Author Topic: Mustachian International Travel Essentials  (Read 13777 times)

Will

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Mustachian International Travel Essentials
« on: February 23, 2015, 05:31:12 PM »
Since I will be traveling internationally for the first time ever (okay, not really "ever" but this will be the first time I will be spending more than a couple of hours in a foreign country) I was wondering what some of the items are that you, as Mustachians, deem essential.  We can forgo the obvious (passport, underwear).  I am planning on using only a carry-on and a smaller underseat piece as my luggage, so size matters (I really don't want to wait around baggage claim or perhaps have my luggage get lost).  I do already have a small list in my mind and I am curious to see if what I am thinking is correct and what all you might add to the list.  If you have helpful links to the item(s) you are recommending, that would be pretty cool.  TIA!

(I didn't see this as a topic already, but if it is out there somewhere, please feel free to show me the way!)

jeromedawg

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Re: Mustachian International Travel Essentials
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2015, 05:53:55 PM »
Since I will be traveling internationally for the first time ever (okay, not really "ever" but this will be the first time I will be spending more than a couple of hours in a foreign country) I was wondering what some of the items are that you, as Mustachians, deem essential.  We can forgo the obvious (passport, underwear).  I am planning on using only a carry-on and a smaller underseat piece as my luggage, so size matters (I really don't want to wait around baggage claim or perhaps have my luggage get lost).  I do already have a small list in my mind and I am curious to see if what I am thinking is correct and what all you might add to the list.  If you have helpful links to the item(s) you are recommending, that would be pretty cool.  TIA!

(I didn't see this as a topic already, but if it is out there somewhere, please feel free to show me the way!)

- Travel converters and charging cables for your ONE device LOL :P (it's pretty cool how many higher end phones now have cameras that rival your standard P&S camera. This out to be - something worth considering even when looking at more 'expensive' phones).
- Plastic bags (for dirty laundry - sometimes you'll find those plastic laundry bags at hotels in the closet, which are perfect for this)
- Don't forget to grab/collect all toiletries from your hotel for future use too
- Don't forget to roll all your clothes up too :)

MsPeacock

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Re: Mustachian International Travel Essentials
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2015, 06:13:29 PM »
I am an avid light packer (in Cancun now for 6 days, brought a 1/2 full regular school backpack). Generally, I will say: you need to bring less than you think. If it is a trip over 1 week accept doing laundry at some point in the interest of not schlepping a ton of stuff with you. Wear things more than once. Try to  bring only one pair of shoes. Phone charger is essential, even if you only use your phone on WiFi while traveling.

My 6 day cancun packing list (I had to dress like an Eskimo to get to the airport because it was 4 degrees outside, so I am not counting that clothing): 1 tank top, 3 tshirts (would have been fine with only 2), 1 shorts, 1 Capri pants, 1 smoochable dress, flip flops, comb, toothbrush, advil, mascara, eyebrow pencil, eyeliner, eyeshadow, deoderant, swimsuit,  hairbrush, undies, 1 boxer shorts and tank for jammies.

I tend to buy toiletries on arrival for longer trips due to the restrictions on carryING on liquids. On this trip I purchased sunscreen when we arrived. On other trips I buy shampoo and conditioner when I arrive.  I will bring my tiny hair dryer   if one isn't available where I am staying, a plug converter, safety pins, a couple zipties, nail clippers, chapstick, Kindle and or books.  ColDer climates a fleece and a really good raincoat.  Plan outfits and clothing so that everything goes with everything else.

johnny847

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Re: Mustachian International Travel Essentials
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2015, 06:28:53 PM »
- Travel converters and charging cables for your ONE device LOL :P
Just be careful and take a look at the device(s) you'll be taking with you. Most devices these days should be rated for operation at 100-240V and 50-60Hz. A typical travel converter will only allow you to plug in your device into the outlet. It does not actually change the voltage or frequency of the electricity to match what your device requires.

(it's pretty cool how many higher end phones now have cameras that rival your standard P&S camera. This out to be - something worth considering even when looking at more 'expensive' phones).
This is true of photos taken in good lighting. This is not true of photos taken in poor lighting (and even indoors can sometimes qualify as poor lighting).

I'd probably construct a plan to get foreign currency while abroad, preferably one that is fee free.

Download a (offline) translation app to your phone if you won't be able to speak the language there. Also download maps for offline use.

Riff

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Re: Mustachian International Travel Essentials
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2015, 06:38:29 PM »
You'll need far less than you think.

We just did two weeks in Italy with only carry on luggage.  The key, of course, is to do some laundry while you're traveling.  Bring quick dry socks and underwear.  Same with shirts, or at least undershirts.  It only takes a couple minutes to wash the small stuff in the bathroom sink if you don't have access to a washer.

An outlet adapter and a three to one outlet plug so you can more than one thing into the wall at a time.

For money, the best place to get it is from an ATM.  Check with your banks to see which one offers no foreign transaction fees or ATM fees.

When you're packing and you ask yourself, "what if?" about an item, leave it at home.  Pack for the best situation.  If something happens, buy your way out of the jam.  Packing light is one of the best things you can do to ensure a great trip!

bogart

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Re: Mustachian International Travel Essentials
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2015, 07:07:20 PM »
I'm something of a Luddite and haven't traveled abroad in ~3 years (which  is about 2.7 years before I acquired a smartphone), so you can take this with a grain of salt, but to date I've skipped all electronics entirely, as doing so eliminates an entire layer of hassles and stuff.  OTOH, last time I did this and wasn't visiting friends/family (with a laptop + wifi I could use in a pinch), there was still such a thing as an internet cafe -- perhaps that's no longer the case in which case I might change my thinking.  I do now travel with a Kindle, but an old one will keep a charge a long time.  I've either carried a small camera that takes batteries, or no camera at all.

