A Chronicle of Amy and Sean's World Travels

Medications and Toiletries

For all but a few of the OTC medications we use frequently, we took too much.  We threw most of it away except for a small supply to lighten our load.  I listed the original amounts we took with us.  My original thinking was that I didn’t want to have to deal with the hassle of communicating in a different language, especially if more personal problems arose, but I’ll cross that bridge if and when we come to it. I brought stuff I’ve never even used at home!  It really is not needed.  There are pharmacies worldwide.  For example, when I had an infected cut on my hand, it was easy enough to communicate, in limited English, to a Czech speaking pharmacist to get an antibiotic ointment.

  • 13 month supply of prescription daily preventative migraine medication
  • 24 pills of prescription reactive migraine medication
  • 6 month supply of prescription nasal allergy spray

All but one sent home; my allergies have not bothered me at all on the road.

  • 13 month supply of birth control pills

Very important especially when our health insurance does not cover pregnancy!

  • 180 Malarone pills (anti-malaria medication)
  • 10 day supply of Cipro (anti-biotic for travellers’ diarrhea)
  • 200 OTC acid reducer pills
  • 300 ibuprofen
  • 100 Immodium

Very important for use when – and not if – you get an upset stomach/diarrhea.  We usually try to let the problem run its course, but we’ve taken this on travel days or when we just can’t take it anymore.

  • 30 OTC antihistimine tablets
  • 1 box of OTC decongestant pills
  • 1 box of OTC urinary tract infection medication
  • 1 box of monistat
  • 10 OTC laxative pills
  • 100 women’s daily vitamins

Pitched.  Vitamins are really heavy!  I’ll work on any nutritional deficiencies next year.

  • 50 magnesium pills

Yet another method to thwart migraines, but I pitched them.  I’ll experiment with them next year.

  • Small box of band-aids/blister relief pads

Band-aids are another when and not if item.  We use them mostly for blisters, so I picked up special blister relief ones at some point.  At the beginning, we replenished our supply fairly often, but now that our shoes are broken in, just a few suffice.

  • OTC medication to reduce itching from Inspect bites

This was a welcome donation from our friend in South Korea.  For some reason, insects love me.  I currently have just shy of 20 mosquito bites from the South Korean mosquitoes.  Itchy.

  • 8 oz bottle shampoo

I admit it; I am a shampoo snob.  I miss my fancy non-sulfate Alterna stuff I brought at the beginning.  It lasted for almost 4 months!  I bought some Italian shampoo and conditioner at a Polish salon, but it wasn’t any better than drug store stuff, so lately I’ve been sticking to whatever I can find in the drug store.  I am partial to Dove.  The world seems to like Garnier, Loreal, Head and Shoulders, and Pantene.

  • 8 oz bottle conditioner

Despite Sean’s persistent efforts to get us to switch to a 2 in 1 formula, I have prevailed in carrying a separate conditioner.  While I would love to lighten our load, my hair is really dry and gets too knotty if I don’t separately condition.

  • 1 bar of soap

We’re partial to Dove sensitive skin.  We haven’t found the sensitive skin formula anywhere, but have found regular Dove with ease.

  • Sean’s electric razor
  • Amy’s venus razor plus 15 extra cartridges

I could have skipped the extra cartridges; seems that Venus is worldwide.  I found one in a small town in Slovenia after I left my razor behind in our hotel and one in Ireland after super glue would not fix the handle after it snapped in two.

  • Amy’s King of Shaves shaving gel

While some people make do with conditioner, my sensitive skin would never allow that.  I just finished the original King of Shaves gel I brought last month (it lasted for 5 months!) and found some more in Ireland.  It is hard to find, but it is a great travel item because a little goes a long way and it comes in a squeezable tube instead of a can.

  • 2 oz of Amy’s Burts Bees eye cream/Moroccan Argan oil face cream did not replace when ran out

A woman of a certain age can’t let wrinkles progress during the trip!  I ditched the eye cream early on because it turned into a weird consistency, probably with the heat.  I bought all over face cream from a woman’s cooperative in Morocco that I use at night.  Good for me, good for them.  But it is almost gone, so I may let Sean talk me into just carrying the moisturizer with SPF.  It is a little harsh to use at night – yes I know I am a horrible backpacker – but even I recognize that it is kind of ridiculous to carry two separate moisturizers.

  • 4 oz face lotion with SPF

Being out in the sun all of the time, this is a very important item.  Plus, my skin is dry, and some of these climates just make it worse.  I’ve only had to replace this item once.  It was difficult to find a formula for sensitive skin with SPF, but I did it.  The replacement is almost gone, so I’ll need to go on the hunt again.  So far, not so good.

  • 8 oz sunscreen
  • 8 oz of body lotion
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrushes
  • Makeup

I read online about travel make-up tips, and most of them suggested a regime with more make-up than I wear at home!  I ended up going mostly with what I wear at home – Laura Mercier loose powder (which is, as I suspected, messy to travel with); Laura Mercier secret concealer; a handy container with a mirror and three square inserts of makeup from Bobbi Brown: 1 cream colored eyeshadow, 1 brown colored eyeshadow, and 1 blush; and Laura Mercier Eye Basics primer.  After debating buying travel brushes, I just ended up bringing my regular MAC make-up brushes, but I did buy a Sonya Kashuk retractable powder brush at Target that is compact.  All of this fits in one extra-small Eagle Creek zipbag, so I figured it was not too bad.  I don’t wear make-up everyday, especially not in the super hot countries, but it is nice to have.

  • 3 oz of laundry soap

We usually just use shampoo now.

  • tide stain pen
  • floss
  • Amy’s Burts Bees face wash

Again, my skin is way too sensitive to use soap, so I lug this along.  I love this stuff so much, that I had my friend bring me a replacement when she met up with us in Ireland.

  • 4 oz container of Sean’s hair product did not replace when ran out
  • 1.7 oz bottle of Amy’s hair product did not replace when ran out

It was hard to choose an all-in-one, miracle product, and I don’t think I ultimately achieved such a thing.  I ended up bringing Alterna Smoothing Lotion, because it can be applied wet or dry, and I figured reducing frizziness with a little control was most important.  Without blowdrying my hair, any volume is a lost cause anyway.

  • Deodorant for each

Easy to find – even for sensitive skin – but you should know the world likes roll-ons instead of solids, if it matters.

  • Container with 50 q-tips
  • nail clippers
  • wet wipes
  • 1 oz bottle of sanitizer

Very important – many bathrooms in the world skip soap.

  • Lots of ponytail holders
  • Fabric headbands

These are very helpful in windy areas for keeping hair neatly back.

  • About 40 tampons

This is what I originally brought.  Unless you are partial to a certain type or brand, it is probably better to just bring a couple and buy them as you need it.  Most of the world seems to use o.b. tampons, so you should probably get used to using ones without an applicator at home.  On the plus side, they are tiny and light to carry!

  • round brush
  • lip balm
  • eyedrops
  • insect repellant

We didn’t really need this until South Africa, so we bought it there.

  • nail file

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