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What is – and isn’t – in my travel first aid kit

February 13, 2012 | Advice, Backpacking 101, Travel | 19 Comments

“You need more than that!”

My sister looked at me despairingly as I showed her the contents of the small plastic food container I now called my first aid kit.

“What about the latex gloves? You’ll need syringes. Oh, and don’t forget a bandage or two. Stay right there, I’ll be right back…”

A few minutes later I pushed the pile of medical supplies to one side. “Sis, I know you’re a paramedic and all, but seriously? I’m not taking all this shit with me!”

Having carted armfuls of medicine around the world with me in the past – all of which eventually expired without seeing the light of day – I had decided on one simple rule this time around.

Less is more.

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Laptop in Laos

Travel technology – what to take and how to make the most of it

Ever wondered what you should take on the road with you in the way of electronics? After several years of…

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Finding my new pack

How many packs are too many? For many years I’ve laughed at a good friend of mine who seemed to have more backpacks than he did pairs of underwear. As I stood and gazed upon the contents of my wardrobe a few days ago however, I came to the realisation that I’m not much better. There seemed to be luggage for every occasion, from the super small black bag that fitted only a bottle of water and a city guide, to the stained and dirty blue suitcase that carted most of my stuff home from the UK several years ago. Several day packs of different shapes and sizes, plus the 90 litre behemoth that accompanied me on my last round the world trip. In this apartment, I swear half of my storage space has been taken up by storage space. Obviously, therefore, it was time to go pack shopping…

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Backpacker Bingo

Backpacker Bingo

Grab your pencils folks, it’s time to play Backpacker Bingo! This fun game can be played alone or with any number of friends as you make your way from hostel to hostel around the world.

The rules are very simple:

1. Print and cut out the handy bingo card above.

2. Following the definitions below, mark off on your card when you successfully identify a hostel stereotype.

3. When your card is full, jump up and down shouting “BINGO” at the top of your lungs. Ideally, this will be at 3 in the morning.

4. Insist that all other players buy you a drink. If you are playing alone, buy yourself two drinks.

5. Print out a new card and start again.

Good luck!

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Don't forget your toothbrush

50 handy hints for the first time traveller

About to head off and see the world but feeling a bit daunted by the whole thing? The great thing is that it really doesn’t have to be that hard – a little knowledge goes a long way.

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Backpack

Six things to consider when buying your first backpack

When it comes to travelling for the first time, other than maybe buying a plane ticket I reckon there’s nothing that tells you that you’re really ‘doing it’ more than going into the store and buying your backpack. Striding up to the counter, credit card in hand and a big smile on your face, proudly telling the poor shop assistant exactly what it is that you plan to do with your new purchase. “Oh, I’ll be carrying this for six months around Europe”, you happen to slip into the conversation. “I hope this is big enough to fit in everything I need for my round the world trip”, you proudly proclaim.

As with all important purchases, however, it’s vital to pick the right option. Especially when that option is going to be sitting on your back with all of your possessions in it for the next several weeks, months or years. Getting it wrong will almost certainly result in frustration and unnecessary expense, limit your options and probably provide you with a visit to the chiropractor to boot. Here’s a few pointers that I’ve come up with over the years that I wish I’d known when hitting the travel stores for the first time.

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