Travel Essentials

Friday, January 14, 2011
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
The flight from Auckland to Sydney this "morning" went fine. Right now it's 10:15 am on Friday, but it's 5:15 pm on Thursday. I'm going to be totally messed up after the 14-hour flight back to LAX.

I have some time to kill before my flight leaves, and because the airport has free wi-fi, I thought writing would help pass some time . I've learned over my trips what travel items are necessary and what aren't. Here, in no particular order, are my travel essentials:

1. Good "day" bag: My Eddie Bauer day bag has been to Poland, Hungary, China, Morocco, Costa Rica, several states and now Sydney and Auckland. I use it when walking around for the day or as an airport carry on. I purchased it for $12, and it is as sturdy as ever. It has several compartments and even has a beverage holder. I LOVE this bag!!

2. Skype: Necessary if you don't have a cell phone. For $7, I could call anyone in the US while I was here, mobile or landline. For a small fee, I could text by purchasing Skype credit. Most of the internet cafes have Skype downloaded and the headsets. Very easy and convenient to use!

3. Snacks: You never know when hunger will strike, during a tour or on a bus or during a layover. Basic, healthy snacks are good (unless they are non-roasted almonds that you are bringing into Sydney!!). Or, you could be like the family I saw this morning - eating FRENCH FRIES from Burger King at the airport at 6:15 am. No joke.

It doesn't pay to bring water, unless you check it in, as liquids can't go past security gates. You can use the bubbler or buy the $3 bottle version like I do.

4 . Swiss Army Knife: Granted, mine was "made in China," but I have used that knife to peel fruit, open wine, clip a hang nail, snip loose threads and more. It rocks!!

5. Plastic ziploc bags: Have muddy shoes? A swimsuit that is not quite dry? Perfume that leaks? Extra ziploc bags in all sizes are very handy during travels.

6. Laptop/Netbook: Some might disagree with this one, but it's one of my essentials. I need to keep informed of what is going on at home, and I like keeping friends and family informed. Writing also serves as a great stress reliever.

7. Several pens: You always need a writing utensil. To fill out those custom forms on the plane, to complete luggage tags, to write down a number or the name of something you ate at a restaurant.

8. Hand sanitizer/wet wipes: I really got into the habit of using this before eating meals in China, as it was fairly essential. But, I've kept the habit going. Even if I've been shopping in Green Bay and decide to grab a bite to eat, if I don't have this stuff on me, I wash my hands.

And those are my travel essentials. There are more, but like my Visa card, I won't leave home without these!

I'm going to post a video of Ruby and Oscar that I took yesterday. Enjoy!! :) Hopefully the next time I post I will be in the U S of A! :)

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John K

Wow, what an adventure! I just read your first blog from July and now it is already over. Welcome back to the States; you are going to love it. We have had about four days straight of snow/flurries and more to come!


Can't wait !! :)