I do find it helpful to throw one or 2 moderate-sized tupperware containers in my luggage.  They can be stuffed with clothes etc. when unneeded and can be useful for storing food once on the road.  I'm also a huge fan of Envirosax (the shopping bag variety) as they weigh ~nothing, fold away to ~nothing, and unroll to hold a LOT of stuff, including heavy stuff.  I like to carry a bandana or two, or a silk scarf or two, depending on the sort of traveling I'm doing, as they serve all kinds of purposes ranging from small-bundling-tool to jewelry to eyeshades for sleeping.

I always carry (and use) an under-the-clothes money belt, as I don't really want to spend my vacation trying to get my passport replaced.  And I remove from my wallet anything I won't need while traveling (library card, etc.) for related reasons.

roadtripper

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Re: Mustachian International Travel Essentials
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2015, 07:24:22 PM »
I used this website as a guide when packing for a 10-day trip to Japan. http://www.onebag.com/pack.html

The packing list was incredibly helpful. Even if I didn't follow it exactly, at the very least it provided a comprehensive starting point for considering what I should bring. I ignored everything about bringing tools, hangers, detergent and the like. But I followed the clothing guide, and I used the bundle wrapping technique -- it worked!

Check out the "work to pack it in" section, too. Vanishing volume makes perfect sense, but I'd never considered it before reading that site.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2015, 07:25:56 PM by roadtripper »

Will

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Re: Mustachian International Travel Essentials
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2015, 08:31:23 PM »
Thanks all for all the great advice/suggestions so far.

I used this website as a guide when packing for a 10-day trip to Japan. http://www.onebag.com/pack.html

The packing list was incredibly helpful. Even if I didn't follow it exactly, at the very least it provided a comprehensive starting point for considering what I should bring. I ignored everything about bringing tools, hangers, detergent and the like. But I followed the clothing guide, and I used the bundle wrapping technique -- it worked!

Check out the "work to pack it in" section, too. Vanishing volume makes perfect sense, but I'd never considered it before reading that site.

Thanks!  That website looks like it will be very helpful!

I have been thinking about getting a Kindle (or something similar) as I do enjoy reading a lot and it wouldn't be prudent to stuff a bag full of library books (and we all know I am NOT going to buy a bunch of paperbacks and magazines!).  When I look up Kindle I see a Fire HD6 for $99, but for a little more I can get a 7, but if I spend a little more I can get a Windows tablet that will do even more, and on and on.  I've survived this long without, but I know I am not wanting to bring this gigantic (but oh so slim and modern!) laptop with me (or am I?).  Luckily I have a long time to plan this all out!

SantaFeSteve

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Re: Mustachian International Travel Essentials
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2015, 08:41:25 PM »
The DW and I have some experience with traveling lightly.  I may have some suggestions for you, but in the interest of being most helpful maybe you could share what part of the world you are traveling to and how long you intend to stay?

As far as the Kindle, Myself, I would say no.  Bring a paperback and then just swap it out along the way at a hotel, hostel, used book store, etc..


acorn

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Re: Mustachian International Travel Essentials
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2015, 08:45:53 PM »
- Travel converters and charging cables for your ONE device LOL :P
Just be careful and take a look at the device(s) you'll be taking with you. Most devices these days should be rated for operation at 100-240V and 50-60Hz. A typical travel converter will only allow you to plug in your device into the outlet. It does not actually change the voltage or frequency of the electricity to match what your device requires.

+1 Get an international all-in-one travel adapter (I can't find my exact model on amazon because it's 10 years old by now but it looks something like this.


Consumer electronics like handphones, laptops, and cameras usually have power adapters for universal power supply, 100-240V. It's only household appliances like hair dryers, kettles that only run on the local power supply.


When I travel, I bring clothes, passport, money/credit cards, basic toiletries/toothbrush/comb, laptop+charger, handphone+charger, camera+charger, travel adapter, and that's it. Sometimes I throw in a couple of bandaids, ibuprofen, water bottle, and some snacks for the plane/airport. I've done 2 weeks with a normal-sized backpack. At this point, I can pack for a 2 week trip in less than 30min.


I bring my laptop because I work when I travel, but otherwise I'll be happy with just a Kindle. Kindles have a really long battery life, and it doesn't take that long to charge them since they're only running on e-ink. I wouldn't get a Fire or a tablet because they don't last as long battery-wise, it gets a little annoying having to charge electronics frequently.

bogart

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Re: Mustachian International Travel Essentials
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2015, 08:56:38 PM »
I have been thinking about getting a Kindle (or something similar) as I do enjoy reading a lot and it wouldn't be prudent to stuff a bag full of library books (and we all know I am NOT going to buy a bunch of paperbacks and magazines!).  When I look up Kindle I see a Fire HD6 for $99, but for a little more I can get a 7, but if I spend a little more I can get a Windows tablet that will do even more, and on and on.  I've survived this long without, but I know I am not wanting to bring this gigantic (but oh so slim and modern!) laptop with me (or am I?).  Luckily I have a long time to plan this all out!

