Despite the fact that for our last trip we had over-packed by an amazing degree, with being so ill recently, my packing and planning had gone awry and we swung completely in the opposite directions.
Although all of the essentials were all there: passports, tickets, clothes, chargers, there were a few little things that I wish we’d picked that could have made our trip easier.
1. Spare Camera Battery:
For once, I’d become cocky. I had packed a full battery for my DSLR and the charger for it. We weren’t camping on this trip, and we were only out here for just over a week so surely I’d have plenty of time in our various dwellings to keep it topped up…
Of course, I’d completely overlooked three things:
1. Austria is f*cking awesome. And driving it even more so. Every two seconds there is a view or a building or a sight that will leave me awestruck and that I will desperately want to capture so that I can share or reminisce about it.
2. Some nights we’d be out late or be so exhausted when we did get in that we’d pass out in bed without remembering to put things on charge.
3.. I would be sharing a room with, at best, two other people. Who both had phones. And battery packs. And all those other things that come with modern life.
Chances are, I wouldn’t (and ultimately didn’t) always have a socket available for my camera too.
Which leads me on nicely to my next item…
2. Extension plugs.
Not something I would necessarily have ever thought of, or that you would always need, but after seeing our bunk-mate using one, I’ll be picking one up for any future travels. Available from various suppliers for an average of £12.50, they look to be a good addition to any suitcase and don’t look to take up any extra room as they simply replace your regular adapters!
3. Playing cards.
Whilst we almost always travel with a pack, on this occasion it had completely slipped our mind. Dave had managed to pick some up in Vienna, but took them away with him when they flew home before us and then it ended up being a major struggle to find any anywhere else. When you’re constantly on the move, you don’t have time to browse for cards and the supermarkets where we’d pick up supplies didn’t seem to be forthcoming. These would have been perfect, both for evenings when we were too tired to do much of anything else- including talk- and I think the boys would have appreciated them for playing drinking games too.
4. Bottle Opener
On our final day, we saw this nifty little keyring in Salzburg. At E8 and so late on in the holiday, we opted to leave it, but I found some similar (albeit probably less sturdy) versions for 99p on Ebay as soon as I got back. At such a petite size, this seems like a handy item to have with you for if you pick up beer or cider bottles at the local supermarket.
5. Comfy Knickers
A bit of a girly one, but my god I could have done with some ugly-granny panties on this trip! Spending all day, most days walking and hiking around definitely calls for Bridget-Jones-underwear, as opposed to anything delicate or lacy. I spent all week in various degrees of discomfort!
6. A bikini
It had been so long since I’ve travelled by plane that I’d forgotten that my bras- without fail- will set of that god damn metal detector, and after an all together too invasive search at Manchester airport, I opted to go without on the way back (and lo-and-behold, I walked through without issue). When I’m travelling somewhere hot, I will always fly in my metal-free bikini, but as we weren’t going on our summer holidays, I’d completely overlooked it: this is definitely one of my top tips. Likewise, bikini pants are great to have as underwear, since they work in much the same way as the micro-fibre towel so can be washed and dried quickly.
Things I’m always happy to have:
1. Dry shampoo
My biggest regret from our wedding day (in the Caribbean) was that my dry shampoo never made it down from our room to the ceremony, photography or reception!
Not only can it help on occasions where you don’t have access to showers, but it can also help keep you looking fresh in the heat.
Making it even easier nowadays is the fact that they come in handy travel sizes, making them transportable even if you’re only taking hand luggage.
2. Microfibre towel
Taking up only a tiny fraction of space in our hand-luggage, costing only about £9.99 and drying-out almost immediately, these towels really are a must-have.
As I’ve mentioned previously, a lot of hostels across Europe don’t provide towels, so these are the perfect addition for any traveller.
Having forgotten to pack one for last summer’s trip, I can tell you first hand how much of a pain that is, and equally having to carry a full size one with you isn’t ideal- especially as they hold on to masses of water and take forever to dry, which isn’t what you want if you’re only spending a night or two in each place.