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7 holiday must haves

16th June 2015

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While a good book and a bikini are commonplace on holiday checklists, many items are lacking come holiday season. Travel requires more than just an immaculate, minimalistic (yet incredibly chic) capsule wardrobe- a certain attitude is needed to be able to fully immerse yourself in the local culture. Whether you are visiting Disney land or Djibouti, Scandinavia or going skiing- make sure you have checked off every criteria before you check in

1. Optimism              

While travelling can offer a lifetime's supply of sights to feast your eyes on, it can also face you with some pretty dire ones. If you are not willing to leave your comfort zone you may aswell not leave the UK. India’s rich, vibrant culture acts as the façade covering the deep levels of poverty found at the infrastructure of the country. While it is important to acknowledge the local situation (ignoring it would be both odd and offensive) and trying to help if you can, stay optimistic. As a tourist, you are bringing in money and helping to boost the economy.

While travelling, you are also bound to face a mishap at some point. If you are mugged just remember, the principles you are learning on your (literal and metaphorical) journey are worth more than your materialistic objects. Unless it is your passport. In which case, you should probably be a realist and head down to the embassy ASAP if you do not want to end up like this guy

2. An open mind

A recent trip to Gambia introduced me to the beauty of the African continent. If you keep your mind and passport open to any and every opportunity, you will be surprised by what you learn and see. While these surprises are not always pleasant, they tend to make for a hell of a story. Usually the countries that are less inciting (on the grounds of lack of luxury hotels) are the most fascinating. 

3. A quick-dry towel

Simple but often overlooked. The beauty of a quick dry towel is imperative on the road. It can also double up as a blanket/ sun-guard/ pillow/ outfit in desperate situations.

4. An anthem

Just as a good CD is needed for every road trip, a decent playlist on your iPod can set the tune for a holiday. Pick up-beat bangers and you will find your attitude follows suit. Treat every holiday like a group one and set yourself a theme song. Just be careful where you sing this (Kanye West’s offensive lyrics may not go down well in Kenya, for example).

5. A clear palate

(And anti-constipation and anti-diarrhea tablets.)

Try all the foods you can. The brighter the better. Try the dishes you have seen on a take away menu and those you did not know existed. Be careful with food poising by giving meat a wide berth (can also help keep your conscience clean-especially useful after visiting zoos and aquariums). Just make sure you have the provisions in case your stomach is not feeling as adventurous as your eyes. They say the world is your oyster so it is up to you to taste the world’s finest oysters. 

6. A disposable camera

They say a photo is worth a thousand words; so make sure you capture the moment without risking getting your DSLR nicked. As matter of principle, you should not take photos just to show off etc etc but really, you need your friends back home to realize your travels are above a simply Instagram post. You will treasure your prints forever and as they exist in physical form, you can stash them away and not worry about the Internet gobbling them up in time.

7. A local’s recommendation

While a journalist (or Trip Advisor commenter) from across the world could do some research and find out about the hippest new joint, only a local will be able to show you where the real treasure lies. Whether it is a bar, the most tranquil spot on the beach or how to avoid the local scammers; take time to ask the locals and take note of what they have to say. Who knows, you may even get a free meal out of it.



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