Introduction: Travel Pal Aka the Big Dashboard Compartment Sucker
This is the larger version of the Pocket Pal.
Essentially, airport and bus travel edition.
This big sucker is designed to let me get through the 1L zippi requirement at airport security without having to scatter everything everywhere else in my bag.
I can fit this thing into the 1L zippi bag, and away I go.
I haven't decorated this thing yet because,
A: It was the only container handy at the time.
B: I wanted into the Lonely Planet contest and don't check this site everyday, so I didn't have the time.
I'll edit this with the decorations once I get that far though.
Step 1: The Container
For this initial project, I reuse a container that had once belonged to moist wipes.
For it is small, hard enough plastic, squeaky clean and on hand.
-Does it make sense to you guys than when you go to buy the refill pack you find the starter with the container is cheaper??
Most people use them and don't admit to it. Keyboard junkies use them, mom's use them, mamaboy boyfriends who have snazzy girlfriends to house train them once they've been shown the trick. Call center employees and shift-workers that share cubicles -survive- on them sometimes.
The moist wipes in almost every brand are biodegradable to begin with and you can get away with tossing them in a recycling bin if your not being stalked in the office.
Step 2: The Fill Aka the Great Scrounging Effort
Now, You have to gather your fillers.
And I didn't realize just how much I stuffed in this thing till I unpacked it all for a camera shot and had to back away then zoom in to fit it all.
The basic standards:
Travel Toothbrush, paste & dental floss(yes, I know my paste is missing -it seems to grow legs).
Nail Clipper, tweezer, compact mirror & nail file.
Shampoo & Conditioner (mine are single packs. I find them in a good asian variety stores, and also in really good dollar stores. Depending on how much you want to fit in though, you might not be able to fit those 100ml bottles).
Nausea Tabs, Headache pills.
Breath mints(the blue plastic) & throat lozenges(the orange square thingy).
Hand sanitizer/hand soap * not shown.
Deodorant * not shown (I use rock alum, it doesn't have to go in a zippi).
My personal extras:
Allergy tabs. Roll of antacids.
Silicon Earplugs * not shown.
Medical tape, bandaides & polysporin.
Oralgel, Ear/Eye-drops, Afterbite/itch cream.
Asprin Express packs ontop of the entrophen.
Some moistwipes in a smaller zippi.
And a pack of tissues.
And yes, this all fits in this one moist wipes container.
Chaser Tablets(for your inevitable drinking spree).
sleeping pills (for the plane).
wakeup/caffeine pills(for the jet lag).
Vitamin C (its inevitable too, all that recycled air in a plane and in the airports, as well as all the passengers. Again, my mother didn't listen to me, and she caught a sinus cold and strep throat the next day after we landed and suffered for three days trying to get antibiotics).
Step 3: The Arrangement Aka Packing This Stupid Thing
Arranging the contents inside however, takes a little patience, and a little figuring out.
For me, flat and big things go first. And I usually have a smaller toothbrush.
Shampoo first, then the tablet blister packs.
Thin things like bandaides go against the sides.
Fit in the toothbrush, paste & floss. Then the mint & lozenge packs, with the mirror, the itch cream, polysporin, eyedrops and oralgel(toothache relief).
The last thing to go in, for some cushioning and ease of access, is the tissue and wipes.
It takes some trial and effort at first. But once you do it, you probably won't forget it.
Step 4: Finished!
And so we close this thing.
It's light enough that you can actually carry it in a large purse if you want.
It can save you time from digging it out of your bag if you just have it in your purse when going thru security.
Microfiber clothe - especially if you have glasses. Even if you don't, it makes a good sweat rag, but you wouldn't believe how many places have bathrooms that don't have hand-dryers or anything of the like. You can wash and dry it in your hotel room overnight usually.
Don't use regular deoderant. The gel and even the 'powdery solids' tend to melt in hot climates. I use a brand called 'Naturally Fresh'. It's basically a natural mineral sort of salt rock. You can get it in the 'rock' form, a spray mist, and a roller gel kind, usually on the bottom shelf of the deoderant aisle. It stops all oder, -at all-, for 24 hours. And for an emergency, can help with an oily skin issue for a few weeks before your skin flakes. Buy it once and it usually lasts an entire year.
If you haven't traveled internationally or on the larger planes for awhile, or its your first time. Your in for a surprise. These planes usually have the touch screens in the back of the seats, also have a 100-240V outlet, and a USB outlet, for charging your electronics. If you have an MP3 player that charges thru USB, DO NOT pack your usb cable in your checked baggage (like my Mother).
NOTE: IF YOUR TRAVELING TO ANYWHERE ASIA OUTSIDE OF AN AIRPORT, BRING YOUR OWN TISSUE! Outside of the airports and hotels, if you have to use the washroom anywhere, theres never any tissue. Its a good idea to always have a pack of travel tissues, or a pack of moist wipes yourself(you can clean the seat that way too).
SECOND NOTE: DO NOT PACK A MOIST WIPES NOT IN A ZIPPI. Moist wipes in a container, and in the resealable bags, will pressurize in flight, and during the decent, they essentially will fluff themselves while spewing the sanitizer solution in them onto your stuff. (My mother didn't listen to me and it almost ruined her camera).
Participated in the
Lonely Planet Travel Tips Contest