The Scrubba Blog

The Ultimate Packing List and Tips

by Natalie Simpson |

Here at Scrubba we're put together the ultimate, and we mean ULTIMATE, packing list and tips with the help of a few of our favourite travel bloggers. We've covered everything from, a curated packing list, managing your money while travelling, how to pack efficiently, our favourite travel tech and accessories and a few helpful questions to ask yourself before, during and after your packing process. Hopefully we can make the dreaded task of packing a whole lot easier.


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Why should you pack a frisbee on your next trip?

by Maylynn Bloom |

Believe it or not, a frisbee can have several practical uses in your luggage.
  

Apart from the obvious game accessory, tossing around a frisbee is a great way to break the ice when meeting new people, even when language might be a barrier.  It's also a great way to pass the time when waiting around for transportation or just trying to kill some hours in the sun and if you're traveling with kids, what better way to keep them occupied when you're trying to get organised or sort out their next meal?

Aside from all the fun, a frisbee can have some functional uses too.  For example, packing a frisbee around delicate or breakable items in your luggage can help to protect them.  Not only that, but it can be used as a plate, bowl, cutting board, flat surface for standing your drink on, a fan and the list goes on!

Other handy things to pack...

Most of these items take up little space in your luggage, weigh hardly anything at all and can come in very handy. You might regret not packing them!

Duct tape:   Repair shoes, tents, bags, sleeping bags, clothing and any number of other items, remove lint, fashion a cable, cord or rope, reseal packages, bandages, slings, etc.  To save space, wrap the tape around another item in your luggage when packing (i.e. cosmetic bottle, toothpaste tube, etc).

Dental floss:  Tie things together, stitch up tears in your clothing, hang things, spare shoelaces and cleaning between your teeth.

Zip-lock bags:  Keep liquids separate in case of spills (hand sanitizer and toothpaste can bleach and/or stain fabrics, as can oily creams and other cosmetics if leaked into your luggage), keep soiled items separate from clean ones (you never know when you might step in a muddy puddle!).

Moist Towelettes:  Wipe your hands and face, clean tabletops, doorknobs, toilets and other surfaces, freshen yourself up, wipe spills from clothing to prevent staining.

Safety Pins:  Replace buttons and zippers, mend wardrobe malfunctions, tack pant legs or long skirts up when walking in rain or hiking through mucky terrain, fasten things together.

Paper clips:  Open ports on smartphones and other devices, depress reset buttons, bookmark, makeshift hook.

Gum:  Alleviate ear pressure on planes, freshen up your breath, stress relief, stick things together, plug up holes.

Rubber bands:  Bunch things together, seal things up, drink identifiers (different colors around glasses or bottles so everyone can keep track of which is theirs), shooting games while waiting around.

Microfiber towel:   Protective wrap around special items in your bag, lining around pillows or bed sheets of questionable hygiene, shower / beach accessory, as a table cloth, sun shade, privacy curtain, baby play mat, laundry bag, fly screen and simply because you never know when you'll need a towel!

Clothesline:  If you plan on doing laundry along the way, then packing a clothesline and some hangers would make hanging and drying much easier.

 

What items you have found unexpectedly useful on your travels?

 

 

 

 

Tags: frisbee, packing essentials, packing list, scrubba, Scrubba bag, scrubba wash bag, travel light, what to pack

The price you pay for packing too much

by Maylynn Bloom |

 
Ever feel like you're blowing out your travel budget before you even board the plane?
 
The hidden costs of traveling can catch us out if we're not careful and one of the most common cost surprises can be extra fees at the airline check-in counter before you even start your holiday.
 
In 2013, excess baggage fees cost travelers $3.35 billion, according to a report by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, and it looks like 2014 saw travelers paying even more.  While the total revenue from airline baggage fees for 2014 has not yet been released, figures from the first three quarters indicate that airline baggage fee revenues for 2014 will likely exceed that for 2013 and the trend is not letting up.  The first 3 quarters of 2014 saw airlines rake in $2.65 billion, with the final figure for the last quarter yet to be confirmed.  Traditionally the final quarter's revenue exceeds any other quarter, which would put the total dollar intake for extra baggage in 2014 beyond the previous year's.
  

Know your airline's baggage guidelines

Not knowing your airline's baggage and fee policies ahead of time can see you hundreds of dollars out of pocket before you even check-in.  Most airlines have recently tightened weight and size restrictions on luggage and imposed heavy fees for bags that exceeds the limits.  Some airlines charge as much as $200 for extra baggage at the counter!  So best to check your fare's rules and regulations regarding luggage before heading to the airport.

For information on general baggage fees across major international airlines, click on Smarter Travel's ULTIMATE GUIDE TO AIRLINE FEES.

 

Don't blow your travel budget out before you even board.  Pack a Scrubba wash bag and reduce your overall luggage.  It only weights 145g (5oz) and folds up small enough to fit in your pocket.

 

 

Sources for this article include:

http://www.nbcnews.com/business/travel/delta-united-collect-most-baggage-fees-n138796

http://www.rita.dot.gov/bts/sites/rita.dot.gov.bts/files/subject_areas/airline_information/baggage_fees/html/2014.html

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-airlines-made-335-billion-in-baggage-fees-in-13-2014-05-05

 http://www.smartertravel.com

Tags: carryon, clothes, clothing, light, pack, packing list, Scrubba, Scrubba bag, scrubba wash bag, wash

Cruise clean, light and free

by Maylynn Bloom |

 

Going on a cruise and not sure what to pack? Want to make sure that you'll have everything you'll need without carrying tons of luggage around and save on the hidden costs of carrying too much or too little?


