Travelling is great. New places, peoples, sights, tastes, experiences, friendships – what’s not to love? But packing is, well, not great.
As I see it, there are two kind of packers in this world: Stuffers and Planners. The Stuffers are the come-what-may, devil-may-care types who will shove their little suitcase with everything they can see and then need a friend to sit on it while they close it; they don’t really know what’s in the case and that’s alright by them. The Planners worry and fret, making lists, more lists and even spreadsheets of what they’re going to need on the other side. While a Stuffer will happily re-buy something they forgot to pack, for the Planner, this is defeat.
The more I’ve travelled and the more restrictive flights allowances have become, the more I’ve appreciated the art of the Planner. So, whether you Stuff or Plan, let me share my top travel accessories that belong in every girl’s suitcase.
New destinations mean sights, sights and more sights. From beaches to buildings to bystanders, I want to snap everything – and I love new photography tools.
For travelling, you can’t beat a flexible tripod or Gorilla Pod. These little guys look a bit odd with they’re knobbly, bendy legs but once you get to grips with them, they are a live-saver. Try one next time you want to take a time-lapse shot from your balcony or are waiting in the outdoors for that perfect wildlife shot – the legs wrap tight to any surface and will keep even the chunkiest of DSLRs stable.
Of course, don’t forget lots of memory cards and a good back-up system.
If you’re just getting more serious about your photography, the PhotoCaddy app for your iPhone is like having a pro photo teacher in your pocket. It gives you simple but effective tips for how to set up your camera for anything from landscapes to fireworks, with advice on aperture and speed settings to capture the light just right. The app is also available on Android but recent user reviews suggest they’ve stopped supporting it.
When you’re travelling, your phone is the ultimate multi-tool: communications, entertainment, alarm clock, torch, maps and all-round know-it-all. The last thing you want is to be lost in the middle of nowhere with a dead phone in your hand, so power banks really are essential.
There’s a great range to choose from now too, from rugged, high-capacity water-resistant beasts for explorers to slimline, compact units you can slip in your handbag until you need it. For the most useful features, look for a bank with at least 5000mAh, fast charging capabilities and, if you have a lot of tech, multiple sockets.
The device that’s only just made my packing list is a set of portable speakers. I used to rely on my phone’s speaker, but for glamping trips or even chilling outside in summer, you get a lot more out of a proper pair of speakers – much better for getting the party started and super easy to run from the Bluetooth on your phone. The Ultimate Ears UE Roll throws out some solid sound and, even better, is totally waterproof so you can float it in the pool or just survive another soggy festival – plus it comes in some stylish designs.
jewellery boxes for women out there, so I tend to pack a small one with all my shiny stuff in, or a cute jewellery roll if I’m travelling super light. Though it adds a bit of bulk to my packing, it gives me a safe place for my jewellery during the journey and at my destination, where I can just pop it in the hotel safe.