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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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Europe Random Travel

Have an adventure – Be daring! My daring Irish Adventure

Do you wish you had a little bit more adventure in your life? Would you like to have some awesome stories to tell your friends and family?

There’s actually a simple way to achieve this.

Go with the flow. Be brave; dare more than usual.

Here is a great example of an adventure I had in Ireland that could have been a very typical “go visit the nice old castle and go home” type of day but turned into so much more.

Jordan, Dani, and I decided to rent a car in Dublin and head out into the country to see some real Ireland (Dublin isn’t the picture we had of Ireland – it was missing the rolling hills and the beautiful landscapes we had envisioned). We wanted to see the sweeping green landscapes and the castles we had heard so much about. I’m the only one who knew how to drive a standard transmission so as you can imagine; I am the one who got to drive for the first time on the opposite side of the road. I can’t even describe how nervous I was for the first hour – the word terrified comes to mind.

When I had to face my first roundabout (which for the record you need to take from the opposite side as well), I was in complete panic. I got out of the roundabout and stopped in someone’s driveway to calm myself down. Both girls were telling me I was doing a great job and that it was OK for me to take a breath and regroup which really helped me calm down.

Jordan brought her Ireland guide book with her, so we decided to go to Glendalough in Wicklow County to see the Monastic Site which was a bit over an hour drive away.

The site was breathtaking, the ruins were incredible, and the scenery was surreal. It was quite something to find myself sitting on ruins older than my own country.

 

We walked through the ruins, snapping pictures and enjoying the moment. As you can see from the above photos, it was pretty amazing.

Next, we decided to move to quaint town relatively close by (about an hour away in County Carlow) to check out this small castle Jordan had read about in her guidebook. We drove up to the entrance and walked around a little bit to find out that we missed our chance to see the grounds and the inside of the castle. We are all disappointed and STARVING at this point so we figured we would find some food in town. If you’ve ever been around a hangry (so hungry you get angry) woman you know three of them together could turn into a disaster, so we needed food fast. We found this random tiny fast food place with two tables outside and decided to order some burgers and fries.

As we are eating our food, a group of Irish construction workers in pickup trucks went in to order some food. As they waited for their food, they kept looking back at us and whispering amongst themselves (note that was a tiny town and we probably stuck out like sore thumbs). Some of them took off with their food and others sat down at the other table to eat. They started talking to us a little bit, and we told them we are from Canada and that we tried to go see the castle but it was closed.

One of the guys stays behind after everyone else left. He told us he’d been living in the town for his entire life and he used to play in the gardens of the castle as a child. He says he can take us around and show us a ‘secret entrance’ so we can check out the grounds. The three of us looked at each other excitedly and we jumped on the occasion to have a bit of adventure.

The real adventure begins

His ‘secret entrance’ was actually jumping over a fence and just walking onto the property. We got a little nervous at the idea of trespassing, but it’s was a chance in a lifetime, so went ahead and jumped. This guy was the embodiment of small town Ireland; we could barely understand him when he spoke because of his accent. He tried to tell us stories of him playing on these ground when he was a child, and he brought us to a few cool spots.

Funny side anecdote: this guy was TOTALLY enamored with Jordan and it was hilarious to watch him try to flirt when she could barely understand the words out of his mouth. Awkward for Jordan but hilarious for Dani and I.

Walking the grounds, trying to be relatively stealthy as we were technically breaking the law by trespassing on castle grounds (yeah… I’m a badass!) and listening to this Irish guy talk was a pretty surreal experience. I would have never experienced this had I not gone with the flow and let things happen. We could have just seen the castle from afar, been disappointed and gone on our way but we decided to live a little and it was SO worth it.

So be daring, embrace your opportunities, and go where life takes you. Click To Tweet

Opportunities for an adventure show up when you least expect them in life and it’s the same with travel. You need to let yourself go sometimes and not let a schedule interfere with possible adventures. It’s a crazy world out there and you just need to open yourself up to it to make your adventures even more incredible. So be daring, embrace your opportunities, and go where life takes you.

Do you have some crazy adventure stories from your travels? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!

Are you a clumsy person? Don’t miss my blog post on a great tool for the clumsy traveler. You can find it here.

Cheers,

PKat

 

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Europe Food Tip Series Tips Travel Uncategorized

Save Serious Money when Backpacking Europe (or anywhere else)

When you’re backpacking through Europe, you’re usually on a budget. You can’t spend too much money in one place because you know it means sacrificing something else at a later time. Well, I am here to give you the BEST way to save serious money when backpacking Europe (or anywhere else) on a budget. Implementing this trick will save you SO MUCH money and will allow you to do way more cool things.

It’s a really simple trick that I break down into two parts. Are you ready for it?

The BEST way to save serious money when backpacking Europe is….

Hostels with free breakfast.

Guys, if you’re not focusing your hostel search on the ones with breakfast included, you’re doing it wrong. As you know, I use Hostelworld for nearly all my hostel bookings. I love them because it’s super easy, gives me access to a ton of Hostels around the world, and I can specify criteria when I am searching for a hostel. I usually do a search for a hostel that has free wifi, free breakfast and a bar (but those are just my criteria).
Free breakfast means that you can avoid spending your hard earned cash on an extra meal. Most hostels that offer free breakfast have their prices set very similar to the ones that don’t so the difference is barely noticeable when you’re paying.However, the difference is very noticeable when you start having to pay for breakfast each morning.

Doing this alone will save serious money and ensure you can spend that saved money somewhere else. BUT, I have a way to make it even more worth while and I’m about to share it with you now.

Make yourself some lunch.

So you have free breakfast, and they have all these pieces of bread and cold cuts and spreads available in the morning… Why not make yourself a sandwich or two and save it for later? This is an awesome way to save on food spending. I would make some sandwiches in the morning, wrap them up in some napkins and bring them with me in my backpack for the day. Lunch can turn into an expensive ordeal if you’re not prepared so having some sandwiches on the go is a great way to save serious money. Plus, who doesn’t like a nice lunch on a park bench overlooking a fountain somewhere in Europe? I know I do!

Save serious money – go to a hostel with free breakfast!

It’s a super easy way to save money and put it into your travel experiences! Try it out (and I suggest you use Hostelworld since you can set your search criteria for included breakfast)… and as always let me know what you think in the comments below!

Want to save more money while traveling? Check out my blog post on things you should be doing to find cheap flights here.

 

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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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Random Travel

Quick Update: Sometimes things don’t go as planned

So, as you guys know, I was planning a trip to Belize at the end of June. Unfortunately, sometimes things don’t always go as planned – especially when you’re in the military! As things usually happen, I got a last minute offer to go on a career course at the end of May until the end of July. This course being a great opportunity for me career wise, I could not turn it down. So this means that instead of walking around sunny Belize, I’ll be lugging a rucksack around Valcartier, Quebec (#upgrade AMIRIGHT?).

Obviously, I’m disappointed that this means I have to wait even longer for my next trip. However, this also means more money saved and more vacation days saved for a trip later on or even go on a few trips!

So, you guys will have to wait a bit longer to read about my planning process and my next adventure, but I promise as soon as I know, you’ll know.

I’m also waiting for a new camera, so that means I will have some pretty epic pictures to share once I go on my next trip! I can’t wait to share it with all of you.

Stay tuned for a new post coming out soon on one of the best-kept secrets of Amsterdam!

If you’re about to step off on an adventure or you’re in the planning stages, let me know in the comments so I can live vicariously through you these next couple of months. s

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 services I personally use and trust!

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