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Travel Essentials ?>

Travel Essentials

  • Accommodation App

belo-200x200-4d851c5b28f61931bf1df28dd15e60efMy all time favourite accommodation app is Airbnb.

Airbnb allows you to stay with local ‘hosts’, this could be people that have extra rooms, entire homes/apartments, and even unique accommodation like castles and igloos.

Airbnb is my go-to app for travelling accommodation as there’s nothing I enjoy more than immersing myself in the culture of a particular area, gaining local insights, and also making friends with my hosts. I adore the ease of use from this app, in previous trips I have booked my first weeks accommodation in advance but then used the app to search for my next accommodation whilst on the move.

airbnb apartmentIs it safe? As much as travelling is safe yes. You would use your common sense, check out reviews, ask the host questions and if you have doubts then don’t book. The arrangement works both ways, as a guest you will need to verify ID for most bookings so that hosts can also know you are who you say you are – when you have done this once, it is saved to your profile.

It does not cost anything to sign up and personally, I would carefully read through other guest reviews as well as speak to the host to clarify details before booking.

Want money off your first stay? Yes of course? Well then follow this link to book your stay and I’ll give you £25 towards your first adventure!


  • Luggage

I would like words with whoever told the first backpacker that they needed an 85L expedition backpack. This is the classic stereotypical travelling accessory: a back-breaking and inconvenient way to carry your personal items.

  1. Remember that time you carefully packed your pj’s in first as they were one of the first things you had on your list? Yup, there’s no accessing them when you arrive to your hostel after lights-out without first emptying your entire array of underwear, bug repellent, chargers, hot weather clothes, cold weather clothes,  in case your not sure of the weather clothes, night out items, spare shoes…you get the picture. There is generally only on way into an expedition backpack.
  2. How often do you find yourself in the depths of the jungle? Okay, maybe if you enjoy the off-the-beaten-track type adventures then perhaps you should be using a crippling backpack as there is no way you have suitable ground to wheel your belongings. However, think of the amount of times you will be in airports, paved footpaths/roads, feeling like you are carrying an elephant on your back and wishing so much that you had a suitcase you could wheel along.

So you need a luggage spacious enough for extended trips, that has wheels, easily accessible…sounds like the majority of tourist holiday suitcases? BUT what if there are times that you might need to have it on your back? What if some places don’t have a suitcase-friendly ground?

luggageI have the solution!backpack

Okay so I didn’t invent or make them
…but I can point you in the right direction. There are many ‘hybrid’ backpack/suitcases out there now. The one I use, and since purchasing this I have never looked back, is the Osprey Sojourn 60. This luggage acts as a wheel-along suitcase and then also has a compartment which can be unzipped to reveal a backpack harness.

You most certainly do not need anything much bigger than 60L. If you find that your belongings will not fit, you need to consider whether you are really prioritising what you will NEED on your travels rather than taking everything you own. Are you really going to miss that giant panda cuddly toy your first love got you?

For shorter trips (2 weeks or less) I will use my 30L backpack. This typically goes against everything I said about not using the stereotypical ‘travellers’ backpack’ however, due to the small size it is easy to access what you need, it can be taken on a plane as handluggage and, unless you are packing bricks, it’s too small to become back-breakingly heavy whilst travelling.

  • Ladies

Sorry chaps, you can skip past this section.

Ladies do have to consider how they are going to deal with that dreaded time of the month whilst travelling and, although it’s not often spoken aloud, for many girls this is a significant worry when thinking about travelling to a foreign country. Products take up so much room in my luggage! Will there be easy access to products where I am going? How can I prepare for this?

Well here is your solution… Menstrual cups.

Although a conservationist and always looking for ways to be more sustainable myself, I came across these quite late on and I have never looked back. They are just not advertised enough! I feel quite smug about never having to buy another tampon or having to embarrassingly mumble to a fellow female asking if they have a spare ‘lady product’ ever again.

Never heard of them?
A menstrual cup is a type of feminine hygiene product alternative to tampons and pads. And there is a whole range out there.

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As well as being compact and discrete, menstrual cups have appealing health benefits, save you a lot of money (especially as regular menstrual products are subject to ‘luxury item’ tax), as well as being a whole heap better for the environment.

mooncupOne specific brand of menstrual cup is the Mooncup

and they have produced a great

video to point out the benefits vs. tampons.

Check it out below