Ultimate packing challenge??? Well, at least it is for me. I’ll be gone for a month, visiting countries that have temperatures ranging from Lhasa’s average low of 31 F to an average high of 105 F in both Delhi, India and Chitwan National Park. Fortunately, I “met” a new virtual friend via OAT’s Forum. She gave me lots of helpful hints, and most importantly, clued me into the existence of laundry facilities that are plentiful and cheap. Thanks to her advice, I am able to be safely under the airlines’ 44 pound checked luggage maximum.
In the spirit of giving back, this post is all about what I’m packing. Maybe a future OAT traveler to Bhutan, Nepal and Tibet will find my information as helpful as I found Janet’s.
There’s nothing like a visual, right?
Being your obsessive compulsive kind of gal, I start packing many days before departure, loading articles on the bed in our spare room. I use a paper list and check off as I go.
One of the many nice things about OAT trips is no one cares what you look like. No one dresses to impress–it is all about comfort and adventure, so you will notice a total absence of makeup, jewelry, fancy clothes and dress up shoes. But then, my family would tell you that’s how I normally roll.
Toiletries: toothbrush, paste, floss, shampoo, conditioner, brush, comb, moisturizer, deodorant, soap, face cloth.
I’m not bothering with a hair dryer because some of the places we will be visiting won’t have electricity. I let my hair grow just for this trip, so I can pull it back and forget about it.
Miscellaneous: binoculars, sunscreen, Insect repellant, anti itch gel, lip balm, lotion, Ibuprofen, Pepto bismol, gasex, Imodium, Hydrocortisone, Bandaids, bonine, moleskins, z-pak, granola bars, small duffel (supplied by OAT).
I’m hoping I won’t need any of the medications. Whatever I don’t use on the trip, I’ll give to the trip leader. Might as well have someone make use of it before the expiration dates.
Clothes: Rain jacket, down jacket, Sun hat, Sweater, Underwear (14 days),
socks (10 ), long underwear (2), Pajamas (2), Shorts (2), Short sleeve tops (7), long sleeve tops (5), Long pants (4), capris (1), Sneakers, flip flops, keens, bathing suit, buff, chill band.
For the colder parts of the trip, I figure I can wear long underwear beneath my lightweight pants. No need for corduroys. I’m counting on layers to keep me warm.
My goal is to get by for at least a week, maybe two, without having to do laundry. I may have packed more than I need; I will report back after the trip is over, identifying anything I took that I didn’t need, and anything that I didn’t take, but wished I had.
As with other OAT trips, we will be visiting a local family, so I packed gifts. Our guide told me that warm socks are always appreciated for the cold winter months, something I never would have thought to bring. Of course, I had to include toys for the kids, plus an inflatable globe.
On our OAT trip to Africa, we discovered that a duffel holds more than we ever imagined possible. We also learned there is no need for those fancy packing cubes. My jumbo zip lock bags work just fine, allowing me to pull out only what is needed. Take a look.
Shoes in the bottom, along with items I expect to need at the end of the trip.
Yep. It all fit and I even have a tiny amount of extra room.
I know you’re wondering, so yes, that white decoration on my teal LL Bean duffle was my very own creation. Nobody is walking off with MY bag and claiming it was a mistake!
Because I have a direct flight to Delhi, I don’t need to pack a change of clothes into my carry on. Here’s what’s going inside.
Backpack: Money, credit card, passport, etickets, travel info, camera, batteries, charger, iPad connector, iPad, ipod, Bose headset, sleeping aid, Wipes, hand sanitizer, Glasses & case, water bottle, cell phone, pens, pencils, notepad, gum, cough drops, copy of passport.
That little black bag with the white decoration? That’s my “comfort case”, which holds the small items –cough drops, pens, gum, etc. so that I don’t have to rummage through the many pockets of my back pack.
The good news? I did indeed score the first class upgrade I requested back in November, so I probably won’t need to be digging into that comfort case the way I would have if I were back in economy. United, you have been forgiven.
The sad news? Because of some late breaking events, Mike and Greg won’t be able to come on this trip. Thank heavens for trip insurance!