So.... guess who booked another holiday? I know what you're thinking. Yes I have been to Switzerland, the Netherlands, Canada and the US in the space of the last year. But I'm travelling whilst I'm young ok?! My friend and I will be visiting Denmark and Sweden in September. In a bit of a whirlwind trip we'll be visiting Copenhagen and Malmo in the space of three days. So if anyone has any recommendations on things to do in either city then that would be greatly appreciated! I love packing so I'm glad that I'm going away again so I can think about what to take with me. With each trip I go on I get better and better at packing more efficiently so I'm determined to make this my lightest bag yet. Of course my smaller camera will help with that. But it's gotten me thinking about what I consider to be essential when I'm travelling. If you've seen my post on travelling light then you'll know I only travel with hand luggage for short breaks so it's important to only take what you need. Here are my holiday must haves!
Google Maps download - Ok so I didn't know this until I was in New York but you can download areas on Google Maps and then use the GPS location to see where you are on your map without using internet. This is actually a life saver. My extra tip is to 'save' the locations you want to go to and this shows a little star over the area on the map. The stars will still appear without internet meaning you can see all the locations. I used this almost like a to do list when I was in New York and removed the stars after I had visited. That meant it was really easy to see what I still wanted to see and where I was in relation to them all. Actual life saver!
A backpack - I'm so impressed that this bag is still going strong and I've had it for a year and a half and I use it so often. Like every day for uni and every time I go away it's my hand luggage bag. Whilst you can't fit as much in a backpack as a smaller suitcase it's easier to be able to carry everything on your back. Especially if you arrive much earlier than your check in time for your accommodation and want to get out an explore the city straight away! This one is from Accessorize and I love the clashing prints and I just think it's so 'me'. I've had a few of their bags and I always go back to them. Who needs designer?
A plastic wallet for important documents - After seeing Morag doing this when we went to Amsterdam I replicated it when I went to Canada and it was so helpful. Putting all my important documents in a plastic wallet meant that I didn't have to rustle around in my bag looking for them at important times. Having my boarding passes, reservations, visa information etc all in the one place is so handy. Can't recommend this enough!
A refillable water bottle that's under one litre - You can take an empty water bottle through security at an airport as long as it's under one litre in capacity. Then you can find somewhere to fill it up in the airport. This saves a bit of money as drinks are so over priced in airports/on planes. Most airports have water fountains but if not then as long as the tap water in safe to drink in that country then you'll be fine using the taps in the bathrooms. Another tip is that if the regular bathroom only has a hot water tap then have a look in an empty disabled toilet/baby changing area as these almost always have both cold and hot taps.
Sun cream - I didn't take sun cream out with me on my first day in Canada and guess who got sunburnt? Me! It was also considerably sunnier than we had expected in Geneva and we ended up buying suncream there too. Lesson learnt - a small sun cream is a good idea! I bought this Walgreens one in Boston and it managed to do me the rest of my trip and I still have a little left. Unless I'm going somewhere in the winter again (hello freezing Amsterdam) then I won't be leaving suncream behind!
Prescription sunglasses - Up until recently I'd never owned a pair of prescription sunglasses but now that I've tried them I can't go back! I'd forgotten how much more comfortable it is to wear sunglasses but I'd just never bothered getting any as I was already spending so much money on regular glasses. This pair are the Tortoise Clifford Wayfarer* from GlassesShop.com and I love them. The shape really suits my face but is different from my regular glasses and the case is really sturdy. I'm sure it could survive getting jostled around in my bag whilst travelling. I wish I'd had these when I was in the states as it was so sunny there. If you're a full time glasses wearer/short sighted then I would seriously recommend getting a pair as they don't have to cost the earth!
A book for the plane - Would this really be my blog if I didn't talk about a book at least once? I don't think so! I always take a book or two on holiday so that I can read something on the plane/train etc. Normally I try and pick a smaller book with little writing so that I can still read a lot but not take up a lot of space/weight in my bag. If I was to go on a longer holiday where I knew I had a lot of free time I would probably take my Kindle instead as I know I could preload it with books. I also try to have a book or two downloaded onto the Kindle app on my phone so that if I finish my physical book I still have something to read.
A small padlock that keeps my bag shut - When we were organising plans for Amsterdam I noticed that a lot of the guides say that pick pocketing is really common in Amsterdam and that made me a little nervous as I normally travel with a backpack which is probably the easiest bag to steal from. I got a little combination lock in Boots for only a few pounds and it was really handy. You can set the combination yourself so you don't have to struggle with remembering a new combination. It just put my mind at ease and I'll definitely be using it again when visiting really crowded cities.
What are your holiday essentials? And leave me any Copenhagen/Malmo recommendations in the comments!