I got my son (whom I don't want to be "connected") a used but in good condition old-style Kindle (the same kind I used for travelling, last time I traveled), for $40 on ebay this past December.  Its battery lasts "forever."   Of course, it has limited connectivity; if you want to use your device + wifi to e.g. send emails, it may not be the best choice for you.  I'd go with a tablet (probably my first gen Google Nexus 7) nowadays, to get that while keeping things light/portable (but then would need a way to charge it, I expect.).

TN_Steve

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Re: Mustachian International Travel Essentials
« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2015, 09:17:37 PM »
....

As far as the Kindle, Myself, I would say no.  Bring a paperback and then just swap it out along the way at a hotel, hostel, used book store, etc..

Depends upon how fast you read, and what you read.  One book won't get many people to their destination.  And most books in swap out bins/shelves tend to be lightweight/popular fiction and travel books.  Kindle, for me, is well worth it; although they tend to not handle being dropped on concrete....  I no longer need to carry 2 books for every day on trip, which was a major weight penalty.  (and second the recommendation for used/refurbished "basic" kindle)

LifestyleDeflation

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Re: Mustachian International Travel Essentials
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2015, 09:33:55 PM »
This is my super minimal loadout. Note that most of the stuff would be worn at any given time. The beauty of the quick dry clothes is that you can wash them in a sink or shower any time, and they double as a towel when you shower. The top list was used for a 3 week trip in Colombia, and the bottom list was used for a 4 month trip in central + eastern Europe and Taiwan. For the 4 monther, I added a sleeping bag.

Warm climates:
-Sandals
-Quick dry shorts
-Quick dry shirt
-Smartphone with USB charger (buy a usb > outlet converter locally for cheap)
-Toiletries
-Jacket

Colder Climates, the above list plus:
-Swap sandals for shoes with 3-5 pairs of socks
-Long pants
-Warmer shirt that can also be worn as an undershirt

Will

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Re: Mustachian International Travel Essentials
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2015, 09:38:56 PM »
The DW and I have some experience with traveling lightly.  I may have some suggestions for you, but in the interest of being most helpful maybe you could share what part of the world you are traveling to and how long you intend to stay?

As far as the Kindle, Myself, I would say no.  Bring a paperback and then just swap it out along the way at a hotel, hostel, used book store, etc..

I am flying to St. Maarten in December for 8 days.  I will have a trip to Chicago in July for 10 days, at which time I can test out my plans to see how well they work.  Hopefully next year I will have a longer trip to Bali (my retirement destination?).

Kwill

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Re: Mustachian International Travel Essentials
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2015, 10:10:12 PM »
So much depends on where you're going, and I've never been to St Maarten.

Biggest mistake I made was my first trip to Europe after traveling mainly back and forth to Japan, where the electrical current and outlets are very similar the US. My laptop adapts to the local power, but the plug doesn't. I couldn't find an appropriate adapter anywhere, and when I finally found a clerk who could speak English, he said, "You should have gotten that wherever you came from." So my laptop battery ran out, and I didn't finish what I needed to do...embarrassingly.

I'd suggest bringing whatever clothes and toiletries seem appropriate, comb, passport, another ID just in case, multiple credit cards, and if possible, multiple ATM cards (different checking accounts). Zip one ATM card and maybe one credit card in an interior pocket of your suitcase so that if you lose your shoulder bag or backpack or whatever, you can still access money while traveling. Maybe you could keep a photocopy of your passport in there, too. If you have a smartphone that runs gmail and Skype, you can put it on airplane mode and use that at coffeeshops or places with wi-fi. You can also run a Kindle app on your phone, so it may not be necessary to bring another device unless you need one for work. You could use a tablet for the same thing if you don't have a smartphone. Bring a charger and whatever you need to make your device charge locally. Put back-ups of any necessary files on Dropbox or Google Drive or whatnot before traveling.

SantaFeSteve

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Re: Mustachian International Travel Essentials
« Reply #15 on: February 24, 2015, 09:48:04 AM »
Sounds awesome! I spent a day on St. Maarten in 2005 and had a nice time.  It was a port of call on a cruise I took (not something I will repeat).  We stayed on the Dutch side of the island for the day, went diving and then hung out on the beach.

I think it depends on how you like to spend your time.  I see lots of recommendations for a variety of electronics, but my preference is to travel with a bare minimum of electronic distractions.   If you are going for fun I recommend a camera, phone and charges for both.  We tend to carry a minimum of electronic goodies for several reasons, but a big consideration is security (We do not want the stress of thinking about something possibly being stolen).  And the fewer electronic gizmos you have, the more time you have to spend looking at the real world.   
For reading pleasure we tend to bring a paperback, usually bought from a second hand book store prior to departure, then we swap, trade, or sell that one for another.  We have traveled to some fairly out of the way places (St. Maarten is not one of those) and had very good luck finding reading material for next to nothing, and then you can leave it there instead of carrying it back.   
Otherwise: sunglasses, a deck of cards, ibuprofen(or whatever your preference is), toothbrush, toothpaste, some non-perishable snacks for the plane ride, minimal clothing, and a notebook and pens(pencils).  Things will be expensive on the island, but everything you might want is almost certainly available (although brands will probably differ).

No matter what you bring (or don't), enjoy your time there! 

Will

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Re: Mustachian International Travel Essentials
« Reply #16 on: February 24, 2015, 09:49:30 PM »
Thanks again to all for the suggestions so far!

