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What's in your bag, travel tips & tricks.

Discussion in 'Women's Perspectives' started by Kimela, Aug 24, 2017.

  1. outofofficebrb

    outofofficebrb HARRO HUNNAYYY

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: San Francisco, California
    2,907
    2,218
    113
    This one is going to be long! I travel internationally 2-3 times a year for diving so I've learned a lot along the way.

    Before I go anywhere, I ensure that my DAN dive accident insurance is current and get GeoBlue traveler's health insurance for non-diving medical ($1M, $0 deductible, includes pre-existing). If going on a liveaboard, I also purchase travel insurance plus liveaboard rider. Otherwise, sometimes, I might just purchase travel insurance depending on how many costs are non-refundable or sunk if anything comes up that causes me to be delayed and miss something or lose substantial amounts of money. I make copies of my DL, passport, and global entry card along with all the insurance binders from above and hand them off to family/family friends and keep a set for myself as I travel. I upload a copy to the cloud so I can access it online anywhere if I need to. I give travel notices to my credit card companies. If I'm going to a place with reputable and safe ATMs that my bank also partners with, I only exchange enough cash to get me started since better rates are had at ATMs.

    If I'm not just doing a liveaboard and need a handbag, I always use the Pacsafe totes or slings, etc. They are lightweight, slashproof, almost impossible to pickpocket (a month in Europe and others weren't so lucky) and if they get wet they dry easily and quickly. Make sure you have an international sized carry-on and not domestic if you are traveling internationally. I also always pack a small digital luggage scale! Sometimes it's a game.

    For the plane: a roll-up water bottle like from Platypus. I fill it when they come around and save it for when I'm thirsty. I hate getting spilled on when turbulence hits and I can be more comfortable without the tray table in front of me. Earplugs are a must for crying kids on planes, engine noise, and are great for noisy roommates or engine/generator sounds on liveaboards. Eye mask. Noice cancelling headphones (I love you, Bose!). I also always wear a long sleeve hoodie for comfort and warmth because 'm not a fan of economy airplane blankets. I am also now traveling with a ScottEVest trench that has a bunch of pockets - 18 to be exact - which lets me unload weight from my carry-on bag for weighing and also having everything at hand easily. (7kg is often the limit for int'l carriers.) It's pretty amazing...Check it out! Compression socks for comfort and also DVT risks. I also bring a headlamp - it's great for fishing out things in a bag when it's dark on the plane or anywhere, really. You can also use it hands free! :)

    I also carry a 10,000 power bank. It's convenient for recharging in a pinch when airport outlets are all taken up or if there is no outlet on the flight.

    I pack general first aid and over the counter medication that I don't want to be bothered to hunt down when I get to my destination if something comes up. Prescription medication is also the no-brainer. There used to be a 2 year span where I got a bunch of UTIs/bladder infections so I carry standing scripts in case it sprouts up in a remote location. I haven't had to use them yet, thankfully. Don't forget to get a note from the doctor as well. Some prescriptions and over the counter medications might not be okay in foreign countries and it's best to be safe.

    General I also pack a 100-250V surge protector strip - outlets tend to be more lacking in many places I've visited, especially with camera and strobe batteries, electronics, flashlights, etc. You'll probably make a lot of new friends at the airport if you decided to carry it on and share the outlet love! Just make sure the voltage is correct for where you're visiting and the items you are plugging in can handle the voltage or you'll fry everything. You can just bring one outlet adapter and have many outlets with this. :)

    If you're inclined to be offended by dirty laundry smells on way back - a separate bag for dirty laundry is good or you can pack dryer sheets in a plastic bag and leave them out on the way back to keep things fresh smelling.

    Dive Apart from the obvious dive gear, I also bring some trash bags in case my gear is still wet. 10L-20L Dry bag - for dayboat (all wet almost all the time), wet areas of a liveaboard, and also great for beach. If you have a camera or gopro, take a picture of the name of the dive site before each splash so you can remember when or where everything was.

    Toiletries I don't bother with makeup on my trips - I'm diving all the time. If I'm land based, I bring a bit of brow pencil, eyeliner, mascara, blush, and a creamy lipstick. A menstrual cup is also amazing - it's great for menstruation or ovulation. Plus, no need to fuss with panty liners or trying to hunt down pads or tampons or to lose any or not have enough. The latter is especially harder to find in some countries, if not impossible. Bug spray - 20% picaridin for when it gets really bad (as effective as 30%+ DEET for me).

    Clothing/Shoes Most places I like to go to are pretty buggy (mosquitos!) so I always bring Insect Shield treated clothing. No bug spray and I've had 10 days in Bahamas, 2 weeks in Costa Rica, 10 days in Indonesia, (the list goes on) with 1 or no mosquito bites. I'm the same girl who gets 15 bites in 30 minutes if left unprotected and am extremely allergic. I also bring synthetic, quick drying underwear so if I need to wash or if I accidentally get wet, it dries quickly. I also bring a super lightweight Gore-Tex rain jacket - good for wind and cold post-dive sometimes, or for rain.

