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455 replies
jungsl
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or you could go to rei and buy astronaut soap and shampoo. you can wash ur hair and stuff with very little water and rinse off wiht just a towel…astronauts use them in space…hence the name…oh yea…for all the ladies, im not a woman but you guys have some pretty good tips…us guys wanna look pretty in europe too

mouse
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dungrop4: I get my quite curly hair cut in a style called a "bedhead" at Toni&Guy – basically it’s just a short, shaggy cut that I don’t have to do anything to but scrunch it with my fingers and let it dry after I wash it. A similar kind of cut might work for you.

I’ve heard that blondes with oily hair can sprinkle a bit of baby powder or cornstarch into their hair and brush it out to absorb excess oil when they have to go a while between showers. I’m not blonde so I’ve never tried this myself.

dungrop4
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Yeah, that’s an idea. It just tends to look really gross when I don’t shower. My blonde hair gets two shades darker and a little frizzier if I don’t do something. I really want to get it cut short again like it’s always been, but I’ve been working so hard to grow it out these last few months. Hmmm, perhaps I’m fretting over my silly hair too much. . .hehe.

gipsy
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quote:
I really want to get it cut short again like it’s always been, but I’ve been working so hard to grow it out these last few months. Hmmm, perhaps I’m fretting over my silly hair too much. . .hehe.

If you’ve been growing it, don’t cut it or you’ll prob. regret it! I’d say go shopping for cute hats and head scarves instead. Also start experimenting with different ways to pull it back, like cute pig tails etc… styles you might not feel comfy wearing back home are some how much more doable when your on holidays and far far from home.
(ps the more fretting you do now, the less fretting you’ll do when you’re awaySmile)

Kathy02
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I always say: stick to the same old look. Unless you are totally confident on what you are about to do.

manik
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(bump)

More tips, more tips!

breathless
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PUPA sells ultra compact Beauty kits. http://www.pupa.it/
You can buy them cheaper in Europe and/or in Duty free stores.

mouse
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Wow, they have some super cute stuff there, looks like I’m going to be spending some money soon

Target stores in the US (maybe elsewhere also?) sell the[url=‘http://www.target.com/gp/detail.html/ref=br_1_3/602-4133724-0756667?asin=B0000643VS’]Sonia Kashuk Face Palette[/url] – I picked one up when I was there last month. It’s $20 and comes in a silver compact with 3 eye shadows, 3 lip shades, 2 concealers, blush, pressed powder, 2 applicators, and a good-sized mirror on the inside lid. The Target site says they’re discontinued now, but there might still be some around. I really like mine.

Hasschen
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Emcat have you tried moisturizing your skin before using the scent sometimes the scent just disappears on drier skin.

Or tried a lotion bar scented.

MargotS
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I read an old post in this thread (I think from Emcat), asking about using essential oils in place of perfumes. Another suggestion is get a very small plastic spritz bottle that you can toss at the end of your trip to make room for your new stuff, and fill it with water and a few drops of essential or parfum oil and use as a body spray. This keeps youf from smelling too stong, but allows the aroma to get absorbed and last.

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Hi! Thanks for all the great information guys!

I do have a question though. And I know I sound like a bit of an idiot but thats the joy of the internet!!! Can someone please clarify what you guys mean by sandals. Are they like Tevas? Or do you mean strappy flat sole leather shoes? Wouldn’t they be uncomfortable to walk around in all day everyday?! Also are sneakers a definite no-no – even if I’m not wearing a bright yellow jacket?! I just thought these and Tevas would be the most comfortable but I don’t want to look funny and stand out.

Thanks in advance!

cyberchick
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I didn’t think it was right to start a new topic about shoies since there’s been so much about them in this topic. Anyways, I’m travelling around Europe for 2 month next summer. I’m leaving June 30 and coming home August 28th. I’m wondering what the weather is like in Spain ( Valencia + Barcelona ), Italy ( Rome ), Greece ( Athens + Corfu ), Hungary ( Budapest ), Denmark ( Copenhagen ), Austria ( Vienna ), Germany ( Berlin ), Holland ( Amsterdam ), and France ( Paris ). I’ll be in Spain, Italy, and Greece in July, and the rest of the countries in August. I was thinking about bringing sandals. Can I get by on just bringing sandals as my walking shoe? Do I need to bring warmer shoes with me? I thought I’d bring a pair of Clarks clogs with me as well as sandals, for some toe – coverage ( I don’t know whether to get some with a back on them, or if I should get slip ons ) I just don’t know how warm in gets places like Hungary and Denmark, even in the summer, and I don’t want my feet to get cold. If any one has suggestions for me, that’d be great.

