27 April 2012

We recently read a blog post that said you shouldn't worry about what you pack, because you can buy everything you need abroad.

This isn't true.

While most of your needs can be catered to by foreign shops, there are some things you will not be able to find for love nor money. Here are the three most important.


Clothes for fat people


Delicious, juicy burger

Remember - a minute on the lips, a lifetime struggling to get your fat thighs into the largest pair of trousers in the shop.


You don't even have to be that fat either. Ladies, if you're a size 12 or above and you go to somewhere like Thailand where the locals are all tiny, you're going to struggle to find something to fit you. And men, if you're taller than average, you will have trouble finding clothes in a country where you're considered a giant.

The reverse is also true of course - if you're a skinny person travelling to a country where fat is the norm you might not be able to find clothes for your frame. Not so much of a problem for things like t-shirts, but you don't want your trousers falling down halfway down the road.


Gadgets, chargers etc



Lose these and you won't be able to listen to Nickelback any more. Which wouldn't actually be a bad thing.


Lots of places are very well-equipped with technology products these days - but by no means everywhere. Believe it or not, parts of the world are still on dial-up!

In big cities you should be able to find the bits and pieces you need, whether that's a new charger because a rat's chewed through yours, or powerful batteries for a digital camera. But in more rural places you might be out of luck. Have spares where you can - failing that, a plan B. You remember pencils and paper, right?


Products for embarrassing medical conditions


Pills spilling out of a pill bottle

Drugs. Only good if you get the right ones.


They never teach you words for things like 'urinary tract infection', 'explosive diarrhea' or 'I've got something stuck where I shouldn't have put it' in language lessons. This can make visiting a foreign pharmacy quite a production, and pointing at the afflicted area is not only weird, but it doesn't really help (all embarrassing things tend to affect the general downstairs region).

Here's a tip - if you know you are likely to suffer from something, get your treatments here.  The most common embarrassing traveller complaints are constipation and diarrhea, and for ladies, thrush and cystitis as well. Even if you don't normally suffer from these things, it's worth taking a precautionary amount of cream or tablets, to save you trying to explain 'troubled bottom' in sign language.


Is there anything you have found hard to get when travelling abroad? Tell us in the comments!