22 June 2022
As Chatty’s resident travel diary queen and chaos causer, I’ve got you covered with my top 5 tips that you need sorted before you head off.
Every woman and their bloody dog are off on an adventure (pretty sure I’ve heard every single person I know mention that they’re off for a Euro summer shortly….). The thing is though, as spontaneous and fun as I can be, I’m also type A and a great planner. You spend the money to enjoy trips like this, so It’s important to make sure that you have done the due diligence and requisite admin to have as smooth-sailing a trip as possible.
Obviously, there will always be things that are out of your control, but the good news is that there are things within your control. So focus on what you can change for yourself and take on these tips to have an incredible holiday.
Get an Airtag!
I don’t know why some people ignore this but in a post-pandemic era, this is a must.
Airtags are literally changing, and I don’t just mean because it’s fun to constantly stalk where your luggage is (like low key it becomes addictive watching where it is… “oh it’s on the plane, oh it’s in a different terminal”….).
I cannot advocate for the purchase of an airtag enough. It is the best NZD$65 you will spend, and it gives you the ability to go to the airline and say “you have lost my luggage, it’s currently in Milan, Italy but I’m in Munich, Germany!”
It increases your confidence that (1) you’ll have security over your belongings and (2) that you can quickly and efficiently find your luggage if lost.
I haven’t travelled without an airtag recently, and although on both of my international trips in 2021, I didn’t lose luggage, just knowing that my luggage was ok was such an added relief.
You can even just log in to check it is still at your accommodation, or on a train when you’re on a train. It also goes off with a notification if you’ve “left it behind” which is great if you’re on a train, bus or ferry (as it may indicate that someone is trying to take it!).
Make Sure Your Travel Companions Are On The Same Page
It’s so important to be happy with who you are travelling with. I have a lot of like-minded friends who are similar in a lot of material aspects, but it’s pertinent that you and your travel companions know the difference between travelling and a vacation.
Do you want an adventure based trip? A sight-seeing based trip? A partying trip? A festival trip? I’m the type of traveller that does all of the above. I like to go see sights from 8:00am to 6:00pm, then have an extremely fancy dinner and be partying till 5:00 am. Does everyone else want to do that? No, not necessarily.
Travelling is about understanding each other and one’s boundaries and also respecting that. It’s important that you try to pick likeminded travel companions, or are happy doing things alone if need be. If you all need 30 minutes at the end of the day scrolling on Tik Tok and not speaking, great. If you need 30 minutes of spoon time with your best mate, also great.
Find Local Pals
If you’ve read my travel diaries, you know that there is no better way to travel than to find local friends/love interests who show you a more authentic part of the destination.
It’s important you do this safely for sure, but talking to people, socialising and making friends is so pertinent to having a successful trip to me.
I love meeting random and new people as they are always happy to show you fun and random events.
In December 2022, I went to a comedy show hosted by a dating app called “Feeld” which is for people interested in more alternative relationships, all because we met a local who said he was going to it. He turned out to be a psycho, but at the event, we met a lovely person called Dante who offered to take us to San Diego and show us around. They even baked us cookies for the ride.
Similarly, in Vegas, I went to a music festival called Electric Daisy Carnival (tickets cost around $700 USD) for free because I met a cute athlete from LA who decided to sneak me in. Winning.
In Brazil, I met a taxi driver/helicopter pilot called Jerusa who was so unimaginably cool. She took me to a Capoeira show (that’s a Brazilian martial art that combines dance, acrobatics and jiu jitsu), a Samba show and even drove me through a Favela. Although this was all in 2017, to this day we are still instagram friends and reply to each other’s stories.
So I urge you to be open to mingle with people from your destination (as long as you’re safe about it!).
Cross Body or Bum Bags during the day
Lulu lemon is your absolute BESTIE if you’re on holiday with their belt bags. While travelling, I wear mine religiously (every day) during the day because it keeps your valuables close to your chest and isn’t easy to snatch.
Having a belt bag, bum bag, fanny pack or cross body is efficient and practical.
Handbags are cute, but if they aren’t cross body, they’re quite easy to just rip off in big cities prone to pickpocketing like London, Paris, Barcelona and Rome.
I would highly recommend investing in a small and functional cross body bag that you can store your passport, phone and money in.
Don't Take Shit You Won't Use
Do not take things that you do not 100% know with certainty that you will use. My rule is that if you don’t know when exactly you’re using something, it shouldn’t come with you.
I consider myself a relatively light packer and it’s because I have rules. For shoes, I’m only allowed one white sneaker that matches everything and then a set of slides for a day to day basis.
If there are outfits you’re packing that you’re unsure about but are taking purely because you think that you might wear them, do not take it. Do not take your ifs and maybes on a long holiday. You need clothes that will be comfy, easy to wear and won’t annoy you. I’m talking staple pieces that can easily be mixed and matched, and easy and comfy dresses. For long trips, dresses are usually my go to, especially linen maxi dresses because they are breathable and airy.
Depending on your travel destination, I’d also recommend against taking a lot of makeup thinking that you’ll wear it every day. For me, especially if I’m in a hot location, I want clean, beautiful and easy products to use.
My travel skincare and makeup routine consists exclusively of the following products:
Clinique - Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm
Kit No. 4 Concentrate Oil
Mecca To Save Face SPF50+ Brightening Sun Serum
Clinique Moisture Surge
Urban Decay Stay Naked concealer
Aspect Hydrating Lip Balm
Aspect Hydrating Lip Balm
Aspect Sheet Mask
That’s the wrap up, chums! Hopefully, my ultimate guide will have you covered for any upcoming vacays that you may have!