manik
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I also have a shoe question, I consider myself to be a rather style-conscious individual, so the thought of bringing just "comfortable" shoes to Europe is kind of a dismal one. I’m already determined to find a little strapless black dress to wear to the clubs, and I have no idea what kind of shoes to bring. I’m already planning on walking shoes (probably just a dark, less conspicuous runner or "skate" shoe) and sandals for the beach/hot days/the shower, but I need dressy shoes! What to do?

mouse
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All these shoe questions!

Others may differ but here’s what I think:

Stevie: I guess sandals mean whatever kind each individual poster her- or himself likes to wear! I tend to alternate between a Teva style called "Weaver" (looks a bit like a fisherman’s style) and dressier but still comfortable black slides. Just wear whatever kind of sandals you like (and that are comfortable). You’ll see all kinds of styles wherever you go.

cyberchick: I have no idea about Denmark, but for the rest of the places I’d take the chance and just wear sandals. I usually do this, actually. I’ve only been caught out once, when I was in Berlin last year with only slides and the weather turned quite cold and rainy. At least it gave me the opportunity to do some shoe shopping there! I think, in most of the places you’ll be, sandals alone will be fine – you might run into cold and/or wet weather, but probably not for very long stretches. If you do, just go shopping.

manik: Can you bring everyday sandals that are also dressy enough to wear clubbing? Or you could bring some cute little thong sandals, they would pack small.

hper
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Last summer I traveled for five weeks and brought a single pair of sandals to wear. It’s completely realistic if you’re not going to be doing any rugged hiking. I highly recommend Merrell sandals; they’re incredibly lightweight, comfortable and don’t require any breaking in. My travel companion also swears by her pair of Merrell sandals (a different style than mine—Treviso) They are pretty expensive but well worth the investment. Here’s a link to the pair I brought: http://www.amazon.co…

Edited to say, I just wore a pair of socks if it was cold. This worked for the places I went in May-June.

Edited by – hper on Dec 08 2002 00:09:58

manik
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happy sigh I was stressing about finding clothes that will be wrinkle-resistant and stain-resistant and super light weight and all that that I won’t feel awful wearing in Italy and Paris and have come to a conclusion – I would be infinitely more uncomfortable wearing all fancy shmancy (and ugly) travel clothes than my fave super-low rise jeans (despite their bulkiness) and other less travel-oriented clothes. Sure I’ll pack light, but I won’t sacrifice on style. Well, I will, but not on everything stylish. I’m bringing high heels, but they’ll be of the "kitten" variety, so shouldn’t be too heavy.

cyberchick
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I agree with you manik, I’m bringing my normal clothes, including my jeans. I live in them at home, even in the summer, and with anbother pair of pants plus a skirt, I hopefully will not have to wash them that often. Those specialty travel clothes are definitely not my style and waaay too expensive.

Thanks to everyone for the advice about shoes, it’s much appreciated. I hope you all don’t think I’m too obsessed or anal about the shoe issue, but I juust have one more question. Do any of you think I will be too hot wearing a pair of clogs around Europe, the kind with the closed toe but open heel? I can see myself wearing these most of the time, they look good with skirts and pants. I just don’t want to be too hot. I’m bringing some lighter spingier sandals as well that are mostly for showers and the beach, but can be worn for long days of walking. Last shoe question ( for awhile anyway ) Thanks!

gipsy
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cyberchick, I wore a pair of clogs once to a trip to the middle east and it was incredibly hot… averaging around 40 degrees celcius everyday in some parts but my clogs worked a treat. I swear they made the best travel shoes… they went with everything and the height of the heel was great for filthy public toilets (I don’t know how I would have handled teva style sandals in those toilets). I got a heap of comments from other backpackes about my strange choice for a travel shoe but I didnt’ care, they were comfortable and looked great. They also looked alot better with socks than normal sandals when the weather cooled down. I say go the clogs!

