The Train to Weymouth and Repellant Trousers

Things are moving at a rapid pace, the meeting in London last week with Save the Children was full on and fantastic. I have never worked with people with such energy and enthusiasm before, the whole place was buzzing. My fellow travellers are lovely people (phew) and I managed to make it to my appointment to be jabbed a lot only fifteen minutes late.

On our journey to London (once we had got onto the right train, we almost ended up in Weymouth…how we are going to find Mozambique goodness only knows) Lindsay revealed that she had been to Itchy Feet and had purchased some ‘Special Trousers‘! Apparently, these are miracle trousers which can be washed and dried in an instant and are the must have for the international traveller.

I mentioned them in passing to Mr Thinly Spread for in the general run of things I am ill-equipped for a trip out of Somerset never mind to Africa. His blue eyes gleamed and he disappeared into cyber world for a few moments before emerging triumphant with REPELLANT TROUSERS!

What do you think? Repellant or Practically Perfect?

He has bought me a pair of Craghopper trousers which repel insects. He bought them in the sale at half price. This is why I love him!

Today, I am trying to get my head around packing. I haven’t flown for 15 years (and then only to the Isle of Man), the furthest I have ever flown is Greece. I am in need of some top tips from all you lovely international travellers out there. Please!

Can you sign the petition if you haven’t already done so? If you have no idea what I am rabbitting on about, and why I need repellant trousers, look here. Thank you. x


Filed under Mozambique, Pass It On

23 responses to “The Train to Weymouth and Repellant Trousers

  1. They look great! And isn’t your OH wonderful indeed!!

    I don’t think anything I can say or write will help you – you will experience it in your own unique way and you will find things handy that I didn’t and vice versa. You will be fine. You will love it.๐Ÿ™‚

    PS one year I went Backpacking with TOO MUCH stuf, the next year I went to Thailand with TOO LITTLE. What IS the right balance.. I will never know!

    • Thanks Maggy! I am so used to packing for 6 people for adverse British weather either sheltering in a tent or being thrown around in a boat I have no idea how to organise just myself!

  2. All I can help you with is airport protocol. These days everything is very strict.
    1. All liquids that are in hand luggage need to be in a small clear plastic bag and I think no more than 100ml (check your airline website as they will have guidelines). Anything else should be in your checked in baggage or will have to be left at security. This includes refreshments etc so don’t bother packing drinks in your bag for the trip – you will have to buy these once you are through security.
    2. You can’t use electronic devices on take off (which is usually the first 10-15 mins of the flight) or landing. So a physical book is useful.
    3. If you go to the loo lots and aisle seat is a must. If not it’s wonderful to be at a window and not have to keep getting out of the way of the person sitting next to you.
    4. Some airports require you take your shoes off for security, so some form of slip on is helpful for getting through easily. Make sure they are comfy cos there is a lot of walking at airports!
    5. The longer the flight – the more likely you are to get hungry at times that don’t tie into the meals on the plane – so buy snacks and liquids once you are through security to keep you going. If you have a connecting flight early on, then you may also need to leave liquids at security there (depending on airport) so watch out for that one.
    6. Make sure you have physical copies of all emergency numbers including the hotel, your host, the airline reservation number (passport no. may also be worth it) on paper so if anything happens to your phone or whatever you have them to hand.

    I think that’s it for me! Have a great trip

  3. I think Dawn has offered some great advice there. Loving the repellent trousers too.

    I didn’t say the other day (on your SS post) but I’m SO envious of your black T-Shirt. I volunteer at Save The Children one day a week and I wanted to buy one of these. Head Office sent us copies of what the new t-shirts would look like back in February. I’ve since been trying to get hold of one only to be told they only do them in white. I think I may take this photo of you in tomorrow!

    I know I’ve said it before but GOOD LUCK for the trip๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Fab trousers…they look great! And Good Luck with the trip…I look forward to reading all about it. I want one of those T’s too! x

  5. Rachel Palmer

    Such an exciting trip – loving following your blogs already and looking forward to the Moz updates!
    Bring some snacks with you for the long car journeys
    A multi plug adapter if you’ve got lots of electronic equipment to charge
    Make sure you’ve got the right adapter for Mozambique power sockets
    Trousers that you can wear down around your ankles but can roll up a bit when it’s hot (looks like the repellent trousers are perfect!)
    Don’t wear linen or other fabrics in colours that show sweat patches at the slightest amount of perspiration – especially if you’re sitting in a vehicle with plastic seats it can be quite unattractive!)
    Lots of wet wipes
    Dioralyte – just in case you get dehydrated or a bit of a dodgy stomach (hopefully not needed!)
    Have a brilliant trip and look forward to reading all about it.

