Even though it doesn’t feel like it here in Seattle, summer is right around the corner. It’s a time for sunshine, poolside hangs, road trips and international travel adventures!
Every summer growing up I went on road trips across the USA with my family.
Each year we would pick a different route, map out the stops we wanted to make, climb into the car and hit the open road. Over the years, my Type A personality kicked in and combined with my ADD, I have become a HUGE fan of making checklists.
Last year I booked the trip of a lifetime through EF Ultimate Break and headed across the pond for my first international vacation. Being an Anglophile, I had been dreaming of the UK since I was 6 (I can thank Peter Pan for that) so it only made sense to try and conquer all 5 countries in 2 weeks. As soon as I booked the trip my anxiety went into overdrive, even though it was 10 months away. I started going to every Pinterest webpage I could find on what to pack, how to budget, what contingency plans to make, and everything else under the sun.
I am so thankful that I chose to book my first trip through a service like EF because they took care of everything! Flights in and out, hostel/hotel reservations in every city, charter bus travel through all countries, organized activities for every stop we made, and optional city excursions!
Needless to say, that trip changed a lot about my life and I very quickly learned that you don’t have to bring EVERYTHING you own to enjoy your vacation.
I definitely still struggle with over-packing from time to time, especially for short trips where I feel like I need to pack for any/every scenario but I’m getting better with each trip.
Learn From My Mistakes
Almost every travel blogger will tell you that you can pack as many bags as you want but at the end of the day, what you bring is less important than having an amazing trip and making a billion memories. Focus more on creating an experience filled with adventure, love, and making new friends, not luggage.
Try Not To Overpack
Find mix-and-match pieces that can work together to create multiple looks. Doing this will help cut down on the amount of clothing & shoes you need to bring. When I say “plain ss/ls shirt” I packed a mix of white, black, grey, and patterned shirts that I could dress up or down for whatever the day brings.
The list below is based on my trip to the UK, and most of the places we stayed had laundry facilities we could use. I took in factors like the weather, what types of excursions I’d be going on, how we would be walking everywhere etc. There were things I told myself I could just buy overseas but if you’re pinching pennies then just pack what you know you’re going to need and save money for treats and goodies. I also had to factor in the fact that I would need extra room to fit any souvenirs I bring back! Obviously, for different locations and trip lengths, I would adjust the items and quantities but this is a good foundation to build off of.
SIDEBAR: be sure to research whether or not certain items, even if you think they’re pretty common, are going to be easy to find where you’re traveling to. You would be shocked at how many shops we went to in Scotland before I was able to find contact solution!
Below the infographic, I’m gonna talk about a few of my favorite accessories that I used and why I love them!
My favorite travel accessories:
Packing Cubes: These things are AMAZING!!! They come in multiple sizes so it was easy to separate what clothing items I wanted in which cube. I rolled all of them to save on space but the cubes help compress and organize your luggage! They are also super lightweight which was great since I put all of my luggage in a backpack, lugging these things around didn’t add any extra weight! BONUS- you can use these to organize your life outside of travel too!
Power Adapter: Knowing that I would be spending a ton of time taking pictures, looking up directions, and WhatsApp-ing to my heart’s content, I figured my battery wouldn’t make it through the day (I was right). Thankfully I alternated charging my phone and my portable battery whenever I was in the hostel/hotel so my phone only died once while I was abroad. I’ve got a photo library full of pictures thanks to this baby!
Charge Cable: Since I use my cell phone as my alarm clock I wanted to make sure that if I had a power plug I could stretch a cable across the entire room if necessary, to have my phone next to my bed for a wake-up call haha.
Cable Organizer: Between my Kindle, my cell phone, power adapter, wireless headphones and all the other tech I brought, I also had a ton of cables! This was a great tool for keeping everything together so that I always knew where to find my tech accessories.
Selfie Stick: Okay, I know how stupid these things look, both when you’re using them yourself and when you see other people using them…but they work! I hate to admit it but this ridiculous I always make sure I bring one on my trips because they seriously come in handy
Sleep Mask/Earplugs: Staying in hostels with complete strangers was a new experience for me. I’m soooo thankful I thought ahead and bought these because they were a lifesaver! I’m one of those freaks of nature that likes total silence to fall asleep. So whether you’re dealing with roommates turning the lights on at 4 am, loud snores, or potential uninvited guests – these bad boys have you covered!
Head on over to my “Travel Archives” to read about my UK excursion! Also, drop a comment below with your travel must haves or tips! Be sure to stay tuned for more info on travel tips and adventure accessories!
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