I am writing this on Monday morning, an hour and a half before I need to leave to go and hand in my essay before heading to Kings Cross St Pancras to catch a train to Paris (with my dad I hasten to add)… And I am sat in my pjs, on my bed, having packed a grand total of…nothing. Yet I feel totally calm. Having spent much of my life travelling around and moving from one place to another the packing thing no longer phases me, and yes I always do it last minute. I figure, if I’ve got the essentials what more do I really need?
- I’m all for trying new food when travelling and letting go a little, there’s no point (in my opinion) of being in a beautiful place and avoiding all exciting foods just because they might not fit into your usual diet pattern. Life is for living after all, and food is a beautiful part of that. I do, however, always try and bring some snacks with me as being stuck somewhere with no access to food is not fun when hunger kicks in! Plus, snacks are awesome and exploring needs some sort of fuel.
- Those who know me well can vouch that I am never without my water bottle. Staying hydrated is so important to me – and I hope it is to you too! I recently bought this Bobble bottle which filters water as you go – great if you’re in areas where the tap water perhaps isn’t so drinkable.
- My iPhone is an essential travel component for me… I know, I know. It’s just so practical! My phone, photos, music, and the whole of google all in the palm of my hand, perfect for finding a restaurant for dinner or checking up on your flights.
- Saying that, I am not one to travel without a copy of Lonely Planet. I love those books, I still have my ‘gap year map’ pinned up on my wall at home from when I was 18, with stamps on all the countries I’ve visited… And I fully plan on continuing to add to it. There’s something so lovely about having a travel books you can hold and scribble in.
- My running shoes. I do have a new pair on my Christmas list but I love my running shoes and all the places they’ve taken me. You can’t beat the magic of going somewhere new, lacing up your shoes and heading out to explore. It’s such a different way to see the sights and forces you off the beaten tourist paths (far too many people!) or out into the early morning.
- A credit card! No, not for a shopping spree. I always figure if I’ve got a bank card and my passport when I leave the house I can pretty much go anywhere in the world and it’ll be okay, no matter what I’ve forgotten.
- Finally, a bit of local knowledge goes a long way. Last time my dad and I went away together we hired a car to go roadtripping through Northern Argentina. Whilst this was the most incredible adventure it definitely would’ve run a little more smoothly had our car been a bit more up to the job – as I’ve mentioned before, a Renault Clio is less than ideal for driving along dirt tracks at high altitude when all the locals have 4x4s… Hindsight is a wonderful thing! RelayRides is a great peer to peer car rental service meaning that you can actually hire locals’ cars, avoiding any of this confusion! What better way to make sure that your hire car is up to scratch? So much more practical than your typical airport rental service who (as I’ve found) will rent you pretty much anything, which is not always a good idea…
Not the best car for altitude driving, especially when it stops halfway up a hill…
What are some of your travel essentials? Have you had a particularly successful/disastrous hire car experience?! Disclaimer: I’m linking up with RelayRides for this post but all thoughts and opinions are of course my own.