am in a tropical climate out walking a lot I can go through at least a couple changes of undershorts - undershirts just in a single day.
I have no problem with people traveling light. I do kind of think it is a little preposterous to actually brag about how long someone can travel with so little clothing with them.
I don't believe it when someone says he can travel light and always have clean clothing. Maybe the only person they fool is themselves! But hey - if this makes someone a happy camper - do it!
"No need to carry knives, screw drivers, scissors and other tools."
In almost 20 years of traveling on business or on my own, not counting my military travel, I have always found use for my little Swiss Army Knife. If only to cut up pastry or spread butter on bread, open a can of beans or tuna fish, open a beer in my cheap hotel room, etc. It doesn't take up much room. More than once I have had to fix duffel bags and later on wheelie bags too - even fixed shoes too! Also to punch holes in belts when I lost weight, fix other odds and ends that come up. Very handy tools! I have the room in my check in bag so no big deal to me.
- A needle and thread also comes in handy too. Tear or rip something just before flying or using transportation out of town you don't always have time to run out to find a tailor, even if it is a cheap street tailor. Sew a button on too. Maybe do your own appendectomy with the Swiss Knife and sew up the wound too! (Only kidding!)
The others are right - it depends a lot on you and what you see as essential. While some might feel more comfortable being prepared for anything, others prefer to stick to the bare minimum and work from there in case they need anything else.
For me, the absolute essentials are:
id, passport and other necessary documents
a reasonable amount of toiletries (depending on where I'm headed and what sort of trip it is)
a credit card as well as cash
the clothes I'm wearing plus something extra (again, depending on the specifics of the trip)
medication (if need be)
my phone, the charger and maybe an extra battery