When this is a room you’re staying in, you’ll be glad to have a padlock with you. This far I’ve only had great hostel experiences (well, there were a few nights in Kings Cross in Sydney when I was a bit worried, but it ended up okay anyway), but you always need to use your brain when traveling. So I wouldn’t exactly leave my macbook or phone on the bed and then head out. That’s where the padlock comes in.
Most hostel room has lockers. I always make sure hostels offer lockers before I book it. Since I would loose a key before I could step out of the room, I’ve got a padlock with a code instead of a key. It’s brilliant. When I’ not using it in hostels I’m using it on my backpack so it’s not so easy to get into while out and about (my last backpack had a zipper into the main compartment from the side). To make sure the padlock fits all (or as many as possible) locks it has got a wire instead of a fixed pice to lock it.
So yeah, brilliant thing to have while traveling!
I have no sense of direction. I’m not kidding you. None at all. I couldn’t even remember the way to my grandmothers new apartment, even though she lived there for like four years and we visited every other weekend. So yeah, I never go anywhere without a map.
The great thing about hostels are that almost all of them have some sort of free maps over the city you’re staying in. I always get one first thing (if I can’t find one at the airport, or train station or wherever I arrive in the city). Even with a map I’m sometimes able to get lost, that’s why I have a small compass with me as well. It’s a small clip-on, kind of like a keychain, compass that I got from my mother before one of my trips. Very good to have. Especially if you get up from a subway station and can’t figure out which way to hold the map.
Now it sounds like I’m always lost, but I’m not. I usually know where I am, thanks to a map and a compass. It’s good to take precessions. A map over the local transport system is also great to have with you. I usually have those saved on my iPhone so I don’t have to carry so many things around the city.
Then there are of course a place and time to get lost, to discover new things. Like in Venice, it was an amazing experience to just keep walking to see where I ended up. I didn’t even try to stick to a map then.
I have two scarves that I travel with. The first one, a black large rectangular scarf, I have with me on every trip I do. I actually use it every day during the winter at home as well. But aside from a scarf during the winter, it’s also perfect as a blanket on trains or airplanes, a cardigan when going out to eat and it can even be used as a skirt if needed. That last one I have only tried once, but it did the job for a night out in Rome.
Here the scarf kept me (on the right) alive during new years eve on Times Square. And no, I’m not exaggerating, we almost died.
The second scarf I own, and travel with, is an orange scarf with black turtles on. My mother bought it for me last year on our trip to Fuerteventura. I bring it with me on trips where there is a chance I might end up on a beach or by a pool. It works perfect as a sundress, a towel, a beach blanket, a skirt… Basically anything you could need.
On a side note: I had to look up the plural of scarf, but apparently both scarves and scarfs are right, so it wouldn’t have mattered which I wrote.