This post is mostly directed toward the females but you gents are not excluded! Don’t suggest you wear the sari though…up to you.
Some of you have been curious about my how-to’s so here are some of my “Rupp Goldberg’s” and ways/things that made this trip easier for me. A few of these are well known but others, maybe not so much…..all worked happily for this trip.
For coffee….I found the electric kettle in a little side street store in Siena as I was leaving. That kettle came with two little plastic cups with handles. Then I had to find the other items to make coffee. The filters and strainer came from an incredible tiny store that at first looked like a miniature hardware store! I also found tooth paste, deodorant, batteries and my delicate coffee cup (not shown) in that store in Cortona! That kettle came with two little plastic cups with handles.
The following is a pillow case for allergy suffers (moi). It was used only one week but it was an essential for that time!
I think only one accommodation offered a wash cloth! I knew this would be the case so I brought my own and my sponge….the latter was used most often.
The multiple plug which you see attached to the Italian electric adapter has a high speed and a regular USB receptor so I can simultaneously charge Apple products and my camera with it. Been a real space and time saver!
Amazing how inventive one can get with a few McGyver items! Wine opener has knife and bottle cap opener. Thanks to friend Joey who many decades ago gave me the very handy little pen light for those night trips to the loo which is ?where?. Never know when a zip lock will be needed! And space bags are a marvel…. They do save space but are best used for synthetic fabrics due to major wrinkle factor, IMO. For natural fiber clothes, I fold them together in layers so that each garment is insulating the next from significant wrinkles. Clothes pins, of course and clips for…. sealing that package of nuts or the muesli bag or clamping papers together or…… And do NOT laugh at that inflatable hanger…I actually have two and they’re wonderful! They obviously puff out when inflated and that helps the clothes to dry faster by allowing air to easily reach all sides of the garment!. So there!
A great pair of walking shoes for the streets and the best arch support flip flop for inside and minor trips out. I know, I know…the walking shoes are uuuugly but you should have seen them before I gave them a little chic red trim paint job! They were gray where now there’s red/orange! I tell you I walked and I climbed all day most every day and thanks to those Clarks shoes, my feet and legs never hurt! Some of you may recall I had plantar fasciitis in my left foot last year during my New Zealand adventure…but thanks to my fantastic PT, Angie at PhysioTherapy Associates, no fasciitis this trip!
Not only is a sari a good substitute for a bath robe, it’s a beach cover, a long skirt and it could become a strapless wrap for going out. Just became an important item for me. Also oddly, very lightweight synthetic sweater was essential!
More McGyver items….multiple uses for tiny bungee as will as the clip! Most often the clip was attached to either my backpack or my purse to hold my crushable hat (see below) and or my camera.
This is my first time traveling with these hanging carriers (see below) but they are now essential travel items. The baths may be large or small in Italy but shelf space is a premium worth it’s weight in platinum in the places I’ve stayed yet every one of the baths has something to hang these on! Medicines (anti-diarrhea which I thankfully didn’t need, allergy pills I didn’t need, decongestant which I also didn’t need, one prescription for osteoporosis which I usually forgot to take) bandages, tapes, nail stuff, makeup, ointments, q-tips, hair products, bath and hair soaps, even a tea bag or two!
So I told you about the washing machine in my Roman apartment but there was only one other place with a machine. Otherwise I had to go to the Lavanderias (comments these to be included in another post) or self launder in a double jumbo Hefty as seen here or I could have used my small Space Bag. To use the plastic bags for washing, I would add the clothes then pour in whatever liquid soap was available…shampoo, bath wash….add warm water just enough to cover then I seal out as much air as possible then agitate/sqeeze/punch -in the sink or bidet – all over the bag for a bit and let it soak for a 15 minutes. Depending on how dirty, may want to agitate a bit more or just begin rinse phase. I open the bag just a little, turn it so the open part is set at the sink drain and start to tightly roll up the clothes from the closed end to force as much dirty water out of the bag before adding clean water. I add clean water repeat this process till soap bubbles gone. I got this idea when I received an email for travelers offering a “washing machine in a bag” for $50!!!! Granted it was a heavy duty bag and the ad said the inside has a kind of scrub board inside. I could see this being useful for folks trekking and camping and getting filthy but…..
So there you have a few ways I found to make my journey smoother for me.