While overpacking is a common mistake, small details can make a difference to your trip. “Always take your prescription medicines, toiletries and even over-the-counter medicines like Advil—you cannot find these things in many countries,” says Karen Lancaster of Cross Country International. “I also always pack a journal to record the trip, people I met, local sayings and customs, and the names of all the horses on the ride. When I read these journals again, the trip comes to life for me. I have a special travel wallet that allows my passport and ticket to stick out for the airlines and customs people to easily see. It has a string necklace attachment, so I do not have to keep searching for it. I also bring a small flashlight.” Hand wipes and Sweet ‘n Low are two things she says travelers frequently miss. Karen says riders often have wished for a seat saver as well—and we can attest to that, as one of HI’s editorial staff was offered money for her Cashel Tush Cush on a ranch vacation!
Equitours founder Bayard Fox’s list of most frequently needed, but sometimes neglected, items on all kinds of trips are sunscreen (“The sun can be much more powerful than it is around most of our urban centers,” he says), and protection for legs because different saddles can abrade legs in new places. Pantyhose, ace bandages and/or moleskin are his solutions for saddle sore riders. He also says to forget the hair dryers, and be sure electrical appliances you feel you MUST have will work with local electricity. “Keep clothing to a minimum,” he counsels. “Outfitters will appreciate it, and you will save yourself unnecessary trouble.”
This article originally appeared in the February 2006 issue of Horse Illustrated. Click here to subscribe.