Travel Essentials For Your Next City Break

Travel Essentials For Your Next City Break

Cities are my favourite places to see and over the years I’ve learned a lot about what makes a trip easier to manage so you can stuff in as many things to do as possible. Here are some travel essentials for your next city break:

I really need this phone charger on a keyring (1), not just for city travel but for every day of my life, haha! I met up with Daisy for coffee last week and I had to borrow her travel charger so I could get home because I had a mobile train ticket. I wish it was one off…

I love trench coats for a bit of smartness to my travel wardrobe and when I last went to New York I took my tan trench coat which made a perfect outer layer – the only problem being it was annoying to carry around when it was a bit too warm. Aquascutum asked me to tell you guys about their trench coats, which are really nice for sure, but when I saw this pack-away Trench (2) I got major heart eyes – I need this for my travel wardrobe! It folds neatly into it’s own pouch, perfect for stashing in your backpack… and have you seen the colour!? Oh my! They have every colour and style you’ll ever need!

If you’re travelling with hand luggage only, these World’s Lightest cabin sized suitcases (3) are an absolute must!! You can stuff so much in there because the casing is soft and the handles wrap around the outside so as to not take up internal space, plus they only weigh 1.6kg meaning you get the rest of your weight allowance for all your shoes essentials.

Next on my list are these adorable travel wallets (4), hand sewn here in Leeds using bright and fun fabrics exclusively designed by Punto Belle. They can fit up to 4 passports, your travel documents, plus cash and credit cards!

Finally I always like to do my research on a new city before I head over there and need somewhere to collect all my recommended food places and indie shops. These city guide Moleskines (5) are great to house all your destinations, plus they have maps printed inside too. I used my New York one tonnes when I went there and it came in extra handy when I went back so I could remember the locations of all my favourite places.

What are your travel essentials for your next city break?

Loves x xx

posted by onetenzeroseven in Travel and have Comments (2)

Travel: How To Spend A Day Alone In Paris

How To Spend A Day Alone In Paris

October was the month of Paris. I was sent out to the beautiful city of love a second time by Etsy to their European Captain’s Summit as the co-captain of our team of Etsy sellers here in Leeds. I scheduled in an extra day so I could get some sightseeing done so as well as travelling to another country by myself for the first time I had to spend a day alone in Paris.

Before I left for Paris I was worried about the recent attacks on the city and what it was going to be like to go there. I was scared of being in a place where I couldn’t speak the language and scared I would really stand out as being British. I was worried people would think I was stupid because of the recent vote to leave the EU.

None of those things were an issue.

Paris is resilient and aside from a few extra security measures (and some guys with big guns!) you didn’t even realise Paris has suffered so much terror recently – That thought did not once cross my mind while I was wandering around the city and I never felt unsafe.

As it turns out, I remembered some damn good French from my years at school. I made sure I knew how to say “do you speak English?” and was very taken aback when I went for lunch that the answer was “no”. Still I managed to order my lunch, a drink, some water and some coffee in French that I hadn’t practised for 13 years and I asked for the bill in French with a little help from Google. I even spoke to a man about England leaving the EU and helped a homeless man buy a can of coke in (admittedly broken) French. Everyone is so friendly and so appreciative of you speaking their language, even with a really bad accent!

The best part for me was when I was mistaken for actually being French. Twice. The first time a lady asked me for directions on the Metro in French and the second time I overheard a group of Scottish folks saying I was ‘foreign’ until I said “excuse me, cheers!” in my best Yorkshire accent, haha! WIN.

Travelling Paris Alone - Tips & Advice

So my top tips for how to spend a day alone in Paris are:

// Try it. I bet it won’t be as scary as you think it will be. Sure it’s out of your comfort zone, but it will make you feel seriously bad ass. I had one moment when I couldn’t figure out how to get into a supermarket and didn’t know how to ask in French. I really confused the checkout lady!! But for every mistake you make, there will be a little win to build your confidence back up.

// Make sure your phone works abroad. I am on the Three network who provide a Feel At Home service where you can use your allowance in certain countries for free. If you’re not on Three, consider getting a temporary sim card or buying a Euro internet pass from your network. You will almost certainly need to Google where something is or what something means during the day.

// Don’t be afraid to use the metro. You can get a day pass from the ticket machines in every metro station and the instructions are in English. It’s so easy to get around and so much cheaper than getting a taxi. Make sure you download a metro app like Next Stop Paris where you can plan a journey by searching by metro stop or by landmark. I used this so much!!

//Don’t be a neon sign for pick pockets! I felt so much more comfortable trying to blend in. I tried not to dress like a tourist, mostly because there was something about being in Paris that made me want to up my game with outfits. Paris women generally don’t wear heels and carrying a backpack wasn’t unusual either so it was easy not to look like a tourist. I kept my camera in my bag where possible and used my phone instead of a book or map to find out where to go.

// If you’re not confident speaking French, tell people you are English straight away. “Je suis Anglais” (I am English) and “Je parle un petit peu Francais. Parlez-vous Anglais?” (I speak very little French, do you speak English?) were my most used phrases. Even if people didn’t speak English they knew to speak slower and clearer in French or gesture so I could understand.

// Don’t panic. If you get lost or don’t know where something is or how to ask for something, just take a seat and calm down. Take out your phone and look it up or even call someone you love to help you feel at ease. It’s amazing what hearing a friendly voice can do. Above all, make sure someone knows where you are and be responsible. It was dark when I arrived, I was tired and didn’t know the city so I stayed in the hotel and ordered food to my room from a local restaurant.

If I could change anything next time I would spend more time in the beautiful city of love and be more confident trying to speak French. I can’t wait to go back and take Stuart with me, show him my favourite little spots and know where I’m going and how to get around. I wouldn’t think twice about travelling alone again either. It’s a blast!

Loves x xx

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posted by onetenzeroseven in Travel and have Comment (1)