Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Our 2015 Gear in Review

  2015 has been an amazing, adventurous year.  We were able to go on more trips then we have during any other year.  We've packed and unpacked our bags. Lugged ourselves through multiple airport security lines. We saw Mayan ruins, gawked at seals, nerded out to architecture, and rope dropped at two Disney theme parks. It has been magnificent, and through it all we learned a few things about what is  helpful, and what would be helpful to have. 

Things we found Useful 

Bug X Towelettes
The towelettes are great for packing carry-on only as it eliminates the need to fit another liquid into your quart size bag. 

Another benefit, the wipes don’t choke you with noxious gas like the spray on bug spray (I know there are things like skin so soft, but I find that it really doesn’t work well against mosquitoes of the tropical sort).  One wipe is enough to cover your whole body and as Mexico proved, they work well.

Howard Leight Earplugs
For anyone else who has smaller ear canals, I recommend “the green” ear plugs.  I tried “the orange” ear plugs, but they kept popping out of my ears.  

The Howard Leight earplugs have become invaluable as I am an extremely light sleeper, and unfamiliar hotel noises, combined with a snoring husband, can make for some groggy days of adventure.  They don’t always block out everything, but they are a tremendous help.

REI MultiTowel-Large

We purchased our towels years ago before our trip to Panama.  They are one of my favorite things. Packing light, there is no space for fluffy beach towels. These towels are a great substitute. 

They dry quickly, and sand brushes off of them easily. They are also easy to carry around in a day pack for trips within a trip. They came in most handy when drying off after swimming in the Cenote in Mexico this year.

Foldable/Packable duffel bag 

I couldn't locate our actual bag, but the picture below is a close approximation. We bring our foldable duffel bag whether we think we need it or not. 

 It folds up into a little packet that can be easily stuffed into one of our bags. It’s small enough to use as a carry on.  It was the most useful in California. We did carry-on only on the way there, but wanted to bring wine back with us, so we wrapped the wine bottles in our remaining clean clothes, and checked that bag. Shannon used our foldable bag to carry the rest of his items on the plane.

Things we'd like to get for future travels

Bra Organizer
Bras have been the bane of my packing existence.  Their shape is not conducive to easy packing, and you have to be careful not to smoosh them too much or they will emerge a lumpy, disheveled mess. The bra organizer seems to be the way to go to make bra packing a breeze. 

Waterproof iphone case 
I usually keep a Ziploc bag in my day bag or purse just in case I need to keep something dry, but we are thinking about going cave tubing in Belize, and a waterproof phone bag would be essential so that I could take picture without getting my phone wet.

Clever Travel Companion T-shirt 
Okay, I don’t really need this, but it looks so cool.  The shirt has side pockets that zip.

It’s a good option for having a place to keep your money just in case you don't feel like carrying a purse or bag.

Evolution Travel Pillow
For our California trip, I got cheap, $5 travel pillows from Five Below.  They weren’t great, and they weren’t the type that fold up, so they were cumbersome.  

I covet the evolution pillows every time I see them.  They seem like they would be comfortable, and the best part is that they squish up into a compact size so we could throw them in our backpacks. 

Hopefully we will acquire some of the items this year so I can report back on their usefulness in 2016. 

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