    I generally will bring 1 pair of really lightweight, inexpensive Old Navy flip flops (a few bucks) for questionable showering areas or quick on-off footwear. If I will be doing a lot of lifting/lugging, I bring Teva Sandals. I usually wear a pair of Gore-Tex light hike/travel shoes to plane/airport since it's my heaviest pair and gives me flexibility to use when there's a lot of street walking or light hiking. Waterproof is important - wet socks are terrible and this will cover me if I'm stuck in a rain (think: typhoons/monsoons!).

    Synthetic clothing - quick drying - ease of laundering but also does not harbor smells like cotton and you can get away with re-wearing, especially super fine gauge wool. It feels like cotton but keeps you cool when hot and warm when cold. Socks, especially! Light layers so you can fine tune your comfort level and not feel too cold when taking something off or too hot when putting something on. Synthetics also release wrinkles easily.

    That's all I can think of now. I'll come back with more if I think of anything!
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2017
    delacrue96, Emailerin, Schwob and 5 others like this.
  2. tracydr

    tracydr Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: North Carolina, 3 miles from South Carolina
    2,725
    742
    113
    Lightweight sun shirts. A foldable,light sun hat. Sunscreen and bug spray. For the plane I always have socks and sweatshirt.
    I have fallen in love with telic and oofos shoes. They are so lightweight and comfortable for traveling.
    Bandanas,I take a couple of cute bandanas to cover my hair up after diving,or basically all week on a dive trip.
    I also take an old,foldable cooler I've had forever on dive trips. It works for taking drinks and snacks on the drive and/or boat trip and can double to as a bag on the way home when I always seem to have more than I came with. It's just a large,soft sided lunch bag type of cooler,can hold about four a lunch or fruit and a few cold drinks.
     
    Kimela likes this.
  3. outofofficebrb

    outofofficebrb HARRO HUNNAYYY

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: San Francisco, California
    2,907
    2,218
    113
    I love the cooler idea. The softsided AO coolers are great for this and for anyone that has a camera rig - it is also good for transporting to and from day boats or as your own personal rinse tank whether on liveaboard or day boats.
     
  4. TGIF

    TGIF Wonderful

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Scotland
    86
    32
    18
    I agree with what a lot of other people have mentioned (scarves, battery packs, sunscreen, bug repelent, first aid kid, etc). And have a few other suggestions:
    • I will add that I create an offline map of where I'm going with either Apple or Google maps for easy routing when I get somewhere.
    • Wet wipes or something similar because I'm always a bit wary of bathrooms not having soap or using a bush.
    • I always make sure to call ahead and alert credit cards and debit card companies to let them know that I will be traveling.
    • I will print out some common questions and translations that I may need if I'm in a country where I don't have a backup language. (E.g. "Please take me to <local name of hotel>.", "Please take me to the nearest ATM.", "Thank you")
    • Perscription for traveler's diarrhea, just in case.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2017
  5. Kharon

    Kharon Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Upstate NY
    3,886
    3,352
    113
    Oh yeah - I forgot. I always wear pants with zip off bottoms. I leave from a cold climate and go to somewhere hot. I zip them off on my last connection - instant shorts. Reverse on the way home.
     
    Schwob, Kimela and Jersey like this.
  6. Jersey

    Jersey Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: SE PA/ Southern NJ
    1,021
    191
    63
    Love them around home as well - morning kayaking on the water can be chilly but as that sun comes up it's nice to unzip and stow. Or for hiking as the old muscles warm up or put back on if I come across stickies or poison {ivy, oak, sumac}
     
    Kimela likes this.
  7. Kimela

    Kimela Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: St Louis
    423
    435
    63
    These responses are gold! Thank you so much! I'm already shopping on amazon :)
     
  8. Kimela

    Kimela Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: St Louis
    423
    435
    63
    Another small but handy thing - those temporary wall hooks by Command/3M. On LOBs and hotel rooms, we are usually looking for another place to hang something to dry.

    Get a prescription and fill it for Diflucan if you are prone to yeast infection. Valtrex if you are prone to cold sores (the sun can bring those out). Nail polish remover pads - easier to pack or shop for a bottle and cotton balls - and they work great.
     
  9. outofofficebrb

    outofofficebrb HARRO HUNNAYYY

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: San Francisco, California
    2,907
    2,218
    113
    So very, very dangerous......I might argue that Amazon.com will be the death of me rather than the real Amazon. :D
     
    Kimela likes this.
  10. xmass-Eve

    xmass-Eve Barracuda

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Boulder, CO
    209
    84
    28
    *Lots of bikinis. I hate walking in wet swim wear.
    *Sarongs and a very thick sweater
    *Enough camera gear replacement stuff
    *Diving related medicine and normal medicine
    *Earplugs and a sleep mask
    *Book
     

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