Top Tips

Packing For USA

We set off for New York tomorrow, it’s gonna be a pretty epic trek to get there.  Leaving home at about 10:30am, to catch a 10:57am train to Leeds, then a nice 30 min wait at the exciting Leeds train station before catching the train to Manchester.  We’ll have about 2.5hrs in Manchester Airport before setting of at 15:45pm.  We land in London, and have about 1.5 hrs before finally getting on the plane to America.  We land at 10:30pm local time, which is 3:30am UK time so about 17hrs after setting off.

Oh working that our has just depressed me!

Anyway, I have the day off today to do some laundry, cleaning, and finish packing.  So I thought I would show you what I’ve packed.  I still have a few essentials missing like toothbrush, phone, keys, etc.

P1040499Obviously, the main suitcase is mainly clothes. That part of America has had some changeable weather recently, and I expect it’ll be nice when we’re there but a bit chilly in New York and a bit rainy in Washington.  There’s also the chance for sunny days, and that we might go to nice places for dinner, so I had to pack a variety of outfit options.  So I’m taking:

  • Bottoms- black jeans, blue jeans, green trousers, blue skirt, black skirt, green shorts
  • Tops- green t-shirt, grey flower top, pink top, star wars top, tie-dye t-shirt, black shirt (and vest to wear underneath)
  • Knitwear- L’amour jumper, pink cardigan, black hoody, dinosaur jumper, coat
  • Sportswear- running top, running leggings, sports socks, sports bra, headband, bikini
  • Also- black and white dress, PJ t-shirt, tights, socks, underwear

As you can see in the photo I’ve taken some of those clothes and put them in a pile next to my suitcase, these are my travel clothes.  I even have my underwear for traveling picked out so I don’t wake up and find there’s nothing clean in my drawer.

In my suitcase I also have my toiletries and hair things, my rain coat, a hat, emergency tea bags, some analogue cameras and film, and a plug adapter.  I’m using my backpack as my carry on luggage, and I have a plastic wallet with my passport, money, and travel insurance in it.  I have three books to pretend to read on the plane, my purse, and two small bags (one for day, one for evening for day-to-day use).  I also have spare underwear, socks, and a t-shirt in case my suitcase gets lost.

And most importantly, I have the birthday card my mum gave me to open on my birthday!

Categories: New York, Top Tips, USA | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Travel Book- Flaneuse by Lauren Elkin

20170109_222852.jpgThought I would flag up* any interesting books that are travel related, either about traveling or a good holiday read.  Flaneuse by Lauren Elkin sort of defies genre, but is mainly a memoir for a woman who’s probably too young to be writing a memoir.

A Flaneuse is a made up word really, a feminine version of a flaneur, which is a French idler, who wanders around cities exploring them on foot. Continue reading

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Travel Apps

I’m not big into apps, largely because my phone needs to be wound up every night to keep it working, but I understand they are quite popular with some folks.

I found this list of travel apps on the Guardian website and thought I would pass it along.  It’s their pick of the 10 best apps to help plan your holidays.

Happy Holidaying 🙂

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Youtube Shout Out- Wolter’s World

Just wanted to share a Youtube channel I enjoy, Wolter’s World.  Mark, who runs the channel, has lived, worked, and traveled all over the world.

Rather than straight forward travelogues, his most common videos seem to be ‘ 5 Things You’ll Love and Hate About…’  and ’10 Things That’ll Shock You About…’. They give an interesting over view of the country or city.

Although I do think it’s impossible to sum an entire country up in just a few statements, he’s not trying to do that, rather just telling visitors a few key facts about where they want to go.


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Planning A Trip- Tips

I like traveling but I love planning….I think I enjoy planning a holiday more than actually being on it…that’s my issue and often my boyfriend’s, but maybe I can use my crazy to help others?

And you may think you like being spontaneous and don’t want to plan every minute detail of the holiday…my response to you is how are you getting from the airport to your hotel?

Continue reading

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Foreign and Commonwealth Office

If you’re in the UK you can check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website to see the most up to date travel advice for the country you’re going to.



As well as travel advice on health care, security, and transport, there’s also a summary highlighting any area that they advise against travelling to.  This is usually because of terrorism or social unrest, and is a warning that the area is too dangerous to visit.

You’re travel company will probably provide you with an alternative, or your travel insurance will cover you to cancel the holiday.

