Road Trip Essentials: What to take with you on your travels!

If there is anything I’ve discovered from Covid-19 is that I love road trips. It’s made me appreciate where I am a lot more and especially just how much there is to do in the UK. When people tell you to visit England, they aren’t lying. There are just so many beautiful places in the UK which are so worth the journey, but when you go on the journey you need to be prepared!

This post is based for those who don’t have some super savvy RV or camper van to go road tripping in and have to go in their Renault Cleo to do 17 hours of driving (plot twist, that’s Brad and I!). We drove the South West coast of the UK staying in multiple Airbnbs, which you can view here, and driving along in Brad Renault Cleo. The OLD Renault Cleo too, and it was great!

When you’re travelling with a person like me who had a bladder the size of a pea and also struggles to sleep, did I mention I’m also a top worrier with my anxiety hitting extortionate levels when I feel the situation is out of my control, so I like to be prepared when we are doing things like this!

I am really glad we did the trip because it felt liberating after so long being inside. Of course we took all the necessary precautions and in doing so this also added a few extra essentials to our trip! So see the list below on what I feel are the best Road Trip essentials!


Our Road Trip Essentials

Covid-19 Essentials to start with:

  • Mask(s).
  • Disinfectant.
  • Correct paperwork if you are exempt from mask wearing.

General Essentials

  • Books! Lots of good books for the journey! Or a Kindle!
  • Your phone, of course! Or not! Depends how disconnected you want to be whilst away!
  • Your purse/wallet, ID and card.
  • If you like to film your adventures like I do, a Go Pro, memory card and external hard drive.
  • Torch (ESSENTIAL this one).
  • Chargers for every electrical appliance you are taking with you.
  • A Notepad.
  • A print out of your Airbnb or hotel bookings just in case!
  • Drinks flask.
  • A cool bag for food if you take any perishables with you.

Car Essentials:

  • Phone Charger.
  • Plug Adapters.
  • Neck Pillow & An Actual Pillow.
  • Sunglasses.
  • Sat Nav (Or your phone in these modern days).
  • Phone Holder.
  • Aux Cable & Aux Adapter!

Clothing Essentials:

  • Underwear (I mean you can’t forget that, unless you’re a nudist, then you do you!).
  • Shoes and extra socks for all weather. E.G Walking boots, flip flops.
  • Backpacks!
  • Swimming Costumes & Trunks
  • Towels
  • Jeans & Trousers
  • ‘Going Out’ Wear, Anything from dresses to skirts, blouses to shirts, whatever you feel comfortable in!
  • Summer Dresses are always a must (weather permitting).
  • A Coast, Cardigan, Hoodie, all of the above. I always tend to bring an extra coat with me just in case the car breaks down and you’re stuck on the side of the road, got to keep warm!
  • A smaller bag instead of your backpacks! If you head out for some food you need a nice handbag or clutch bag to take with you.

Comfy Essentials:

  • Blanket, a KEY essential especially if your road trip involves any form of camping. Maybe even a duvet.
  • Slipper socks & Slippers.
  • Winter Coat (as above) to keep you nice and warm!
  • Fluffy PJ’s are always a vibe.

Product Essentials:

  • Deodorant.
  • Moisturiser.
  • For the ladies: Tampons, Pads etc.
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste.
  • Hairbrush.
  • Make up.
  • Compact Mirror.
  • Shampoo, Conditioner and Dry Shampoo (a must).

I also headed to twitter to ask my fellow bloggers if they were going on a road trip (in a Pre Covid-19 world) and they could bring 1 Essential item, what would it be?

Here are some of the responses below!

The Blog Brew – My New Adventure Book!

So I guess you’re wondering, what is The Adventure Book? I am here to tell you!

I would also like to confirm I was not asked to post this, this is something I wanted to share with you all as I feel its such a great creative outlet and also such a cute idea, it kept me busy for a while and I wanted to share as part of my blog brew collaboration as I’ve really gotten into it and I think others will enjoy it too.

So this book originally came up on my Instagram feed as an ad, I already have 3 scrapbooks, 5 photo albums, one bullet journal, surely one more creative outlet can’t hurt? Especially because it was travel related and I love documenting all my travels, so this just seemed another great way to do so. The book is really well priced including shipping from the Netherlands and created by a couple by the names of Nicole and Robin! Their aim is to have all your memories in one journal on one page!

So as you can see from the instructions there’s a page for all 196 independent countries so that means SO MUCH ROOM FOR ACTIVTIES, and also your creative side. I can’t wait to fill in the multiple places with pictures, money, paint and washy tape galore. I have a lot of washy tape, its my favourite part of my arts and crafts box.

