I like to consider myself a savvy traveller. On my most recent ‘long’ trip – a two week jaunt through Mexico and Guatemala, fellow travellers were gobsmacked by my compact packing skills. I hadn’t even realised I was travelling light until it was pointed out to me, more than once…It’s not that I travel particularly scantily in terms of what i take, in fact i always feel like i have more than enough in my suitcase, and i definitely don’t skimp on a few luxuries here and there. But I think over time, I have learnt what is necessary, and what isn’t. I pack smart – and it’s a skill that’s taken a while to perfect.
Airport food is I’ll admit, improving. But no matter how much they try – plane meals aren’t always the most appealing, or nutritious of options. I always pre pack a few snacks ahead of a trip, especially given airport options are incredibly hiked up in price. Here are my top healthy snacks to pack:
– mixed nuts.
– dried fruit ( my favourite are banana chips )
– dark chocolate. Because you always need a treat while travelling!
-muesli or granola bars
-fresh fruit ( apples or bananas are best for travel purposes )
-chewing gum ( chew on take off and landing to avoid blocked ears!)
Always always always carry a pen in your hand luggage. You’ll always have to fill in some kind of immigration or arrival form when entering a new country, and there’s nothing worse then having to wait behind the 15 others in line for a borrow of the hostess’s pen.
If you’re a cold frog like me, you’ll freeze on a plane. I always make sure i have a pair of socks (along with a spare pair to change into if my flight is particularly long haul. I actually have a go-to plane outfit, that i pretty much wear every time i travel via plane. I wear bonds tights, with a simple bralette and baggy T. I wear long socks and my joggers (usually to save space in my luggage) and always take a jumper of some kind. Trust me, you’ll need it – it doesn’t matter if you don’t need it at your final destination, you’ll regret not packing one for that plane trip alone… don’t say i didn’t warn you.
Ditch it, don’t even bother. Planes are notorious for breaking out my skin, they are pimple breeders I swear. I literally go bare faced on the plane, and I duck to the toilets mid flight and do a cleansing wipe clean about half-way through the flight just to keep my face as clear as possible.
STRETCH & MOISTURISE
The night before a flight i do these two important things to prepare myself for the travel ahead. I always make sure I do a big stretch, preferably with my rumble roller to really give my muscles a good massage. You’re about to be in a cramped space, and making sure your body is limber and well rested is going to stop you cramping up and feeling sore during your travels. Moisturizing is the other thing I do in preparation. Planes dehydrate you like nothing else, so make sure your skin is ready for what’s ahead.
Adding on from my point above, dehydration is known symptom of flying. Yes, you aren’t allowed to take liquids through customs, but I always make sure i have an empty drink bottle on me to fill up on the other side. The water they give you during meal times on a flight are definitely not enough on their own. You should be trying to drink even more water than you consume on dry land.
I always take a teaspoon with me on holiday. Why? Because it always ALWAYS comes in handy. The most common reason i use it, is for a hotel breakfast in my room. If you don’t have an included breakfast, and want to save a bit of money to splurge on lunch and dinner later in the day – picking up some supermarket bought granola or yogurt is my go to. While hotel rooms nearly always have a mug or a cup to use as a nice little parfait style bowl, they often don’t have spoons or any kind of cutlery. My little spoon has also come in handy for spontaneous picnic spreads abroad, how are you going to spread that hommus? hmmmm?
PORTABLE PHONE CHARGER
This one is a no brainer, think long travel days – or days out exploring and adventuring. Or even if you get stuck in a hotel or accommodation with dodgy power points. It’s always good to have a backup!
PORTABLE CLOTHES LINE
You can pick these up online or even in some supermarkets. For the Australians reading – Kmart or Big W are your best bet! This handy little item is incredibly useful. If you’re travelling for more than a week, chances are you might need to do a wash. If you don’t fancy the local laundromat – the hotel sink works a treat. I always carry some laundry powder in my bag and then create a makeshift clothes line! Works a treat.
This is a luxury I never used to take abroad, thinking I was being a princess packing it. But straightening your hair while travelling is a super easy way to go from travel drab, to travel sheek! I always straighten my hair before I fly. That way, no matter how tired, forlorn, and all over the place I look – my hair makes me look a little bit… put together.
POWER POINT ADAPTER
Check the plugs in the countries you’re travelling. There’s a very strong chance yours will be different. Best plan of action, is to buy an international one! It can transform into any countries’ plug, which means you’re never caught unawares.
I like to work out on holiday, so I always have a designated exercise outfit in my suitcase. Sports bra, sports shorts and my bum bag. Yes, you read that right – but i promise it’s an understated attractive looking sport bum bag. It comes in handy like you wouldn’t believe, because my exercise of choice on holiday is running! I love to start my day with a run through the town or city i am visiting, to see it as it’s waking up. I tuck my phone (in case I get lost!) and my room key in my bum bag, and off i go.
Of my travel documents. This is a big one. What if your phone runs out of battery by the time you reach your destination and you can’t look up an address? Or phone number? It’s also a great way to just keep track. Of where you’re going next, what you need check in flight wise ect.
State of Mind Musts:
Not every second of your holiday is going to be mind blowingly awesome, and that’s a fact. The actual travel part is pretty damn boring and often tedious. To get to the good, you have to spend sometimes hours in transit – and some people find this a huge turn off to travelling. But it’s just part of the deal, and i use that time nowadays to come up with my best ideas! I find it almost meditative, especially when you are out of phone service of have to turn off your data for a flight – it literally forces you to disconnect from the world, and there’s something quite freeing about that. Use the time to read a book, listen to a podcast series, write a diary, consider your next career move – it’s not nothing time, it’s you time.
LEARN THE BASICS
When visiting a country that speaks a language different to your own, it’s polite and respectful to at least learn the greetings. I always make sure i (at a minimum) know how to say hello, goodbye, please and thank you in the language of the country i am visiting. They’re always going to respect you more, if you at least give it a go.
COMMUNICATE & CONNECT
I have met some of my best friends on holiday. You’re often the best version of yourself while travelling; relaxed, having fun, trying new things. You’re also more likely to take the time to get to know someone new, and this – i think – is one of the richest things one can get out of travel. Don’t be shy to start a conversation with your plane seat buddy, or befriend a local. It could very well lead to something amazing.