Saturday, May 14, 2011

What To Take With You When Travelling...

... 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.


  1. Sounded like great fun! Yes, I love to buy random scarves and earrings when I travel. Music CDs too! Oh, and I always buy a few children's books in the language of the country I'm in.

  2. Cat, good tips. I always bring my purse and it is a pain. I usually end up putting it in another bag, and that's just silly. I don't have any major travel plans in my near future, but I'll keep this in mind.

  3. Good advice, Cat. Thanks! I think these are important points even when you're traveling inside your own country. It's much more fun to have a bag full of memories than a bag full of stuff you could have done without!

  4. In addition to your duffle bag advice, I usually test drive the bag that will be with me through the day to make sure it's not slipping off the shoulder, cutting into my neck, etc.

    Good tips!

  5. I usually buy one special thing a trip. I spent as much as $2000 for a mosaic at the Vatican and $10 for a drawing in Spain. (It cost more to frame it) But I wouldn't do without either. They fill me with memories and give my home character, I strongly support buying something that gives you pleasure--like a small prayer rug from Turkey.--You can't have mine!

  6. Catherine, it was amazing! I got something for everyone, and of course some very special things for me.

    Kelly, I almost brought a purse, but then decided against it. I'm glad I did, too. The duffel was perfect.

    Ellen, I agree. When I first start off, I'm a hesitant picture taker, but as time goes on I start taking photos of everything I want to remember, and then when I go back and look at the pictures, I close my eyes and I'm there again.

    Wosushi, thankfully the duffel I took is one that I take with me to work all the time, so I was used to its weight and size. But that's a good tip, to test drive a duffel. Thanks for that!

    Jean, you went to the Vatican?!! Coolio. I want to go to Italy and Rome next, and I'll definitely go by the Vatican. Beautiful.

  7. Wow, you are really a smart traveler, Cat! My only trip planned right now is to Ohio. Whoopee! Your advise is good, except I'd die if I only brought one pair of shoes. I'd probably go into "shoe shock." Same with clothes. I have gotten a little smarter with that though and try to color coordinate my clothes so I dont have to bring as many different pairs of shoes.
    I always buy myself a pair of earrings when I go on a trip. I love earrings so whenever I put a pair on that I bought on a trip, it makes me smile and remember.

  8. Allyn, you're so cute! I loved the "shoe shock" comment. :) I also loved the idea about earrings. That's a fantastic idea. I love earrings, so I'll have to remember that for next time.

  9. I thought carrying a duffel bag would be so big and bulky and *obvious* that I would be embarrassed to go around Edinburgh with it slung over my shoulder. But it really wasn't like that at all, it was just perfect, the whole trip was perfect. I'm am an official Scottish fan!

  10. Thanks Cat for the info. I'm taking a trip this summer with my family and the purse tip is great. I lost my purse once in Disney World. Luckily, it is the greatest place on Earth and someone turned it in to the lost section immediately.

    I've given you the Stylish Blogger Award @ my site -

  11. Good tips, Cat! I especially like the ones about clothing and shoes. :) I'm glad you had so much fun.

    Oh, and can I say... '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."'
    I stopped and 'aahhhed' at that, just 'cause it's so pretty. :D


  12. I'm glad the post helped, Dawn. Have fun, and thanks so much for the award!

    Londy, it was amazing. I'm still sitting here, going, "I was in Scotland!!"

    That's the amazing part.


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