Holiday Prep | My Travel Essentials

Now that our big trip is just a few days away, I’ve been busy shopping for, and packing, all the things I’m going to need. For those of you who may have missed my previous travel posts, this Thursday, my hubby and I are off on a big two month travel adventure so there has been a lot of list writing and much to organise.

For me, it’s not the easiest thing to pack for holidays at the best of times, so packing for two months away has definitely been a challenge. I always pack far too much, I think of every possible scenario that may or may not happen, and pack several outfits and accessories for each. I just can’t help it, and I envy those who can just throw a few staple pieces in a suitcase and go!

But this time I’ve had to reign myself in and give myself a good talking to because frankly, one suitcase is all I have and it will be home to all my possessions for the next eight weeks. Through all my meticulous planning and preparation, I’m really hoping that I’ve packed just the right amount of everything (I’ll revisit this statement once I return home to let you know how successful I was!).

I’ve divided this week’s travel posts into two, today’s post is all about my basic travel essentials, while the second post is on all things beauty and toiletries, how I’ve managed to narrow down what makeup to pack, as well as some staple beauty items that I’m bringing.

For me, the below items are things that no trip would be complete without; things I couldn’t live without. So here’s a look at what travel essentials are top of my list to go in my suitcase:

My camera


Anyone who knows me, knows I love photographs. I’m not an amazing photographer, but I couldn’t live without my camera. One of my favourite things to do is sit and look through my photo collection, allowing each image to invoke memories of a time and place. I would have a house full of photo walls if I could!

Anyway, for this trip, and because I’ve been thinking about it for a while, I decided to treat myself to a new camera. After a lot of research I opted for the Olympus Pen EPL7 camera which is big in the blogging world, has an abundance of settings, and both photo and video options so I can both blog and (hopefully) vlog my trip. I’ve never done a vlog before, so I’m going to give it a go, and sure if it’s a complete disaster, then a least I’ll still have some pretty pictures.

A good sun hat


This is both a practical and fashionable must-have. It’s going to be pretty damn hot in some of the places we’re visiting and although I’m a complete sun worshiper, I always take a good hat with me to keep my face protected from UV rays. It’s also a good way to keep your face cool when walking and touring around in the heat.

This little one is an oldie I picked up in a Spanish market a few years ago and goes with absolutely everything. It’s seen me through some great trips and now it’s coming along for another.

My Kindle


I’m an old fashioned book kind of girl. I don’t believe reading from a Kindle is anywhere near as enjoyable as sitting down with a real life book, breathing in that book smell as you turn the pages. Reading is probably my most favourite thing in the world to do, and the first time I used a Kindle, I did feel a little like I was cheating on my favourite pastime.

However. I read a new book every couple of days while on holiday, and even I have to admit that it’s not realistic nor practical to pack six or seven books. I simply don’t have the space or the weight allowance in my baggage, so I’ve succumbed and am putting all my current reads into this. I did it for honeymoon last year and survived, so I’m pretty sure I’l survive again now.

There is something quite magical about reading when you’re in a new, strange or different place. When I think of a book I’ve read, I always remember where I was when I read it, and while my book list for this trip isn’t yet complete, I want to read as much as I possibly can while I have the time to do it.

An underwater camera

I have wanted an underwater camera for so long now, when we were on honeymoon in the Maldives last year I was so gutted I didn’t have one for all our snorkelling, so when we confirmed this trip I knew it was one of the first things I had to get.

Thankfully my lovely hubby bought me this Vivitar one for my birthday along with an array of accessories for touring, swimming, taking selfies – you name it, I’ve got the accessory. This camera is very similar in spec to the GoPro but was a lot cheaper, so is a great option for anyone new to these cameras like me.

I’m so nervous of the sea, but now I’ve no excuses. I’m going to brave the open water and hopefully get some amazing shots in the Great Barrier Reef with this baby. Eeek!

A backpack

I don’t know how many backpacks I tried and tested out for this trip, I just couldn’t decided on whether I wanted big or small, satchel or strap. But finally I decided on this midi size option from Zara. I previously had bought a mini-backpack from River Island, but it was too small and not practical for everything I need to fit in it on the plane etc.

This one is nice and soft, has gold zip detailing and fits a decent amount. And while it’s not technically going in my suitcase, but on my back, I’ve a feeling it’s going to be my best friend over the next few months.

iPhone back up charger


If like me, you constantly use your phone for social media updates, you’ll know that the battery doesn’t last long when flitting between Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat. Snapchat in particular completely drains battery life so the one thing I had to have for this trip was a power bank / back up charger for my phone when on the go.

I came across this one from good old Penney’s last week for the absolute bargain price of €9! So far it seems to work pretty well so fingers crossed it’ll keep me charged up. After all, I plan on sharing lots on my social media while away.

A comfy pair of sandals

We’re going to be doing a lot of walking around, and while a pair of trainers is the more practical option, I can never resist a cute pair of sandals for wandering around and discovering new things.