I've started keeping an eye on Craigslist for deals on used Kindles.  There are more listed than I thought there would be.  Some of them are great deals (if they work as claimed).  There was one though where the guy was selling his for $1 more than what Amazon sells them for.  I thought maybe it had 16GB so I asked, but nope.  Oh well.

re: power converters.  I'm not going to take a hair dryer or any appliances, so it sounds like if I just have my phone, camera, and Kindle-type device (and maybe my electric shaver, which if I charge it up before I go should be good for the duration) than I probably won't need one?

Clothing:  I like the "minimal clothing" remark as I do plan on visiting Orient Beach while I am there, but anyway...
One item of clothing that I saw mentioned somewhere (maybe one of the sites I've seen recommended, or in a different thread maybe?) was "convertible" pants.  It turns out we have some at the Costco I work at, and they look like fairly dressy khakis, and they sure seem versatile, going from the beach to a restaurant.
I haven't had much luck finding an inexpensive source of quick-dry clothes.  Is that possible?  $20 for briefs? $26 for boxers?  $40 for a tee?  At those prices minimal clothing is likely as I don't want to spend a fortune!

johnny847

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Re: Mustachian International Travel Essentials
« Reply #17 on: February 24, 2015, 10:02:09 PM »
re: power converters.  I'm not going to take a hair dryer or any appliances, so it sounds like if I just have my phone, camera, and Kindle-type device (and maybe my electric shaver, which if I charge it up before I go should be good for the duration) than I probably won't need one?
Almost certainly for your phone, camera, and Kindle. Perhaps not for your shaver (which as you say, you can solve by just charging up beforehand).
But just check the charging device for it. It should be clearly marked on the charging unit for your device. For example, in the case of my shaver, it can handle 100-130 V at 60 Hz, and 100 - 240V at 50 Hz. So it's not fine in many regions of the world, which operate at 240V and 60 Hz, but fine everywhere in Japan, where it's 100V at either 50 or 60 Hz.

KCM5

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Re: Mustachian International Travel Essentials
« Reply #18 on: February 25, 2015, 08:00:04 AM »
re: power converters.  I'm not going to take a hair dryer or any appliances, so it sounds like if I just have my phone, camera, and Kindle-type device (and maybe my electric shaver, which if I charge it up before I go should be good for the duration) than I probably won't need one?
Almost certainly for your phone, camera, and Kindle. Perhaps not for your shaver (which as you say, you can solve by just charging up beforehand).
But just check the charging device for it. It should be clearly marked on the charging unit for your device. For example, in the case of my shaver, it can handle 100-130 V at 60 Hz, and 100 - 240V at 50 Hz. So it's not fine in many regions of the world, which operate at 240V and 60 Hz, but fine everywhere in Japan, where it's 100V at either 50 or 60 Hz.

A lot of countries, even if they're on 220 will have 110 in the bathroom, so your shaver might work in there. You should make sure to check.

johnny847

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Re: Mustachian International Travel Essentials
« Reply #19 on: February 25, 2015, 08:08:49 AM »
re: power converters.  I'm not going to take a hair dryer or any appliances, so it sounds like if I just have my phone, camera, and Kindle-type device (and maybe my electric shaver, which if I charge it up before I go should be good for the duration) than I probably won't need one?
Almost certainly for your phone, camera, and Kindle. Perhaps not for your shaver (which as you say, you can solve by just charging up beforehand).
But just check the charging device for it. It should be clearly marked on the charging unit for your device. For example, in the case of my shaver, it can handle 100-130 V at 60 Hz, and 100 - 240V at 50 Hz. So it's not fine in many regions of the world, which operate at 240V and 60 Hz, but fine everywhere in Japan, where it's 100V at either 50 or 60 Hz.

A lot of countries, even if they're on 220 will have 110 in the bathroom, so your shaver might work in there. You should make sure to check.
While that may be true, I shouldn't exactly make travel plans under that assumption, should I?

Louisville

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Re: Mustachian International Travel Essentials
« Reply #20 on: February 25, 2015, 08:11:07 AM »
+1 to the quick dry clothes. Most of what you'll find out there in quick dry is shorts and t-shirts, but cough up for a nicer shirt and long pants. You may want to splurge and step into a nice restaurant or something like that. Also, I feel less like a tourist if I have some casual clothes to wear (a shirt with a collar and long pants).
Examples below. You may be able to get something similar for less money at Target, a sporting goods "superstore", even Walmart.

http://www.columbia.com/tamiami-ii-ss-shirt-%7C-499-%7C-3xt-885491264762.html?gclid=CjwKEAiAgranBRDitfSQk_P7vnMSJAAhx5G507pKd8vNFFLYtt80fiFYbMpxqaVCgMkdHuRtKTluDxoC2xHw_wcB&mid=paidsearch&nid=Product_Ad&oid=48743590647&did=&eid=Google+Adwords+US&s_kwcid=AL!3937!3!55208412087!!!g!48743590647!&ef_id=VO3k8QAAANPjkRuB:20150225150625:s

http://www.duluthtrading.com/store/product/mens-dry-on-the-fly-nylon-cargo-pants-59311.aspx?src=T13WFSHP1&wpc=BAR&size=XLGx34.00&tall=N&mkwid=RZKtJZVd&pcrid=59582417761&pdv=c&gclid=CjwKEAiAgranBRDitfSQk_P7vnMSJAAhx5G525iZlzObyU6kXeg5INVk1vjYCWSpm75BRfPksms_hBoChTbw_wcB

KCM5

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Re: Mustachian International Travel Essentials
« Reply #21 on: February 25, 2015, 08:26:33 AM »
re: power converters.  I'm not going to take a hair dryer or any appliances, so it sounds like if I just have my phone, camera, and Kindle-type device (and maybe my electric shaver, which if I charge it up before I go should be good for the duration) than I probably won't need one?
Almost certainly for your phone, camera, and Kindle. Perhaps not for your shaver (which as you say, you can solve by just charging up beforehand).
But just check the charging device for it. It should be clearly marked on the charging unit for your device. For example, in the case of my shaver, it can handle 100-130 V at 60 Hz, and 100 - 240V at 50 Hz. So it's not fine in many regions of the world, which operate at 240V and 60 Hz, but fine everywhere in Japan, where it's 100V at either 50 or 60 Hz.

