@Debbie yes and they are really well made…pack small…no weight…not cheap but alot better than closed cell mats eg the type of thing that hangs off a back pack…yoga mat type thing… not saying they are no good but lightweight stuff has moved on from that. Happy travels.
However, a lot of ‘stuff’ you no longer own belongs to the homeowner (ie not not non-essential). If you are working you need work clothes (which house sitters generally do not need); I generally have a few books on the go, plus am a photographer, so those items also necessary. Other things (like wrapping paper), can be bought en route when needed.
I had almost a year a few years ago where I was working and also housesitting. My car also included an extra quilt and pillows (for better sleep), alongside work clothes.
Something to make coffee with. It’s pretty impressive our luck with people who have no coffee making supplies of any type (so we have a small espresso boiler or a packdown funnel to put filters in)
Aluminum foil. An easy way to pack up leftover food, soap bottles, detergent packets, etc and prevent them from making a mess in your bags.
Kick scooter (small Razor size). Many people don’t provide bicycles and it’s easy to travel with and save money instead of using expensive electric share scooters in cities. Also my suitcase wheels broke once and my kickscooter saved my life because I just put the suitcase on the scooter for the remainder of the trip.
Plug adapter with USB ports for multiple countries.
Small USB powered fans. Again it’s pretty impressive how people don’t have fans in some parts of the world. We can’t sleep without a fan.
Ice tray. Americans seem to appreciate ice more than the rest of the world so this is a necessity for me.
Packable bag for shopping in countries that don’t provide bags at supermarkets.
For every country I look for a SIM card plan that has a ton of data and not tied to a contract is essential just in case the house has bad Wi-Fi which I need for work.
Exercise Stuff - Jump rope and a double use weight lifting/travel bag with refillable/packable 30kg water bladders. No more gym needed.
An accordian folder for all important documents. Generally for airport stuff or police officers but I did have a house owner ask me to present a criminal history record once which I had in that folder. ¯_(ツ)_/¯
One iphone and one android or at least a spare phone in case one breaks or gets lost.
Thank you, @stewartlikeshousesitting . You have some great suggestions here. Just want to mention, if there is no coffee maker Cafe Bustelo Instant Espresso is pretty good. It comes in single serve travel packets as well as a glass jar. We drink it all the time even though we have a Keurig and a drip coffee maker. Just checked Amazon where I bought the single serve packets two years ago and the price has more than doubled! Target sells the more economical jars. I started taking one of those to the sits i drive to. Incidentally, I discovered these at a pet sit. The HO did not have a coffee maker, but she did have tea bags and single serve packets of CB instant espresso.
Cafe Bustelo is the best expresso coffee I have ever had and yes I never leave home without it
@stewartlikeshousesitting it looks like you are travelling without a car Stewart? What sort of weight all up do you think? I doubt you would need a fan if you were travelling here in the UK as it never gets hot enough and for ice once you have dug yourself out of the house with your fold-away snow shovel, you can gather up all the ice you can carry! Only joking, I love pommieland!
@carpediem In the USA with a car but I take all of that stuff in Europe without a car as I’m doing currently. And those USB fans can fit in your pocket. We don’t care how cold it is, we need the sound and we hate air sitting still. Also Europe 2 years ago (when we where here last) had record high temperatures everywhere we were going and nobody owned a fan and thank God I had these things. 2 years later I notice many more places have fans now, even generally regarded colder regions. We need something blowing on us even if it’s very gentle. Since I’m travelling with my wife the suitcase always adds up to the airline max of 23 kg but if I was going solo it would easily be a 10 kg suitcase.
@carpediem Just had a funny memory from the UK. We went to a housesit in the countryside and the owner was astonished we weren’t travelling with those super bulky and heavy Wellington boots.
@stewartlikeshousesitting yes thats funny and I know exactly what you mean! I have had a couple of pairs of hiking boots see out their days from walking dogs through muddy and wet countryside across the UK and these days one of the questions I ask of a HO when deciding on a sit is ‘What size foot are you and do you have wellington boots I can borrow?’ Its a good ice-breaker if nothing else!
Since the summers have become warmer in northern Europe many people have installed A/Cs and fans. Too bad that this will speed up climate change even more …
We have one in each bedroom but use them only if absolutely necessary. When it’s not that hot outside opening windows in the house and creating a draught is perfectly fine.
Turning on electric stuff only for the sound of it seems a bit thoughtless concerning our environment and climate situation.
@stewartlikeshousesitting We found that Google Fi was a great option. It might be more expensive than purchasing a sim and data plan in some countries, but overall we’ve found it well worth it. We haven’t been to a country yet where we didn’t have service with it and it’s incredibly nice to arrive in a country, turn on our phones and simply have service. No need to seek out a SIM and possibly need to provide our passport details for it (a privacy concern).
We agree and also pack a couple of reusable shopping bags. And, our power strip with a couple fast charge USB ports has been critical for us for work as we’re both digital nomads and have a few electronic devices that need power.
Actually sound that produces white noise, humming, is quite good as it creates a synchronicity in the brain and body that is very healing and calming. It’s music that induces peaceful states and creates much happier humans which are very good for the environment.
We use many electronic devices to enhance our mood and overall well-being.
@Amparo although instead of white noise i think i would rather try a small glass of white lightning! gets me in a meditative state every time!
Ha ha yes @carpediem The deeper the dive the better!
The white noise part is about 10% of what helps. Airflow is 90%. I had insomnia my entire childhood until I discovered a fan so I won’t be apologizing for my little battery powered fan helping me get proper sleep. Obviously there are far worse things affecting the environment. Opening a window is unfortunately usually not an option due to a myriad of issues but the most recent one being a plague of mosquitos on the property.
Hi @stewartlikeshousesitting I have a daughter who cannot sleep without the noise of a fan … she now has an app she uses.
@stewartlikeshousesitting We completely understand! Shannon grew up sleeping with the windows open and the fan on, making it nearly impossible for her to sleep without cold airflow. We had to draw the line when we lived Boise, Idaho and the temps fell below 0 F and the windows would freeze open. Summers can be challenging, especially as you say with mosquitos, … or allergies and poor air quality, so a fan is critical!
Hi @ stewartlikeshousesitting Growing up in sunny Florida, my family did not have air conditioning and I slept with a floor fan every night. We moved my sophomore year of high school into a new home that had A/C along with ceiling fans in the bedrooms/living room/dining room. Well, needless to say that even though I had a ceiling fan, I still opted to sleep with that faithful floor fan. Even to this day, I will sleep with the A/C on and a floor fan. The sound of the floor fan, the humming, relaxes me and helps me sleep. Even when it is chilly outside, I will have the central heat on–but still have my fan on. I even take my floor fan with me on pet sits.
I did a trip last week and decided to test out my perma-travel packing list. It unexpectedly turned from a long weekend to a whole week, so turned out to be a good choice.
I think the main thing I learned was that certain things take up a whole lot of space. In particular my hiking boots (on my feet), running shoes and crocs ended up filling the backpack from comfortably full with clothes to bursting. I think I will try and find something lighter and packable that handles all 3 - long walks, running and taking the bins out.
The other thing that was huge was my brand new coat/fleece combo. I definitely reget not getting a packaway one. Considering selling it and buying a packable one instead as it was really challenging to get in the bag. Couldn’t wear it as it was sweltering last week but cold nights.
The comment about the thermarest made me realise there’s probably packable yoga mats too - which there are plenty! So that’s something I would miss that I can take.