What to have in my purse while sightseeing is a lesson I only learned after the several trips I took this year. After moving to Paris, I got myself a city appropriate handbag (one were everything could fit in for a day of walking). While exploring Amsterdam, I discovered that some things simply could not be left behind at the hostel. And it was during my trip to Barcelona that I learned how little fun a heavy handbag is, especially in 35 degree heat. So, I hope today that you can learn from this post, and save yourself the mistakes that I made. Enjoy!
So, what to have with you while sightseeing? Keep in mind that for this post I am not including basic things such as a camera, your wallet, phone, keys, etc.
- A guide book, or at the very least a map. Believe it or not, I didn’t learn how to read a map until I visited Amsterdam last October. Plus, having a guide book on you can help you discover hidden treasures along the way. Drop the phone and enjoy being lost (sometimes literally) in the moment.
- A light coverup. Super important if you plan on seeing the insides of churches and other religious institutions, especially if it’s too hot to completely cover up that day. Shawls also double as picnic blankets and pillows if you want to nap. I love to nap.
- A piece of paper with important numbers and addresses written. You don’t want to be stranded if your phone ends up dying! At the very least keep the number of your travel buddy and your hotel/hostel on hand.
- Sunglasses. This one might just be especially important to me with my very light sensitive blue eyes, but there’s nothing fun about observing a monument you’ve been looking forward to through a squint. Also, sunglasses hide tired travel eyes!
- A water bottle. Even if you keep it empty and fill up up throughout the day to keep your bag lighter, having one on hand will save you 3 Euros here and there. Most cities around Europe have free drinkable water available through fountains to the public, so you can always fill up there. Drinking throughout the day also keeps headaches away and energy levels up.
- Sunscreen. Might just be another one for me and my very red-prone skin, but there’s no fun in sightseeing with a big aching burn on your back (trust me). Sunburns make you feel over heated and exhausted, which can damper your experience! Reapply throughout the day and you’ll be fine.
- Hand sanitizer. Public transportation and restrooms aren’t always the cleanest, and you don’t want to get sick. Also, if I feel really gross, cleansing my hands always makes me feel a lot better.
- Mini emergency kit. Pack things such as any medications you might need, kleenex or napkins (in case of spills or the restrooms don’t provide), and bandaids. Very important not to forget those, they have saved my life many times.
- Backup camera batteries. Never be caught unable to capture a photo worthy moment! These work great and were so so cheap. There’s nothing more frustrating than accidentally leaving the camera on, and being stuck for the rest of the day unable to take photographs.
- A healthy snack. Be good to your body and save money! I always like to have an apple in my bag. That way when the afternoon slump hits I can immediately refuel on something good, rather than spending too much money on the bad stuff. Isn’t it funny how the hunger always strikes in the worst places??
And that’s my list for you all! What are some things that you always need to have with you while sightseeing? I’d love to read about what you have to say in the comments below.