The best part is at the start of the book you can colour in the world maps of where you’ve been, you can also tick the checklist of countries where you’ve been, which is great for planning which countries you need to edit and do in the book! Ive got quite a few to get started on;

Spain, South Africa, America (they have half a page for each state), Portugal, Iceland, Hungary, Norway, Sri Lanka, France, Turkey and more!

So not only do they have these checklists and world maps to colour in of course they have a section for each country. They’re really good size, enough for some key memories and bits & pieces.

They also offer on other pages through the book stamp pages, where you can out the stamps from that country (postal stamps) but they also have a passport stamp page! They also offer a ‘Surprise’ page where it tells you to go to the airport with no destination in mind and choose the first place on the list and go. In the book you’ll write the details of where you went and all! They also offer travel bingo pages, you can colour in all the flags of the countries you’ve been too (which isn’t as easy as it sounds) and just so much more.

It’s been a really good pass-time especially with Lockdown and isolation taking a toll on everyone. I was really glad I went ahead and got it because I miss travelling so much, it was just another way to reminisce and remember just how much fun I’ve had in the past going to different countries and having huge adventures with my friends and family.

Its a really good gifts for friends and family who love to travel and its also really well sized, not to small not to big! So you can totally carry it with you too! I just don’t think it would be as easy to carry all your arts and crafts stuff with you to do it, haha!

I highly recommend it for all travel lovers! I’ve really enjoyed the purchase and I’m glad I did it! This post was a part of the Blog Brew Collaboration, for the other girls blog posts and websites head to the links below!

July Collab – Head Over to Chimmyville.com

July Collab – Head over to Introverted Creativity

July Collab – Head over to Perselem

July Collab – Head over to Wanderer and Traveller (THATS ME).

July Collab – Head over to Tales of Belle

July Collab– Head over to Kirsty Marie

July Collab – Head over to The Makeup by Beth

July Collab – Head over to Mrs Slee-Jones

July Collab – Head over to My Breaking Views

Global Quarantine Diaries – Lulu

Lockdown in the USA has been one of the weirdest things I’ve experienced. It went from everyone joking about the pandemic, to horrific death tolls, back to a joke, and now we’re all protesting. It’s been a rollercoaster and a very difficult time for its citizens. The world watched us as we handled COVID-19 poorly and in the coming months, I am worried to see the lasting effects especially during the second wave. However, we as people, are resilient and hopeful. I hope the USA can learn from its mistakes during the second wave and act accordingly. 

Where in the world are you located? 

Charlotte, NC, USA 

What are lockdown regulations like? 

Lockdown regulations differed from state to state. For example, if Florida’s governor decided that they would stay open, they had the right to. But, in North Carolina, lockdown began on March 17th. Initially, it began by closing businesses unless they were essential (logistics, grocery stores, healthcare, restaurants for takeout, etc.) so, many people lost their jobs. Regulations included no gatherings of more than 10 people, unessential travel should be avoided, or it could result in a misdemeanor charge or fine (but that was never enforced), and social distance as much as possible. Going on walks, and being outdoors was encouraged but all the state parks, and trails closed down. Then we started reopening in phases by May 14th. “Phase 1” included parks and recreation to open up, retail businesses opened up at half capacity, and childcare facilities opened for essential workers. We are currently in “Phase 2” for another 3-5 weeks which means that restaurants opened up at half capacity, stay at home orders were lifted, and people are allowed to gather up to 25 people outside. Once “Phase 3” goes into effect, essentially all restrictions will be lifted, and normal life can continue. 

How are you keeping busy? 

During lockdown, I took a walk every day. Lockdown was an extremely depressing time and so hard to adjust to. I am a social person that thrives off of interaction with other people, so it was difficult. So, to combat those feelings, I ran/walked a trail by my house every day. I was so excited the first time I saw someone else passing on the trail and we got to say “Hi” to each other. Other than that, I cleaned just about everything you can imagine. Even the little crevices of my drawers. As expected, Netflix and every other streaming platform became my best friend. I watched a full TV series in a day once. Now that we’re in “Phase 2”, I am back to working. I am a bartender/server at a restaurant, and we are open at half capacity. I am required to wear a mask and gloves but the fear of getting Coronavirus sits in the back of my head every minute. I am happy to be back doing something productive and purposeful but with that comes so much anxiety. After the second week of being open, it doesn’t really seem like many people care about the pandemic. I’ve heard one too many jokes about it and my restaurant gradually became busier and busier. Life is starting to look normal here in North Carolina as people disregard the threat of COVID-19. 

