Now I know low budget travel isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Why sleep on the ground if you don’t have to? But, those of us who don’t have a choice, or even just prefer it, know the importance of maintaining good hygiene when traveling. Once again, this is just my opinion (I sense others would agree), but if you can manage to feel “fresh” each day, your mood will match. So how do you do it? Start with these basics and add to your arsenal.
Wear deodorant. Even if it’s of the natural variety. This will keep you AND your clothes smelling good. If you’ve packed well, you won’t have eight t-shirts to cycle through, so you’ll want to extend the If you’re really anti-deodorant, how about a deodorant crystal? I’ve met hikers who swear by them. They’re lightweight and long-lasting.
Have I become a cleansing wipe evangelist? Sorry but these things are just great for travel hygiene. You can go from smelly and muddy to shower-fresh in one quick wipe down. For heavy-duty jobs, try Epic Wipes. I kid you not, these “wipes” are really more like towels. They’re huge, thick, and wet. For smaller jobs, try Herban Essentials. These are small – more like what you’d expect for the word “wipe” – but smell like heaven. They’re made with essential oils and will leave you feeling like you’ve just left the spa.
Pack your favorite face wash (and shampoo) from home in a travel tube. My favorite is GoToob. They’re my tried and true brand. The tube is made out of silicon, so I know it won’t crack, and the screw top doesn’t leak. If you’re more of a bar soap guy/gal, that’s cool too. However you pull off that squeaky-clean face is fine with me.
A toothbrush and floss are light; there are no excuses here! NO ONE likes carpet mouth. With one to two cleanings a day, your breath will be good. Your future dental bills will be good. Your grandchildren will have a grandpa/grandma with pearly whites. It’s a win-win-win situation.
Soap sheets are a life saver. I lived in Madrid for three months in the summer with no washing machine. These are what got me by. Well, the soap sheets combined with the above hygiene strategies I should say. Fill up your bathroom sink with warm water, drop in a soap sheet, give it a lil’ swirl, and voila, you have your washing “machine”.
So there you have it. If you’re backpacking, car camping, staying in hostels, etc. give these easy travel hygiene tips a try. When I plan a trip I try to strategically space hostel or Airbnb nights such that I have X number of nights in a tent, then a night with a proper bed and shower, X number of nights in a tent, then a night with a proper bed and shower, etc. Of course, it varies from person to person. If you have a high grub tolerance, then by all means, do your thang.