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Travel Insurance

Here are a few things to consider when purchasing travel insurance:

  • What kind of a holiday are you going on?
    • Adventure, sight seeing, gap year
  • Who and what do you need cover for?
    • Just you, the family, anyone over 70
  • Do you have medical conditions?
    • Make sure you declare them
  • What’s your budget?

Continue reading

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What to Wear to the Airport

So what do you wear to the airport?

Well clothes, guys, I was kind of hoping that went without saying.  But anyway.  There are some variables to consider here but here are some tips:

  • Footwear
    Comfortable shoes, well of course I would recommend you always wear sensible shoes but especially when you might have to do a mad dash to check in on time, wander aimlessly around the airport for 3 hrs trying to find a decent vegetarian sandwich, or sit for 10hrs with no leg room.
    Also, if you wear anything approaching a boot make sure they are easy to get on and off as you will have to remove them as you go through security.   I would say don’t wear boots but if they are an integral part of your holiday clothes then you probably should as it will open up some space in your suitcase for other books.

Continue reading

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Top Travel Tips-Being Organised!

  • Write down the address of where you’re staying on paper- saving it to your phone is not good enough if your battery runs out.
  • Keep the addresses, tickets, flight times and boarding passes, and your passport in a separate wallet in your hand luggage when you fly so you don’t lose anything.
  • Research how you are going to get from the airport to your accommodation or wherever you are heading. Taxis are usually easier but more expensive but you also need to find the taxi rank.  Use the airport website to find out if there is a shuttle bus or local bus and where to get it.
  • Even if you like to be spontaneous research somewhere to eat using tripadvisor or some such website.  You will get of the plane and be hungry, you will not want to wander around wasting your precious time in a foreign city scavenging for food.
  • Also note down a few things you want to do, and how you’ll get there.  If you’re not driving you’ll need to know where to get the bus or pay for taxis.
  • Find out when you can check in to your hotel, and whether you can leave your bags there if you arrive earlier.  If not, or you don’t want to go there and then back out again store your bags at the train station or a private luggage storage place.  NB you can not store stuff in UK train stations because they suck.
Categories: Asia, Europe, Random, Top Tips, UK, USA | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Top Travel Tips- Things To Take In Your Hand Luggage

Passport Wallet

The past few years I’ve tried to make the airport experience smoother by keeping my passport, tickets, and boarding pass together and easily accessible. I used to just used an old envelop but now I have a small plastic wallet (about 18 x 25cm) to store it all.  I also have a tendency to be incredibly protective of my passport when I am going through security, then chuck it somewhere when I get on the plane, and flap around trying to find it again when I land.


Obviously, I always get some currency for the country I am going to before I set off but one thing I do now is to make sure I have some of my usual currency (GBP) to pay for a taxi to the airport or food and drink at the airport.  And I keep the two currencies separate, either in two purses or separate pockets in my purse.

Everyday Essentials

It’s always a good idea to take some extra underwear in your hand luggage in case your bag gets lost, and some toothpaste and a toothbrush for the same reason.  But I also like to take some shorts, if I can fit them in, as I tend to travel in jeans to a much hotter country and want to change right away. Conversely, if you’re travelling to a colder country then take a cardigan or jacket with you.

Another Bag

Quite often I purposefully book early flights so I get the most out of the day that I arrive at the other end but my accommodation will not be ready for check-in until 2pm.  So I have to stow my stuff somewhere, either in a locker or leave it at the hotel until I can check-in properly.  My hand luggage bag is always bigger and more cumbersome than what I want to carry around with me everyday so I put my smaller day bag in my hand luggage, and put my phone, purse, camera etc in it.  So when I dropped my stuff off I can just grab my little day bag and go, rather then spend 30 mins shuffling all my stuff around first.


You have to be careful with food in your hand luggage but something like a cereal bar or crisps should be fine.  Usually, I end up getting up quite early and not really being in the mood but by the time you’ve taken the bus/train/taxi to the airport you might have already been awake for several hours, factor in the time it takes to get through airport security and you’ll be ravenous and force to pay the airport premium for food.  I also take a drink with me sometimes, and just drink it before I head through security.


When I come home I usually have more than one bag to go through.  I empty the bags out and make sure to check every pocket of every bag before putting them again as you can easily leave something like money or your passport in a pocket somewhere.

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