What do you miss doing the most? 

The thing I miss doing the most is traveling. When I’m working, I have a lot of flexibility so over the weekends, I like to take trips to the mountains, the beach, and other big cities in North Carolina or surrounding states. It’s been stressful to feel so restricted however it is warranted and necessary. I can’t wait to visit friends and see new things. I also miss going for a night out and being able to have fun with my friends carefree. It won’t happen now, but in time, it will happen again. 

What is the first thing you’re going to do once lockdown is over? 

The first thing I’m going to do when lockdown is over is have a beer with my friends at my favorite dive bar. There’s nothing more comforting than sitting on the porch of a bar with a beer in your hand day-drinking. While technically, I am allowed to do this at this stage in North Carolina’s reopening, I am trying to take more precautions about going out unless necessary considering I am now working in a restaurant and potentially exposing myself more frequently. It’s difficult to see everyone out and about but the pandemic hasn’t halted just because the economy needed to reopen.

Socials

Lulu’s IG

Lulu’s Twitter

Lulu’s Youtube!

Sri Lanka – Final Goodbye’s & Sleeping in Airport’s

So our final meal was back in Colombo at the Coconut Lodge

It was a buffet of more beautiful Sri Lankan foods, curries and rice’s. I believe at this point we were all tired and ready for the trip to come to an end, especially knowing we had a long flight ahead of us that same evening.

We did speech and thanked Martin and his Wife who we had the privilege of leading us through our trip in Kandy and Colombo, Sri Lanka. It definably opened up my love for the subject and job area, and is now firmly what I want to go into as a future career.

Doha Airport

With all this said, eaten, and done we headed back to the Lodge in Colombo once more. Some lucky people in our group had one more day before their flight so they stayed the night, whereas our bus leaving for the airport was at 12am that night.

We relaxed and chilled out at the Lodge on our friend El’s patio reminiscing about the amazing trip we had had and that going home would definitely be a sore subject.

12am rolls around and the same 8 girls we were all together with on the way out we were all on the same flight home. We played uno and cards in the airport before boarding our flight to Doha.

Once we were at Doha all the girls minus myself and Zana left in the airport to do a whistle-stop tour of Doha city. We had a 7 hour layover and I needed to sleep as once we were back in the UK I as driving myself and Mel back to Lincoln from Hertfordshire, so I slept in the airport laydown area, which was quite relaxing!

Thank you so much for following through this HUGE journey through Sri Lanka, Asia. Its only taken me over an entire year to write but the love and memories are strong with this one.

BIG LOVE ALWAYS & THANK YOU!

The ‘Real Neat’ Blogger Award

The rules are simple and easy to follow. They are as follows:

  • Display the blog award logo in your blog.
  • Thank the blogger who nominated you. Do not forget to link their blogging website.
  • Answer all the questions they have given you.
  • Nominate 7 to 10 bloggers of your choice.
  • Ask them 7 questions.

Another bloggers award/nomination!

God I love the blogger community, a huge thank you for the nomination Ronald! Make sure you go and check his blog out, its impressive, informative and a really enjoyable read!

My answers to Ron’s questions!

  1. How important do these blogging awards mean to you?

I love these blogging awards so much. When I am nominated it makes me feel warm inside knowing out there, there is this awesome blogging community out there which I am part of, people are actually interested in what I have to say!

  1. How has blogging helped you?

It helps me keep my focus and calm down. I love to blog after work to relax and take my mind of things. It’s also a really enjoyable hobby, I find a lot of pleasure in writing.

  1. If you were granted three wishes, what would you ask for?

A new everlasting computer, the ability to time travel and to be a full time, paid travel blogger for a living!

  1. If the blogging community had rankings, what would be your rank?

I’d like to think I’d be at least the bottom of the middle. Ya girl isn’t BIG TIME enough, yet!

  1. What’s your take on blogging as a whole?And do you see more people take up blogging as a means to earn a living?

Blogging is a great way to experience new things, reviews, find new products, clothing, it’s an amazing platform of creative people. Yes! I’d love to make a living travelling and blogging about it!

  1. What is one dish you can never say no to?

Spaghetti Bolognese u dont have to ask me TWICE.

  1. What is something you’ve never done but really want to do?

Skydiving is a must. And cliff diving, and go to a cooking class! (Brad would be over the moon as man do I hate cooking but if I could just get into it, maybe I’d enjoy it) I could go on but we would be here for a while!