    • I have the adapters sorted, the repellant trousers are good to go…top tip re linen and as I am being filmed I don’t want to look *too* crumpled! Someone else recommended Dioralyte and I had forgotten the name of it so MANY thanks for that one!๐Ÿ˜€

  6. Hi there! Not too sure how long your flight is but I’m assuming it’s a wee way to Mozambique, so here’s a few more tips to add to Dawn’s.
    1/Buy a water bottle before security, then drink all of it. Go through security with your empty bottle. Drinks are more expensive after security (typically) but if your flight is long you will definately need water at exactly the time the stewards etc are on their break!
    2/I always change my watch to the destination time. I spend the first part of the flight awake (even if I’m flying out late at night) until I’ve had my meal and then I put myself ‘to sleep’. By that I mean ear plugs, eye mask, and neck cushion. Trust me you will need these things if you want sleep.
    3/If you wear contact lenses take a spare pair in your plastic bag, or your case with small airline sized bottle of clenser liquid. Airlines are airconditioned and always make your contacts dry out! Carry your glasses in your cabin bag and take out before you put your bag up in the overhead locker!
    4/Chapstick and skin cream are also useful in the airconditioned cabin. As is a hair band for those of us with long curly hair. My hair always goes dead straight inflight
    5/Take a spare pair of underwear in your cabin bag in case the plane loses your checked bags.
    6/I reccommend flying with a pashmina or scarf preferably wool, because it is always cold on planes. Always!
    7/Order a vegetarian meal, they are typically tastier than the usual stuff.
    8/Order a seat near the exit, if you can as it typically has more leg room. Some planes actually charge you extra for this seat.
    9/If you’re nervous about flying it’s wise to take your ipod or some calming music. Try to remind yourself that bumps in the road – otherwise known as turbulence – WILL happen at some stage in your flight. It does not mean you are going to drop out of the sky. Promise!
    10/Get as much sleep as you can on the flight as this will help to reset your body clock .

    And have a fab time spreading the word! With you all the way. Vix x

    • Oh Vix, I am in awe! Thank you SO much for taking the time to write this! I am definitely printing this page of comments out! The underwear is a top tip, I have veggie meals ordered cos I am vegetarian so it’s good to know they are usually the better option. I shall go and buy ear plugs and eye shade tomorrow as I will NEED to sleep! Thanks lovely. xxx

  7. Oh duh I forgot to add, when you get on the plane the first thing you do is get your water bottle filled up with filtered water so you have it with you in your seat! x

  8. You’re going to get fed up of me on here now as I’m mid-deadline but had to read this and reply. I just know I’m going to keep thinking of things, but no time to write reams just now. Here goes:
    (the trousers are fab … well done Hubs๐Ÿ™‚ )
    You have so many great plane tips already. Loving it.
    My tips:
    1. Don’t forget something good to read on the plane, at best, something you’d be happy to leave somewhere in M for someone else to pick up if you finish it. A lovely idea I stole a long time ago, was to write your name and an email address in it so you can track where it goes .. people do get in touch!
    2. Also for the plane: toothbrush and paste (seriously!), face-wipes, a small note-pad and pen, ipod or similar, and something soft you can lean on to sleep (cardi, sarong, etc) (see next point!)
    3. Try and get a window seat as you can lean your head against the wall to sleep. It’s much more comfortable than wobbling about in the middle / isle.
    4. Take a couple of light sarongs (not the big heavy duvet-weight type!) – if you don’t have one, I’m sure you’ll pick one up over there for a few pence! They are a travellor’s best friend, doubling up as skirt, towel, something to sit on, head-scarf, shoulder cover in the mid-day heat, cushion against the side of a car/bus/train/plane to put your head on to sleep, sheet for over or under in bed … etc etc … bloody marvellous inventions and extremely light to carry around. They also dry very quickly so you can wash them before bed they’ll prob be ready for you to use again the next morning.
    5. DON’t take loads of shoes. They’re heavy, take up stacks of space and you really won’t wear them, whatever you think. A good strong pair of practical sandals and some trainer/boots is all you’ll prob. need (and maybe a pair of flip-flops for around the accommodation). Wear the boots on the plane and they won’t steal space / weight in your bag. You can always kick them off once you get in your seat.
    OK, must work again now. Will probably think of more!!

  9. Don’t forget SD cards! Branded ones will usually quote the spec. for working temperature! (e.g. Sandisk Ultra.) A spare battery pack is a good idea if your camera has a lithium battery.

