A new year, a new set of great adventures to look forward to!
First up is Prague with my mom in March for her big 6-0! One of the best things about my mom living back in the UK is we get to have these fun girls’ weekends to many places my friends and Matt have already been but we’ve not gotten to see.
Next with be my annual holiday with Matt, which is his turn to pick (as I’ve apparently picked all the rest…oops). His phobia of planning and insistence that his idea of a perfect holiday involves sitting on a couch watching telly should make this interesting. Keep your fingers crossed for some excitement readers!
Not only do I enjoy putting a bit of research and planning into my travel, but I get really excited about packing for a trip, especially if I have some new treats to take with me. This post is a round up of some of my favourite things I can’t wait to put in my suitcase for my trips this year. There’s a little bit of all my obsessions as well – beauty, handbags, self-care, and travel notebooks!
Here’s some of the items I’ll be packing this year
*Disclosure: this post contains some affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase
A travel planner
My travel journal has long been a staple in my bag, but while planning my trip to Vietnam, I felt like I needed something else to visually map the trip out, and somewhere to write stuff down like accommodation addresses in case of phone batteries dying/no wifi.
I picked this travel planner up Wilko, which at the moment has a surprisingly cute collection of stationary for good value (this was £3!).
It’s broken down into sections for each trip for accommodation addresses, packing lists, travel goals, and more. I loved the fun, tropical colours and the little travel quotes at the beginning of each section. Best of all, it’s binder style, so you can take out the sections you aren’t using and leave them at home so it doesn’t weigh down your luggage.
A carry-all satchel
This Michael Kors satchel was one of my Christmas presents from Matt this year, and I’ve fallen in love with the buttery colour and supple texture. It’s cross-body so perfect for a day exploring or as a carry on bag, and most importantly it fits my journals and iPad. Right now it’s my work go-to because it has a pocket for my Oyster card.
I wouldn’t recommend this particular bag if you are headed on a city break where pick-pocketing is an issue (it ties and buttons rather than zips leaving openings at the sides). For that, I’d recommend something like my rather well-worn travel bag (it’s from Radley but getting a bit worn so I’ll skip the pic). It’s also cross-body, zippered, nylon, fits a surprising amount despite being a small size (I can even get my water bottle into it) and isn’t too flashy. Plus, it fold completely flat to fit in my suitcase if I’m travelling with a budget airline.
A new scent
I find travelling can be a great time to try out a new perfume and usually try to take some samples with me on a trip. Not only are minis and samples travel bag friendly, but a new scent I wear on a trip ends up always reminding me of that place.
Recently I got a sample of Givenchy L’Interdit I tried out in my trip to Rome and loved the dark floral and fruity scent. And the fact that it really lingers; I could still smell it after an entire day walking around in the heat. I was ecstatic to receive it for Christmas this year and feel transported back to the streets of Rome every time I wear it. I’m sure to make lots of new memories wearing it as the perfume is certainly coming with me to Prague!
A bamboo toothbrush
I want to try to be a greener traveller this year, more than ever before, and one step towards that is switching from using plastic toothbrushes to bamboo toothbrushes. I really love this one got recently from Humble Co. and can’t wait to use it on my next trip.
An energising face mask
Jet lag is so hard to shake and I hate those days travelling when you just want to sleep. I need something to energise me and my skin. I love this face mask I got recently in one of my pink parcel boxes; it smells like a comforting cup of coffee and contains arabica coffee and Moroccan lava clay, meaning it wakes up your skin and always leaves me looking fresher (and the coffee smell makes me less grumpy!).
A detox mask for city breaks
Skin detox is something I need daily living in London, but it’s even worse when I’m on a city break as I’m outside in the pollution constantly rather than disappearing into my office. When I’m short on space, I choose a tissue mask like this one from Garnier.
For longer stays I love this 1-minute urban detox mask (time can be of the essence when on a city break) it exfoliates and you can target problem areas which means it’s perfect for my combination skin. Plus, it’s under 100ml (carry-on friendly) and is quite reasonably priced (£6.99) considering how many uses each bottle has.
A great dry shampoo
Travelling can sometimes mean having less time to wash hair or sometimes being in hot climates meaning you’ll feel the need to wash it even more. Yay for dry shampoo! However, I hate ones that leave white residue or feel sticky. This one from Percy & Reed is really light and does seem to be clear!
A relaxing pillow spray
I wrote about this one recently as a must-have for long flights, but I like to pack my Thisworks Deep Sleep Pillow Spray regardless of the trip. I love spritzing a bit on my pillow at my accommodation. Sometimes I don’t sleep as well some place new but as I also often use this at home, it tricks my brain into thinking I’m in my own bed.
A soothing roll-on
I may seem like a well-adjusted traveller these days, but this wasn’t always the case and I used to struggle with occasional airsickness in my teens. While this has subsided in recent years so long as I’m sat near the window, I’m always a bit scared it’s going to come back. I often pack some ginger teas or candied ginger for a flight, but I recently found this Travel Ease Aromatherapy rollerball from Dr. Organic. It’s infused with ginger, grapefruit, and patchouli oils which not only helps with nausea, but also helps keeps you awake and alert while travelling.
A make-up removing cloth
Another one I referred to recently, I love this makeup removing cloth from MAGN!TONE London, it get off everything with just water (perfect for sensitive skin), dries fast (pack it up and go), and is more environmentally friendly than other makeup remover (it can be easily washed and used over and over).
Some hot weather must-haves
Off somewhere lovely and warm?
Even I found the heat in central and southern Vietnam unbearable at times and usually I’m like a lizard – I just want to lie in a sunny spot and absorb it. But humidity or not being from a warm climate might mean you need some help cooling down.
In addition to always carrying water and staying hydrated, there’s some other things you can get to help. I got this cool towel for Matt, who is very heat intolerant as a gift and I think he’s taken it on every trip. You wet it, shake it in the container and it stays nice and cool.
For me, sometimes I just need a cooling face spray, like this one.
A go-everywhere piece of luggage
I rarely travel with more than a carry-on, whether because I don’t want to pay almost as much as my flight for a checked bag when travelling on budget airlines within Europe, or because if I’m going further away, I’m likely going to be doing a lot of travelling around so being weighed down with luggage would just be miserable. I was always a rolling suitcase kind of person, thinking that it would be too hard to use a backpack being my size (I’m more likely to be able to fit inside the type of backpack most people take travelling, not carry it). But then I found the Osprey Fairview backpack and it has replaced my knackered little wheelie case. It’s carry on size, comfortable, and fits my frame just fine (in the US? Find it here.)
What are your favourite things to pack for your trips?