“What would you pack for a weekend away?”

Over the last few months, I’ve become a little slack in the blogging department. But what better way to get back into writing, than to answer a competition question from TrekAmerica?

Blog-for-trek-homepage-860x300

Ok, so, in 2013, I spent the majority of the year living out of a suitcase/backpack for countless, weeks, weekends and months during my training, working and travelling. When it comes to packing light, I have definitely learnt the difference between essentials and excess.

a391f5bc30ad11e3abfb22000a1fbae5_8

Before packing for a weekend, its important to consider various factors. Your destination, the climate and what your planned activities are, then you can base your entire wardrobe around these.

For me, I like to travel in my ‘heavy’ clothing. So say, a thick knitted jumper, skinny jeans and a nice pair of boots. This in the end saves SO much room in your bag! And not forgetting, they can be pretty heavy when weighed. (I haven’t got time for a heavy bag!)

But what do you put in your case?

  • No matter where you go, you will need a raincoat. It rains EVERYWHERE. Investing in what I like to call, a mum jacket, will save some really sad moments when you’re completely wet through. It’s honestly a lifesaver! Or pack a poncho, just as cheap, and easily accessible on eBay.
  • A dress. Always. Dress it up for an evening out, dress it down when you’re sightseeing. I’m sure you don’t need fashion tips!
  • A couple of good tshirts/tops. Once again, something you’re comfortable in, but something you can also dress up in the evenings.
  • Skirt/Shorts. Depending on your destination, you might want to trade these for leggings/jeans.
  • Flip Flops. Pure essentials. Even if you’re on a winter break, think about that lovely hostel bathroom you might be sharing…

I like to take a bag in addition to my case/backpack. Something that is big enough for daytime to fit the majority of your essentials in, but something you can also use on a nightout. Cover all your grounds! Remember, most accommodation these days will always provide a towel. Why waste precious space?!

16804bca2e7711e3b41222000a1f8cb0_8

And not forgetting the all important ‘essential’ checklist!

  • Underwear & Socks. Take more than you think you even need. Loads of it. Can’t go wrong with it!
  • Toiletries. There are these genius little mini travel toiletries these days. Why weigh yourself down with full size bottles? Don’t forget that all important bottle of travel wash. Stay fresh.
  • Makeup. Keep it basic! Unless you can’t live without your entire makeup bag, take the whole thing. We’re not judging ladies!
  • Camera. You don’t need an explanation! But don’t spend your entire time staring down a lense. Talk to the locals! Learn more about their culture and where you are.
  • Ipod/Iphone! Communication and music. Chill central. Don’t spend you’re entire time on Facebook though.
  • Pen & Paper. For me, I love to bullet point my entire day in the evening. You can’t forget anything in years to come that way.
  • Chargers/Spare Batteries. Cameras/Iphones/Ipods. All needed.
  • Medication/Glasses/Contact Lenses/Sunglasses. Self explanitory.
  • Passport/Travel Documents. You aren’t going anywhere without these bad boys!

990edb22d10e11e2a2ce22000a1fa411_7

There are obviously hundreds of different items you could take away with you, that you could adapt for any situation. But most importantly, take a sense of adventure, be open minded, and get completely stuck in with the new culture, and way of living. The best way to see a place, is to discover places off the unbeaten track and speak to locals, and you’ll have the trip of a lifetime.

Enter the TrekAmerica competition yourself here.

What can you not travel without? Let me know!

Thai Travels

Recently, I was asked to prepare a short piece on my time in Thailand for a well known travel company, whilst including information about a favourite activity of mine. I thought I would share the whole piece on here, as it has been a while since my last post.

 

Thailand is in the heart of Asia. Well know for its long stretches of beautiful sandy beaches and crystal clear waters, it is fast becoming a popular destination for all. Whether you’re looking for relaxation, a fast paced adventure or a guided tour, there is something for everyone to do.

In the south are the small Thai islands. Every island is different, but one thing is for sure, relaxation in the day is a must for every traveller, before moving on to your next destination.

Phuket is the largest of the islands. Surrounded by hundreds of other tiny islands, these are best seen by boat, where kayaking in the perfectly formed caves is a must.
IMG_6718
There is the island of Koh Phangan, which is perfect for party lovers, as it is home to the world famous, full moon parties. Or for the complete opposite, there is Koh Tao, where an amazing opportunity to dive with whale sharks is available.

The north of Thailand is a personal favourite of mine. Beautifully green and rich in culture and history, it is a far cry from the southern sun. In the heart of the north, is the busy capital, Bangkok. Delicious street food, busy markets and cooking classes can all be found here, and a beautiful temple and golden Buddha can still be found on every corner.

Chaing mai is 400 miles north of Bangkok, and is known as the cultural capital of the north. It is famous for having over 100 temples and some of the biggest, and best, night markets. Here you can try your hand at haggling with the locals for some of the finest hand made jewellery, clothing and Thai souvenirs. A popular day time activity with tourists in the north is to visit an elephant sanctuary. Here they offer a once in a lifetime opportunity to get up close and personal with the now endangered Asian elephant. A great full day out interacting with the animals, includes learning basic commands, feeding, riding and even washing the elephants, before being served up a delicious local Thai lunch. You will even receive a photo of your time at the camp. It is definitely an experience to remember and one that will stay with you for a lifetime.

 Wherever your interests lie, you will always find the perfect place, and activity, waiting for you in Thailand.

 

20131103-171711.jpg