1. Be organised (this is also good advice for life in general). Pack your things in an organised manner – know where anything is in your suitcase at any given time. Trust me, it makes the trip more fun. Devote a section of your backpack to recyclable waste, if you are like me and have a physical inability to throwing recyclables in the rubbish bin (I recycle them later!).
2. Pack light -don’t bring too many clothes. Hotels/hostels usually have laundry facilities, but bring your own laundry detergent (whilst on holiday I bought some eco laundry with borax. I often use Dr Bronner’s liquid soap for handwashing in the sink, which is what I did at one of the hotels, letting the clothes dry in the bathroom). As for toiletries I bought along my homemade toothpaste, toothbrush, Dr Bronner’s liquid soap (for hands & body), homemade deodorant (recipe coming up soon), jar of baking soda & tiny bottle of vinegar (for washing my hair) plus I bought vegetable oil which I used for cooking & moisturising (my lips were really dry when the weather got really cold). I like to use environmentally-friendly toiletries on holiday. I also think that single-use shampoo bottles & lotions etc that hotels use are wasteful – I thought that this blog had an interesting suggestion for hotels to solve this plastic nuisance!
3. Hostels. They’re not just for partying early twenty year olds! I think that staying in hostels is good for the character. You’re likely to actually talk to other people staying in a hostel, unlike in a hotel, which can be interesting. Personally, I don’t mind sharing a communal bathroom with others, or a kitchen. In fact, the kitchen is always the biggest perks of staying at a hostel, since you save money by not eating out for every meal, plus you don’t have to tripadvisor every eatery in the city/town/village and inspect their menus online to see if there’s anything suitable for vegans (I tend not to eat salads at restaurants). Bring your own towel and lock though – hostels tend to rent things like that out (cheeky! Especially the locks for the lockers. Safety of possessions is a right, not a privilege). Hostelling is probably the most fun when you are with a group of friends. Otherwise, sharing a room full of other people is fine. The best of both worlds is if you get to have access to a communal kitchen and bathroom, but have a private room. Some hostels do offer this. Still, I’d recommend the experience of sharing a room with other people – it’s different.
4. I always bring my water bottle on holiday. It’s handy on flights too – the air stewards/stewardesses are happy to fill it up instead of me using a plastic cup. Make sure to empty out any water in the bottle before going through airport security though.
5. Pack re-usable bags, folding them neatly into your suitcase. They’re useful at home, and their useful on holiday e.g. lugging shopping from a local supermarket to the hostel.
6. Remember – road trips are meant to be slightly stressful. You can’t plan for everything. But let the stress go afterwards, and enjoy the rest of your holiday.
7. When I go on holiday abroad, I like to go for at least 10 days – any less and it doesn’t feel like much of a break. It allows you to really absorb your new surroundings, and even miss home. It’s also a good idea to stay in places for 2 or even 3 nights, particularly if they’re interesting, as opposed to whizzing around all holiday and only staying one night, which can be exhausting.
Do you have any tips for travellers/ people on holiday?