I picked these ones up in the Aldo sale earlier this year and they are very comfy. The tan colour means they will go with everything too.

A multi socket plug adaptor


Yes, it’s boring I know. But, as we’re going to three different countries on two different continents, an multi-socket plug adaptor is most definitely a must-have. Each of the countries we’re going to have different plug sockets, and let’s be honest, I couldn’t live without my phone or camera being charged, so this is one of the first things I ticked off my list.

Sunglasses

Many of you may have read about my new Tom Ford sunglasses in a post I shared a few months back (if not you can catch it here). Long story short, I had been lusting after them for so long and after them being out of stock for what felt like an eternity, I finally got my hands on them at the end of August.

The fact that we’re going to be in a lot of sunny places means we will be wearing sunglasses pretty much everyday, and therefore I wanted a good sturdy pair that could withstand a lot of use. This pair while gorgeous, are not too delicate, so I’m hoping they will see me through the entire trip and beyond. They’d want to for the price of them!

Music

Okay while this isn’t really an item, no trip would be complete without a great playlist. Over the Summer I’ve been writing lists of some of my favourite songs, old and new, many have a Summer vibe to them, so that I can combine the ultimate travel playlist before we go. I haven’t got around to doing this yet, but trust me, it’s next on the list.

So there you go, my ultimate travel accessories. It feels so surreal writing this post, I still can’t believe this trip is happening. Someone pinch me, seriously!

Watch out for my beauty travel essentials post which will be live tomorrow, and in the meantime if you think I’m missing anything important off my list then please let me know.

Sorcha x

 

Shake it like a Polaroid Picture

Photographs. Who doesn’t love them? Well maybe some of you don’t, but they are one of my biggest loves. I’m obsessed, and anyone who knows me will attest to that. I love nothing more than spending an evening going through boxes of old photos or flicking through my laptop, laughing to myself at the memories they invoke. It’s also not unusual for me to sit in my parents’ house for hours on a Sunday afternoon, sorting through old pictures and relaying stories with my Mum about times gone by.

For this post however, I’m going to specifically talk about my love of Polaroids. Capturing a moment and producing an instant print = JOY! I’ve wanted a Polaroid camera for as long as I can remember, but they were expensive back in the day and for one reason or another I never got one. Then they kind of disappeared. Apart from my sister, I didn’t know anyone who had one. The Polaroid dream had died until one day not so long ago, the revival came. Hallelujah!

Early last year I began noticing the odd ad here and there about new Polaroid camera models as well as similar less expensive instant camera options from other manufacturers. What seemed like overnight, these ads were suddenly everywhere. No matter where I looked – television, magazines, social media; like a sign from the photo Gods, Polaroid was there!

I couldn’t ignore it any longer and so began researching different options available. My first proper reintroduction was a few months back when Dave surprised me with an account with a company called Polabora. They print your photos on Polaroids and send them to you, taking away the need for a camera altogether. Genius I thought. What I didn’t realise then was that actually loads of companies were doing this and I was just late to the Polaroid party (awkward for me). I don’t know how I missed it but I was in Polaroid heaven, and started printing a LOT of photos. I have so many printed now that I’ve recently begun working on a Polaroid wall project in our living room – but as it’s not finished yet you’ll have to wait a little longer to see it!

Anyway, I could now print as many Polaroids as I wanted, without the need to pine over a camera anymore. Or so I thought… Having the Polaroids just fuelled my infatuation further and I decided the time had come to treat myself. Given that I was also planning a wedding, what better excuse did I need?!

Our wedding was photo themed from beginning to end; we had a photographer and videographer, we had a retro style photobooth, we had photo stick props, we had a hashtag, we had signs saying please Instagram, we had an Instagram sign prop, we had Polaroid place name favours for each of our guests. And most importantly of all, we had a Polaroid camera.


 

When browsing wedding ideas on Pinterest, I had seen an image of a Polaroid picture line and just had to have something like it at our wedding. So, I took the long-awaited plunge and finally bought myself a Fuji Instax Mini 8 camera and 120 Polaroid films. The Instax camera is one of the cheaper options on the market, and was the perfect wedding option. I wanted to capture every single second of the day and not miss a thing. I had all my friends instructed to take as many photos as possible. They didn’t disappoint (thanks friends!).

   

As any bride will know, your day goes by in a heartbeat, you miss so much of what’s going on. People told me this coming up to the wedding and my god were they right. I can’t tell you how happy I am now that I have so many photos to look back on. And I don’t even have my professional photographer photos or video back yet. Can you sense me squealing with excitement? I am!

Realistically, you probably don’t need all of the photo elements that we had on your wedding day, but if you’re looking for a quick, inexpensive way to capture all the fun moments then I would definitely recommend it. We managed to hold on to about eighty Polaroids thanks to our friend Alex who made sure they all got hung up on our picture line, and I can’t tell you how many times we’ve sat looking through them already. All that’s left to do now is add them to my wall project!

 

Sorcha x