We’ve just spent the first 5 weeks of our 6 month overseas trip in Hawaii, and will be moving on to the U.S mainland next week. Back in New Zealand prior to leaving, we had a very serious think about what we would take with us. We wanted to travel as light as we could, so as not to be encumbered by too much luggage when moving from place to place. I’m afraid I let the side down badly. I had no excuses for bringing too many clothes because we would be travelling in the Summer and just the first month of Autumn in New York. The problem was I got hung up on 3 issues. I didn’t like the idea of wearing the same clothes all the time for 6 months, and I wanted a few nice things to wear in case we were invited. Also I didn’t want to be cold in October.
Well, after 5 weeks here in relaxed, sun-drenched Hawaii I can say that I have worn the the same 3 sets of summer clothes and the rest have been hanging idly in the wardrobe! Now we are about to fly to Portland where we’ll be for a week before flying to NYC, and I’ve got to lug around my enormous 22 kg suitcase with a bung wheel! My partner has the same sized suitcase (though she is weighing in at a more sensible 18kg) and a travel bike which will be in a bike box! We’re seriously considering dumping one suitcase and Fedexing the other to New York so that we wont be struggling with it all in Portland!
So what DID I get right with my packing? What did I bring that has been useful?
1. My tiny Victorinox knife set. I bought this years ago and but have never used it before this trip. It has scissors, a nail file and and a pair of tweezers which saved me having to bring all those things separately.
2. My mini collection of hotel sewing kits. Has already come in useful to running repairs to my only nightie (ironically I meant to bring two nighties but forgot one!) and my partner’s Qantas night mask.
3. My Qantas night mask. It gets very light in our apartment at about 5 am each morning and without my comfortable eye mask I would wake too early with the birds. On the same theme of sleep, I remembered to bring my trusty ear plugs. A good thing too as the walls in our Hawaiian apartment block are thin and without them I can hear my neighbour snoring through the wall. We’ll be spending Summer in New York so they could be helpful if the street noise is too loud.
4. Small first aide kit. Unfortunately this cam in useful today! My partner and I were cycling together and I stupidly crossed over in front of her, causing her to fall off her bike. She sustained some significant grazes and I was pleased we had some dressings with us.
5. Light weight tin-opener and a small knife that’s good for cutting and spreading.This one’s great for cutting tomatoes and spreading peanut butter!
6. Flip-flops (we call them “jandals”). Essential for walking on the beach and asphalt on hot days or else the soles of your feet fry. Also useful to wear as house shoes and generally anywhere!
7. Portable elasticated washing line and 6-8 pegs. Allows us to do our own washing and dry the clothes in the bathroom.
8. A few extra spring-loaded washing pegs and or bulldog clicks are VERY useful when storing food in bags and keeping them relatively air-tight.
9. My Manicare toothbrush holder. My mum gave it to me and it’s fantastic. Sucker pad sticks to mirror and the opens easily to release the brush. Excellent storage idea. Have used it in Cambodia and now in Hawaii.
10. My trusty light sarong, to cover up my “bad bits” when walking to and from the beach
What have you taken on holiday that was surprisingly useful?