  10. Oh yes, a really really really obvious one, but one which I always forget until it’s ‘just’ too late: once you’re there, wash your teeth with bottled water. If you have to do it with tap water make sure you spit it all out (even in the hotel).
    Going again …

  11. And another couple of bits on security: …. I’m sure this will not be an issue as you are going to be in great hands, but just to be on the safe side: If you have bags to carry camera/video equipment in, make sure you loop them over your head as well as your shoulder when walking around. This makes it more difficult for an opportunist to snatch them. I don’t want to scare you, but always have the equipment hanging in front of you, not flapping around your bum somewhere – there are pros out there and if you can’t see them, you won’t feel a thing ….
    The other thing is, take a body flatpack bag to carry money and your passport around in. Wear this under your clothes out of view. Do NOT leave your passport in your hotel room if it is not in a wall-safe, unless your hosts say it is ok to do so.
    Fed up of me yet??!

  12. I am *so* excited for you. You will have an absolutely amazing time. When I went to Africa last year with UNICEF I hadn’t flown for years either and I’d no experience of visiting anywhere apart from package holidays in Europe. Trust me, it will be the expereince of a lifetime. Give yourself some time to adjust when you get back, because you’ll need a little head space. If you can get an inflatable head cushion for the flight – do. It was the most helpful item I packed. Put as much in your hand luggage as you can, including one change of clothes, just in case luggage gets lost or delayed. I could go on forever… Have a fabulous time. I’ll be watching from a far and supporting you all the way. xx

  13. oooh you look cracking my love, really fab! You’re looking unfairly glam I must say!

    Most of my tips have been covered. Get yourself a small bag which goes across your body to use as a handbag. I have a brilliant one from M&S. Big enough for a novel, wallet, phone, tickets, passport, chapstick, pen (important!) etc etc but small enough not to be a hindrance.

    Pashmina or something for the plane is a MUST, they are nearly always freezing.

    Dont’ wear make up on the plane. I know I know…but you end up with it running all over your face. Also much easier to have a quick wash on the plane if you’re not wearing make up.

    Socks for the plane a good idea too, cold feet not good for sleeping.

    Water water water. You need to drink LOADS to stop dehydrating on the plane and arriving feeling crap. Half a litre an hour when awake is my rule. Does involve lots of trips to the loo though.

    Um, tampons etc for the plane. Even if you think you don’t need them, nothing worse than being caught out!

    Think that’s it. GOOD LUCK! xx

  14. I never looked as sassy in my special trousers!

    We wore similar trousers in Iceland – ones which you could unzip to become shorts (ha, too bloody cold!). Made a mistake once by tucking the trousers into socks and boots when it was raining: the rain poured down the trousers, into the socks and soaked the boots. Learned to wear the trousers loose over shoes!

    My husband always takes a big plastic box full of stuff for any medical emergency – tablets to make you poo, tablets to stop you pooing, hydrocortisone cream, Canesten, paracetamol, Dioralyte, plasters, antisickness pills, tablets for wind….!

    Hope you have a fabulous time. Very proud.

  15. Latest piece of techy advice I picked up from Lifehacker: Take a photo of your passport’s number page and keep it on your phone. That’s assuming you’ve got a smartphone.

    Africa’s amazing. Take stuff to trade/barter with. T-shirts you don’t mind not seeing again, that sort of thing. Be prepared to walk away from any souvenir purchases you’re going to make and you’ll get a better deal. Never accept the first price.

    I second the comment about sarongs (I got both of mine in South Africa), they’re the most versatile piece of clothing you can take with you. If Douglas Adams had experience of them, he would’ve used them instead of towels in the Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

    Small ziplock bags, medical kit in a waterproof case, definitely. Batteries, spare memory for camera. Sign up for a service like and find an internet cafe/hotel lobby/someone with web connection to upload photos and back them up in case of loss.

    Last tip is this: Enjoy. I love Africa. I’ve looked down on it from the top of Kilimanjaro and looked down on Mozambique from the Zimbabwean border. The heat will hit you like a hammer when you step off the plane, the light will be amazingly bright. I wish you good weather and safe travelling. Have a beer for me when you get there!

  16. Helloitsgemma

    Take little. Tshirts are enough. Really, you’ll be meeting people living in poverty so keep things simple. Something warm for the evenings. Lots of people take boiled sweets or pencils to give to the children. Anti-bacterial gel – you may not have the same access to sinks water after trips to loo. You don’t want to risk stomach bugs. Am I telling you stuff you already know. Africa is amazing beautiful and bewildering – enjoy but be prepared to weep. X

  17. I noticed that retweet about the outdoor temperature! So you see, I wasn’t joking about checking the temp. spec. of memory cards! The inside of a black camera can get much hotter than ambient temperature.

  18. Good luck!
    Can I introduce you to Anne: who has done this sort of thing before?

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