Travel Essentials

25 Jan 2016

A picture of travel essentials

I am lucky enough to have travelled to a fair few places in my short time on earth and over this time, I like to think I have picked up a few tips and tricks to make the whole travelling business more enjoyable. Obviously holidays and travel are designed to be fun, but what about all of the bits between leaving your house and reaching your final destination? I have put together a list of the tips I have learnt over the years and found incredibly useful when flying between places. I have also added in some of my travel essentials to help save you some money and take out some of the guess work!

Being a complete worry wart means travelling this way makes my life much less stressful. I do however understand that this is a lot to do, so if it isn't your thing, that's totally fine (case in point at the end of this post!). If you are interested though, this is how I like to travel...

First things first, before you even leave the house, you need to consider what you will need to prepare in advance as well as what to take with you.

In advance

A picture of a travel to do check-list

That's the important stuff, but here are some extras I like to add on.

Take cash, change currency
I know we live in a digital age where we tap our cards to pay for everything and there is a cash machine on every corner, but what if there isn't? The last thing you want to do (especially if you are travelling somewhere remote) is to end up without any money to enjoy yourself/buy food/buy booze/have for emergencies etc. You don't have to take all of your money in cash, but its good to take some. It can also be cheaper as many banks charge if you are making transactions or withdrawing money abroad. If you do take a lot though, don't store it all in the same place.

Work out basic transport routes
Especially if you are heading to a city. By working out the public transport and prices before you get there, you are far less likely to get stressed and give in to taking a taxi. This will save you money in the long run. You will also see a lot more of the place if you use their transport systems and do a bit of walking, rather than taxiing door to door. This is less important in English speaking countries as it is easier to read/ask once you get there.

You have everything sorted and ready to go, but now its time to pack, you are staring at an empty suitcase with a mountain of clothes and toiletries that will definitely not fit in said suitcase. So what do you?

Write a check list before you travel, take it with you
I always do this. By writing a list of what I need I don't have to worry about forgetting any important things like chargers or bras (yes this has happened!). Often its the most basic, fundamental things that we use get left behind because we don't normally think about them. If you take the check list with you, it makes it very easy to pack everything back in on the way home.

Take solid products
I have learnt this both from working at Lush and having an unfortunate incident when I went to Minneapolis, where it was so cold that all of my liquid beauty products froze in my suitcase. Madness. One of the great things about solid products is that they last absolutely ages and don't use up the liquids allowance. This means you can pack your whole beauty routine into your carry on, so if your suitcase goes awry (hopefully it doesn't) you can still get on with enjoying your holiday looking fabulous!

Take travel size products
You can't find everything in a solid form, so for what's left try and take smaller sizes. Most shops do travel size products these days so you can probably find your favourites in miniature. This will mean less weight in your suitcase/carry on and less risk of breaking or damaging expensive full size products.

Take an extra outfit separate to your luggage…
...or a spare set of underwear at least. That way if you need to change on the airplane, or perhaps if your bags go missing, you're not going to feel like its the end of the world.

Take a capsule wardrobe
If you have the time, pick out less pieces that will mix and match to create multiple outfits. I am the least 'fashionable' person you will meet, so this isn't the easiest thing for me. It helps so much though as it means there is more space to bring stuff home! It also takes less time to think about what to wear when you get there. Planning what you are going to wear is much easier if you...

...Check the weather before you leave
I never used to do this and just went with what I presumed the weather in that country was like. Which is a bit silly really. Packing for the weather means you can utilise suitcase space so much more efficiently and again, leaves lots of room to bring back goodies! One thing I will mention though is to always take one outfit that is completely opposite weather to what you are expecting, just in case.

Now that it's time to pack everything you have decided on into the suitcase, it is a really good idea to...

Section out your suitcase into areas. Only if you have the time of course! By separating shoes into cotton bags, packing each outfit together and having separate sides of the suitcase for different items, it just means less time finding things when you want to be exploring your new surroundings. Also, packing heavy stuff at the bottom of the suitcase saves lots of embarrassing 'suitcase tipping over and creating a loud noise in the middle of the airport' moments - thank me later.

Tidy your space before you leave
This one kind of sucks, as you really won't want to do it.  However, the last thing you want to do after a wonderful holiday (or an exhausting business trip) is to clear your bed of all the rubbish you left there, before being able to sleep. Make the extra effort to at least spruce up your space before you leave, and coming home won't feel as bad.

Lay out your travel clothes the night before
This is mainly if you are travelling super early. It's one less thing to think about and an extra 10 minutes in bed.

Good things to remember to take with you

A picture of a travel check-list

and finally...

Document your travels
I don't mean take a picture of every little event if that's not your thing. You have to live in the moment and actually absorb your time away. But you will be grateful in years to come when you have a couple of snaps to spark your memory when you are telling people all about your travels!

For those of you who find this a little overwhelming, I will leave you with a tip from my other half. He is constantly travelling for work, the complete opposite of me and tends to just 'wing it' to a certain extent.

'Wear a jacket with lots of pockets.'
This basically helps if you don’t want to carry more than a backpack, by shoving everything in your pockets it makes getting through security much easier as all you have to do is dump said jacket into one of the trays on the belt and walk on through. You then pop it back on at the other side and you can sort everything out away from all the queues and stress of security. Also, if you are only going for a weekend, throw everything into a carry on, keep your boarding pass on your phone, and away you go.

I told you, there is a way for everyone! I hope you have enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed writing it. Let me know if you have any more travel tips, or if you are travelling somewhere soon by commenting below. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR | Lucy is the author of Louminous, a beauty and lifestyle blog with a healthy dose of adventure and delicious food. You can also Lucy over at Instagram and Twitter @LucyLouminous.

Lucy is one of my fabulous guest posters helping me out here on the blog whilst I settle into life as a new mum, so a massive thanks to Lucy for this insightful post on travel essentials. I hope you picked up some tips and tricks on how to make your future travels run smoother, it's definitely made me want to go exploring!