A lot of countries, even if they're on 220 will have 110 in the bathroom, so your shaver might work in there. You should make sure to check.
While that may be true, I shouldn't exactly make travel plans under that assumption, should I?

Well, yes you should if you check with your hotel/hostel/friend first. If you don't want to do that, fine, but no need to pretend like this sort of information is hard to come by and not having your shaver on vacation is make or break.

johnny847

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Re: Mustachian International Travel Essentials
« Reply #22 on: February 25, 2015, 08:39:37 AM »
re: power converters.  I'm not going to take a hair dryer or any appliances, so it sounds like if I just have my phone, camera, and Kindle-type device (and maybe my electric shaver, which if I charge it up before I go should be good for the duration) than I probably won't need one?
Almost certainly for your phone, camera, and Kindle. Perhaps not for your shaver (which as you say, you can solve by just charging up beforehand).
But just check the charging device for it. It should be clearly marked on the charging unit for your device. For example, in the case of my shaver, it can handle 100-130 V at 60 Hz, and 100 - 240V at 50 Hz. So it's not fine in many regions of the world, which operate at 240V and 60 Hz, but fine everywhere in Japan, where it's 100V at either 50 or 60 Hz.

A lot of countries, even if they're on 220 will have 110 in the bathroom, so your shaver might work in there. You should make sure to check.
While that may be true, I shouldn't exactly make travel plans under that assumption, should I?

Well, yes you should if you check with your hotel/hostel/friend first. If you don't want to do that, fine, but no need to pretend like this sort of information is hard to come by and not having your shaver on vacation is make or break.
Ok, but consider what's easier: checking whether your shaver is going to work in a foreign country by just checking the label on the device, or contacting every hotel/hostel/friend on your trip and inquiring about this.
And when did I say not having your shaver on vacation is make or break? I even said, "you can solve by just charging up beforehand." Unless your vacation is quite long, any shaver should last a a couple weeks just by charging it beforehand.

KCM5

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Re: Mustachian International Travel Essentials
« Reply #23 on: February 25, 2015, 08:51:13 AM »
re: power converters.  I'm not going to take a hair dryer or any appliances, so it sounds like if I just have my phone, camera, and Kindle-type device (and maybe my electric shaver, which if I charge it up before I go should be good for the duration) than I probably won't need one?
Almost certainly for your phone, camera, and Kindle. Perhaps not for your shaver (which as you say, you can solve by just charging up beforehand).
But just check the charging device for it. It should be clearly marked on the charging unit for your device. For example, in the case of my shaver, it can handle 100-130 V at 60 Hz, and 100 - 240V at 50 Hz. So it's not fine in many regions of the world, which operate at 240V and 60 Hz, but fine everywhere in Japan, where it's 100V at either 50 or 60 Hz.

A lot of countries, even if they're on 220 will have 110 in the bathroom, so your shaver might work in there. You should make sure to check.
While that may be true, I shouldn't exactly make travel plans under that assumption, should I?

Well, yes you should if you check with your hotel/hostel/friend first. If you don't want to do that, fine, but no need to pretend like this sort of information is hard to come by and not having your shaver on vacation is make or break.
Ok, but consider what's easier: checking whether your shaver is going to work in a foreign country by just checking the label on the device, or contacting every hotel/hostel/friend on your trip and inquiring about this.
And when did I say not having your shaver on vacation is make or break? I even said, "you can solve by just charging up beforehand." Unless your vacation is quite long, any shaver should last a a couple weeks just by charging it beforehand.

Dude, it's useful information. Many Americans don't know that shaver outlets exist and that they're 110v. If you want to ignore it, that's fine. But no need to argue about its existence.

johnny847

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Re: Mustachian International Travel Essentials
« Reply #24 on: February 25, 2015, 09:17:01 AM »
re: power converters.  I'm not going to take a hair dryer or any appliances, so it sounds like if I just have my phone, camera, and Kindle-type device (and maybe my electric shaver, which if I charge it up before I go should be good for the duration) than I probably won't need one?
Almost certainly for your phone, camera, and Kindle. Perhaps not for your shaver (which as you say, you can solve by just charging up beforehand).
But just check the charging device for it. It should be clearly marked on the charging unit for your device. For example, in the case of my shaver, it can handle 100-130 V at 60 Hz, and 100 - 240V at 50 Hz. So it's not fine in many regions of the world, which operate at 240V and 60 Hz, but fine everywhere in Japan, where it's 100V at either 50 or 60 Hz.

A lot of countries, even if they're on 220 will have 110 in the bathroom, so your shaver might work in there. You should make sure to check.
While that may be true, I shouldn't exactly make travel plans under that assumption, should I?

