Leaving the Country? Here's What To Take...

What to pack?
11/06/2012 01:05 pm ET Updated Jan 06, 2013

Thinking of leaving the country? Post-election angst can be a great impetus to take that long postponed trip and, well, maybe to miss the return flight.

In fact, international leisure travel always takes a big dip during presidential election years and this year has been no exception. The rebound usually follows quickly. So it is now time to get out the guidebooks, call your travel expert and start planning.

What to pack? This is not a clothing checklist, many excellent ones exist and most can be summarized into a few words. Take black, sink washable, layers and half of what you think you will need. Make sure you can always carry everything you take all by yourself. You will need to and you will need to carry it up and down stairs -- guaranteed.

What I wanted to share is my list of trip-saving "essentials." Things I have been caught without and have really missed. These are always in my handbag or carry on.

1. Broad Spectrum Antibiotics

Good for head to toe ills, including above and below the waist. I have only needed it once, but it worked like magic after eating an unknown fish in the Amazon. Remember the SARS crisis? Cipro is what was recommended and there was a brief shortage as everyone stocked up.

2. Pepto Bismol

One a day when in developing countries will often protect you from any revenges.

3. Nyquil and Dayquil

To keep you going or sleeping when you have the worst cold of your life.

4. Two Containers For Meds

You really might lose or forget one. I was once on an expedition ship in the Shetland and Orkney Islands and had no synthyroid meds and not enough time in any port to see a Doctor and get some, I was a most disagreeable and depressed travel companion.

5. Hand Sanitizer

Use it when you handle money--the dirtiest thing you will touch--probably....


In some form anyway. I prefer treated clothes after it once dissolved a Swatch watchband I was wearing.

7. Deodorant Soap

I am done with those small, over scented bars slipping out of my hands.

8. Scarves

Cashmere for warmth, sun protection and a dash of dress-up.

9. LCD Flashight

I have really needed this more in Alexandria, Virginia than when traveling, but useful.

Safe Travels.