If you follow me on Instagram, read my blog regularly, are subscribed to my Youtube channel or have just generally seen me nattering away on social, then you’ll probably know that I travel quite a lot. You might also know that I’m a bit of a nervy “where the hell is my passport” every 10 seconds kinda gal (it is always, always in exactly the same place as it last was when I checked 10 seconds previously, of course), so I do try to be as prepared as possible. I try to take the little steps to make sure my journey is as stress free as possible and I guess that is what this post is about today.
It also includes photos of the snazziest, most babein luggage to ever exist.
As well as a mini fangirl to Harvey Specter and Pret popcorn bars because… why the hell not?
So here are my (some, very obvious) tips for smoother, more stress-free adventures.
Prepare. Yes I know I’m doing the whole granny, ’24 going on 84′ thing but I cannot even tell you what a difference being prepared makes. Print off your tickets in advance, get your passport ready to go, make sure you have all of your relevant documents – preferably not leaving it until a few hours before you leave to print them off – and plan your route from the airport to the hotel/wherever you’re off to if you don’t have transfers organised. It makes such a difference to know that everything is prepared and ready to go (… and gives you more time to chill with a glass of wine and pinterest stalking time to work out the best Instagram tourist spots #dontjudgeme).
Pre-plan some activities for your trip but, also leave some spare space for spontaneity and wandering. I love discovering all of the best spots that a place has to offer but I also love just wandering the streets and stumbling across hidden gems.
Packing. Every girl needs options, but every girl does not need 5 options for each day/night. Plan your entire outfit for each day/night that you’re away and then throw in a couple of additional options… but stop at a couple. You’re never going to wear the third dressy dress you’ve packed just because.
When it comes to toiletries, work your way through systematically. I like to go through as I’m doing my skincare routine and add everything in one by one. Just take one option for every item (i.e one cleanser/toner etc.) but make sure they’re ones that you absolutely love and adore and use all the time. Minis are also a great shout so that you can leave them there once you’re done.
Invest in your luggage. Honestly, I know that seems like a slightly hipster twat kinda thing to say but oh my god it makes all the difference. I’ve always been obsessed with Radley’s luggage but the Vintage dog dot case in Medium came into my life recently and I am 100% not even ashamed to admit that it was love at first sight. Yes it looks amazing, but it’s also just so practical… it has the most babein wheels that makes you the smug “look at me glide through the airport with no problems” person as well as a rubber handle that is so darn soft and comfortable to hold. Not to mention amazing zipped apartments inside which makes organisational packing a dream!
Organisational packing? Who the hell even am I?
Nailing your hand luggage is another travel difficulty… for me, the absolute dream is having hand luggage and a personal item so you can take a bag big enough for your laptop, liquids etc. but you can also have a cross body for your passport and everything you need to access easily. Annoyingly, not all airports allow this so get yourself a bag big enough to house everything and the kitchen sink but one that also has sneaky little interior pockets that you can put your passport and documents in. The Radley pocket essentials large tote – which reminds me a lot of the classic Longchamp bags too – is perfect for this. I’ve actually been using it in and around London too for days when I need my laptop because despite being practical, it also looks a bit babein too!
I’m gonna double whammy this because let’s be honest, I’m waffling so much that I am well on my way to overdoing the 10 tips… take a scarf. A comfortable one and preferably a big one because it’ll keep you cosy in cold climates and on a plane which is always annoyingly cold, plus it’ll double up as a blanket/pillow/anything you need it for. Also, snacks. Take snacks. Buy snacks (there are Prets everywhere and those Popcorn bar things always surprise me by just how good they are)… just make sure you have snacks because hanger (that’s hunger/anger for anyone that’s reading that like a clothes hanger, LOL) is a terrifying thing. Isn’t it? No?
Just me that nearly turns in a serial killer when they’re hangry then…
If you have a long haul flight, make sure you have some form of entertainment. A book, a crossword (LOL BECAUSE YOUR 80 YEARS OLD), or some episodes of favourite series ready to – Suits and Greys anatomy, looking at you boos). Just make sure you are not bored. Boredom is the devil. And looking at Harvey Specter’s dreamy face for hours on end is definitely not.
If you get homesick/travel sick or suffer with anxiety (I don’t fyi, a few people have mentioned they’ve enjoyed my posts on anxiety and I’ve definitely never written any [insert upside down emoji here]) take something that reminds you of home. Whether it’s a blanket, dressing gown, if you sleep with a cuddly toy – I ain’t judging ya – if it makes you feel more comfortable, pack the goddamn thing. For me, it’s a candle that reminds me of home (Molton brown, Liz Earle or Jo Malone’s are my fave).
Put your phone away and be in the moment. I feel like the biggest hypocrite saying this as somebody that’s surgically attached to their phone but actually, lately I’ve been doing better. I can put my phone in my bag and wander for an hour or two without feeling like the world is going to end and it has been utter bliss. Yes social media and this blog is my job and yes, with the chaos surrounding the rest of my life it can sometimes feel like the be all and end all… but actually it’s not. And putting living above everything else has given me a perspective that I’m beyond grateful for!
And that brings this little tips post to an end. This is going to be one of those annoying posts that as soon as I post it, I’ll think of 839749384 more amazing tips that I forgot to include but I do hope that these will help too. Travelling is insanely amazing so no matter how small the little things you do are to make a difference, they all count.
I’d love to know if you have any travel tips that I need to know about? What makes you feel calmer when you’re flying? I always love hearing your thoughts 🙂