My Solo Adventure Essentials
Heading out on any excursion requires carrying a certain amount of stuff, the quantity of which varies depending on the level of a trip and the size of my bag - for a day trip I'm more than covered with my Topshop Premium cross-body bag - but I have a group of staples that travel almost everywhere with me.
With the exception of my iPhone, because that thing is practically surgically attached, these are a few of my favourite things. Well, at least a bunch of bits & bobs I can't, won't & don't leave home without for any solo adventure, no matter how big or small.
The Instant Camera
The newest model of instant camera from Fujifilm is the Mini 9, featuring a handy mirror for those instant selfies. However I'm still rocking my Mini 8 like there's no tomorrow, it comes everywhere with me and has captured many fun moments from London to Los Angeles, Croatia to Cardiff and then some. Where there is my camera, there is a spare pack of film & I alternate between classic white, black or rainbow frames.
One piece of kit I need to get better with is my Pentax Q10. I was lucky enough to receive the super geeky, anime-inspired, only 1,500 in the world Neon Genesis Evangelion Model Type 00: Rei as a Christmas gift a couple of years ago.
I have found it to be a little fiddly at times, especially as a novice photographer, but this lightweight piece of kit has produced some beautiful shots - I just need to fit some more practice in! The Evangelion trio was only ever available in Japan - mine was imported. Yes, I am spoilt. - but you can find them or the classic models on eBay from around £250.
Music is a huge love of mine and so decent headphones are a staple. Pretty much every audiophile I know recommends Bose, and for good reason. This is a brand which not only set the bar but constantly strives to raise it, however, this comes at a cost which has been a little rich for my blood so I've found an attractive compromise in Frends.
Layla in rose gold is my girl. She delivers premium sound via 30 mm dual magnetic drivers to memory foam cushions moulded to my ears, just the ticket for those long hauls, and she's really darn pretty in the process. Bonus.
I don't tend to wear a lot of makeup but being prone to dry skin means a decent lip balm and hand cream are never far away.
For my lips, I opt for Elemis Minty Moist Balm. It's thick, plumping and moisturising - what more could a girl ask for? I first tried this following a travel fair at work thanks to British Airways including Elemis minis in their on-flight bags. Now I pick it up from eBay, topping it up with a touch of colour - normally Topshop's Innocent or Nevada.
Currently, my paws are getting the Aveeno treatment. Thankfully their carry-on size skin relief cream even appears to be taming the Beast of the East. My hands salute you!
Taking all the photographs and posting plenty of Instagram Stories is a bitch on my iPhone battery. This power bank was a pre-Reading festival panic purchase about 18 months ago and it's seen me through many a low battery moment. Would buy again - I just need to remember to charge the thing before I head out on an excursion.
Sans-Ryan Gosling, I'm sad to say a blank notebook is no less wonderful in its own weird little way. Feeling like I spend my life attached to a screen, & I'm really not a huge fan of Notes, I chuck an A6 notebook and recyclable pen in my bag on every trip so I always have a place to jot down wild ideas, trip plans & whatever pops into my head. Oliver Bonas & Paperchase always have cute options in on-trend colour & patterns, if that's your bag.
The Digital Guide
Physical or paperless, the options for the must-have city guide are seemingly endless. Starting any plans with a coffee and a travel book is great but when heading out on a day trip or weekender, I prefer digital for the on-the-go look up.
While LP Guides are essentially a condensed digital compendium of the classic LP books, Lonely Planet Trips steps in. The app rounds off the classic tourist picture via user-generated content where hopefully more hole-in-the-wall style spots are uncovered.
If a guide by locals is what you're after to step off the beaten track, I recommend downloading the travel start-up causing quite the stir at the moment, Cool Cousin. They're all about connections. Allowing would-be tourists to get to know the city like a local so they can be less, well, touristy.
Leaving my favourite pocket pal until last, Lost In is the "city guide curated by locals" & has taken me to off-piste and to experiences I either may not have known about or possibly wouldn't have bothered with. Boasting both a regularly updated website, iOS & Android apps and physical magazine, it covers all bases. Both CC and Lost In allow me to shortlist my picks, displaying my edit on a map for very easy planning.
What are your must-haves for going solo? Pop a comment below & let me know if there's something I shouldn't be living without!
*This post contains some affiliate links but only to products I actually use & love. If you click through & buy a product or service from that retailer, I might receive a small fee. As you were.*
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