OK well the hygiene thing kinda takes care of itself - even in China, we were in modern hotels so there were no "roughin' it" type situations. There WERE in northeastern Germany, near the Baltic Sea and Polish border.....that trip kind of freaked me out BIG TIME and I was in Germany before but in Munich, the former WEST Germany and it is VERY different from the former EAST. In fact, when the wall first came down, West Germany became flooded with Easterners looking for work and a change. What ended up happening was that a great many of them returned to the former East because it IS INDEED very different - maybe not so much for the young ones growing up today - I don't know. But for those who have lived in the 20th century and kids, young adults and older, the "old feelings" are still there.
So anyway, I was in a situation where I was in a cabin in quaint but rural Guestrow where there WAS no shower for like two days......I did the best I could in the bathroom with shampoo and a cloth to cleanse myself. I think I had a mini hotel bar of soap in my pack too - I would say that's key to carry at least one, just in case. In most cases, you'll be given one. But in some cases, you have to improvise. When we were in the city flat in Rostock on the Baltic. I'm so blocked by this AWFUL trip (which ended up in Berlin - hated it!) and me in a 3*** hotel while my "friends" stayed in a 5 floor walk up Pension near the Alexanderstrasse - ICK) that it's hard to remember bathing in Rostock. But I did take a quick bath.......I actually slept in the bathroom one night. Yes it was that awful.
But hygiene is usually "business as usual" on holidays. Just carry tissues with me in my day pack for "ya never know what" kind of situations like no toilet paper, maybe I'm sweaty, sniffelly, or sometimes you see something so beautiful, tears come to your eyes. But I would put HYGIENE emphasis on carrying tissues on the no toilet paper because that can and does happen in the weirdest places (and you should see some of the weirdest toilets or lack thereof/holeintheground type issues. Ya need the tissues. Buy the multi pack of pocket tissues and keep a pack with you every day. KEY ITEM!!
As for keeping my mind busy, one thing I do on every trip is Journal my days, every day. I get to re-live the day, right down every specific place I was at and the location, what I had, what I did, how it impacted me, unexpected events.......journaling on trips is KEY for me in terms of future trip reference/remembrance, and also to occupy my mind, usually during downtime, aka cafe time or rest time, on a holiday. Another thing, is taking out my guide books to begin planning my next day - going over the maps etc. It stimulates the minds and keeps me excited about where I am - as if I needed to be more charged up!!!
And sometimes, just sometimes, I have a book. I confess I don't regularly read books much on trips; I simply don't have enough time. But on trips where I have LONG FLIGHT times, a book is almost necessary. Example: Flight from NYC to Hong Kong went like this:
NYC-Tokyo, 12 hours, then Tokyo-Hong Kong another 5 hours (I slept that 5 hours) but was awake for the 12 hour flight! You can only watch so many movies and magazines? You can't bring that many on board!! Ditto for NYC-LA, LA-Sydney.........add in the ground time in LA and you got yourself a MARATHON!!! Need a book, and then, another book!! Flying from Sydney to Christchurch, New Zealand 4 hours, not bad, but after having done the 15 hours from LA to Sydney, YOU DON'T WANT TO BE ON A PLANE AGAIN!!
Then I flew from NZ to Fiji. CAN'T EVEN REMEMBER HOW LONG THAT FLIGHT WAS, I WAS FLOWN OUT OF MY MIND. I left a book behind in Aussie as the B&B I was staying in had a give and borrow library there and so I left one behind as I had finished it. Bought a new one in...........NZ as I was leaving so it was for the plane. I don't think I even looked at it again till I got home to NYC. Was too much to see on holiday. I was JOURNALING. At heart, I am a writer. So that is what keeps my mind fresh on trips, aside from the planning for next day or same evening, since I like to keep things loose, as I travel alone in general and it keeps my mind plenty busy - lots to think of!!
How about it everyone else?? Oh and one more thing. My friends in NZ did give me one more thing: she taught me how to cross-stitch in like one day!! I started and completed a beginners project while there on the farm and it was such a triumphant moment for me who previously had no needle/knitting/sewing skills whatsoever and this woman was a MASTER, so I had a "craft" skill to keep my mind/hands busy which was a lovely, down home perfect for NZ experience (ya have to be there!!) when I wasn't outside enjoying the beauty, marvel and magnificence of perfect NZ!!! You never know what is going to happen somewhere!!! Mind was well occupied.
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