Travel Conveniences or Complications?

Travel Conveniences or Complications?

No matter where I go, or for how long, I always carry on my luggage. I’m not sure when I started this, but it has been years since I’ve checked a bag. Maybe, it’s the fear of losing my luggage, or not being able to part with my beloved items, but for whatever reason, I love keeping my bags with me.

After 9-11, when the TSA 3-1-1 rule came about, my carry-on luggage vow was made a bit more complicated. But, over the years, more products have become available to make following this rule, while also sticking to my vow, a little bit easier.

While there are plenty of products out there that I always make sure to bring along, with each trip I look for new products that will hopefully make life on the road a bit easier. My trip to Africa was no different, and I was thrilled to discover three new products that I hoped would make my life a bit easier.

Which they did, at least in terms of packing. But, the conveniences proved more to be complications on the road. In fact, halfway through the trip, I wound up getting rid of each of the items below and purchased replacements in the supermarkets of Botswana and Namibia.

Solid Shampoo and Conditioner

I headed to my nearest Lush store after hearing about their products and was delighted to have a variety of choices when it came to the shampoo. I chose one of their top selling bars, the Godiva, which not only smells great, but is also super moisturizing. I also got their Jungle conditioner, which I didn’t love at all.

While I have to admit that the shampoo made my hair smell and look great, taming the frizz and keeping it soft and supple no matter how I abused it, the idea of bar soap while camping just isn’t practical. Most places with showers had no shelves, and with no place for the soap to dry, the metal containers I stored them in started to get stuck together. Overall, it was messy and every single shower was frustrating.

Razors with water-activated shaving gel

One word: sticky. Maybe, I could also use the word slimy or messy. Either way, this was a bit of a disaster. Upon first use, this razor was wonderful, the perfect shave, in fact. But, then after my shower, with no place to let it dry off, I stuck it in a plastic bag. The gel on the razor blended quite well with the bag overnight, and removing the razor became a difficult task. Each time became more and more difficult. The gel got everywhere and no longer was effective when shaving. It was a disaster, especially when you double it with outdoor showers at campsites.

Toothpaste Tabs

Also from Lush, the first time I tried these tabs, I immediately loved them. One box carries forty tablets, and by bringing these I’d save room in my 3-1-1 bag. My teeth felt cleaner immediately and although getting used to chewing a tab before it foamed to clean my teeth was awkward, the end results were worth it. However, mix this again with the camping conditions and brushing teeth with bottled water, and let’s just say it was another disaster. As soon as we got to our next camp in Chobe, I headed to the nearest store to by some normal toothpaste.

It’s possible that given different circumstances, for example not camping, these products may have made my life a little easier, but under the conditions I was in, they were just not ideal. Unfortunately, because of my experience, I will no longer be using these products in the future

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Comments (4)

  1. Melissa - The Mellyboo Project

    When I set out on my working holiday in Australia in Dec 2010, I was raving about the Lush solid shampoo and ‘Jungle’ solid conditioner – I soon traded in the solid conditioner for the real stuff. I was also less than thrilled with the solid shampoo as it left my hair eventually feeling greasy and unmanageable. I hated it and that too eventually got replaced with the real stuff.

    1. The World Wanderer

      Funny how what we originally think we’d love turns out to not make us happy. I can see how the shampoo would eventually turn hair greasy…by the end, I started to feel that way. Nothing like the real stuff!

  2. Carla

    Girl. I am a die-hard carry-on only traveler, myself. Aside from checking a bag 1.5 years ago (which was a very special and abnormal situation), I haven’t checked a bag in years. Rock on! (Or should I say carry on? No, that’s a terrible pun).

    1. The World Wanderer

      Keep calm, and carry on? lol Love that I’m not the only one – people think I’m insane, but I love the convenience. 🙂

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