My absolute travel essentials for lightweight travel plans

Anyone that knows me at all will know that I absolutely LOVE travelling. Probably even more than books, can you believe? I love the feeling of exploring a new city and the excitement building up to the big trip you’ve been planning for weeks. I was lucky enough, a few years ago, to spend a year teaching out in France – Strasbourg, more specifically- and whilst I wasn’t into the photography side of things as I am now, I made so many beautiful and amazing memories whilst I was there. Now that I am really into photography and blogging, making even more travel memories is on the cards, I thought I’d share my absolute travel essentials; the five things I HAVE to have
slipped into my handbag whenever I go anywhere exciting.

Travel Document Wallet

I had a bit of a catastrophe last week when I realised, just over a week prior to my going to Paris for the weekend, that my passport was absolutely nowhere to be found. I ransacked my own house and had my mum turn my bedroom at their house upside down to no avail. I’ve managed to sort out a replacement, thankfully, but I’ve gone out and bought myself a travel document wallet where I’ll store my passport and other travel documents – coach tickets, insurance documents, hotel reservations and so on- all together and put in a VERY safe place. It pays to think ahead.

My Trusty Lonely Planet Guide

Now, I’m not going to be lugging this 1000-page monstrosity about with me on my travels but I do have a copy of it on my kindle, for ease of access. I’m a bit old fashioned in that I like to be able to flick through a guide book and decide what type of tourist attractions I want to visit. I’ll then look them up on the internet and read some reviews to decide if they’re worth the trip.


I’m obviously going to need my trusty iPhone with me for maps, taking pictures and the like. I’ll be taking my beautiful new Olympus PEN camera along with me for the ride as well, coupled with a portable phone charger to make sure I’m never left in the lurch in a foreign city. I read a LOT of books when I travel so I’ll also be taking my kindle along with me to make sure I have plenty to read with me but without the added cargo.

A Good Book

Okay, so I KNOW I said I take my Kindle with me… but I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t have a paperback with me as well. I like the comfort of holding a book in my hand: I absolutely NEVER go out without a book in my bag, regardless of what I’m doing or who I’m meeting. (I’m meeting a friend out for a drink tonight and I’ve tucked Jamaica Inn in my bag to take with me, for example. You never know when you might need to pull a book out to fill a few minutes.) For my next trip to Paris, I’m planning on taking Matt Haig’s Reasons to Stay Alive. It’s a little, tiny paperback that will squeeze easily into my teensy little Kate Spade handbag. The perfect travel companion.


Whether it’s to make brief notes on a book I’m reading for review, note down a few new vocabulary terms when I’m speaking French with friends or else to help myself remember something I might want to blog or tweet about, my notebook is something that I have with me every single day, regardless of what I’m doing. Sometimes it’s nice to just have something to scribble in, just for something to do.

These are a FEW things that I HAVE to have with me whenever I take a trip somewhere. It’s not a particularly lengthy list of things, just the bare essentials to ensure that I have the best break that I possibly can, without weighing myself down with all the added extras. What do you HAVE to take with you on a trip? Let me know in the comments!