Headlamps, Money Belts and Sleep Sacks

Trip Start Mar 08, 2011
Trip End Jun 11, 2011

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Flag of United States  , Indiana
Wednesday, February 2, 2011

We've been so busy planning that we completely forgot to send an update!  During the past few weeks, we've been furiously researching our destinations and stocking up on gear. Recent purchases of note are Keen covered-toe waterproof sandals for warm-weather wet excursions, a set of headlamps for overnight trains/buses and other dark adventures, and an under-the-shirt money belt recommended by travel-god Rick Steves.

Our challenge is that we're starting in cold-weather countries and then spending the middle part of our trip in warm- to hot- weather countries and then ending again in cold-weather. We need to pack enough gear to stay warm and dry but we've got to be able to carry it at the same time!

Some good tips I've gotten from other world-travelers recently are:
- bring a pair of cheap rubber quick-drying flip flops for pool/beach/shared bathrooms
- bring a sleep sack (sleeping bag liner) to use as a blanket or in between scary bed linens
- extra plastic ziploc bags

Also crossed off the list are visas to enter China and Vietnam. We're using the CIBT service to help us since we're a distance from the closest embassies. We also purchased a 7-day Japan Rail Pass that just arrived via FedEx today. Finally, we've reserved rooms for the first few legs: Hong Kong, Tokyo and Kyoto. We're looking into a traditional ryokan and some time in Osaka next. Stay tuned!

Update: Finding some really great sites from other experts that have been really helpful so far. First, this site lets us keep all our flights, hotels and transportation organized: http://www.tripit.com/. Next, this is the BEST packing advice site I've seen, and trust me, I've seen a lot! http://www.onebag.com/. I just ordered the Honey House bar that you can use for body lotion instead of liquid. We've also been using this boutique hotel site for reasonably priced hotels: http://www.agoda.com/ Good stuff!
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