Umbrellas are a real pain when you travel. You don’t have enough hands, especially if you’re trying to take photographs. They can blow inside out and get broken, rendering them useless. And unless you can get those tiny fold up ones, they take up space.
A waterproof parka will do the job, but these are not suitable for warm humid climates that get frequent tropical downpours, such as Borneo, Bali, Bangkok etc, and probably a whole lot of other B places! Its way too hot to wear a parka especially in a downpour.
I like a lightweight waterproof poncho with sleeves, a hood and a zip or velcro. I had the best one ever that I bought for 4 pounds in Primark in London way back in 2007. It even had a bag you could stuff it into and clip the bag to your backpack or daypack.
Unfortunately I had that poncho stolen when my bag went missing in Bangkok airport. Sadly I haven’t been able to find one similar, well one that doesn’t cost a fortune. I was a bit spoilt finding one for only 4 pounds! Those plastic ones that they sell at theme parks and other tourists attractions are fine when you haven’t got anything else, but they tend to be a one use wonder.
Here are some styles I found that all look fairly lightweight. See details at polyvore.
I finally found a zip up hoodie with sleeves at Crossroads for $20 on sale! It made its debut in Bali in July this year. It doesn’t have a bag but I feel I could fit it into a makeup pouch for travelling.
The Bangkokians love a plastic poncho, bonus points if it covers your bike too!
Me about to hike Mt Kinabalu in Sabah, Borneo in my trusty four pound poncho!
On a recent trip to Hawaii I still didn’t have a good poncho so had to settle for this plastic one they sold at Volcano National Park.
Looking very sexy in my poncho in Iceland. Boy do I miss that four pound poncho 🙁
The humble leggings are still on a ten year revival high. Once only designated for the gym, stretchy pants have become mainstream with a range of clothes for work, rest, travel and play. May I stress here that I am a PLATINUM level member of the group ‘Leggings ARE NOT pants’. No bum showing of leggings unless you are at the gym. Leggings go UNDER clothes, no one needs to see thin stretch fabric over a couple of cheeks. Especially travelling cheeks.
So you need some good quality thick ones, comfy waist banned, plain black or another neutral colour, maybe with some detail around the ankle, either full length or 3/4.
When travelling pair with a long jumper or tunic, an oversized t-shirt (remember – cheeks covered), A long coat and boots for winter destinations, a summer dress and flip flops. They are great to carry in your day pack for when the weather can get cooler quite quickly.
They are perfect for curling up on planes, trains, boats and tuk tuks, great for squatting toilets (no pants touching the floor here) and if you do get extra energetic whilst travelling you can always wear them for hiking, jogging, exercising. Unless you subscribe to my school of thought – holidays are not for aerobic activity, sightseeing and eating my only exercise! Except for that hideous of photo of me below halfway up a hike of Mt Kinabalu in Borneo. Definitely needed leggings. And had total no shame and just wore them with a singlet. Sweating and inclining for 9 hours does that to a girl.
Here are some of my favourite leggings and where and how I have worn them whilst travelling.
Hiking Mt Kinabalu, Borneo
Halong Bay Caves, Vietnam
Sightseeing in Wellington, New Zealand
Overnight train in Hungary