I was looking in my dropbox for photos this week and it struck me that we haven’t really stopped on the adventure front for the last 2-3 years. I was smiling away at picture after picture of trips I had almost forgotten. Of course the minute you see the photos the memories come flooding back, flying up the motorway to the Lake District and jumping straight into a kayak with my 7yo, running along the beach under Bamburgh castle imagining the BFG’s footprints from the film, afternoon tea with Lord and Lady Carnarvon at Highclere Castle, drinking Bloody Marys in a tomato greenhouse in Iceland. We’ve done some brilliant stuff and I feel really lucky to have these adventures. But…
Life as someone who travels a lot is exhilarating but it can quickly become stressful. I’ve definitely picked up lots of travel tips along the way to make travelling lots easier. Rennie invited me to share my tips as part of their On the Go campaign, which is all about getting out there are experiencing the world, having adventures and reaching your full potential, without being held up by minor inconveniences (like indigestion).
Listen to yourself. It’s okay to have periods of intensity and periods of calm. Right now my travel life is much quieter, for good reason, we’re attempting to move house. People tell me moving is one of the most stressful things you do in your life, I was in denial for a bit, but slowly I am recognising the stresses and taking a step back. It’s fine to have times in life where you watch the world go by a little, my travel blogging friends are piling up new adventures and I am writing up old trips I never had enough time to fully do justice. I know the call for adventure will come back, and when it does I won’t be able to resist, so right now I’m letting myself go with my intuition. A cottage in Wales is gently calling me, and I’m listening to that call.
Have a simple medicine bag. I might know the GCSE French and German for lots of minor ailments, but the last thing I want to do on holiday is waste time finding a chemist to get simple over the counter medicines. Holiday time is too precious. Eating different foods, travel, stress, eating on the go and alcohol can really annoy the digestive system so Rennies always go in our bag. Anti histamines are essential for hay fever sufferers, but also amazing for bites and stings. Paracetamol, plasters, antiseptic cream are essentials. Nits and threadworms are really common in school age kids and can quickly make life very miserable. Seas sickness tablets are the difference for me between a fab day on the water and feeling miserable, they are also make me invincible at theme parks and on off road jeep tours. We have a mini travel first aid kit in our rucksack and one in our car.
Take your Vitamins. Flying, travelling and time differences are a killer, so I always pack vitamins for us all. B vitamin soluble tablets are a great pick me up when you are jet lagged and help you fight off all those germs floating round the aeroplane cabin.
Be kind to your body. Over indulging is so easily done when you’re busy. I absolutely believe in relaxing the rules on holiday and lots of treats, but it can be frustrating how quickly losing your normal routine starts to scupper your enjoyment and make you feel sluggish. Really talking time to notice what is on your plate, using all your senses, even trying to imagine the foods growing or being produced, can really help you enjoy what you eat without over indulging too much. I’ve learned my lesson Eating Bologna and Eating London, it is okay to taste a little bit of everything, and pace yourself!
Allow enough time. Packing and travelling can be stressful, I always try and allocate myself ‘actual time’ to do it, rather than snatching time while trying to finish work projects or get the kids to pack. It doesn’t always work out, but when it does, even just 30 minutes completely uninterrupted packing time makes a massive difference to my state of mind going into a trip. Having pre written packing lists for different kinds of holidays helps to take the stress out too.
Be mindful. When I did my travel writing course last year we spent an hour sat in a London square jotting down everything we saw, heard, felt, smelt or tasted. It was an exercise in really noticing. It really helped me to focus on remembering the precious details of a trip which make travel writing soar, but these are also the details that make an adventure come alive. Travelling can leave us with a sense of being propelled forwards, so when we arrive we are always wondering what is coming next and we forget to savour the now. Taking a lead from children is another way to be mindful, watch how they absorb a new place, you’ll be savouring your time with your children too – double win!
Delegate. I organise the bulk of our holidays, but I often forget to let the rest of the family know what we are doing until the last minute. When other people book trips I’m guilty of letting them take the load too. The more you share of your plans, itineraries and what to expect or pack with your travel companions, the more independent they can be. Sharing in the anticipation of an event is part of the joy.
Plan vs no plan. My husband rarely picks up a guide book ahead of a trip, preferring to discover it all when he gets there. I used to be a massive holiday planner and researcher, which often stressed me out when days didn’t unfold as I had planned them in my head. Nowadays we take the best bits of each other’s approach. While sometimes we have learnt that it is worth a little bit of planning (to avoid queuing for the colosseum in Rome perhaps) it is actually quite liberating not to have to do lots of planning work (one of my favourite photos was taken in the ticket queue at the colosseum.)
Have the right kit. We love being outdoors – hiking boots, waterproofs, fleeces, wooly socks, suncream and sunhats can make or break a day. Investing in good gear makes anything possible. Snowball fight up Ben Nevis anyone?
Rennie has been helping relieve heartburn and indigestion symptoms for more than 80 years. Rennie® is a range of fast-acting, effective treatments that help to relieve heartburn and indigestion so you can get on with your life. Rennie® comes in a wide range of flavours and packs.
This post is in conjunction with Rennie® all ideas are my own.