TRAVEL GEAR FOR ADVENTUROUS WOMEN
1. A Pull-Over Skirt. Pull it over your bike shorts if you feel like you’re behind is getting a little too much attention in your lycra or over full-length leggings for a cool day in the city, or wear it alone as a skirt on hot off-biking days. In Southeast Asia, especially the more conservative Muslim areas, wear it almost every day. For cyclists, a Gore bike skirt with the shorts/padding removed (too thick, bulky, hot and rubs in the wrong places), is light, packs up tiny and dries almost instantly. One a little less sporty, so it could be used on dressier occasions, a little longer to give a touch more modesty, and with pockets to carry a few essentials while wearing it would be better. Design one yourself?
2. Whiz Freedom, She Wee. Ladies are at a severe disadvantage when it comes to on-the-road peeing. This is especially true in Asia, where finding a roadside without gangs of locals all wanting to stare at the foreigners on bikes is next to impossible, and public toilets are rare. It opens up all kinds of peeing possibilities you never had before. The Whiz Freedom or She Wee are two of a handful of stand-up peeing devices on the market for women. It’s a little plastic or silicone/silastic funnel (made of moisture-repelling, antibacterial material). Use on roadsides, behind trees, in the ditch, and if necessary right out in the open. Paired with the skirt above, you can pee almost anywhere without revealing any flesh at all! It also comes in handy when you’re confronted with the disastrously dirty public facilities around the world, or if you just can’t face using yet another squatter.
Make sure you try it out before you leave home. It takes a little practice to learn to pee standing up without getting wet; the shower works great.
3. Menstrual Cup + Reusable Pads. Period time is especially tricky for cyclists, but a universal problem for female travellers. Disposable pads are inconvenient and uncomfortable when you’re on a bus or motorbike, and downright impossible when you’re cycling. It’s pretty tough to rely on tampons when you can’t rely on getting to a toilet the minute you need one.
A menstrual cup is another little silicon device never go travelling without. It’s also a device you need to practice with before you leave home. But once you get the hang of it, it’s a lifesaver. Because they’re made with medical grade silicon, they can be left in longer than a tampon, and it can be used just before you are due to get your period, in case you’re on a long bus ride and worried about timing.
There are no leaks. You don’t often need to empty it in the middle of the day. It’s always there when you need it, so you’ll never be caught without supplies in some village where you don’t speak the language and there’s no drugstore for miles around. And most importantly, it eliminates the garbage from your monthly cycle.
Two brands are the Lunette recommended for shorter torsos, and the Diva Cup. For cleaning, use baby wipes.
Also carry a few reusable pads. They are nice to have for off-bike days, evenings, and night-time, when you might not want to fuss with a cup.
4. Go Gear Travel Tube & Snapware Soap Dish. What make-up and toiletries are you using regularly at home right now? Shampoo, conditioner, soap, cleanser, mascara, lipstick and all other kinds of powders, lotions, and beautifying agents. That just ain’t gonna cut it on the road. Instead, you need just two things. A bar of natural soap and a bottle of grape seed oil.
Anything that needs to be washed – hair, body, clothes, water bottles, dishes – can be washed with your soap. To carry it, don’t buy a special over-priced travel soap dish. Instead, get a soap-sized food container, with a leak-proof lid. Snapware makes a good one.
Grape seed oil covers all of your moisturizing needs, from cracked dry feet to chalky elbows and sun-scorched lips. If you’re really dry, you could use coconut oil instead, but it’s usually more expensive. Even so, it’s still far cheaper and far less chemical than any brand-name moisturizer on the market.
Put the oil in the 3oz Go Gear Travel Tube. You just need a few drops at a time, so a 3oz of grape seed oil lasts about 3 or 4 months. Purchase in Europe but not likely in Asia.
Coco Luxe Moisturizing Coconut Oil – comes in a travel size.
5. Foldable Flat Shoes. Dress up even the most casual of outfits. The most comfortable are Tieks, since they’re padded and made of leather so they stretch. Quite expensive but stupidly comfortable.
Other less expensive options are 1. Sidekicks 2. Dr. Scholl’s ‘fast flats’ (more comfortable, and slightly more padded, but still unwearable for more than an hour or two) or 3. Reef Women’s Reef Tropics Slip-On Shoe 4.3 out of 5 stars. Cotton canvas uppers with hand-woven textile from Guatemala, quilted polyurethane foam footbed with anatomical arch support, durable rubber outsole with jute inlay
6. Eight Ways to Wear a Sarong
When traveling to tropical climates, this colourful, rectangular piece of dyed fabric can be worn a number of ways, making it incredibly versatile and a flashy and flattering option for any look or occasion. Able to transform itself into an accessory or talking piece for any outfit, a sarong is the perfect addition to a fashionable traveler’s suitcase.