I also agree with taking normal clothes rather than ‘travel clothes’ (I would never dream of traveling without my jeans, even in the heat) but I also agree that they can save alot of headaches if you have at least one or two items that are easy care. You don’t need to look like you have just stepped out of a rei store, and if you just incorportate maybe one or two items you won’t. Plus, if you don’t like the look of ‘travel clothes’, sports stores often have clothes that look great and are made from the same performance fabrics that travel clothes are.

jerseygirl
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RE: BIRTH CONTROL PILLS

Studies have been done over 20 year periods that show that skipping your period is PERFECTLY FINE. It won’t hurt you at all (in fact, because women today start menustrating so early, and are menustrating so often (not too long ago, women were having babies younger adn more often, so they didn’t have their period too much b/c more often than not they were preggie), some doctors think that women today bleed too much and SHOULD skip their period with the pill. . but anyway)
There is much conclusive evidence that skipping your period will not harm you. Ask your doctor. If she is female, most likely she does it. When I asked mine about it a few years back she smiled and said "so it’s getting out into the general population? i thought only doctors knew about that"

CAVEAT:::::
If you are taking tricyclic birth control pills, ones that contain different levels of estrogen, depending on the week (ie, the first week white, the second blue, the third dark blue, etc), skipping the iron/sugar pills WON"T WORK. that will just screw up your system and cause spot bleeding. won’t harm you, but is more of a hassle than just having your regular period. (i suspect that is the case with the previous poster who had this problem)

in any case, make sure you talk to your doctor about it, but trust me that it is perfectly fine.

jerseygirl
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re: waxing vs. shaving

either way you go, one product i HIGHLY recommend is Jergen’s "naturally smooth" shave minimizing moisterizer. it’s just a body lotion that also makes your hairs more sparse and less coarse. it works wonders (and no, i don’t work for them or anything, i just think it’s a great product) use it for six weeks before you go, and your hair will grow half as fast as it used to. wonderful for me, since i’m a product of a sligo mommy and a southern italian dad, so hairiness runs in the family, big time Wink
and you can use it anywhere, legs, underarms, bikini area, etc.
MAJORLY cuts down on the amount of time you spend shaving (or waxing)
my blonde haired waspy friends can go for a month or more being smooth while using it. i am not that lucky, but still, otherwise i was shaving nearly everyday.

Stevie
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This thread has been quiet for awhile so I thought I’d move it up again because it’s so helpful!

I haven’t been to Europe yet – leaving in 4 months for a 4 month + trip, yay! – but this is what I have been doing.

I have started to wax every month – eyebrows, bikini, underarms & legs. So by the time I go hopefully I will have less hair and it will grow heaps slower. As for what I will do on the road I am tossing up between those wax strips you buy at the supermarket or an epilady (you know those little appliances that rip your hair out?!). I would prefer the wax strips but last time I tried them I used them for my eyebrows and ripped off my skin too and it scabbed – not very attractive and very painful! Has anyone had good experiences with these things?!

The other thing I am getting, not just for the trip but it will be good for that too, is the Implanon implant which is a contraceptive that lasts 3 years and in a lot of cases you lose your period all together. I hate taking the pill because I always forget but if I don’t I get terrible cramps. So this way I won’t have to think about it all. Anyone had/heard of this?

http://www.organon.c…

And one more…

Has anyone used those quick dry super absorbant hair towels? I was thinking of using that for my hair and as my towel and just using my sarong to wrap around me in the bathroom. Do they actually help your hair dry faster? I have really thick hair which takes forever to dry even with a 2800 watt hairdryer.

thanks!!

manik
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What do you girls do when you want to go out and wear sexy clothes? My moneybelt doesn’t even fit under my skinny jeans! Is carrying a purse safe enough?

landream
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Where can you find cute, wrinkle-resistant travel clothes? I have had NO luck searching the internet. Everything I’ve come across is definitely NOT my style.

silverbelle
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For easy care winkle-resistant travel clothes I took a long black skirt, black pants and a little black sleeveless dress from Express – stylish, comfy, light weight and easily washable (plus black doesn’t show dirt!). All were made of that slinky synthetic stuff like many travel clothes. For T-shirts I have some cute workout type shirts – quick drying and lightweight – can be cool or warm. One mistake I made was not taking my jeans. I wear them all the time at home and I wished I had them on a regular basis. Needless to say they’ll be along this trip!

