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Scheherazade in Blue Jeans
freelance alchemist
Tew's Day 
22nd-Jun-2010 07:25 am
Happy birthday to deliasherman!

Doin' okay.

So what do you pack for a foreign country?
Aside from the obvious clothes toiletries passport et cetera. Anything I might not think of? I know to pack her a light cardigan or wrap so she can cover her arms when necessary.

I am so not ready for her to go. Yes, I'm going to keep saying this. But when I get home from work today, we crank up the music and pack pack pack.

Link Soup
* Okay, Ke$ha gives me hives, but this Star Trek: TOS vid to the tune of "Tik Tok" is brilliant. Amazing editing! Also hilarious!
* Speaking of odd SF mashups, have some fashion illustrations with Star Wars characters.

Pretty much all of my other open tabs are action items. Tomorrow, after Elayna leaves, I will take care of that.

Daily Science
A surprising discovery about the complex make-up of our cells could lead to the development of new types of medicines, a study suggests.

Work, then packing. Hopefully Leverage will finally be done downloading so we can watch it after dinner.
22nd-Jun-2010 11:26 am (UTC)
double check that her medical coverage or your parents will cover her outside the US in case of emergency, etc.

If it doesn't I have some providers we suggest at work for international health insurance coverage.
22nd-Jun-2010 11:31 am (UTC)
Is she taking any electrical goods? (Hair dryer, laptop/iPod etc) If so she'll need an adaptor...
22nd-Jun-2010 11:41 am (UTC)
I went to Tel Aviv and Haifa for a business trip.
~ hat, sunblock
~immodium/pepto tablts
~sweater/wrap, it does dip at night. Maybe even a wind breaker.
~good, sturdy shoes. Birks type is really good.
~hair things to get it off her neck. It gets HOT.
~converter for her charger. Staples has them for ten bucks.
~one of those neck wallet things. She needs to have her passport on her at all times. They check your ID going into the weirdest places.
~extra bag to pack all the chocolate she brings back.
22nd-Jun-2010 11:47 am (UTC)
Bandaids, a money belt of some sort, a color copy of her passport (dual-purpose - she can use this in case her passport gets lost and if someone tries to take her passport this can be a decoy if it's in one of those fake passport cases from Walgreens with some other pieces of paper- just be sure to write copy on the paperside down), and a family picture for any moments of homesickness.

I hope she has fun. :)
22nd-Jun-2010 11:59 am (UTC)
I would strongly recommend packing the biggest water bottle she's comfortable carrying. One cannot have too much water in that country. You might even want to remind the grandparents to do this too if they've never been to Israel before, otherwise they'll end up drinking most of Elayna's water.
I also remember from when I went there when I was twelve envying kids with those spray-bottle/fan combos. It's so dry that one's perspiration can't really keep up, so being able to mist ones self really helps with the heat. I'd pack a simple spray bottle; the fan really isn't necessary.
22nd-Jun-2010 12:10 pm (UTC)
All systems go on Leverage.
22nd-Jun-2010 12:27 pm (UTC)
Make sure she tries the tap water to see if it agrees with her. If not, stick to bottled - it's even more available there than here (and not as outrageously expensive, and comes in much larger bottles).

For items that just need a plug shape change (as opposed to an actual current converter), those are much more easily and cheaply picked up there (any electronics store has them on the counter for about a dollar).

Tell her to take a picture of the day's paper before she takes any others that day - a short, intense trip like that tends to blur together after a while. If she has the dates, and a print record of the itinerary, it'll help.

A Hat. I cannot stress hats enough. Possibly also a bandanna that can be dunked in water throughout the day.

Other than that, standard international travel packing. Are you sending her with traveler's checks or an ATM card? American cash is also good, but she has to make sure that she doesn't change it anywhere that takes commission - the place at the base of the Ben Yehuda street mall (the Jaffa road end) doesn't and usually offers the best rate. Also, not every ATM takes international cards - she'll have to check.

