This and that for my extended travel

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.


6 thoughts on “This and that for my extended travel

  1. Thanks for sharing…… Like others, I am sad to see your journey end, but happy to have been on the adventure with you via you blog… boy do you have a gift!

    Now, the converter… I need to buy one…. and tell me do you use a converter and/or an adapter….. when I was just in Europe, travel mate Susan had some good “adapters” that seemed to work on the river boat without a converter… what worked for you?

    And here we go… another thing we have in common…. PhysioTherapy Associates…
    I too am a HUGE fan… been using Kyle here in RIC for the shoulder issue and last Fall for the “K2” recovery (double knee replacement)… their approach/philosophy is different than any other PT I’ve been to and they get results! Sounds like you, too, think they are “it”.

    1. It’s my understanding a converter is not needed for most USA appliances which are “smart”. Most just need the adapter because of the various plug configurations around the world. That said, it’s best not to use US hair dryers without a converter. That’s why nearly every foreign accommodation provides hair dryers made for their country. Hair dryers pull a lot of current and can blow their circuitry, I think.

      Also, I know from personal experience our electric toothbrushes weren’t “smart” as of early 2014 when I burned one up using an adapter only in NZ.

      It seems nearly all electronics are Smart and can switch something so they can use the higher voltage available in other countries.

      In short, converters not needed! Besides they’re very heavy!

  2. What fabulous ideas. Do I see a book in your future.
    Seriously sad your journey is over as I have enjoyed every post. Thank you for a wonderful adventure!

  3. You’re a genius! Now I know how you manage these long trips. Never seen the inflatable hanger before – great idea.

    I will rename you the Ria the Travel Guru!!


    P.S Just one point. How do get round the fact that your American appliances are 120V when power is 240V in the rest of the normal world? Or are your appliances dual voltage with smart voltage detectors built in?

    1. R….yes, most of our electronics are smart and only need the plug adapter. There are exceptions. That said….you could read my reply to Carol Boysen just now. She is American and she asked about adapters and converters.

      So glad someone recognizes my brilliance….or is it just my age and experience?? 😋

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s