So my second post following on from I did it! I booked Barcelona! I just felt like it had be my list of travel essentials for my trip! If you know me, or if you’ve been following my blog a little while then you’ll realise I’m quite organised. So this is me getting organised. Have a read, do you think I’ve missed anything? Let me know about it!
Here are my travel essentials;
If you’re off on your travels to a country that you’re unfamiliar with their language, then I think a phrasebook definitely should be one of your travel essentials. When I go on holiday I like to really get involved with the culture and the locals. Although, I think you have to ‘do’ the tourist attractions, I think you never really see how beautiful a place is until you experience it like you would if you lived there. Regardless of where I’ve been on holiday, I always try to learn the basics of their language. It’s only polite.
I picked up this handy little Spanish Phrasebook & Dictionary by Collins in WHSmiths for just £4.50. I’ve already started brushing up on my Spanish. Having started learning Portuguese a while back, there are some similarities. I’ve already found myself thinking of the Portuguese word rather than the Spanish when practising. I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it – practice makes perfect!
I will add, I’ll also be using my trusty Duolingo app on my iPhone to help with learning even more Spanish. Although it’s an app for properly learning a new language and it will include things I probably won’t need to use whilst on holiday, it really helps to listen to the pronunciation and accent whilst learning other small words. Plus, you never actually know what you will or won’t need!
How could I have a travel essentials guide without a pocket guide on it? Pick up one like mine, that includes a map and you’ve got yourself a back up should your phone die (if you’re using the maps on it). Plus, tons of tips and recommendations on things like places to eat, shop and even how to get around. I’m so glad I bought mine so far in advance, because I’ve used it to plan my days. I now know which places I’d ideally like to visit. I have a rough idea of prices, opening times, addresses and even contact numbers! This will help me when I plan what to do on each day. So I’m not bumbling from one side of the city to the other. Also, it’ll help me budget my money.
I think this one’s a given. It’s very unlikely that you’re going to make it out of the country without it. Just make sure you don’t loose it. Travel Essentials 101!
Durr! This is going to be the first time of going abroad by myself (except for Ireland) so I’m a little bit anxious about money. I’ve always been quite a cautious person and obviously no one wants anything bad to happens whilst they’re away. But, you do have to think about all the possibilities and what you would do if something was to happen. (*touches wood*)– Don’t keep your money all in one place.
My mum taught me this from a very young age. Let’s say you get pick pocketed and all your money is in that one purse of wallet. That’s you screwed. How do you even get back to the place you’re staying at, let alone anything else? Make sure you spread your money across multiple places.
– Take your spending money but also have emergency money.
Unfortunately, you never know what’s going to happen. A couple of years ago, visiting Portugal I fell ill. It was nothing major, an infection. However, I did need medical attention and so went to the nearest hospital. I had to pay €100 just to be seen by a doctor. You may never know how much these things will cost, should they happen (*touches wood again*), but if you save some extra money before you go, just in case, you won’t be panicking about paying for it if it does.
– Do your research and budget.
The great thing about some pocket guides is that they’ll give you a rough idea of how expensive these places will be. Whether it’s a museum or a fancy bar, they normally give you a scale one to three, or sometimes five of how expensive you can expect somewhere to be. Also, one thing to bear in mind is if all of your taxes are included in the price you’re paying when booking flights or accommodation. Many European countries have additional city taxes. They may not be much, just make sure you know about them. For example, the hostel I will be staying in Barcelona, I know there will be an additional 00.65€ per person, per night charge when I check out for city taxes.
– Book things in advance.
If you can, sometimes this helps. I know there are certain places I really want to visit whilst I’m visiting Barcelona. Sagrada Família, Casa Batlló, Park Güell are just three places I’d love to go. I’ve done a bit of research and have found a tourist card that I can buy, before I get on the plane, that will cover the entry to all of those places and more. It means I could potentially take less money with me, as I know the cost of entry to the tourist attractions is already covered.
I mentioned this in my ‘I did it! I booked Barcelona” post, I can be a bit of an organised freak. However, I find I’m more relaxed about everything if I have one pouch, document holder that contains printed copies of everything I will need. From boarding passes to booking confirmation emails for accommodation, it holds everything. Just in case.
Obviously! I think it’s safe to say the majority of people have a phone nowadays. Make sure you’re keeping in contact with people back home and checking in to let them know you’re ok. Phones are also great for taking holidays snaps or using the map to find the quickest way to get to the next place. It’s a must.
Portable Battery Bank
So, my trip to Barcelona will be the first time I stay in a hostel. Being the type of person to read everything and research. One of the things I keep reading is to be vigilant when charging your electronic devices. Obviously, everyone is in the same boat and there’s probably only so many plug sockets to go around. I know I will be taking tons of photos and videos on my phone. The last thing I want is for my phone to die by lunch time. So I decided to invest in a good power bank. It will allow me to keep using my phone without the worry of it dying.
Here’s the one I bought. I got it on Amazon Prime day so it was a little bit cheaper. However, I’ll explain why I got this and not a cheaper one. Again, I had done a bit of research prior to buying it. The guy in Carphone Warehouse had mentioned that my phone has a 1,960 mAh battery and the number on power bank would give an indication to how many full charges it would do before it needed recharging. That’s why I opted for a slightly larger capacity. Which obviously means it was a little bit more expensive but I should be able to get 10 full charges when it’s fully charged. How cool is that.
I won’t lie, it’s quite big. Bigger than my phone itself anyway. And actually quite heavy but it’s not to heavy to pop in my bag and carry around for the day.
Travelling alone does scare me a little bit. I think I feel a little bit better about the fact that I will have my headphones, nothing major, just the Apple headphones that come with your iPhone. I won’t be buying any other ones. These will do just fine!
I won’t lie, as much as I know I have to make an effort to be socialable on this trip, it’ll be nice knowing I have my little headphones to stick in for those times that I don’t really feel like talking to anyone.
Obviously, there are just some other must have essentials whenever you’re travelling, especially if you’re going on a city break. Some may be;
- Sunglasses – Here’s me hoping and praying I’m going to see some sun!
- Perfume – Got to be smelling nice! Just make sure it’s in a bottle of less than 100ml, otherwise they’ll take it off you at the airport. Or just treat yourself to some new perfume whilst you’re out there.
- Lippy – I’ve never been much of a fan of lipstick or lip gloss. I find if I have too much moisture in my lips I get cold sores very easily. However, I’ve recently discovered amazing matte lipsticks that mean I don’t have that problem. I think a good lipstick can easily take you from a day outfit to an evening one. Especially good if you don’t have room to take too many clothes.
- Magazines/book – It’s always good to take something to read. Whether it’s for on the plane or when you’re having a bite to eat in a café or picked a spot to have a seat in the local park.
I’m sure, just like when you pack, there’s probably something missing from my list! Is this something that you can think of that is missing? Drop me a tweet or message and let me know! Eeek, I’m so excited 4 weeks to go!!!
Talk to you all soon, xo