My Nominees for the ‘Real Neat’ Bloggers award are:

  1. Soph (@sophienaylor_) // Blog
  2. Lynnette (@pink_lynette) // Blog
  3. Jess (@awholelattejess) // Blog
  4. Bryony (@bbbbryony) // Blog
  5. Tathy (@vibrantandgray) // Blog
  6. Emmie (carpediememmie) // Blog
  7. Lindsey (Lindzy92) // Blog

And my 7 Questions for these bloggers are;

  1. What is your dream blogging goal?
  2. Someone gives you £10,000, what do you do with it?
  3. Tell us about yourself, explain yourself in 3 words
  4. What does blogging mean to you?
  5. Do you like horror movies?
  6. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
  7. Tea or Coffee?

Thank you again to Ron for the nomination! I can’t wait to read the responses!

Orlando To Miami – ROAD TRIPPIN’!!

We decided from the start of the holiday we were going to drive to Miami South Beach from Orlando as a convoy, two SUV cards both packed and ready to roll for the 5 hour journey! And it didn’t disappoint. Honestly I spent a majority of the journey wondering how the hell my parents knew where they were going. We did two initial stops, although there was a quick one because we got lost being adventurous.

162We’d been driving about an hour when we stopped for a toilet break and some breakfast,  Dunkin’ Doughnuts? Don’t mind if we do. The scenery hadn’t changed much; we could tell we were still in the depths of Orlando, but there was a lot less around as were were driving. Not as many buildings or places to stop and enjoy. So once we’d stopped at Dunkin’ Doughnuts and stocked up on munch and were satisfied, we were off on our road trip once again to the holy land.

A little further along the way more buildings and roads and cars generally appeared, which meant we were getting somewhere, and getting closer! We stopped for lunch on our journey to Miami at Palm Beach! I didn’t catch the name of restaurant we went to but we sat outside under a canopy and all 13 of us enjoyed a big lunch! Us younger ones went for a wander along the beach, there was a huge pier which I wish we’d had time to walk down. There were also countless volley ball pitches on the sand, which was awesome but I can’t play volley ball for love nor money. The food was lovely and it was a really good break in the journey as it was starting to get a bit tedious.

We got a little lost before we finally managed to make it to Miami. I could never have told you the route we followed but it involved looking at a lot of beautiful beachside houses that were impressively large. We had to make a stop to stretch the legs and figure out which way was the right way but we made it in the end!

I remember arriving in Miami and being absolutely lost for words. What a place is all I have to say. I would live in Miami if anyone gave me the chance because its hands down the place of my dreams. Beautiful beaches, houses, fast cars, better lifestyle, god If only.

One day hey! I’ll be writing about my experience in Miami from here on! These were some of my favourite experiences of the holiday!

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Orlando – Universal S(unburn)tudio’s

Universal Studios was incredible, We did both sides of the park and of course we visited more than once, my all time favourite ride is at these parks, duh, The Hulk! Universal is sick, from The Simpsons world to Harry Potter world and all the other awesome rides and places it has to offer its definitely a come back more than once job!

Of course we all had our photograph of us on the giant fake blue wave in the entrance to the parks, it would’ve been rude not too, and I also absolutely LOVED the Billabong shop they had so of course I did spent a little too much time there. Theres also the beautiful view of the river that runs through the entrance to both universal parks and the entrance to the Hard Rock restaurant, the best time was when the sun was setting, it was gorgeous.

And not forgetting the rather large spinning earth and Universal Studios sign before you enter the park on the right side, I mean did you even go to Universal if you didn’t get a photograph in front of it?

Of course upon entering the park for a majority of the day all I was doing was applying suncream, which didn’t work, because I got royally burnt as per usual when is anything ever different with me. My face and my nose flare up so much when they’re burnt you may as well call me Rudolf. So many great rides at universal and so little time, but regardless of that we went on the Hollywood Rock It probably the most, although The Hulk was definitely a close second!

278My favourite time on the Hollywood Rock It was when I went on the ride with Imi, obviously you get on the ride and you strap yourself across your legs and stomach and whilst you’re making your way up to the first drop you get to choose what music you listen too as you go around the course, and at the time they were also filming your experience for you to take home instead of a photo. Id decided to listen to Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger because what other banger is better than that.

So it was video’ing Imi and I as we went round, and I’m pretty sure after watching it back with Ims she passed out on nearly every single drop on the ride and then came back to life screaming and smiling whenever we weren’t on a drop or loop, and the ride managed to get it all on film! I wish, I WISH I’d bought a copy of the film because we were hysterical laughing!

