Preparing to Travel – Top Tips

Posted in Top Picks, Travelling

Travel opens your heart, broadens your mind and fills your life with stories to tell

Paula Bendfeldt

This year alone I have travelled to seven countries! Mind. Blown. Some of the travels have been work related, by presenting at a conference and such. But the rest are all last-minute travel adventures with myself and Ashton – and I cannot wait!

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!

Searching for your travel adventure

Consider these questions when searching for your perfect trip:

  • Where do you want to go?
  • What do you want to do?
  • How do you want to get there?

It could be in the same country, or in a new part of the world you haven’t experienced. You could just go for a beach holiday, or a city break. And there are so many ways of getting there – except teleporting. Though that could save some money and time!

Speaking of saving money, you could go for that all-inclusive package where you may think you’re saving yourself some money – OR you can find cheap deals on the internet.

For our trip in October, where we will be going to Germany and Belgium to see George Ezra and Kodaline – excluding spending money, it just comes under £180 for everything.

That’s right – under £180 for flights, accommodation, gig tickets and trains. And we’re spending 6 days there.

If you think that’s cheap – our next adventure in November where we’ll be visiting 3 countries and 5 cities, that will cost around £250 for travel, accommodation and two more gig tickets. Yes we’ll be absolutely exhausted and could sleep for days after both trips – but the experience will be worth it!

How is this even possible?

  • We searched on websites such as Skyscanner and Jack’s Cheap Flights calculate and flag up the cheapest flights around
  • We’re bunking up in hostels – HostelWorld have a variety of accommodations (plus it’s a great way to meet people as I discovered when I went to Italy in 2015)
  • We’re travelling overnight to save on accommodation costs
  • We also chose off peak times for travel – a lot of early morning starts and late nights but it will be all worth it

When you start to book it all – create a spreadsheet to calculate the cost, add timings (which will help with scheduling) and links to the source! Once you’ve confirmed a booking – highlight it so you can set your mind at ease of what’s been paid now and what is outstanding.

Packing for your travels

Have you got the following?

  • Tickets and check in documents either printed or loaded on your phone (to save the trees!)
  • Passport (because you won’t get far without it)
  • Currency (if you prefer to use your card, take in consideration of fees and charges)
  • Travel Insurance
  • Schedule of times of trains/flights and a number for taxis
  • Emergency contacts on your phone should anything go wrong
  • A suitable suitcase/back-bag

The main thing with packing is keeping 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. With clothes, while it’s wise to consider what the weather may be like, don’t cram in your whole wardrobe. You can wear items of clothing more than once – dress it up in different ways. If you’re worried about it smelling, check to see if your accommodation has a washer machine or at least a sink, and a hairdryer!

Here’s a list that you can use for packing, created by


Time flies when you’re having fun

I mentioned earlier that while booking, it’s your chance to map out your schedule – especially if you’re a planner like me!

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). Personally, I like to get somewhere early to put my mind at ease!

However, if you’re too early like I was for one of my flights in the summer, 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!

Entertaining yourself while travelling

Whether it’s a short or long haul and you’re on your own, 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!

Some quick wins to make travelling easier

  • 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!

Most importantly – have fun! Get out there and enjoy the experience! Whether you’re planning to travel on your own, with friends or with family – you will come home and have a lot of stories to tell.

I’ll be writing up the blog posts for each country I’ve visited soon so watch this space. In the meantime, let me know where you’ve been on your travels in the comments below!

Until next time,

Ps. Have you checked out my top tips for staying in Hostels?

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