Well, yes you should if you check with your hotel/hostel/friend first. If you don't want to do that, fine, but no need to pretend like this sort of information is hard to come by and not having your shaver on vacation is make or break.
Ok, but consider what's easier: checking whether your shaver is going to work in a foreign country by just checking the label on the device, or contacting every hotel/hostel/friend on your trip and inquiring about this.
And when did I say not having your shaver on vacation is make or break? I even said, "you can solve by just charging up beforehand." Unless your vacation is quite long, any shaver should last a a couple weeks just by charging it beforehand.

Dude, it's useful information. Many Americans don't know that shaver outlets exist and that they're 110v. If you want to ignore it, that's fine. But no need to argue about its existence.
I'm not arguing its existence. You're insisting that you should check about the existence, when I'm saying it's far easier to just check your device first because it may not even be an issue.

Cromacster

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Re: Mustachian International Travel Essentials
« Reply #25 on: February 25, 2015, 09:18:19 AM »
First, check out Brandon Cronan's (the travel credit card mod on the MMM site) Blog.  He travels for months at a time in just a backpack.  A worthwhile read!

I am flying to St. Maarten in December for 8 days.  I will have a trip to Chicago in July for 10 days, at which time I can test out my plans to see how well they work.  Hopefully next year I will have a longer trip to Bali (my retirement destination?).

St. Maarten you don't need any more than a backpack.  If you bring more your just bringing weight to carry.  I'm writing this list from a guys perspective

(1)Quick dry shorts - I usually go with pair that looks like khaki shorts, but a quick dry material.  Even better if you can swim in them.
(1) light weight pant - I go with a pair similar to above shorts, or you could do sweatpants.  As long as its comfortable.
(2) quick dry shirts
(1) Quick Dry long sleeve
(1) Light Rain coat - depends on the time of year, probably won't need in December.
(3) quick dry underwear - I usually go with under armour type spandex briefs
(2) quick dry socks - I'll usually bring one pair as I'm usually sans socks
(1) Shoes - if you don't feel you can do everything in one pair of shoes, bring a pair of sandals too.
(1) Dopp kit - go minimal, your in the the caribbean you don't need deoderant, facial wash, etc etc.  Take it as time to grow you stash...literally
(1) Hat
(1) sunglasses
(X) Phone, Charger.  I've haven't found a caribbean islands to use anything other than 110v/220v.  Though, I haven't been to St. Maarten and quick google search tells me the French side uses european style and dutch side uses american style.  So an adapter might be a good idea.
(X) Snorkel gear if you have your own.  Personally I bring my mask/snorkel and rent flippers when I get there.
(X) Small entertainment.  Cards, cribbage etc.


That's my essential list for the Caribbean and I took exactly this when I was last in the British Virgin Islands.  Depending on where you are going you can check frozen meat in a cooler and take it with you when you are flying.  So much cheaper than buying it there.  You can't bring fruit or vegetables.  Just check on the rules for where you are going.

I purchased sunscreen when I got there.  Go with the coral safe stuff, its more expensive.  Next time I go I plan to bring some homemade sunscreen (probably in the meat cooler).  It's coral safe and about 1/10th of the cost of the stuff they sell.

I probably forgot a few items and what people want/need is going to vary according to the individual.

LadyStache

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Re: Mustachian International Travel Essentials
« Reply #26 on: February 25, 2015, 11:45:46 AM »
Depending on where you're going, you might want to bring a sweatshirt. If so, it can double as a pillow for the flight when folded up.

Also, you never know when you will need earplugs.

SantaFeSteve

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Re: Mustachian International Travel Essentials
« Reply #27 on: February 25, 2015, 11:47:20 AM »
handkerchiefs.

They are unbelievably handy, small, light and fast drying.  I bring 1 for every two days I will be traveling to a max of 4.  then I wash them.

SummerLovin

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Re: Mustachian International Travel Essentials
« Reply #28 on: February 25, 2015, 03:47:42 PM »
It depends... there are too many factors to consider without knowing what you plan on doing, where you’ll be staying,  i.e. what’s available to you for free in the form of amenities, and your tolerance for inconvenience should they NOT be available. Confirm that you are staying on the Dutch side-St. Maarten vs. the French side-St. Martin, since you don’t need a voltage converter on the Dutch side, you do on the French.  If you plan on taking any 3 prong electronics, grab a 3 to 2 plug adapter.  This adapter is very handy since it allows you to expand your charging capabilities.
http://www.rei.com/product/882476/rei-mini-travel-surge-protector-with-dual-usb-ports-2014-closeout

Here are some destination specific links about packing, weather, and things to do:
http://caribya.com/st.martin/packing/
http://caribya.com/st.martin/weather/december/
http://www.caribbeanmedstudent.com/2010/05/affordably-fun-things-to-do-in-st-maarten/

