Sounds a bit snobby but I’ve had quite a lot of travel experience in all sorts of places and wanted to share the simple things I always do that make travel just a little bit easier.
1)The mega travel plug-
If you’re like me you always have plenty of things that need a charge, the issue is travel plugs are expensive and usually you wouldn’t carry more than one, this is only exacerbated if you’re travelling with someone else! How do you decide who’s camera needs the most charge? Who gets to listen to their iPod on the bus? Who gets to charge their phone so they can text their granny? -Problem solved, buy an extension lead. You only need one travel plug to charge 4 devices and they are pretty light weight and easy to pack and lug around.
2) Drink drink drink-
Some countries you’ll visit won’t have clean water from the taps but most do and sometimes the water can taste funny (there’s nothing wrong with it, it’s just different to the water you’re used to). You can always replace water you don’t like with juice or soda or add cordials but the best option for your wallet (and your waistlines) is to just add a tea bag to your water bottle. Teabags are really easy to transport in a zip lock bag and barely take up any space and you can buy some nice ones that are really refreshing, such as blackcurrant, lemon ginger & manuka, and ginger, galangal & turmeric.
3) Fake it-
Not everyone is as lucky as we are and crime is an issue in all countries, you probably won’t need this tip on the streets of Rome or New York but bare it in mind, especially if the place you are going is known for being a little dangerous. Don’t take a nice handbag or purse, instead take a tote bag and a coin purse this helps you look like less of a target to thieves/ muggers.
4) Smell ya later–
No matter how clean or neat you are your bag will eventually start to smell when you’re travelling around, you simply can’t always wash everything as soon as its dirty. To stop this happening obviously keep on top of your laundry but to keep things smelling fresh I usually buy one of those perfumed disks people put in their cars. You only need one to keep your clothes smelling fresh for months and they come in a tonne of scents. When I lived in Australia I used the Sweet Pea Scentportable from Bath and Body Works and it genuinely lasted all 3 months I was there plus another 2 months when I was home again. My other favourites are Georgia Peach and Watermelon Lemonade they cost a few dollars and are worth every penny.
5) Under wraps-
Even if you’re travelling to the most liberal country in the entire world, if you are going to visit a holy site, a grave, an important monument or even somewhere the locals deem to be special in some way if you are a woman (and sometimes also man) you will be expected to cover up as a sign of respect. Shorts and strappy tops are definitely a no no, it’s just not appropriate. The issue is that you don’t always know where you’ll be when travelling, it’s hot you’re walking around, do you really want to wear a long skirt all day every day just in case you end up somewhere with a dress code? Here’s the solution, buy a sarong. These skirts fold up tiny and cover you right down to your ankles so you can carry them around in your handbag, I bought mine in Thailand and used it all the time to visit temples. Additionally you can use these to cover a bus/ car window if you want to take a nap while you’re on the move, you can spread it out on the beach to sit on instead of a bulky towel or you can use it to shade yourself from the sun if you feel like you’re burning.
6) Screenshot EVERYTHING–
Before you go, take a photo of your passport and your Drivers Licence/ Id card and screen shot all the ‘confirmation’ emails and web pages that you receive. This ensures that if you have no internet you still have the proof that your booking has been confirmed and that you have all your booking numbers on hand at any point.
7) Sweet dreams-
If you’re travelling about on coaches, busses trains and planes an eye-mask is a must. You can save tonnes of money on hotels by travelling at night and an eye mask can help you catch some zzz’s even on the most uncomfortable journey. I like silly ones so at the moment I have a Finding Nemo mask with little fins on.
I hope these ideas prove useful! Happy travels!