Basin Plug

One thing that is always in my toilet bag is this rubber multi size basin plug.

After many years of travels its now comes as no surprise to me to either find the basin , or bath plug, is missing.

That makes it a problem to shave, wash your face, or launder your clothes ,unless you have got your own plug handy.

Use With Integrated Mixer and Basin Outlet

I have even found it useful when I have been faced with an integrated mixer and basin outlet with a leaking seal.

As you will see from the photograph below many of those fancy chrome units just lift out so you can use the rubber plug.

Additional Travel Hack

If you can’t lift out the basin outlet duct tape will provide a waterproof seal.

Travel Vest

One thing I wear which helps me carry on more than the Airline’s 7kg is a Travel Vest.

There are several travel vests on the market but the one I use is a ScottEvest which has 24 pockets

Unlike a lot of photographer’s/fisherman’s vests the pockets aren’t really obvious.

The photo gives an indication of the pocket layout.

As well as carrying lots of extra weight it means that, if you put all your loose items in the vest, you can put the vest in the tray and walk through the scanner.

When I go through security, and get on the plane, the vest typically contains:

  • Tablet computer + charger
  • I -Phone + Charger
  • I pod + Cable
  • Power adapter for destination
  • Noise cancelling earbuds
  • Passport
  • Boarding pass
  • Keys
  • Coins
  • Folding umbrella
  • Wallet
  • Pen
  • Mints

It normally weighs 3-4kg!

Do you use a travel vest? . . . . which one?


I haven’t been paid or received any other benefit from this post.

Folding Coat Hangers

I don’t buy a lot of ‘travel gadgets’ myself, as I feel that most of them add weight without any benefit.

Recently someone else bought me some of these folding coat hangers and I have found them really useful.

As I generally travel with carry on luggage only I tend to wash clothes every 3-4 days.

When it comes to shirts the best way to dry them is on a hanger but there are often two problems:

  • Not enough coat hangers; or
  • They have those hotel hangers that only hang from the special fittings in the wardrobe.

These hangers solve those problems and don’t add much weight to your luggage.

If you can’t find them locally I have seen them on E-bay at less than $10 for a pack of 10.

No Jeans

I own a couple of pairs of denim jeans, which I like. . . . but not when I travel.

The things that make them great for doing things around the house make them a bad choice when you are travelling.

The strong, thick material which is great to protect your skin makes them some of the heavier pants around.

That thick material easily absorbs water but seems to takes forever to dry.

That means if you get them wet while you are out they will feel clammy and damp for hours.

It also means they can’t be easily washed in your room.

I much prefer lightweight travel pants.

N.B Those lightweight pants that look like denim but have plenty of Lycra are fine

Packing For A Cold Climate

Lots of people worry about packing when travelling somewhere cold.

Unless you are going hiking, or skiing I don’t find it that different.

How cold are you going to get?

When I am in colder places I spend a fair amount of time indoors in museums and cafes.

When going between indoor venues I am generally in heated public transport, in a car, or walking briskly.

A warm coat and a thicker pair of pants will generally be enough to keep me warm.

What to Take

Here are the differences between what I typically take and when I am going to a city winter holiday:

  • A warm coat rather than a light weight jacket. I wear this to board the plane, so it doesn’t count as luggage.
  • Long sleeved shirts rather than short sleeves.
  • Thicker pants rather than lightweight ones.
  • A lightweight jumper.
  • A scarf you can wear.
  • Gloves, in the pocket of your coat.

For a cold mountain holiday; like the above photo on the Athabasca Glacier, I might add:

  • A couple of vests, or plain T-shirts
  • Pair of Long Johns,
  • Down body warmer.

Best Travel Coat

What is the best travel Coat?

Well after trying various types of coats over the years I have settled on the 3 in 1 coats such as I am wearing in the photograph.

Generally they come with a fairly lightweight waterproof outer coat.

I’ve found Gortex is about the best material .

This coat kept me dry standing on the ‘Hurricane Deck’ very close to the Bridal Veil Falls at Niagara.

I usually prefer to use an umbrella unless it is really windy so I like a zip away hood.

The inner jackets, which can be zipped into the outer coat is the insulation layer.

As you can see this inner jacket also looks quite good as a casual jacket for cool evenings.

Together the two have kept me comfortable standing on a glacier and on a mountain top in the Canadian Rockies.

Travel Hack

With 6 large external pockets a combined coat like this can help you get a couple of extra Kg on board the plane, as your coat doesn’t count in your carry on allowance.