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The travel accessories you need when you’re backpacking!

Knowing what you need to pack and not pack while backpacking is a struggle for many people. You don’t want to forget anything, but you don’t want to bring useless stuff that will take up space in your bag. Having the right travel accessories is key to having a great trip!

Here is a list of things that I use over and over during my travels that I can vouch for.

Peripatetic Kat’s Ultimate Travel Accessories

A lock

You need a lock if you’re backpacking. Staying in hostels, you want to make sure your backpack is safe (just in case there is that one asshole who is going to steal your stuff). I’ve been lucky enough never to have had anything stolen even when leaving stuff around, but you never know. Most hostels have under bed storage space or lockers, but you have to provide your own lock so be prepared and buy one in advance!

A travel RFID Blocking Wallet

This wallet is GREAT. It fits all of my cards + my passport so I can keep it with me and not leave it at the hostel. I also love the colour, but they have multiple ones so you can choose whatever you like. I like that it’s big enough to fit Euro bills (I’ve had wallets that didn’t, and it was SUPER frustrating) since they can get pretty big.

Sunlight Bar Soap

I actually wrote a whole blog post on this magic stuff (which you can find here) because it’s so amazing. I take it everywhere I go now. You can cut it up as to not bring the whole bar which is a great space saver. But honestly, this stuff is GREAT for stains. I legit spilled red wine all over a couch once when I was in France with my mom, and we were able to get all the stain out with the soap; it’s a lifesaver.

Packing Cubes

I LOVE these cubes. They are great to stay organized while living out of a backpack. An added bonus is that this one has cute little laundry pouches too which is great. They all fit into one another when you aren’t travelling, so it takes up next to no room. And even better they have super cute colours (I have the watermelon, and it’s so friggin’ cute!).

A microfiber towel

Okay, guys, this was a revelation when I found these towels – legit one of my favourite travel accessories. They dry super quick and take like no room in your bag. Plus, they have different colours and sizes which is great. I got the 32″ x 60″,  and I love it; it’s big enough that I wrap around my body (no awkward openings when I am in the hostel = WIN!).

Reusable mini bottles

I used to buy the travel sized stuff at Walmart but eventually, it starts adding up, and you realize you’re not helping the environment (plus you can’t use your own products), so I switched to these reusable ones that I can just fill up with the stuff I use at home. They don’t leak, and they are the perfect size that they don’t take up too much room in my bag.

A travel pillow

If you’re taking lots of planes or trains, these are a life saver. They just make those long hours just a little more enjoyable. I like the ones that have a “necktie thingy” so that I can tie it to my bag and it stays on my neck better.

Ziplock bags

People often forget about these, but you never know when they can come in handy. I always bring a few along just in case. They are really great when you’re following my tip number 2 about saving money while backpacking (you can find that post here).

A universal adapter

This is a must have travel accessory. If you want to use any of your electronics while you’re abroad, you need a power adapter. Most electronics today have a broad range of voltage they can take so you don’t need a converter, but you should always check before you plug anything in so you don’t blow up your belongings. I usually bring two with me, so I am sure I won’t be stuck without being able to use and/or charge something.

I personally use each product that I’ve just recommended to you and continue to use them. These are my must have travel accessories that I don’t leave the country without. Keep this post bookmarked and check back often as I will update it as I go!

What is your favourite accessory? Let me know in the comments below.

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Berlin Europe Travel

The best tours in Berlin for the young adult

Hello, travel peeps! I know I said I was going to post about Amsterdam for my next post but I got a message from one of my readers about Berlin and I decided to share with you the best tours in Berlin that I used when I was there. One is a free (donation based) day walking tour, and the other one is a night (bar hoping) tour. They’re both from the same company, and I couldn’t recommend them more.

The free walking tour

If you don’t know already, Berlin is an incredibly special city. It’s the perfect mix of a bustling capital and underground culture. There is a ton of history to learn about and witness, and you should definitely look into the regular free walking tours most hostels offer to learn about all the interesting parts of Berlin.
The tour that I want to recommend is slightly different and does not focus on the regular WW2 historical tour but more on the fringe aspect of Berlin. You get to see some amazing street art (Berlin is famous for it), learn about the different underground culture of Berlin, and even witness it first hand.
The guides are extremely knowledgeable, and you get to learn a lot about Berlin that you wouldn’t usually learn about in a regular walking tour. If you have any interest in learning about ‘the fringe side’ of Berlin I couldn’t recommend this tour more. Don’t forget that this is a FREE tour so if you liked, it tip the guide well!

Here is a pic of my favourite piece of street art which actually has a really cool story. I won’t spoil the story for you guys but I will just say ‘bring back the lampost’,  and you will know what I mean once you go on the tour!


You can find more information about the free tour here.

The bar hopping  tour

OK, let’s be honest. One of the cool things about travelling through Europe is going out to party with other travellers and having fun. Berlin has a TON of underground bars and clubs that you would never now about unless someone told you to go there.
The 666 Anti Pubcrawl is your chance to experience some pretty impressive establishments in Berlin. I got the chance to drink in a 60’s hippy bar, play ‘around the world ping pong’ (ping pong is HUGE in Berlin – it’s very surprising, and you learn about it during the free walking tour I mentioned above), be amazed in a Gothic style club (which actually had a big bronze penis at the top of the stairs – super random), dance in one of the biggest nightclubs in Berlin, and end my night in an underground club. This underground club was in some old factory in the basement (you had to take a freight elevator to get in), there were different rooms, the whole place smelled old, wet and musty, they had german rap battles going on in the back room, and had people doing face painting on random couches. I can’t even tell you how weird and epic it was at the same time.
You get a bunch of free shots, and the tour only costs 12 euros, so it’s definitely on the cheap side and perfect for the young backpacker looking for a good time. I went with a friend I met in my hostel in Prague (we were both on the same train to Berlin and decided to do a few tours together) but we met a few people on the tour, and there were lots of solo ‘partiers’ so don’t let that stop you if you’re travelling alone!