She'll have fun - I did at that age!
22nd-Jun-2010 12:41 pm (UTC)
Lots of little packets of tissues & antibacterial hand gel. Both are necessary if she goes somewhere that either doesn't have toilet paper at all or charges for it.
22nd-Jun-2010 12:55 pm (UTC)
A bundle of those little packets of Kleenex (the kind for your purse). A sun hat that can get squished in your suitcase. A scarf that can be used as a head covering if needed. Lip balm. One or two of the small butterfly paperclips (good for holding all sorts of things together). Wallet with change purse or wallet + change purse.
22nd-Jun-2010 04:17 pm (UTC)
I second the head scarf... my mother in law spends a lot of time overseas and said a head scarf is the single most important item of clothing to carry because you never know when you will need it.
22nd-Jun-2010 12:56 pm (UTC) - Having just returned...
First of all, what they all said. It's hot out there, and sunny. I had to borrow a hat with a brim that went all the way around, so both my forehead and neck were protected, and had sunglasses as well. Make sure Elayna knows to put on sunscreen every day at least 15 minutes before going out, so it has time to actually get into her skin and start working. I also brought a small squeeze-bottle of aloe with me for when/if I needed it. Moisturizer I used at night, after washing off the sunscreen. If they're going to be walking all day, the stone can really pound your feet: I used an intense foot cream at night on my heels.

I'd suggest a small backpack for keeping a large water bottle, camera, that little mister or fan someone suggested, and journal during each day. That way, she has her hands free and a balanced bag for whatever she buys (or the grandparents buy her) in the middle of the day. I went with the neck-strap passport-money holder thing on a long setting, so it stayed under my shirt. I just felt more secure that way. However, given that she'll be accompanied the whole time, I might be less vigilant with her. Or not. Your call. It's not a bad habit to get into while traveling.

They have phones you can pre-order and pre-pay, so you have a number where you can reach her. It's much more expensive to call out, but it's how you can call her and she can reach you in an emergency. You buy then for a specific period of time and then mail them back from whence they came. I can get more details on that if you want.

Edited at 2010-06-22 12:56 pm (UTC)
22nd-Jun-2010 01:05 pm (UTC)
Specifically to Israel - tissue weight 3/4-long sleeve shirt to wear under a t-shirt when longer sleeves might be necessary (lightweight and easily removable).
22nd-Jun-2010 02:15 pm (UTC) - Re: toilet paper...
I don't know where she's going, but I didn't have any TP issues. *shrug* I stayed in Jerusalem, though.
22nd-Jun-2010 02:28 pm (UTC)
My dad's advice for visiting a foreign country is to not bring any T-shirts with words on them. It seems to be quintessentially American to wear a hilarious T-shirt, but I don't know if you want her to essentially broadcast "HELLO I AM AN AMERICAN" anywhere she goes.

Other than that, I second the hat recommendation. I am highly sun-averse and a giant hat was one of the best things that I've ever purchased.
22nd-Jun-2010 04:45 pm (UTC)
Taking pictures of long, explanatory signs helps keep track of stuff. It also reminds you of all the details once you get home.

We usually bring a flashlight when we go touring. It may not be necessary at all, but it's really great when you get places that are poorly lit.

With all the good suggestions you've gotten so far, she should bring a collapsible wheelbarrow in order to carry everything.
22nd-Jun-2010 04:52 pm (UTC)
Seconding the money-belt or neck pouch; something under your clothes, that can hold your passport and some emergency cash. Photocopies of your passport anywhere you can stash them. I tend to have at least one per piece of luggage.

22nd-Jun-2010 04:56 pm (UTC) - Laughing out loud
Okay, Ke$ha gives me hives, but this Star Trek: TOS vid to the tune of "Tik Tok" is brilliant.

I think I like you a little better just for that comment and for the link.
22nd-Jun-2010 05:47 pm (UTC)
Half a dozen nutrition bars (Larabars or their Jocalat relatives if she'll eat them; something like Luna or Clif bars otherwise), a couple of which should go in her carryon for the flight and at least one she should reserve for the flight back. Similarly, a handful of Emergen-C packets. Airplane food is somewhere between "suck" and "unavailable when you need it," even at the international level, and she will need the snack and boost nutrition. Maybe a couple hundred-calorie packets of Goldfish or something. Product recs are assuming she doesn't also eat for celiac, aside from the Larabars.

What one eats on the plane can have a huge impact on the days following airline travel, and spare bars can come in amazingly handy when there isn't someplace to eat.
23rd-Jun-2010 03:16 am (UTC)
I've got a question for you, totally unrelated to anything you're talking about here today: How exactly do you go about writing these daily entries? I can see how the "Administration" and "Plans" sections can be written at the start of your day, but what about the "Link Soup" and "Daily Science" sections - do you save links from the day before? I ask because I really like the format of your daily entries and would like to start something similar over at my journal, if I can just figure out how to start.
25th-Jun-2010 04:41 pm (UTC)
Yep! Exactly that. Or sometime they're things people e-mail me.
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