Some of the other rides that deserved just as much recognition has got to be The Mummy Ride, The Transformers 4D ride and the Men in Black shooting/game ride was so much fun. Im a pansy and hate simulator rides, so the Twister ride was lost to me, which is such a shame as I love the film! After being in Orlando a while I was starting to get sick of eating crappy foods so universal was my saviour in terms of the huge big tubs of fruit they sold around the park, easily my favourite buy because I was starting to forgot how good the sweet nectar of fruit was whilst we were out there.

269Of course The Simpsons world was fun, although I bottled it on the ride they had to offer, so I held the bags whilst everyone went on! But it was so cool how they had a Moes Bar and all the other Simpson related statues and venues! I even got to have a cute photo with Millhouse!

From The Simpsons world we went across to the Men in Black ride which was interactive, where you sat in a carriage of 4 and shoot things and get a score, I was crap, of course.

 

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For those who are massive Harry Potter fans you’ll know just how incredibly impressive Diagon Alley and Harry Potter world, Hogwarts, the train and the Duelling dragon rides are. Not to mention the Butter beer, So sweet but so good. Nothing was cooler than walking along Diagon Alley and realising that the dragon breathes fire down at all of us walking through the street! We also had a pretty good chat with the man who was running the ‘night bus; in the park, he was pretty up for a photograph and a natter! Now I’m not a huge Harry Potter fan, but It didn’t take much to absolutely blow me away with just how impressive the place was.

We took the train from platform 9 and 3 quarters across to the other side of the park which was awesome. It was newly opened when we headed there, there was 5 of us to a cubicle and the movie they showed on the window and the special effects with the carriage doors was so cool, so fascinated and great to be reminded of what happens in the Harry Potter films! The train dropped us in the adventure island part of Universal where the duelling dragons and the village with Hogwarts was, Im not sure how it happened but after a few tears from one of our youngest members of the families, we managed to bag ourselves a quick tour of the Hogwarts castle and then on the ride that was inside Hogwarts!

The Duelling dragons were good fun, and of course we had to go on both the Red ride and the Blue ride too see which one was better! I preferred the red ride hands down.

NOW of course because we’d come across to the other side of the park there was a whole new park to explore basically, this side of the park consisted of Dr Seuss’s area, as well as Jurassic Park and the Marvel area, which is definitely my favourite area!

228Jurassic Park was good fun because at Universal they have the water ride for Jurassic Park, not only was Imi terrified of all the dinosaurs that jumped out, and I don’t blame her either, but as we were making our way up the massive hill to then go down the HUGE drop they have, which FYI soaked me through even though I was holding a waterproof coat over GJ and myself, one of the padre’s our group had his Go Pro out and you can just hear some america voice say “Can you please put your Go Pro away sir” over the intercom, but, I’m sorry love, we didn’t hear you, what was that???? It was wild fun, I’ve NEVER been on a water ride with such a steep drop! Scared the living daylights out of me! But of course we were soaked, and it was great, kept us cool for the duration of the day as to was a scorcher!

Carrying on through the park the Spiderman 4D experience ride was tonnes of fun although it made me a little nervous in terms of simulator rides, but it was good’un in the end! AND I got to meet Captain America and HOLD HIS SHIELD, But typically, with my rather short shorts its made me look very naked…

Got to meet Optimus Prime too! The transformers costumes were seriously impressive, I couldn’t tell if they were ran by remote control or if there were people actually inside them, but they were really tall and so detailed, they were so impressive.

My favourite part of the holiday in terms of food in Orlando, was the Hard Rock Cafe Orlando in Universal Studios, I was excited to eat there before we’d even arranged to go there put it that way. Not only was it huge inside and out but it had a Cadillac just in the middle of the restaurant spinning around above the bar below it! When we arrived there was 13 of us and they even took a group photograph of us before we all went to sit down, and it was a great picture as we didn’t get another like it the entire holiday.

The food was incredible, I had a burger with bacon, cheese and the sweetest BBQ sauce, then all of us girls had mocktails because boo hoo the drinking age being over 21 in the US, none of us qualified for that haha! But the mocktails were nice none the less! I loved looking at all the famous musicians outfits dotted about the restaurant too, I’d also never eaten in a Hard Rock before this night either so it was a fun experience!

Id love to go back to Universal soon as they have opened a Kong: Skull Island ride, and it bet its phenomenal because I LOVED the film! One day I’ll head back.