Just like your average woman traveller, I only carry 5768096 items in my handbag; of which I end up using exactly 8. (Hold that thought- it’s not stereotyping if I belong to a gender that is the subject of said stereotype). The gazillion things tossed into it have little to do with the gadgets required for travel blogging and a lot to do with being a chaotic person in general. When I first started traveling solo, I was much poorer but the bag was considerably heavier. The change was brought on by handbags falling off my tired arms at airports and their contents spilling out for all to see and mock. So what makes the cut to my overloaded travel bag now, you ask?
- A pair of high-length socks: One of the biggest inconveniences of travel (and there are considerable, I assure you) is the blasting cold air on the airplane. Most airlines seldom get the temperature just right and an hour into the flight you might think you’re inside of an igloo as opposed to a metal tube flying over the tropics. Since I usually fly as cheap as possible, the airlines that fit into my budget don’t offer free socks.
- Travel kit with the basics: Gum, tooth brush, sleep mask, kajal, scrunchie and a mini face wash (I need to wash my face every time I wake up. You can never tell who’s been drawing moustaches on you while you’ve been snoring, and everyone looks suspicious as far as I can tell.)
- Earphones: For take offs and landings when the entertainment system isn’t working and the next best thing is to plug in the earphones and watch the ground disappear to your favourite travel soundtrack. If you find yourself in the vicinity of a screeching child- as is my fate most times, and to which I have grudgingly resigned; you will be happy to sit there and disentangle your earphones. Or you could carry a case for your earphones like I do.
- 2 books: Plane journeys are the best times to catch up on reading. As are immigration lines, check-in counters and flight delays. but my reading composition usually includes one Lonely Planet and one other novel- sometimes fiction, sometimes marketing jargon to humour me through travel time
- Polaroid: Remember that scene from Leap Year where Declan asks Hannah if there was a fire in her house, what she would carry with her? My answer to that question is my polaroid, and I’ve seen too many suitcases tossed onto the travel belt to trust an airline to transport it to me safely. If I gotta parachute off a plane, I want to make sure the Polaroid comes with.
- Travel Notebook: For the times when inspiration strikes and the Hank Moody in me fancies a scotch and a place to pen some thoughts down. I’m just not sure he would approve of my pink floral travel notebook though. It might be more Hannah-Montana than Hank Moody, but a girl can dream.
- Portable Charger: Never leave home without it. Can never use it because it’s never charged. But it helps mama sleep at night knowing I can call her if I get into trouble, for she knows her daughter is capable of finding herself in the strangest of situations. (If only she knew.)
Author: Nikita Butalia
Nikita Butalia is the founder/editor of Stumbling Around Delhi. A 20-something travel blogger who shows off her experiences in witty and informal blog posts based on luxury weekend getaways around Delhi, short trips around the country and solo travel experiences abroad. She dreams of checking the entire world off her bucket list, Antarctica being at the top of that list!