For hair concerns – I have really long, thick hair. I wore it up a lot (but I do at home as well). I used a pack towel for showers – worked great for me even though it was too short to get all of my hair up in a turban. I also brought a sarong to walk to and from showers. I never used a hairdryer so I would imagine most folks would be fine without one. Happy Travels!

laura2379
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I dont know if this has been said or not yet, but a friend of mine went to london for a couple weeks and what she did was bring older underware and threw them away after she used them. I think it’s a good idea. You’ll probably end up throwing them away sooner or later and it saves room for things you’ll collect on your journey.

Also if you are small enough like me, dont wear bras. I’ve been doing it for like 5 years now, and hardly anyone notices – or at least nobody says anything. And I’m an electrical engineer so I spend most of my work hours in a professional enviorment. But I dont wear tight clothing where it’s obvious or anything like that.

Thats mt 2 cents from Americas least girly girl.

LAURA

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quote:
What do you girls do when you want to go out and wear sexy clothes? My moneybelt doesn’t even fit under my skinny jeans! Is carrying a purse safe enough?

Believe it or not, I just wear the black silk underpouch (that looks like a tiny purse) on the outside of my dress! I put the long strap over my head and it rests on my hip while I dance. Works great for me!

modgirl

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Hi girls,

Ok I am a very girly girl and I know no matter what great advice I get I am still going to pack certain things I can’t live without.

One thing about going out at night to bars clubs and restaurants. How dressed up is too dressed up. I mean can I wear stilletos with a dress or what sort of shoes and clothes are usually worn in the evenings at clubs and bars. I live in Cali so when I go out I go ALL out ,,,I love to dress up…but just a little advice on basic evening wear would be great.

Also I will be in Italy..(paris, greece, spain,,…..) from May to August, how is the weather at that time HOT, Hot, or hot.

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I had a friend suggest recently to bring one of those collapsible dog bowls to use for quickie shaves/sponge baths in the hostels. She said it packed easily and was worth it. I’m planning my first trip, and was just curious if anyone else has done this, or if you think it would be beneficial or just a waste of space. Thanks for any input!

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Oops.. I posted this on the main Packing thing but I meant to post it on this fabulous thread, so here goes:

Multi-functional beauty products (tried and tested, some I’ve seen on this thread before):
~Benefit Benetint- the best… doubles as a blush and lipstain, not greasy, small bottle and the color looks great on everyone i’ve seen. expensive, $25, but worth the splurge- i think Target sells a cheaper one under the Sonia K. brand.
~Curel Original Lotion- works for sensitive skin too, unscented, not greasy, soaks in on face and body. Overall the best lotion ever!(thanks Kel!)
~Johnson’s Baby Powder- keeps you from getting sweaty and smelly on feet and body… awesome in high temp climates or when you’ll be walking a lot. I’ve heard people say that you can put it on your roots to soak up grease when you can’t wash your hair!
~Rosebud Salve- the best lipbalm EVER! smells/tastes awesome, clears away minor blemishes and scrapes and tames unruly brows. If you like a stick, Burt’s Bees is great too.
~Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Soap- Someone else on the thread mentioned this too.. I like the aloe vera baby kind, but there are lots of varieties… works on hair, face & body, even teeth, and doesn’t melt like bar soap.
~Clear nailpolish, dental floss (so many uses for both), Nalgene (the best water bottle company in the world) now makes travel size, unbreakable containers for toiletries! I got some, and they’re awesome!

Packing Tips :
~If you have a top-loading backpack make little lightweight bags out of old sheets/pillowcases to separate clothes into categories- it saves so much time when you are hunting for a certain item. You can label them for easy access, they’re lightweight, and it helps when you don’t want your dirty smelly clothes or grimy shoes touching clean stuff.
~Safety pins, duct tape wrapped around a pencil- not the whole roll (great for securing backpack straps for flights), a cable lock (try Magellans) for when you can’t be next to your bag/suitcase on the train, ziplock bags (for souvenirs and other stuff), a small paperbook book, a swiss army knife (don’t carry-on) a deck of cards,and a PEN.
~A little black dress… mine is knee-length tank, v-neck (just a little sexy), with a built-in bra. I got it at a j.crew outlet for $25!
~Cut out or copy pages from your guidebooks, don’t lug the heavy things around when you’ll only use some pages.
~Photocopy the first page of your passport and other important documents and keep them with emergency phone numbers complete with dial codes and info (credit card cancellation info, relatives in case of emergency, consulate). keep them separate from the originals.
~Sunglasses, a bandana, flip flops (ooh Reefs are the best) and your favorite hat.
~a journal- don’t risk forgetting that strange man with purple in a poncho and nothing else!
~

