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3 Ways to Freshen Up While Traveling

freshen up while traveling
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Last week, we posted our favorite ways to beat the heat on your travels. Today, Katrina from Tour Absurd shares some excellent tips for freshening up on the road.

You might know the feeling: it’s been a day or several without a shower, you’re hot, sweaty and covered with a layer of dirt. Next time you find yourself in these circumstances, try some of Katrina’s suggestions below.

If you don’t have the time or facilities for a full shower or bath, here are some quick pick-me-ups that can help keep you going until you do!

1) Splash water on your face and pat it dry with a clean t-shirt from your luggage. Towels or even paper towels are great if you can get ’em, but a t-shirt is sometimes easier reach and pull out quickly. Be sure to get a little water on your ears, throat, and back of the neck, too!

2) Change into a fresh pair of socks! Even though nowadays we have high tech fabrics with fancy “wicking action,” a fresh pair of socks can really perk you up. If you are able to wash your feet, great! But if not, even sweaty, worn out feet appreciate the feel of clean socks.

3) I learned this from a Marine Staff Sergeant while doing a field exercise on an artillery range. During a pause in the action, he walked over to what’s called a water bull — a big water tank on wheels, with several spigots for easy access by the troops — with a cuticle brush and some hand sanitizer. He proceeded to scrub his fingernails under a little trickle of water for a few minutes, turned it off and put his brush away, then finished up by pouring a dollop of hand sanitizer into his palm and spreading around like lotion. He invited me to try — and it was like magic! The alcohol in the hand sanitizer makes for a crisp, fresh feeling, and the aloe found in most mixtures means that your skin doesn’t dry out. Who knew that a simple hand wash could be so invigorating?

If you can swing an armpit scrub and a fresh shirt, by all means, have at it! If you aren’t in a position to do that, however, any or all of the 3 above tips will help put a little pep back in your step.

Thanks Katrina! I feel like I’ve freshened up just reading these. If you have any similar tips of your own, feel free to share them in the comments below.

Katrina is an American living in Ireland and is married to an Italian. They are both geeks and like to put their geekly powers (such as they are) to use changing the world for the better. Her blog is TourAbsurd.com, which focuses on travel, photos, humor, and inspiration. She rarely tells anyone, but her secret mission is to get more people to travel and make friends around the world (shh! It might lead to world peace — don’t tell!). Please follow her on Facebook and Twitter. She promises she won’t lead you through swamps or down dark alleyways. Mostly.
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{ 14 comments… add one }

  • Katrina October 18, 2011, 12:18 pm

    Thanks for posting this, Phil, and glad you enjoyed it!

    A less practical, but hilarious, tip that a Gunny (gunnery sergeant) gave me later on that same exercise was to bring Fabreze and spray it on your uniform. He did and I must say, he certainly smelled fresher than the rest of us! 😉

    • phil October 18, 2011, 3:10 pm

      I could see myself doing that and having it work for a minute or two before it gave me an asthma attack 😉

  • LAbackpackerChick October 20, 2011, 5:27 pm

    a good splash of water on the face is always refreshing! i like the idea of using a clean clothing item to dry up 🙂

    • Katrina October 20, 2011, 11:47 pm

      Happy you liked it, Alex! I often feel like all the good travel advice has been dished out already, so I was glad to have something to contribute. 🙂

  • DTravelsRound October 26, 2011, 5:45 pm

    splashing water is great!!

    • Katrina November 14, 2011, 9:08 pm

      I probably should have specified that it’s a warm climate solution, since splashing water when you’re freezing… Well, it’d still technically be refreshing, but perhaps to an inappropriate degree. Shriekingly refreshing! 😉

  • Jade Johnston November 6, 2011, 5:30 am

    Totally agree! You have no idea how good a fresh pair of socks and underwear can feel after a long flight or bus journey!

    Jade Johnston – http://www.ouroyster.com

    • phil November 14, 2011, 10:51 am

      Yes! I think Katrina pointed out one of the finer things in life 🙂

    • Katrina November 14, 2011, 9:09 pm

      Yeah, fresh undiepants can certainly be nice, too!

  • Zablon Mukuba November 14, 2011, 3:05 am

    Great tips, another one is resting for a bit, you will look fresher after a nap

    • phil November 14, 2011, 10:52 am

      Definitely, even a short nap helps perk me up. Good tip, Zablon, thanks!

    • Katrina November 14, 2011, 9:11 pm

      Hahaha! I think you might feel fresher, but I’m not sure you’ll look it. I have a tendency to get mashed face and crazy hair. But at least my sharpened wit would allow me to make jokes about it. 😉

  • Jennifer Adams November 14, 2011, 10:20 pm

    Didn’t Forest Gump teach us that we’re supposed to take care of our feet? ; ) Lt. Dan Says, “Try and keep your feet dry when we’re out humpin’. I want you boys to remember to change your socks wherever we stop. The Mekong will eat a grunt’s feet right off his legs.”

    • Katrina January 24, 2012, 9:14 am

      I didn’t remember that, Jennifer, but it makes perfect sense! I was in the military and footcare was HUGE priority. I imagine that being in a jungle environment would make boots an even more deadly environment for your tootsies!

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