It’s about time I went on an adventure! The last time I was abroad was 2 years ago in Ghent, Belgium – now this time, I’ve managed to go to two, yes two, countries in two weeks!
Originally, it was just the one in Holland. The reason why I travelled to Utrecht was for the European First Year Experience Conference, which I presented a workshop on Sense of Belonging and Inclusion *pat on the back for self*. But during the times where I was winding down, I decided to go on a spontaneous trip to Amsterdam for the evening. However, while I was out there, I was asked if I’d go to Aarhus, Denmark with work for a students summer school the following week. This meant coming back home, unpacking – washing – and repacking again for another few days away!
Travelling on your own is nerve-wrecking. Now, I did technically travel on my own in Italy in 2015, however there was also the ex floating around the Airport to and from Italy, so I didn’t catch a flight completely on my own. This time, when I went to Holland, I was completely alone. No one I knew were on the same flight as me, or same train. Pretty daunting especially as I like everything planned out – and the second it goes wrong is where I start to freak out. However, what will happen, will happen. If I were to get stranded, then I’m sure someone would come and save me… right?!
This blog post is my lessons learnt from travelling which I hope you find useful for wherever you go in the world. Of course, I also did a lot of research on Pinterest (which you can look at on my Travelling board). So, grab yourself a brew and get comfortable!
The important stuff for travelling
Have you got the following important stuff?
- Tickets and check in documents either printed or loaded on your phone (to save the trees!)
- Currency (if you prefer to use your card, take in consideration of fees and charges)
- Schedule of times of trains/flights and a number for taxis
- Emergency contacts on your phone should anything go wrong
Keep it light and simple. As long as you remember the essentials (passport and tickets!), then anything else you do forget can be purchased either at the airport or at your destination.
Here’s a list that you can use for packing, created by whowhatwear.co.uk
The earlier the better. Take into consideration the fact you may face delays in travelling to the airport, be queuing for hours at security, or have to get to the gate which happens to be on the other side of the world (or, at least what it feels like the other side of the world).
However if you’re too early like I was for one of my flights, then prepare some entertainment for yourself; a book, films (just make sure your device is fully charged or you know where a socket is…) or even a bar for a refreshing beverage (alcoholic or non-alcoholic). Just don’t get blind drunk – you won’t be allowed on the plane!
Whether it’s a short or long haul, unless you’re interested in people watching, consider some of the following for entertainment:
- Stock up on films, music or books (as long as you’re not lugging around a suitcase JUST for books…)
- Ensure that if you’re using an electronic device, it is fully charged before getting on the train or plane. You won’t be allowed to charge it while flying, and not all trains have power sockets!
- When on a plane, make sure it’s on airplane mode!
- Consider those around you – wear headphones so you’re not disturbing them. Even if you find that they’re occasionally peaking over your shoulder to catch up on RuPaul’s Drag Race.
- Should you run low on battery or forget a book (you wally!) then why not grab a pen and notebook and write or draw. It could be whatever is on your mind, a poem or doodles. Something to pass the time!
- See if you can check in prior to arriving to the airport. You’ll be able to go straight to security unless you’re checking in bags!
- Organise your cabin bag so it’s easier to go through security. I have got a cables bag so all my things for my phone, watch, camera and laptop can be stored away and not have cables getting tangled up. You can purchase one from Amazon here.
- Wear comfortable clothes – you’ll thank me for this. Not only will you avoid triggering the security alarm, but you’ll be comfortable throughout!
- Keep family and friends up to date where you are. It puts their minds at ease!
Let me know where you’re off to on your travels! In the meantime, I’ll be writing up about my adventures in Holland and Denmark so watch this space!
Until next time,