Happy Travelling!
Paige

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hi girls this really is great stuff, has any one else considered writing a book about girlie backpacking? i think it would be great! so the shoe stuff is really hard to figure out. i’m from california and i wear flip flops all the time. i brought mine on a three month trip to europe last summer and wore them about 90% of the time. i wear reefs, their the best. to photo girl: i would rate spain and italy a Hot. but like any where, there are heat waves. luckily clubing cloths are pretty small so don’t feel to guity and definatly bring clubing shoes. don’t forget that it could be a long walk back to the hostel so nothing to high. oh yeah and my opinion on the sneakers: i brought a pair of athletic sneakers but sent them home within a week. i then bought a pair uf cute funky pumas that were also very comforable. unfortuatly they were very expesive there(because they’re so popular there) and i had several pairs at home. so my advice is bring pumas or some more sylish sneakers so you still feel cute when you wear them. ok that’s enough advice from me. have fun!

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awesome topic!!!
keep up the good work all you experienced backpackers, its a great help!!

jerseygirl
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hey girls, i expect derision for this one, but i had to post it.

i just got an email from sephora.com about a new product that would be wonderful for going out at night:
http://www.sephora.c…

it’s a little garter with a tiny envelope/wallet thing for essentials. it goes right under your dress. it’s expensive, but i really really want to get it. too broke right now, but hopefully some day Smile

gipsy
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quote:
Where can you find cute, wrinkle-resistant travel clothes? I have had NO luck searching the internet. Everything I’ve come across is definitely NOT my style.

My advice would be to look everywhere for travel friendly clothing. These days people expect functional easy care clothing… so most shops carry at least a few items that would be suitable for travel. Some sports brands also have really cute clothes and they are usually made from awesome comfortable, moisture wicking and quick drying fabrics. Fab for travel!

gipsy
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quote:
I dont know if this has been said or not yet, but a friend of mine went to london for a couple weeks and what she did was bring older underware and threw them away after she used them. I think it’s a good idea. You’ll probably end up throwing them away sooner or later and it saves room for things you’ll collect on your journey.

It’s a good idea… and I’ve heard of doing this with clothes as well. However, the problem I have with it is that for me, the times I spent backpacking are probably the most sociable times of my life, so I figure I might as well use my best clothes and um, underwear. I guess taking a mix of old and new might be worthwhile… particularly if you’ll be doing heaps of not very glam adventure hikes etc… and you can then you can chuck your festy gear out when you hit the towns.

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Hi everyone,
Just wanted to say that philosophy has a great product its a 3-in-one shampoo, condition, and body wash and smells delicious..they have a different kinds here is a link http://www.sephora.c…

Kinda expensive but very convienent and works great! Also I was wondering if anyone tried puting Yankee Candle car jars in their backpacks to keep clothes smelling fresh? I haven’t yet it might be too strong I’m not sure?

Also another awesome product is Always or Playtex personal wipes, they are moist toweletts that you can use to keep feeling and smelling fresh and clean down there….they work great and could prevent yeast or other types of infections while trekking in warm weather…Wink
And those of you on the pill..worried about the time change in Europe if you can try switching to the patch (ortho-evra) its easy (change it once a week) you can skip your periods and dont’ have to worry about taking a pill everyday and the time difference while your travelling…its also a low-dose monophasic BC method so it should be too drastic of a change..hope that helps..Wink

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This is all similar to something that was said- but it is good to hear it twiceSmile so here goes

As someone who regularly skips her period from Birth Control pills it is VERY important to note that you can not do it with ALL brands- the only one that really is suppose to be done it Ortho-Cyclen…or the one with one hormone for 3 weeks then dummy pills….however, I sucessfully skip my Ortho Tri-Cyclen (3 weeks of different hormones then one week of nothing) with no adverse affects- but some people experience break-through bleeding as strong as a period so if you haven’t tried it be prepared. Also, check with your Dr. (just a phone call to the receptionist should work)….

Medically, they saying skipping your period is very helpful- apparently in the good old days people only had there periods for 10-15 years and it just keeps getting longer which is one theory as to why breast cancer, cervical cancer, uterine cancer etc has increased. In fact in the US they are coming out with a new birth control pill that you take for 80 days without a period and it should be out on the market by 2005..

