I’ve just been lucky enough to spend a few days in west Cornwall on a short holiday, so I thought that this would be a good time to list some of the things that were absolutely essential for the trip.
This means that I will have a list for next time I go away and that you might glean some benefit from my very recent experience!
Whether you are planning a staycation this year or are visiting elsewhere in the UK or even abroad, I thought it might be handy to put together a few reminders of the kind of things you might need when you travel.
After all, for many of us, it’s at least a year since we’ve been anywhere and so these things can just drift out of our heads.
Here's a great photo of Porthcurno Beach from the Minack Theatre to get you in the mood!
1. Maps & Apps
If you are visiting somewhere, it is always handy to have a map of the area. They are absolutely no good on your shelf at home when you are hoping to walk the coast path from Zennor to Penzance but have no clear memory of how far it is! Also try a walking app. I used iwalkcornwall, which has 216 mostly circular walks which you buy as you use, it’s like a sat nav for a walk and super convenient with lots of options to choose from.
2. Drinking Bottle/Thermos & Snacks
My drinking bottle doubles up as both a drinking bottle and thermos and I often carry herbal tea, delicious to drink hot or cold. It means that you are never without liquid refreshment. This takes away the concerns over whether the café on the map is open or not! Our snack bags and sandwich wraps are perfect lightweight storage options for a picnic and you can wipe them or wash them too. They are great for alfresco eating outdoors. I never leave home without these.
3. Appropriate Clothing and Footwear
In the UK in particular, the weather changes! It wouldn’t be the first time that I have left home in a heatwave to find myself arriving in the midst of Cornish mizzle. One of my work colleagues sailed to the Isles of Scilly last year with only flip flops instead of shoes. She had to hobble around each island they visited - some of the granite on the paths is unforgiving. She had just forgotten the critical walking boots or trainers! So, remember to be prepared for all weathers.
4. Notebook, Diary – something to write/draw in
I always seem to be consumed with great ideas when I’m on holiday. I also spend the first few days constantly remembering things that I want to review when I get back to the office. Having somewhere to scribble down all of these ideas so that the various bits of paper don’t get lost is very cathartic. It gives me the opportunity to completely clear my head of work and enjoy my holiday, safe in the knowledge that all those ideas are stored in my holiday notebook.
5. Bird Identification Book and Binoculars
I frequently find myself staying somewhere and wondering what the birds in the garden are. So, either a bird book and binoculars or maybe try a great app: BirdNET, where you record the bird song, let them know your location and it tells you the bird song that you’re listening to! More about this on our birdsong blog.
6. Face Masks
Sounds obvious, but it's always good to have a stock of these so that if you lose one it’s not a complete disaster. I use both elasticated and tie versions, mainly depending on how long I’m planning to wear the mask. Our linen masks are breathable and easy to wear.
7. Shop Before You Travel
I like to organise and plan meals and food before I go. I order in advance and either get the groceries delivered or pick them up on the way to our holiday spot. This means that I don’t have to spend valuable holiday time worrying about the next meal or making do with a brand of coffee that I wouldn’t normally choose because I can’t find it locally. You can still buy stuff when you arrive, it just means that you don’t have to!
8. A Linen Bread Bag
I love homemade and artisan bread and am more likely to indulge on holiday, but I know that too much is not a good thing. Luckily my linen bread bag packs up really small and allows me to keep bread fresh for a few days. The crust stays crisp, and the inside stays soft – just perfect for all those picnic sandwiches!
9. Soap and Soap Bag
I always take my own soap with me and it needs to be portable. Often, the last thing I do, once I have packed and tidied before I leave is wash my hands and have in the past wrapped it in paper. Now I use one of our linen soap bags, great for travelling. It allows the soap to dry quickly, keeping the soap separate from other things and no more mess – the perfect travel solution for soap!
10. Something to Do in the Evening
This could be games, books, drawing materials or a craft activity. I like to keep busy, so a good range of different activities, preferably which don’t include screens, allows you to unwind after a day out and about.
I hope you manage to get a break this summer. We’d love to see you in Cornwall and if you are in South East Cornwall, don’t forget to drop into our lovely shop in Mount Edgcumbe Country Park – read our blog on this – there is lots to do and it would be wonderful to see you there!
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