I can’t recommend this tour company enough. The guides were great for both the free tour and pub crawl, I always felt safe, I learned a lot, and I had a ton of fun. I linked the specific tours throughout the post but if you just want to check out the company itself click here.

 

Have you ever been to Berlin? Let me know in the comments!

 

If you haven’t already, check out my post about the most important thing to do when travelling here.

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Packing Tip Series Tips Travel

Tip Series: One packing essential for the clumsy traveller

Do you drop spaghetti sauce on your pants or shirt more often than you’d like to admit? Do you spill some red wine on your dress when you get a bit too animated?

I know I do! ALL. THE. TIME. It’s a curse, guys!

I have a great tip for you clumsy people that costs next to nothing and will save most of your clothes from finding their way to the curb. This trick is actually so good that you’ll probably use it at home too. Full disclosure, I have to give my mom a shout out for this tip because she’s the one who showed it to me on one of our trips together.

Are you ready for the simplest trick?

Sunlight bar soap.

You know that yellow bar that your grandma probably had in her soap holder in the laundry room? That’s the one!

(Click the picture to order some from Amazon)

You don’t even need to bring the entire bar; cut off a piece and stick it in a plastic bag. As soon as you realize you’ve stained your clothes, grab this magic eraser and rub it with some water. I spilled a glass of red wine all over a beige couch once, and we were able to remove all the evidence with the soap. This stuff is legit.

It takes up zero room in your bag, and it will save your ass. Especially when you’re backpacking, and you have little room to bring multiple outfits.

If you’re a clutz like me, give this trick a try and I promise you won’t regret it!

Don’t forget to leave a comment below!

If you haven’t already, go read my post about saving money when purchasing airline tickets – it could save you hundreds!

 

PKat

 

* This post may contain affiliate links which means that I could earn a small commission to help keep this blog up and running. Don’t worry, I only recommend products and service I personally use and trust!

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Food Tips Travel

Tips on eating alone when travelling

Photo Source

So you took the plunge and bought your tickets to go on an adventure. But now you realize that you’ll have to do lots of stuff on your own. One question that has come up several times when talking about my travels is how do I feel comfortable eating alone?

Sure, if you’re staying in a hostel that has a communal kitchen or if you’re renting a house/apartment that has a kitchen you can avoid eating out and save a bit of money but what’s the point of travelling if you’re not experiencing the local cuisine? I find that food is such an integral part of a culture, so it’s important that you experience it when you’re travelling.

A lot of people feel really awkward about going to a restaurant alone. It’s not something we do back home; we go out with friends and family, or we do pick-up/delivery. Our society is driven by judgment and from conversations I’ve had with several people, judgment is what drives their fear of eating alone. “What if I look like a loser? What if people make fun of me? What do I do while I’m just sitting there alone?” I used to be one of those people that thought eating alone was suuuuper weird and avoided it, but that changed when I started to travel. I wanted to experience the local food. So, I put on my big girl pants and went to try some awesome food.

So what happened?

I ATE SOME AMAZING FOOD! I didn’t feel awkward at all, and the world didn’t end. And even better, I realized that when I was at home at a restaurant, and I saw someone eating alone, not once did I judge them; it was so irrelevant to me! So, if I don’t judge people for eating alone, why would people judge me? It was quite the pleasant revelation, and it was freeing.

It might be a bit awkward at first; you’re used to sitting at a restaurant with others and having conversations. You need to adapt to being solo.

So here are some things I started doing when I am eating alone to make the time go by:

  1. Write

    I find bringing a book, tablet, or phone and jotting some thoughts down works really well. I order a bottle of wine or some beer depending on where I am in the world and I just write. I’m immersed in my writing and don’t even notice that I am alone. It’s also the perfect time to log your travels if you’re keeping a journal or memoirs of your adventures!

  2. People Watch

    This is one of my favourite things to do at home so it’s no surprise I enjoy doing it abroad too. When a culture is different than yours, you can learn a lot when just watching them in their element. By just sitting quietly and looking at other people I’ve seen couples fight, people drag a friend who was too drunk to walk, and families simply interacting together.

  3. Communicate with the wait staff

    The chances are that your waiter or waitress is from the area. You can learn a ton of information about local spots from these people, and they are usually quite happy to talk about their city. You can get some cool stories and maybe even make a friend.

  4. Send some e-mails

    Chances are your family is expecting you to keep in touch with them. Why not take this opportunity to send a few e-mails to let them know you’re alive and well. You’re not busy walking around the city or partying with your new friends, so it’s the perfect time to take a minute to say hello.

  5. Bring a book

    Do you enjoy reading? Why not take a book along and read. Chances are you don’t get many opportunities to read while you’re trekking and sight-seeing so why not use the hour and a half to read your book.

  6. Listen to a podcast

    If you’re into podcasts, this is an excellent time to put those headphones on and listen to one of your favourites! I like this one a lot because I can drink my wine, people watch, and listen to my podcast all at once!

Eating alone is honestly a relaxing and enjoyable experience, and there is nothing shameful about it. Don’t let what you think other people could be thinking about you to affect your actions. Enjoy some local restaurants and learn more about what that culture is all about!

Comment below 🙂

 

PKat.

 

 

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