I have a lot of gynocological issuesSmile So I know a lot about things
Also with the tampons issue you can buy natural ones a lot of places- or just ones that aren’t bleached. The worst brand of tampons to use medically is Tampax and they are sold all over the worldSmile

Edited by – moonspider on May 05 2003 13:08:52

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here’s a tip for girls who are on the pill (21 day) and want to miss their period while away. if you are only going for a month or so, you can just keep taking your pill instead of taking the week off and you will miss your period for that month.. i’ve checked with my doctor and there are no risks doing this.

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good thread, another question about clothing. I’m not too worried about keeping up with the latest style, but I am somewhat worried about what I will be wearing day to day because I do not want to stand out at all (female traveling alone). I will be in Spain, Italy, and Greece during June. Suggestions? I know not to bring shorts, but what about jeans, or capri pants (khaki)? I was going to bring mostly light cotton skirts to wear with tank tops and Chaccos sandals, will I stand out do you think? (I tend to dress a little on the hippy side).

And then, there’s my rei daypack that gives me away as a backpacker and a tourist. Any other ideas on what to use?

And help appreciated! Thanks.

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There’s nothing wrong with shorts. You will stand out as a tourist no matter what you do, so there’s no sense stressing too much about it. Just take whatever you would wear in very hot weather at home. If you’re a skirt person, take skirts. If you’re a shorts person, take shorts. If you enjoy running through the streets naked, well . . . don’t do that. But the way so many travellers feel like they absolutely can’t wear shorts, that’s just silly.

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I know this has been said several times before but this is a great thread. I have spent literally a couple of hours reading the whole thing. There are a lot of great tips that I never would have thought of on my own. I don’t really have any friends over here that are girls that have been to Europe back-packing so it was very helpful.

The first time I went to Europe I never even thought about dressing differently and I was fine. I may have looked a little like a tourist, but all in all I think that its a matter of looking confident in know what you are doing and where you are going. If you look like you know how to handle yourself, people that are looking to take advanatage of foreigners like easy prey, not someone that is going to give them any trouble. So dress it whatever makes you comfortable. Now if you are just worried about looking stylish and chic, THEN you might not want to wear shorts.

About that birth control to skip your period. I have been doing that in the summer for a couple of years, whether I am traveling or not. You just need to consult your doctor first because some forms of the pill can really mess with your system if you don’t take them as directed. Also if you ask you doctor sometimes they will give you some extra samples so that you don’t have to use up your prescription before its due.

Just wanted to put in my two cents because I think this forum in general is great and this thread especially.

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Re: the candles in the backpack—I’d be worried that they would melt after shoving my bag in a hot locker at the train station or crumble and get wax all over my clothes. I ripped perfume ads out of magazines and brought a couple that I put in between my dirty clothes and my clean ones. It kept the clothes apart and prevented everything from reeking between laundry trips.

Also, Origins has a great two in one shampoo/conditioner. It works great, even if you have longer hair, smells fantastic, but best of all it’s kind of thick, so leaks are less likely or gooey, and it comes in a screw top jar. I’ve used it every time I’ve traveled. There’s just something comforting to my obsessive nature about being able to screw the lid on really tight before I pack and know I won’t end up with shampoo soup.

Did I read somewhere in the thread that there’s no tampax in Europe? What are good brands over there?

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quote: Grace Brothers (if you live in Australia) is now stocking Metalicus clothes… so you can check them out there if you like. We are actually discontinuing them on our site (just because of logistics) not because they aren’t good products.

gipsy – you work at Menda? I bought some stuff there this week and the service was FANTASTIC!

More tips to add…
DISCLAIMER I haven’t actually been on my trip yet but these are some of the things I have done (some may be obvious & some may not be that great?!). Also this is based on Australian shops etc but everywhere probably has/does the same things.

As for packing toiletries, like most girls I have a fair few things to take, so what I did was buy a toiletries bag first that was a decent size but not huge, then I went to the supermarket and bought everything I needed at once buying the biggest sizes that I could fit into it (I am going for 6 months so buying travel sizes would be a waste of time and $$).

All my clothes are black, brown and green. (not too exciting but easy to mix and match and won’t get too dirty).

Shoes: Nike Prestos (comfy sneakers that are lighter and pack down smaller than normal ones), Black leather Colorado sandals and black flip flops (can wear out).

