Bras and Tampons For Tricky Border Crossings — Weekly Travel Tip

Packing for upcoming trip home to see my folks reminded me of this one tip I learned growing up in Indonesia.

There were times when printed materials with any Chinese characters on it would draw the attention of an Indonesian custom agent. They were prohibited as a matter of fact. People caught with one of these “possibly communist related items” in their possession would be taken to a small room and questioned. My relatives and family friends coming from Singapore or Taiwan learned that

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“…things hidden behind feminine napkins, bras, and female underwear would have much, much less chance of getting discovered.”

The custom agents would blush in embarrassment or disgust and zip the lightweight suitcase back real quick…

Things have changed since then, and Chinese media is no longer on the prohibited item list (and female border custom agents are also more common now). But there are still other reasons why you’d possibly want to distract the attention of a border custom agent from certain items in your belongings.

Clearing customs in some countries can be a crapshoot. Most times, you’d clear it just fine… but on others, if you happen to be dealing with a custom agent who’s having a bad day, things can go from good to really frustrating or downright scary real quick.

So keep this tip in mind if you ever find yourself in a tricky border crossing situation.


*For obvious reason this tip will not work for single guy traveling alone