So tonight kinda feels like Christmas eve for me, that excitement that starts to simmer when it gets nearer to bedtime, knowing that when you wake up there’s a big sack of pressies waiting for you. The only difference is my stocking is an airport and my pressie is a plane. I headed up to Maidenhead this morning to stay with my mum and granny before making my way to Heathrow Airport for my 12.30pm flight tomorrow. Drinking copious cuppas and snacking on all the goodies that grannies keep in their cupboards that you don’t feel guilty about eating because diets don’t exist when you stay with your elder folks’. And of course, packing the last few essentials for my trip!!
Packing is one of my most FAVOURITE things to do. My OCD much prefers packing a suitcase, making little gasping noises of pleasure as my shoes slot in perfectly beside my make up bag and there’s a hairbrush sized gap separating my tops and my bottoms, the satisfaction of it all coming together from that last snug fit item like those L shaped pieces in a game of tetris. However I haven’t owned a suitcase in several years and I have to make do with my faithful backpack that although is easier to cart around, doesn’t satisfy my needs to be organised. Still, I’ve got a little system and if you were to peer inside you’d see everything more or less in their correct place. Not going to lie, the thought of stuffing everything in willy nilly, inside out and screwed up causes my chest to tighten and my breath to quicken… not ideal. I get FAR too into it and I’ll even embarrassingly admit that back in my early days of travelling I had check lists with check boxes that I’d take some sort of sick pleasure in ticking off. However now I’m a little more seasoned and I’ve learnt my lessons in both under and over packing I feel pretty confident that I can pack a mean bag with all the bits and bobs that make life a little easier when on the road and without the unnecessary weight.
So here’s a few bits and bobs from my list (oh here we go, another list) of travelling essentials that always have a home in my humble backpack. I will do a more detailed list another time when the holiday buzz has worn off and I can think clearly !
1. A bloody good book!
Now I am super old fashioned when it comes to reading and I will ‘av none of these electronics robbing me of the luxury of holding thick glorious pages between my hands and smelling that fresh book smell. Homesick? read ya book. Want to ignore someone? Read ya book. Run out of loo roll on a trek? Use ya book. There’s nothing a good novel can’t solve which is why there will always be room for one or two in my bag, despite the extra weight. Don’t forget if you are hiking/trekking for long periods of time you can burn the pages you’ve already read to lighten the load!
2. A slim bumbag/money pouch
No idea what these are actually called, they’re like bumbags but are really lightweight and thin so they can be worn under clothes. You can use it to stash some of your cash (never stash all your cash in one place!) bankcards, *cough* drugs *cough*, guys numbers, photos of your dog etc. You can strap them on under your beach dress and be safe in the knowledge that if you find yourself in a sticky situation you’ve got a secret stash that hopefully won’t be discovered. It might not work all the time, but it’ll give you some piece of mind.
Fortunately for me my dad is an absolute babe and for my birthday last year bought me the queen of all knives. A beauty of a Swiss, adorned with an groovy aztec pattern and embellished with my initials. The perfect pressie for a gal like me who nurtures her inner tomboy but still likes the pretty pretty. You can use your knife for pretty much anything, cutting out scratchy labels with those little scissors, whittling clothes pegs for a DIY clothes line with the main knife, even using those little tweezers for those cheeky strays, but I mostly use mine for cutting and preparing fruits and veggies on the go.
4. Snacks and empty water bottle
Always make sure you’ve got snacks, nothing worse than being stuck somewhere raging with hanger and threatening to break up with your boyfriend or abandon your bestie if they don’t feed you ASAP. Nuts & raisins, biccies, fruit etc. NOT hummus, as it’s considered a gel. Still scarred from watching security bin a whole tub as if it was just an ordinary ‘dip’ and not the orgasmic blend of chickpea goodness and angel juice that we all know it to be. As for water, we all know that anything over 100ml will be snatched out of hands the moment we set through those scanners and if you’re a tight fisted git like me who can’t bring themselves to pay £13982 for a bottle of water in duty free then you’re at a loss. However, you ARE allowed to take through empty water bottles, so just fill those babies up when you’re through the other side. Easayyyy like Sunday morning.
5. UNO, pack of cards, mini games etc.
If you want instant friends an unlimited fist bumps then make sure you travel with all or at least one of the items listed above. There is nothing better than asking that question ‘anyone got any cards?’ and seeing Lukas from Lithuania waving his little hand in the air triumphantly as you all cheer and he becomes your most favourite human in the entire world. Instant brownie points.
6. Mesh dirty undies bag
Because smelling the inside of your knickers to separate the clean ones from the dirty ones is not what we want to be doing in a hostel full of people with a hangover. Keep it simple guys, bag them up.
So there we have it, a few wee bits that’ll be accompanying me on my trip. Now I’m going to get into bed and NOT sleep because of all the excitement from meeting my girl this time tomorrow night.
Pasta La Vista, see you all in Rio!