Hey- where do you think you’re going? Taking your vacation on the island, are you? Here are a few universal basics as well as some Japan-specific tips to get you through your summer travels.
Slowing down = packing right and packing light: Fact: when you pack in a hurry, you bring dumb stuff with you and forget important stuff. Write a quick list of what you’ll really need and stick to it. My rule f I can’t wear it twice, I don’t bring it. Stick to one color for shoes and bags too (i.e. summer I do browns, winter I do blacks). Also stash a packet of liquid detergent to hand wash your swimsuits and little things. For summer trips, I always carry: Compact nylon bag, umbrella, flip flops (which I end up wearing the entire time).
Simple Summer Beauty: I hate lugging loads of bottles and jars around. They’re heavy, and the thought of my expensive night cream exploding all over my favorite sundress makes my heart hurt. I collect all of my sample-sized skin care stuff in a box and bust them out for travel. A few packets in a zip lock bag… BOOM. Done. I keep makeup super minimal and only bring mascara, tinted lip balm, and concealer.
Snacks: When I’m hungry, I need to eat NOW. Usually, I buy snacks in-transit, especially if I’m going to a remote area where I don’t know how far I’ll be from conbini-like provisions. Hotel snacks are generally expensive, unhealthy, and limited, so bring a few of your favorites so stave hunger and save a few bucks. Dried mango and nuts are my go-tos.
Bobblehead: I wrote about this thing a few weeks ago and I love it. Considering how much water I’m drinking during this crazy-hot weather, I estimate this baby has not only saved me from dehydration, but also about nine zillion yen in plastic bottled water. Put ice and lemon juice in it. Yeah, that’s nice.
Bonus Tip: Double-check your tickets. Some of the beachside stations have casual attendants, who may not look at your ticket carefully, and may rush you onto a train fifteen minutes before you’re scheduled to go. But you listen because hey- he’s the train guy right? Wrong. I was put on the wrong train last week by a dude- he literally pulled me out of a station store and told me I was going to miss my train, only to put me on some random local service. Just save yourself the hassle and double check.
笑っている時間は神と過ごす時間である。”Time spent laughing is time spent with the Gods.” (Japanese Proverb)
Safe and happy travels!