I bought a super absorbant hair towel to use as a towel. In Australia you can buy them from Priceline & Grace Bros and cost about $25. I’ve tested it out and it’s great.

Okay now yes I am a huge tight ass (!) but this is a great idea for the budget traveller…

I have a month before I leave and have run out of everything, cleanser, moisturiser, shampoo and conditioner. Now I don’t really want to spend my travel savings on this stuff and don’t want to use the ones I bought for my trip so I…

1. Got free samples off the internet of shampoo and conditioner. (Just do a search in Google and you will find sites dedicated to finding samples for tight asses!)

2. Went into Clinique and bought their 3 step skin care system. Has a 30 day money back guarantee. Use for a month… take back. Also I got a gift with it. mini moisturiser, eye gel, face palette (eyeshadow, blush and mini lipstick), mini perfume and a couple of other things I gave to my mum. Perfect sizes for travelling.

Yes I know, I know not very honest but I already buy their ridiculously priced make up (its twice as expensive in Aus than US) so they can give a little back. (I actually got this idea from a travel board so I’m not the only one doing it!!)

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Oops forgot to add.

I can’t go 6 months without waxing my eyebrows (I hate plucking and it’s a pain bc you have to do it more often) so for the Aussie’s the Nad’s facial wand wax works REALLY well. I normally get mine done at a salon and this is just as good. It comes in a little tube with applicator so it doesn’t take up any space at all. You don’t have to heat it – just put it on and rip it off! Some of you might say this is over the top but I’m not going mono-brow!

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Here are some of the prime tips and lessons I learned during my 2 month solo trip around Europe. Feel free to ask any questions — I’d love to help out. I was also 17 at the time, so if you have any questions about traveling young (and alone), I’d be happy to answer those too Smile

These were THE shoes for my trip. They mold to your feet (somewhat like Birkenstocks, but much more quickly, and they’re much more stylish, and the polyeurethane sole does an incredible job of absorbing shock). I love mine so much that I wore them every single day, bought another pair when I returned…and then I got a part-time job at the store…and then I bought another pair, and another…my fifth pair is on my feet right now as I type. They come in lots of different colors and designs.

http://www.thewalkin…

Would you ever wear Tevas or Reefs to a night club in New York? Never! bring a pair of kitten heel mules or sandals for going out — they’ll take up very little room. Despite how wonderfully comfortable my slides were for daytime, my biggest regret was not bringing something more dressy for night. It may sound trite. But European women are very consciencious about footwear, and I often felt kind of frumpish without something more stylish.
a good choice would be something like:
http://www.zappos.co…

I’ve posted another separate topic in the packing section titled "Shoes — find the answer within!" where I gave more info about my personal experience with footwear and some ideas for what to bring — Check it out.

Other random tips:

  • Separate stuff into ziplocks with the "zipper" slider closures
  • In my opinion, you don’t need flip-flops to wear as shower shoes. I really just didn’t
  • You can live without you 6 ft bath sheet, but don’t waste your money on a &quotack towel" or travel towel. Just dry yourself off with a T-shirt, really. Or, if you must, bring a little hand towel.
  • Bring lots of jewelery! I’m an earrings girl, myself. Jewelery takes up no room at all, and change your look in the blink of an eye (imagine you’re wearing your knee-length black travel skirt with a basic tank…with your pearl earrings, you’re classy and slighly conservative…with your 2 inch hoops, you’re a hip rocker with a trashy zing).
  • I wore a simple red sundress that I bought at H&M in Nice almost every single day. I also wore it to/from the shower (functioned as a robe). If I had known I would find such a great item, I would have brought nothing more than a dress, a black skirt, capris, jeans, and 2 or 3 tanks.
  • Plan on buying as much as you can there — REALLY bring as little as possible — you’ll want to be shopping there anyhow, and you’ll need room to pack all your purchases in. And shopping for simple things, like hair elastics, can be an adventure in itself!
  • Here are some excellent choices (imho) for your "little black dress" (even though it doesn’t have to be black — mine was solid red):

http://jcrew.com/cat…

http://www.oldnavy.c…
(Old Navy also has a solid black dress made of similar fabric that I bought in the store recently — I highly recomend it — but they don’t have online for some reason)

