Sunday, June 26, 2011


Today I went on a little shopping spree at Bed, Bath & Beyond (mostly Beyond), things that I think I'll need. Let's look at the damage:
  • 1 Eagle Creek 14x10x3 Packing Cube and 2 7x10x3 Half Cubes (cheaper at BB&B than Amazon, especially with coupons). Packing cubes are supposed to be a great new concept in travel, you buy these cubes and put stuff in them so when you have to unpack it'll be much easier to remove and replace, rather than taking out a handful of socks, shirts, or whatever. I'll see what things look like when I'm packing. I'll probably keep at least one of the half-cubes so that small loose items don't get lost in the suitcase (which did not come with pouches lining the inside).
  • 1 Wordlock combination lock (uses letters instead of numbers so that you can remember a word as the combination instead of a random 4-digit number). It doesn't have a cable, though, so I'll probably return it and find one that has one.
  • A few items from their travel section - a 3-pack of Puffs tissues, a 2 oz container of hand sanitizer, a pack of 4 SHOUT Wipe & Go stain remover wipes, a roll of Charmin To Go (I was traumatized when I visited China and it was BYOTP), an emergency rain poncho (clear plastic, folds down to credit card size), a 2 oz clear jar (for tiny things), and a collapsible travel cup (thinking of places I've travelled where they didn't even have a cup in the room to rinse after brushing my teeth). These all ranged in price from $0.99 to $2.99.
Other stuff I had lying around that I'll be taking:
  • Travel umbrella, manufacturer unknown. I used to carry this in my briefcase to work (when I had a job), when completely collapsed it's only 11 inches long.
  • A 9-LED flashlight (identical to this one) that I got at a job fair. If it fails, I've got my iPhone light as a backup.
  • A small rubber doorstop. Several guidebooks said it's a good thing to bring along, I guess if you're in a sketchy hotel room or something.
  • A 3-oz plastic bottle to be filled with laundry detergent. I already have the bottle and the detergent, no sense in going out to buy the one-load packets.
All of the non-cube stuff fits inside one of the half-cubes, except for the umbrella.

My tech gear:
  • Debating on whether or not to take my Garmin GPS. I haven't loaded the Europe maps yet though. I won't be driving, but it'll be nice having an idea of where I am. I know my iPhone has GPS but I probably won't have a data plan and would only be able to rely on wifi hotspots.
  • My netbook, as mentioned earlier, with its power cable, a USB travel mouse from Targus, an ethernet cable, a mini-USB cable (for charging my GPS), and an iPhone cable that connects to a USB port on a wall plug (I can charge it via the wall or charge/sync it to the computer). I can charge my GPS and iPhone via USB ports on the computer. Also a USB-powered AA/AAA battery charger and a portable laptop hard drive (200 GB) with a case that is powered by USB. I'll sync up my photos and my iPhone/iTunes library to both the netbook and this portable drive, as I want to have a backup of my pictures in case something happens to the netbook which is my primary backup.
  • Canon G12 camera with 3 batteries, 1 wall charger, mini-tripod, two 16 GB flash cards
  • iPhone with spare battery pack (got it at Fry's a couple years ago for about $30, adds about 50% to the iPhone's electrical charge) and a battery powered speaker.
  • A Velbon T-3500 tripod. It was a Wal-Mart special about 20 years ago and it still works well for me. It fits into my suitcase and I can put it in my backpack and walk around with it during the day.
My tech stuff (minus the tripod) will all go in my carry-on backpack, everything else will go in the suitcase.

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