During a recent flight from Washington, D.C. to Houston, Texas, I found myself waiting in the TSA security screening line for about 45 mins with 100+ other travelers. An attractive, 30-something year old gal was in front of me with her carry-on suitcase. On-top of her suitcase was a large see thru, plastic zippered pouch, filled with about 30+ different “make-up” / “cosmetic” items. My initial thought was, “wow, I’m glad I don’t need all that stuff…” (maybe I do and my friends are just too kind…)
Then I began to think, what items do I take when I travel and what are the absolutely necessary hygiene items one needs while traveling (or at least what I need).
After much consideration, I’ve decided to give my list of “necessary hygiene items” for the “Wanderer.”
– Baby Wipes and Rubbing Alcohol;
Baby Wipes with Rubbing Alcohol added are a great way to freshen-up after a long trip and are a wonderful alternative to the conventional “shower.” I buy unscented baby wipes in the 100 count packs for about $3.00 on-line. I use them to give myself a “cowboy” bath (sometimes called a whore-bath, but not appropriate for this blog). I add about a tablespoon of rubbing alcohol to the baby-wipes before I clean my armpits, crotch, buttocks and feet. The added alcohol helps prevent, athletes-foot, monkey-butt, jock-itch and just plain-old-smelly-pits! Caution, if you already have the early stages of monkey-butt or jock-itch then the rubbing alcohol might cause a brief but intense, “my junk” is on-fire sensation but this sensation will only last about 10-15 seconds (consider yourself warned)!
– Toothbrush with SteriPod;
A clean mouth is a happy mouth. Oral hygiene should be an important part of every “Wanderer’s” daily routine. I have traveled for years with those little plastic toothbrush caps to keep my toothbrush “clean,” but eventually my toothbrush always got that nasty crud on it. Then I found “SteriPod,” the clip-on toothbrush sanitizer. It’s basically a toothbrush cover with safe anti-microbial properties. I have found that the average “SteriPod” lasts about 3 months before it start to lose its antimicrobial properties. I also recommend the small, travel size, toothpaste tubes. They tend not to explode as easily as the large tubes and if one should have a blow-out, you have other tubes as back-ups. Don’t forget dental-floss too.
– Anti-Biotic Ointment;
In the tropics, a small cut can easily become a major medical issue if not properly treated. A small tube of anti-biotic cream, like “Neosporin” or “Bacitracin” can help prevent infection. I apply a small amount of cream to any cuts before they become problematic, remember “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
– Body Wash;
I travel with a few small plastic bottles of body-wash. I find that body-wash alone works fine to clean my entire body and hair, no need for separate shampoo, body-soap and conditioner, one bottle does it all!
– Travel Towel;
I like the micro-fiber travel towels, they are compact, lightweight and very absorbent! Google, “travel towel, micro fiber” and you will see way too many options.
I am of “English-Origin” and am pretty fair-skinned. “Sunscreen” is a must for me! I like the small travel size tubes of sunscreen you can find in the “travel section” of your local Walmart. They cost about $1.49 each and are small enough to fit in your pocket.
– Lip Balm;
I take a few tubes of SPF 15 or higher lip balm on all my travels. Chapped, cracked lips are no fun!
– Baking Soda;
I take a small box of “Arm and Hammer” on all my travels. I use it to help settle an upset stomach.
– Nail Clippers;
Your fingernails and toenails will continue to grow no matter what time zone you are in, don’t forget the nail clippers!
– Electric Razor / Disposible Razor:
I know that for most men, shaving is optional when wondering the globe. Probably so, but ….I like to shave my face on a daily basis. I take a Panasonic Wet-Dry Shaver and a few disposable razors on my travels.
I take a small tube of “vaseline” on all my travels. In the event of an outbreak of monkey-butt or a rash in the crotch region, vaseline is great to have!
– Laundry Detergent;
An essential part of personal-hygiene is keeping your cloths clean. I recommend a small plastic bottle of power-laundry detergent. The advantage of powder is that if the container explodes during travel, you are not left with a sticky mess in your suitcase or backpack.
Above, my toothbrush with the “Steripod.” A must have for the “Wanderer.” It keeps your toothbrush “crud-free” for about 3 months!