rnbr=JN-130421&cgnbr=OSSALCLODRS&rfnbr=536&ampage=3&cgname=OSSALCLODRS” title=“http://www2.victoriassecret.com/commerce/application/prodDisplay/?namespace=productDisplay&origin=onlineProductDisplay.jsp&event=display&amprnbr=JN-130421&cgnbr=OSSALCLODRS&rfnbr=536&ampage=3&cgname=OSSALCLODRS”>http://www2.victoria…

os=97” title=“http://www.isabellabird.com/cgi-bin/ttahead/Isabella_Bird___Spring_2003___Dresses556107?SessionID=dA3fXW3D&Args=&ampos=97”>http://www.isabellab…

os=118” title=“http://www.isabellabird.com/cgi-bin/ttahead/Isabella_Bird___Spring_2003___Dresses556036?SessionID=dA3fXW3D&Args=&ampos=118”>http://www.isabellab…

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One more thought:

Both day and night, I carried my stuff around in a purse — a regular old purse like I use here at home. No need to wear a money belt during the day (just when going from one destination to the next) — I just would leave my passport etc. locked at the hostel.

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Sorry Starfruit, but I gotta disagree with that one. I would NEVER leave my passport in a hostel during the day. I wore my money belt at all times and always kept my passport, some emergency cash, a few traveller’s cheques, and a copy of all my important numbers in it, and I never took it off (except to shower, when I gave it to my friend to watch and vice-versa).

Sure, most of the time there won’t be a problem leaving stuff in the hostels. But it’s just not worth the risk. Get your passport stolen in Europe and you’ve just won yourself one GIANT headache at the very least. Sure, leave your pack and dirty socks in the hostel and don’t look back, but take your valuables with you.

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Hello!!
I am a first time traveller, and am planning on travelling all over Western Europe in 2 months with my boyfriend. I have read all the messages here and have found most to be very useful!! I have a bit of a prob, because I don’t wear underwear, I find them very uncomfortable. Is this going to be ok for me? Or should i just bring a few pairs anyways and some liners? Thank you very much!! I appreciate it!!

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Just to second what someone else said- I bought the Philosophy 3 in 1 shampoo, conditioner and body wash. I used it this morning and I LOVED it. You pay 16 dollars for 16 onces- making it a little bit pricer than brands you buy at a drug store but the convience is worth it.

Also, if you live near a store like Sephora. Go in on a "make-up/perfume mission". Tell the people you are interested in trying out a few new foundations etc. They will give you samples. I am a regular Sephora customer so I didn’t feel guilty getting a few pleasures to take on my trip. The lady even gave me the little perfume viles (spelling) to put my favorite perfumes in (she filled on with J’Dore my signature perfume). The benefit of this is you get pricey make-up that looks good to use on your trip (*note- if London is anywhere in the middle of your trip they have stores like this that will "refill" your make-up prescription.

Another tip: if you wear money belts over the other ones, you can stick them just below your breasts. It is the best place to conceal it because they stick out and pull your shirt away from your skin (it works even better if you are greater than my little ole B cup)

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quote:Hello!!
I am a first time traveller, and am planning on travelling all over Western Europe in 2 months with my boyfriend. I have read all the messages here and have found most to be very useful!! I have a bit of a prob, because I don’t wear underwear, I find them very uncomfortable. Is this going to be ok for me? Or should i just bring a few pairs anyways and some liners? Thank you very much!! I appreciate it!!

I would say you definitely should wear them. They are there for a reason! If you didn’t you would have to wash your pants more often which would be a pain. I’m sure of all the millions of styles of underwear in the world you should be able to find some comfortable ones. I think thongs are the best (if they fit properly) bc you can’t even tell they are there and of course pack down tiny!

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quote:For any one who is contemplating bringing a curling iron on their trip:
I just found these velcro thermal rollers at Sally Beauty Supply-in the US. They are $4.99 for a pack of six and are amazing. I dry my hair until it’s damp and then use the rollers. All you do is dry your hair the rest of the way and then take the curlers out. They have a metal strip inside so they heat up when you are drying your hair the rest of the way. They make your hair really curly and the curl lasts the whole day. Plus, it only takes me 5-10 minutes for the whole ordeal, and with packing they would take up no room. What a find! I’d highly reccomend them.

Is it embarrassing to use rollers and the ilke in hostels? I just thought people might think it’s stupid ‘cause backpackers are supposed to be crusty and all! Wink Maybe I just shouldn’t worry about what people think… But I kind of want to look like a respectable tourist rather than a crusty homeless person with a birds nest hair-do!