Packing light and taking along only what you’ll need will save you money and hassle in the long run. Your overall trip will most likely include transits to and from your dock with flights and other ground transport. You don’t want to be dragging excess stuff around with you along the way, paying exorbitant prices for things you left behind or be hit with excess baggage fees at the airport before you even start your vacation.

Carefully planning and choosing your wardrobe wisely is imperative, as most ships require strict dress code adherence, charge an arm and leg for laundry services and if you find yourself having to buy stuff on-board because you didn’t pack it, prices at sea might shock you.

Daytime on board

Apart from when lounging by the pool or working out in the gym, short shorts, singlets and boardies are a no no. During the day, ladies should wear casual longer-length shorts, capri pants, slacks, jeans, casual skirts and dresses for indoor activities while guys can get by with khaki shorts and trousers, jeans, sports shirt or nice tee-shirt.  

 

On shore

Appropriate attire will depend on what activities you have planned. If you’re heading out for a paddle, snorkelling, kayaking or other adventure, then casual clothing and swimwear is appropriate, however if you’re opting to explore the port town, sticking to the daytime on board dress code would be respectfully appreciated by local restaurants and shops.

Evening

Themed dress codes generally apply after 6pm on-board. These include formal and semi-formal evenings and some casual. The definition of ‘formal’ varies, but ladies can usually get by with something elegant or classy and not necessarily flashy. For men, some vessels have on-board tuxedo hire if the occasion so inspires, however bringing at least one of your own suit and ties will ensure you can comfortably scrub up without too much hassle and it is likely that you will need to. Dress code enforcement can sometimes be lax during the day, but it’s not unheard of to get turned away from restaurants and public rooms on-board during evening hours for inappropriate attire.

Outerwear

Though we’d all love to imagine a full schedule of perfect weather, it’s important to be prepared for an unanticipated splash of rain or breeze. Make sure to bring at least one jacket or sweater and, if required for your destination, gloves, scarf and hat. Packing a few light layers that can be mixed and matched rather than one bulky layer is a good way to maintain versatility in your wardrobe.

Shoes can take up a huge amount of bulk and weight in your luggage, so try to choose wisely, packing one pair of evening shoes than can be worn with all of your formal wear, one pair of sandals that can be worn casually, by the pool or walking around and one pair of sneaker for gym and active days that include lots of walking, etc.

Laundry

Many cruise liners do not offer self-serve washing facilities and for those that do, you're likely to be spending a good chuck of your holiday time waiting in lines for access. Besides, do you really want to be carrying pockets full of change around on your cruise for the laundry slot machine?

Most liners do provide full laundry services, however this will cost you. Some services require that you pay an extra cost anywhere upwards of $120-200 upfront before you board in order to access laundry services while others operate on a pay-as-you-go system in which you pay for each item you have laundered. Larger items and garments made from delicate fabrics such as wool or silk are more expensive.

Packing a Scrubba wash bag can save you money, time and hassle on your cruise trip (or any trip for that matter). Not only will washing your clothes on-board be convenient and free, but you won’t need to pack as much and be able to reduce your overall luggage, avoiding excess baggage fees in transit (also see Airlines checking out on free check-ins and Heavy restrictions on heavy packing).

Furthermore, the Scrubba wash bag is gentle yet effective enough to use on even your most delicate items, including woolens, silks and formal wear. Just be careful about what detergents you use, making sure to use something appropriate for your fabrics. Click here to see our recommendations.

For information on specific dress codes for particular cruise liners, click here to visit Cruise Line Dress Codes by Cruisecritic.com.

Cruise clean, light and free with a Scrubba wash bag

Tags: cruise, cruise dress, cruise dress code, cruise laundry, cruise packing, packing, packing list, Scrubba, Scrubba bag, scrubba wash bag, travel tips, weight restrictions

'Travel Tips' competition winner

by Maylynn Bloom |

 
A big thanks to everyone who entered our 'Travel Tips' competition. We were inundated with responses and have found it rather difficult to pick a winner, but there must be one!
  
  
 
We received advice on uses for packing everything from rubber bands, zip-lock bags and duct tape to dental floss, baby wipes and gummy bears!
  
A very common response was to pack light and wash clothes along the way. What more can we say but pack a Scrubba wash bag?
  
Another common response was the various practical uses for a microfiber towel, including as a quick drying shower or beach towel, as a hygienic lining between you and accommodation bed sheets, to wrap around clothing items that you want to keep separate in your luggage and simply because you never know when you'll need a towel. The Scrubba wash & dry kit also includes a super absorbent, extra large microfiber towel that weighs next to nothing when dry and folds up smaller than a tee shirt. We suggest using it to wring out your washed clothes before hanging to speed up the drying process. Personally, I was most grateful to have one handy on an overnight train between Hanoi and Hue in Vietnam as a shield between my head and the cabin pillow, which appeared to have made a hobby of collecting strands of hair from passengers before me!
 
Other tips included packing a clothesline, pegs and hangers. Did you know that the Scrubba wash & dry kit includes a pegless travel clothesline and inflatable hangers? Click here to check them out. 
 
Some other top responses included researching baggage allowances and airline rules before traveling, making e-copies of travel documents, using messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Viber instead of roaming services, which can be very expensive, packing quick-drying clothes and being culturally aware when traveling.
 
The winner of last month's 'Travel Tips' competition goes to Chanci Zucker for "carry a frisbee". She says to pack it near the outside of your bag to protect breakables, use it as a plate, bowl, cutting board, fan or toss it around to make friends in any country! Congratulations Chanci and thanks for the great tip! I'll be sure to pack a frisbee on my next trip!
 
Thanks again to all those who entered. We hope you've enjoyed participating and will continue to follow us and enter our future competitions and giveaways. 
   

Tags: packing, packing list, Scrubba, Scrubba bag, scrubba wash bag, travel tips, travel tips competition