Below are just 8 of the ways it’s possible to wear this garment and instructions for how to tie it.
a. Strapless Dress – Holding the fabric length-wise, wrap the sarong from one side of your body to the other. Pull the top corners together tightly and tie or tuck them into the top edge of the dress.
b. Triangle Skirt – An easy, flirty skirt that shows off your legs. Fold opposite corners of the sarong together; don’t worry about the edges matching up perfectly, this skirt is meant to be uneven! Then, point down, wrap the longer edge of your triangle around your waist and tie at the hip.
c. Off-the-Shoulder Dress – A cool and sporty option for the beach or rooftop bar. Starting with the long side of the fabric held parallel with your arm span, place one top corner at the middle of your back and wrap the sarong around until your body is fully covered. Bring the remaining fabric to the front and pull the top corner over your far shoulder to tie with the corner in the centre of your back.
d. Backless Halter Top – Show off some skin with this sexy shirt. First, fold a normal-length sarong in half length-wise. Holding the fabric in front of you by the natural corners of the sarong, take both top corners and tie them together behind your neck. Take the corners of the fold and wrap them around your waist, tying them behind your back.
e. Billow Shorts – These colourful shorts are comfy and easy to wear. Take two corners of the sarong so that the fabric is held out in front of you with the longer side parallel to your arm span. Then, wrap the top corners behind you to meet at the small of your back. Take the remaining fabric and pull it front to back between your legs, and tuck or tie it into the waist.
f. Mini Skirt – This cute and flirty mini skirt is perfect as a cover up over a swimsuit or paired with a tank top for a day on the boardwalk. Gather the corners of each short side together and wrap the fabric in one hand fully around your body until you are covered on all sides. Then, tie both bunches together in a knot or twist.
g. Modern Toga – Old-world technique meets new-age chic! Once again, hold the top corners of your sarong horizontally along your arm span. From behind, bring your arms and the fabric forward under your armpits to the front. Tightly pull one side under the opposite arm, and take the other corner over the opposite shoulder to form the sleeve. Pull the two corners together and tie in a knot.
h. Elegant Shawl or Shoulder Wrap – This shoulder wrap is the perfect sunny accessory for a sundress. First, fold the sarong in half diagonally so that the corners meet. Next, drape it over your shoulders. You can either tie the knot at your sternum for a classic shawl look, or move the knot to your shoulder for a fashionable asymmetrical look.
7. Pre-Plan Your Outfits
8. Rubber Doorstop. Another safety item. If you have a private room, you’ll have a lock, but just in case, shoving a doorstop beneath the door will make it difficult for people to enter your room. Just in case.
9. Universal Drain Plug. Do your laundry or take a sink bath.
EXERCISE ESSENTIALS for WOMEN TRAVLLERS
Versatile workout wear is essential so that you can pack less and get more out of each item. Consider your travel plans when packing extra workout gear, as you may not need much other than a pair of running shoes and a water bottle. If you feel an absolute need to bring some equipment, it’s important to consider how much it weighs, how much space it takes up and, most importantly, how often you’ll use it.
Sometimes the best workout equipment you’ll find is in a public park. Climb stairs or run with your own two feet. However, these items are perfect for travel and will give you that boost of inspiration to wake up and get your heart rate up!
1. Versatile Pants. Pack yoga pants that can be worn both as leggings for everyday wear or for more active days.
2. Strappy Sports Bra. Pack a sports bra that can “jazz up” an outfit. The strappy bra from Lululemon is perfect under tanks and t-shirts.
3. Versatile Tops. Pack tops that either have built in bras or ones that are stylish enough to wear anywhere.
4. Light Shoes. Nike Free trainers are perfect for travel because they’re lightweight and can be worn while exploring or exercising.
5. Fitbit. Fitbit is perfect for travel and exercise as it wirelessly tracks steps, distance, calories burned and active minutes.
6. Vapur. The re-useable bottle by Vapur conveniently rolls up when empty so you can store it or clip it away.
7. Flipbelt. Skip the money belt and get a Flipbelt. It easily holds items like your phone and money discreetly while you exercise or explore.
8. Travel Yoga Mat. For those passionate about their yoga practice, the Manduka eKO mat is super light and folds to fit any space.
9. Cable Jump Rope. Taking up virtually no space at all and weighing hardly anything, a cable jump rope is the perfect travel-companion for some cardio on-the-go.