Travel stores like
TravelSmith, outdoor recreation stores like
REI, Campmore, and some better drug stores now stock workable solutions for
the international traveler's bathing needs.
The solution to the washcloth problem is a synthetic scrubber. What it
looks like is stiff perforated nylon fabric pieces scrunched together and
tied in the center to form a spherical shape with a piece of string coming
out of the center. The scrubber is often available at drugstores and
better supermarkets. It is called a nylon bath puff, nylon bath
sponge, and other names. What is wonderful about this rough sponge is
that it will not mold or mildew. It can be dried by swinging it into
the air for a few seconds.
The scrubber takes a little getting used to. It doesn't feel like a
washcloth. By comparison, it feels stiff and rough. The first time you
use one you may feel like the scrubber is removing the top layer of your
skin. That's because it is. After you use it a few times the
post bath sensation is refreshing and clean feeling. The scrubber can
be compressed to the size of a walnut and fit easily into nooks and crannies
of your suitcase or in an external mesh pouch of a backpack. They have
little value and are less likely to be stolen. They don't look like
washcloths, so it is unlikely that maids will confuse them with towels.
The bath towel solution is also synthetic. It consists of an absorbent
fabric that is as much sponge as fabric. These towels will absorb much
more water than a natural fabric towel and can be easily wrung out and
become instantly reusable. Like the scrubber synthetic towels feel
different. At first, it may seem like they couldn't possibly work.
They are smaller than bath towels and feel smooth. These characteristics are
misleading. The smooth material works like chamois cloth and absorbs an
unbelievable amount of water.
|Synthetic towels are not expensive and can be considered
disposable to travelers who need every bit of available luggage space
for purchases and gifts. These towels can be folded and compressed into
a space about the size of a paperback novel. Travel towels are
more likely to be found at travel stores and outdoor recreation stores.
A commonly available brand is Aquis Microfiber Towels. Try using
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