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.


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 and so on- all together and put in a VERY
safe place. It pays to think ahead.


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.


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!