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Mid-trip packing notes to self:

  1. next time bring real Chapstick and not some off-brand which is worse than no Chapstick at all. 2 next time re-think those 4 pairs of pants, 3 of which are black.
  2. 4 tubes of perfume? really? 4 remember the Allertec (zyrtec) 5 the Dr Scholl 16-hour inserts were a brilliant idea! 6, forgot conditioner, that,s easily remedied. Find the DM in every town....more later, I am sure...
Posted by
27352 posts
  • Figure out how many zinc lozenges might be needed and double that number. (Not available in Europe as far as I can tell.)

  • Take enough solid deodorant for the full trip even if it requires two travel-size containers. (When I run out, all I can ever find is full-sized rolls-ons.)

  • Don't forget to check socks for incipient holes. (Had to buy replacements. Three pairs for 10 euros at a Camaieu store in France--misshapen and barely wearable.)

Posted by
124 posts

Regarding zinc lozenges: I use Ricola lozenges for cold/sore throat symptoms and find them satisfactory. I have found them in France, Switzerland, Germany, and Italy, so I only bring a few with me just in case; I can buy more if I need. I have found pharmacists in France and especially Germany very helpful for myself and fellow travelers. Look for the lighted green crosses that indicate a pharmacy throughout western Europe.

Posted by
451 posts

Please expound on "rethink those 4 pairs of pants, 3 of which are black"

Posted by
27352 posts

Although they may not work for everybody, zinc lozenges are extremely effective for me. They reduce the duration of my colds by several days and completely eliminate the sniffling. Nothing else has been as helpful.

Posted by
293 posts

4 pairs of pants.... I took three different kinds of black pants...1 pair of Gloria Vanderbilt light cotton twill trousers, in which I traveled. 1 pair of comfy stretchy yoga pants with no pockets. bad, leave at home next time. and 1 pair of very fine crepe pants for the very fancy dress evening buffet at Vienna's Kunsthistorisches Museum. I will leave those at home next time too. The black cotton twill trousers would have been fine with the fancy crimson satin blouse I wore.

So 2 pairs could have been left at home. I also have a pair of comfy Blue Jeans which look nice and I'm going to wear those for the rest of my trip.

Posted by
1194 posts

Ricola lozenges only soothe the symptoms. Zinc lozenges actually can fight the infection and reduce the duration of the cold.
Two different lozenges for two vastly different purposes.

Posted by
293 posts

Also, I needed to bring a travel sized "gold bond" powder for my shoes, to sprinkle in them for the next day.

Posted by
293 posts

do zinc lozenges make your stomach hurt? I have had that happen.

Posted by
27352 posts

Shelley, I haven't had stomach issues with the zinc lozenges, but I now limit myself to 3 or at most 4 per day. The packaging used to set a limit of 4; not sure it still does. The side-effect I experience is an altered/depressed sense of taste. It can last for a few days after I stop using the lozenges. It's worth it to me because I avoid the sniffling and the related sore throat, but not being able to fully enjoy food is bothersome. I definitely stop taking the lozenges after Day 4 or Day 5, and I try not to jump the gun and take them before I get the first sniffly feeling. For me, they're effective against the cold virus but not against whatever viruses cause bronchitis.

For others who haven't tried zinc lozenges: Do not expect them to eliminate the general feeling of malaise (very slight temperature??) that accompanies my colds. For that I use an occasional aspirin or acetaminophen.

And just to be clear: There are some lozenges for sale in Europe that contain a bit of zinc, but they are not the same thing at all, and I do not find them effective beyond providing a bit of throat-soothing. Probably no better than sucking on hard candy.

Posted by
5697 posts

Shelley, great idea to make notes to yourself during your trip -- if you wait until afterwards you forget until you make the same mistake the next time. I use One Note on my phone for my packing list and check off items as I wear/use them (and note things that would have been useful instead/in addition.)

Posted by
4574 posts

When I return home, I look at my packing list and make note of what I forgot, needed, or didn't need for next time. Of course, it seems that the next trip is totally different than the one just taken, but somewhere there is a packing list similar to the next trip....

Posted by
14159 posts

And not just ONE Chapstick, 3 at least. You know, in case you lose one, then you still have a back up for the back up. And stash them in separate places in case some pickpocket nabs your small bag of toiletries and makes off with one of them as well as your good hand cream.

My name is Pam and I am a Chapstick-a-holic.

Posted by
3428 posts

My name is Toni and I, too, am a Chap stick- aholic. . It's a great club to belong to. I use if for my lips (constantly), for my cuticles, on paper cuts, on grease burns (pops), on rough skin on my elbows or feet (I keep a separate tube just for that), and other things. I always have at least 2 in my purse, 3 in different locations in the house and I pack SEVERAL when we travel. I can not be without my Chap stick.!!!!!

Posted by
451 posts

Thanks for the response Shelley. Was just curious because I travel with 4 pair of pants...all of which are black. :D
And Natural Ice lip balm is the staff of life. Multiples go on every trip. I have a tube print on all of my front jeans pockets, you know like the snuff can print you see on guy's back pockets.

Posted by
82 posts

I am with tavapeak--Burt's Bees is my go-to lip balm. I haven't bought lipstick in years--but Burt's Bees is a regular purchase! I carry in my purse, in my makeup bag, keep in my desk at work, keep throughout the house, ... you get the picture.

Posted by
173 posts

Old fashion Chapstick in the black and white tube! I hope they continue to make it!

Posted by
5697 posts

What, nobody but me prefers Blistex ointment ? Chapstick only works for me before chapping; Blistex for healing.

Posted by
2349 posts

I think I count 7 or 8 Burt's Bees in my life right now. That's almost a swarm...

Posted by
11444 posts

Love the packing notes! Mine ideas here, near the end of our 8-week trip:

  • One jeans, not two; substitute a second pair of lightweight black pants OR maybe my beloved Columbia hiking pants

  • More panties. ;-/ I had to sink wash more than I like. Next time on a long trip I will bring 7.

  • One less top. I brought 2 blouses, 3 SS tees, 2 LS tees, one lightweight pullover. Could have dumped one SS tee and one LS tee at least. Needed variety for wide range of weather and city-versus-country.

  • No cosmetics. I have worn makeup twice in almost 7 weeks. Waste of weight. Take me as I am.

We love European Ricola and my DH bought about 10 flavors in Paris! We can only find the little boxes in lemon and something red (cherry?) from Amazon, so we buy the boxes when we can!

Posted by
4427 posts

Re short sleeve tees, if you take one less, you can assume you will buy one as a souvenir on the trip.