Now we're swiftly coming up to our peak Summer holiday season, I thought it would be fun if I shared my summer travel essentials with you; the things that I pack in my hand luggage to help me get through the journey without breaking a sweat or dying of boredom.
Though, I'm not sure if I'm just teasing myself with this post because I've not had a holiday in four years, and won't be getting away this Summer!
So, these are the things I carry on me when I travel...
1. A pair of comfortable shoes that can be easily slipped on or off. Helpful at security, and for keeping your feet cool.
2. A hair scarf or hair turban to disguise unwashed, greasy, sweaty hair.
3. A light scarf, because it can be used in lots of different ways. It can keep you warm, be used as a pillow, be turned in to a sarong, used as a hair scarf, used as a cover up from prying eyes, hung over a window as a make shift blind, and even be fashioned in to a sling or bandage if you injure yourself during your journey.
4. Hand sanitiser because public transport, passing through bus / train stations, and using service stations can all be disgusting.
5. A little can of deodorant for freshening up when things get a bit sweaty.
6. A can of dry shampoo for perking up unwashed hair. I swear by Batiste.
7. At least one bottle of water for staying hydrated in the heat. It's important to drink plenty of water during a long-haul flight, too, although remember you can't carry a big bottle of water on you until you've gone through security.
8. Sunglasses to protect our eyes from that big orange ball of fire, obvs.
9. A fully charged Kindle loaded with books is one of my most loved travel companions. I love to read when I travel because it helps the journey pass so much faster. A Kindle (or other e reader tablet) obviously takes up much less space than a bunch of paperbacks, and helps to keep the weight of your bag down, too.
10. I never travel without a bottle of Magicool during the Summer months. It's a cooling spray that can be used on people, pets, and even sprayed on to surfaces, and it's a God send when the heat gets too much to bare. I don't cope well with the heat, but this spray helps to make it more bearable. I couldn't live without it during the Summer.
11. A battery-powered pocket fan for keeping cool in stuffy, hot vehicles. I bought mine in Superdrug.
12. My iPod (and earphones) loaded with my favourite tunes and a Summer playlist or two.
13. My passport, if I'm leaving the country.
14. A few hair ties or bobbles for keeping my hair off my neck.
15. A pack of Paul & Joe blotting papers for keeping a shiny face at bay.
16. A travel wallet to keep my tickets, currency, cards, and other travel info all in one place.
17. It goes without saying that a bottle of sun tan lotion is absolutely essential. I usually carry a big bottle of factor 50+ Nivea sun lotion with me (I'm super pale and freckled), but my pocket-sized factor 30 looked better in the photo. Plus it's a handy size for keeping in my bag.
18. I don't travel without a notebook and pen. I like to document my travels, and I also find travelling inspires me to write fiction.
19. I like to pack a little emergency kit containing paracetamol, ibuprofen, imodium, plasters, antiseptic wipes, a bandage or two, savlon, etc, just in case. Chances are you won't need it, but it's better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it!
20. When I'm travelling by plane, I always carry a little pot of moisturiser on me. Recycled air really dries out the skin.
21. I can't go anywhere without a compact camera and a couple of spare batteries and memory cards. I love to take photos everywhere I go.
22. A tube of hand cream for giving those hands a little TLC after carrying heavy bags.
23. And finally, a tub of lip balm because the heat and dehydration can really dry those lips out.
I also usually carry snacks, a magazine or two, some cash, my purse, a phrase book if I don't speak the language of the country I'm travelling to, my phone, and maybe a little make up.
As for the bag... on most of my travels, I carry my Cath Kidston messenger bag as hand luggage because it's like a Mary Poppins bag; I can fit everything but the kitchen sink in it. It has the added bonus of being really comfortable, even when it's heavy, because of that thick, wide strap.
If I'm travelling by plane, I use my Accessorize weekend bag and just pop my handbag inside during the flight. It's the exact max size for most airlines and it gives you a surprising amount of room to work with. If I'm just going away for a few days, I can fit all I need in it and don't need to pay to bring a suitcase! It also comes in handy on the way home from a holiday because it gives me more room for souvenirs, and saves me if my suitcase won't shut or is over the weight limit.
And those are my summer travel essentials. What are yours?