... And, what not to take.
I went to Scotland, completely unsure exactly what I would need while travelling. This is the list I came up with, and how I'm going to travel next time I go out of the country.
Take a duffel bag, or a satchel, something big with a strap that you can loop over your shoulders. A duffel is important, because you can carry a sweater with you, should you need a sweater, a travel journal if you've brought one, your wallet if needed, your camera, and your sketchbook. It's also handy to have when you've purchased something and you don't feel like carrying it around in your hands for the rest of the day.
Do not take a purse. You'll find this only becomes an added weight that you really don't need to cart around with you.
Take your wallet. You can shove a lot into a wallet, especially if you are particularly talented at organizing space.
Don't take TOO too many books. If you're any sort of traveller, you're going to be spending more of your time writing in your journal and taking pictures than just reading.
Take a travel journal. Please, do yourself a favour and take a journal! You'll regret it if you don't. A travel journal is handy, because you can write down what you feel at a certain time, and it's also handy for holding any brochures and postcards you happen to collect for a scrapbook collage later.
Don't take more than one pair of shoes. If you've got a good, sturdy pair of walking shoes that don't give you blisters and you know you're going to be doing a lot of walking, one pair of shoes is more than ample. More than that, and you're simply going to be taking up valuable luggage space.
Don't take superfluous clothes. If you need to dress up an outfit, splurge and get yourself a fancy scarf or necklace later. Heck, the whole reason you're travelling is so that you can relax, take in a whole new lifestyle, and treat yourself. The less clothing you take (and you'll be surprised at how few clothes you can bring to create a whole two-week wardrobe) the more space you have for gifts.
Take initiative. If you see something you absolutely love and you don't think you ought to buy it, seriously seriously seriously consider buying it anyway. How many times do you think you're going to make it to such and such a country? Believe me, you don't want to live with "If only" remorse.
Take pictures. Lots and lots of pictures. Even if you're not a picture taker, FORCE yourself to take pictures!! There's nothing like having those memories to look back on, and remember that, "I stood here, and I put my hand on this cannon, and I looked over this country. I was here."
So, that's what I learned, anyway. I hope you liked all my travelling tips! Hope you all have a good trip too, now that I've inspired you to travel. (I have inspired you, haven't I? ;-)
God bless! Talk to you next time.