Exercises to get you packing:
For each day and time of day, visualize what you will be doing and what you are wearing-and write it down. Now pack those things into your bags. Do they fit? If yes, good job, if not start removing duplicate items.
Pick neutral colors—brown, black and khaki—especially for pants and shorts. These colors coordinate well with everything, so you can pack less.  Convertible pants to shorts are great.  Recommend wearing khaki /navy, slacks/chinos and nice collared shirt on plane so you don’t have to pack it and you have something to wear in case you want to any “fine dining’. Topsiders or loafers as well.
Once packed, grab your stuff and head to the door.  Take a “practice” walk around the block and determine if you’ll be able to walk around comfortably at the airports.  If not pare it down some more.
Tips for light clothing and drying: 
The key to packing light is the ability to wash and dry your clothing quickly. Many people talk about "quick dry" and those TM items get very expensive.  Instead look for items that "dry quickly" such as Nylon and polyester. The higher the content the better! Most performance fabrics are made primarily of these synthetics.  Avoid cotton as much as possible or go with blends. I personally love pockets, I can never have too many!
Pack concentrated laundry detergent (3oz), and 550 paracord to make a clothesline (and other uses). Many hotels have clotheslines in the shower but there isn’t always sufficient air circulation/sunlight to dry your clothes compared to outside or main room.
After hand wringing clothes, shake them out, then, roll them up in a dry towel and wring the towel tightly. It will absorb much more of the water and speed drying time on the clothesline.  Hopefully you’ll be in a hotel that provides you a few towels and exchanges them.  If not you’ll need to dry out the towel, but that should have more time to dry before the next use vs. the clothing.
If you’ll have access to a hair dryer, this Vapper seems interesting.  Although, being a new Mustachian, I thought about trying a DIY method with a heavy duty trash bag and rubber bands!

Other misc. ( Yes, you can get these things there, but they’ll be much more expensive)
Ziplock bags-come in handy to organize stuff, and of course for snacks/lunches/spices/sugar/coffee.Collapsible soft side cooler for beach use; Hat, Sunglasses.

johnny847

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Re: Mustachian International Travel Essentials
« Reply #29 on: February 25, 2015, 03:51:49 PM »
Also, you never know when you will need earplugs.
+1.
In my experience, most airlines will provide them (though sometimes you need to ask for them) along with a sleep mask.

Zikoris

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Re: Mustachian International Travel Essentials
« Reply #30 on: February 25, 2015, 04:21:58 PM »
Other than basic clothes and minimal toiletries (toothbrushes/paste, deodorant, sunscreen), we bring e-readers, a netbook (which we just replaced with tablets), ipods, one portable handheld gaming device, and a plug converter. That's plenty for us for trips of pretty much any length.

Melody

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Re: Mustachian International Travel Essentials
« Reply #31 on: February 25, 2015, 04:33:11 PM »
Earplugs!  Bandana (headband, eyemask etc). Large Scarf (the one i have has been worn as a scarf, as a wrap to keep me warm on the plane/keep sun off at sporting events, pool/beach wrap, used as a picnic rug, sheet in bed on a hot night). Hat. Sunglasses. Smartphone and Kindle - might consider tablet, camera and ipod for longer trips but not needed.  Swimwear - you'll be annoyed if you don't have it, even in places where I don't think I'll need it I use it - for the ladies a bikini is a great "extra" set of underwear, for the men, your swimmers can be your sleepwear/gymwear. Sandals that can take you from the beach to the bar. (And a decent pair of walking shoes to wear on the plane). Zip lock baggies. Plastic knife, fork and spoon (you'll find a use for them!) small tuppaware container.

lizzzi

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Re: Mustachian International Travel Essentials
« Reply #32 on: February 25, 2015, 05:33:10 PM »
Make a packing list and keep it in your carry-on. When you get back, add things you wish you had had but didn't, and cross off things you took but didn't need or that didn't work out well. Then keep the updated list in your carry-on for the next time you need to pack.

Whatever colors of clothes you take (your "palette" so to speak), make it all dark. Underwear, socks, everything dark. It doesn't all have to be black, but the dark colors won't show the dirt and can all be washed together as need be without needing to separate items. (Agree with  the "black, brown, khaki" suggested by someone upthread, although my choices are black, gray, and navy.)

Make sure you have a small, bright flashlight, preferably in a shape that stays put and does not roll.

jeromedawg

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Re: Mustachian International Travel Essentials
« Reply #33 on: February 25, 2015, 06:14:44 PM »
Quick-dry stuff is a big one - I agree with others on that.
A pack-towel might be useful too depending on accomodations

As far as travel adapters/converters, yep you probably could get away with just bringing plug-adapters that conform to the wall sockets if it's your phone or tablet. Just check all the voltages for each device you plan to bring to make sure.

Kwill

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Re: Mustachian International Travel Essentials
« Reply #34 on: February 25, 2015, 08:35:10 PM »
I can't believe I forgot about earplugs. I hardly ever go anywhere without a couple pairs in my backpack or purse. I like the "Howard Leight Laser Lite Foam Earplugs No Cords." You can get them in bulk on Amazon.

fa

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Re: Mustachian International Travel Essentials
« Reply #35 on: February 25, 2015, 08:46:02 PM »
http://www.onebag.com/

As someone mentioned earlier.  Read the entire website.  It has tons of useful info on this topic.  I never check luggage since I found that website.

shadowmoss

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Re: Mustachian International Travel Essentials
« Reply #36 on: February 26, 2015, 03:29:44 AM »
For a cheap 'paktowel' go to Walmart automotive section and buy a synthetic chamois cloth for drying cars.  Used to be about $3 and larger than the paktowel.  Also, no dyes.  I have a really pretty paktowel that is blue and purple.  The first time I used it to squish out the water from my hand washing it left dye marks on my clothes.  So, since then I travel with the undyed one made for car washing.

