I am privileged to have taken myself on numerous adventures in recent years, both at home and abroad, and I wanted to share with you some of the things which I have learned are pretty much essential to me having The Best Time Ever.
My mum likes to regularly remind me that this item was VERY expensive when I bought it, but you know what? It’s been worth every penny. I’ve had my universal power adaptor for a long time now – so long, in fact, that it was bit baffling that it had USB ports because at that point hardly anything was charged through a USB cable. How times have changed! I like that it is universal in both input and output, so if you have to buy something with a native plug you can use it to convert it to your home sockets too. Never worry again about whether you have the right type of adaptor!
Remember when you just had to charge your phone once a week? Me too, but now plugging your phone in at least once a day just seems to be part of our daily routines. Apps which track your location and taking photos are probably 2 of the biggest battery drainers, so knowing that you can charge your battery on the go without being attached to a wall is an absolute game changer when you’re trying to cram in as many sights as possible.
This was a bit of an impulse buy, admittedly, but it is one of the best impulse buys that I have ever made. So I was aware that these existed before, but the reviews had always kind of said that they were a bit flimsy and weren’t good for carrying anything heavy (i.e. water) or being used continuously. I am here to tell you, however, that somebody has realised that there is a market for sturdier foldaway bags and our prayers have all be answered! I bought my bag from a local fashion accessories shop, but I’ve since seen them for sale in all sorts of places and with all kinds of designs. I’ve used it to carry heavy bottles home from the supermarket, and I can use it just like I would use a ‘normal’ rucksack with minimal signs of wear and tear. The best bit? It takes up about the same amount of space in my suitcase as a t-shirt! This means that I can travel hand luggage only and still have a decent sized day bag at the other end without compromising on the rest of my luggage. The brand of my one is Eco Chic.
International Data Plan
This is not so much something you pack, but if you like to go galavanting then it’s definitely something worth considering when you’re next sorting out your phone. Not all accommodation has wifi, and even some of the places that do charge you a not insignificant amount to get the access code, and on top of this sometimes it can get rid of a lot of stress if you know you can access Google Maps while out and about without getting hit with a major fee.
Post Office Travel Card
Admittedly I would like this a little bit more if it had all of the currencies on it, but the Post Office are working continuously to make more currencies available and you can still load it up and use it even if you’re in a country that they don’t have the currency for. It’s just so convenient, and I like that you can keep an eye on how much money you have left and you can just top it up if you’re starting to run low (like I had to twice in Reykjavik!). There are a lot of different travel money cards nowadays, so have a look around and see which one is the most suitable for your needs.
These made a bit of a fashion comeback a few years ago, for no apparent reason, but let me tell you that this pinnacle of 90s accessories is super handy when you’re travelling. If you’re travelling hand luggage only and don’t want to me opening up your case every time you need something, then I have discovered that a bumbag is the answer! You can keep your essentials – like your phone, camera, money, passport and tickets – in your bumbag and avoid the same and hassle of opening your case and showing your pants to the world when you want to buy a coffee.
My Little Blue Suitcase
A couple of years ago Santa brought me a little blue suitcase, and it is probably one of my most used Christmas presents of recent years. Never before did I realise how handy a hand luggage sized suitcase could be. (also it’s one of those ones with the wheels that move in every direction and it is so much fun to just weave in and out of people!) I’m constantly surprised by how much I can fit into it as well, there’s definitely a bit of a Mary Poppins affect with these little cases!