Take a towel.  Never travel without a towel.  It is great for getting hand washing almost dry, wiping down surfaces, and, well, there is the whole Hitchhiker's Guide thing, and who would argue with that?
« Last Edit: February 26, 2015, 03:32:37 AM by shadowmoss »

Melody

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Re: Mustachian International Travel Essentials
« Reply #37 on: February 26, 2015, 03:34:43 AM »
Great  hint on the towel!mine is due a replacement  so i will hit Kmart  :-) and yeah, sooooo  useful!

Melody

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Re: Mustachian International Travel Essentials
« Reply #38 on: February 26, 2015, 03:35:29 AM »
+1 for the flashlight.

Will

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Re: Mustachian International Travel Essentials
« Reply #39 on: February 26, 2015, 08:07:07 AM »
You guys are so awesome!  Thank you so much for all of the great suggestions. 

I've already bought some clothes which are "active-wear" that claim to wick moisture away, so it seems like they are "quick dry."  Nice neutral colors (black, gray, khaki).  Almost all of it on sale too. 

I am glad I asked this question when I did, as if I waited until later I would probably have a much harder time finding warm-weather gear.  And with the other items I might need but do not have yet, I have plenty of time to acquire them.

I know what flashlights are for, but I have never considered taking one with me on a vacation.  I rarely use one here, so I guess I am not sure why I would need one on the trip.

And yes, I will be staying in a timeshare/resort on the Dutch side (but right on the border of the French side), so they should be able to provide towels and a few other items.

lizzzi

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Re: Mustachian International Travel Essentials
« Reply #40 on: February 26, 2015, 12:50:12 PM »
Looking for something at the bottom of a bag in a darkened plane (or in dim lighting anywhere), getting around in a dark hotel or hostel room if you do not want to turn on the light and disturb others, power outage in your hotel/hostel, fire or other emergency in your hotel/hostel where due to smoke or power outage or both you may need to see to evacuate.

Albert

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Re: Mustachian International Travel Essentials
« Reply #41 on: February 26, 2015, 01:29:02 PM »
Caribbean is kind of a tame destination and you don't need much preparation or stuff with you. If you were going hiking in Iran the list might look different. :)

BBub

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Re: Mustachian International Travel Essentials
« Reply #42 on: February 26, 2015, 01:49:26 PM »
A water bottle... like a nalgene or equivalent.  I get quite thirsty when travelling & was once stung by having to pay an obscene sum to stave off dehydration.  And I mean obscene. 

One time in Paris I was extremely dehydrated, so I walked into a cafe & ordered water.  They brought me a big fancy glass bottle then when I finished they brought me a bill for 15 euros  Yes, fifteen euros.  About $20.  On my way back to the hotel I stopped into a drug store, bought a reusable plastic bottle & now I never travel without one.

pagoconcheques

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Re: Mustachian International Travel Essentials
« Reply #43 on: February 26, 2015, 04:38:05 PM »
Good advice I got in college that has served me on 4 continents over 30 years:

When you finish packing, remove half the clothes and take twice the money.

If you cannot carry everything at a near-running pace for 100 meters and up a long flight of stairs without stopping, you are carrying too much.

If you look like your passport photo, you need a vacation.

Capsu78

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Re: Mustachian International Travel Essentials
« Reply #44 on: February 26, 2015, 05:33:15 PM »
+1 for the flashlight.

A mini flashlight with 2 ft of duct tape wrapped around it... You never know when you may have to MaGyver your way out of a situation.

Russ

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MarciaB

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Re: Mustachian International Travel Essentials
« Reply #46 on: February 26, 2015, 05:56:21 PM »
A handful of ziplock bags are lifesavers. Both the gallon size and the quart size. They weigh nothing and take up no space. But when you've got something damp, or you need to protect some food...priceless.

johnny847

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Re: Mustachian International Travel Essentials
« Reply #47 on: February 26, 2015, 06:36:35 PM »
When you finish packing, remove half the clothes and take twice the money.
And...what if you're going abroad with just credit cards? Double the credit limit? =P

MarcherLady

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Re: Mustachian International Travel Essentials
« Reply #48 on: March 01, 2015, 01:02:53 PM »
Camping cutlery set for cheap hotel-room meals. You can usually get by without plates if you are inventive. If you are just taking a carry on bag than you might need to adjust that to be plastic rather than metal.  Any time that I travel for more than a couple of days I include a can opener too, although, again, I'm not sure if that is carry on friendly.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Mustachian International Travel Essentials
« Reply #49 on: March 01, 2015, 01:27:07 PM »
I just did a week away with only a carry-on and an under the seat bag.  I made sure my purse could go in the under-the-seat bag in case they were really tight on sizes, but it was fine.  I had a stiff reinforced fabric bag for the overhead, but a very soft bag for under the seat, so I could rearrange its size to fit and make room for my feet.

Flashlight - there are tiny LED ones that are very bright.
Reading - my Kindle sits at home, I take an 8" tablet - Kindle, Kobo, Overview (for e-pub books), internet, email, all in one.  Plus a camera that is a touch better than my phone camera.  If I had to I could leave my cell phone at home and use Skype.
For the plane - a water bottle for a long flight - go through security with it empty, fill it before you get on the plane.  I liked it for a 6 hour flight, others don't bother unless they are 9 hours or more.  I just had an old water bottle, but others had collapsible bottles.  Dress in layers in case you are too hot/cold, and that extra layer can also provide support for your neck or back.
Airport options - I left in very cold temperatures, but left my winter coat at a storage place at the airport.  When I got back, I got my coat back.  A total of $10 for a week, and no worrying about carrying something bulky.  I found the service online under airport services.