A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
In the midst of a series of summer trips around Europe, I have quickly learnt what items I now class as essentials in my handbag (or day bag). I thought I’d share some of that wisdom with you.
While a phone is an obvious essential with our generation often struggling to cope when we don’t have these devices within reach, portable chargers were something I was quite skeptical about. When I finally gave in and bought one, however, I was surprised how useful I found it. On those long, cheap bus rides between destinations, in the airport when you can’t find a free wall socket or simply during those long days in a foreign city when your phone is about to die and you really need to update instagram or facebook, or simply use google maps, a portable charger in these situations is invaluable.
Again, a wallet is an obvious necessity, but make sure your student ID is safely stowed next to your credit card. Using this little piece of plastic to get student priced tickets is always worth it.
Definitely make sure you have a charged camera with lots of memory space so that you can capture the incredible memories you’re making!
Over the past few months I have become quite the pro at map reading. In day-to-day life these pieces of paper have become almost extinct, however you can generally get a free city map from your hostel’s front desk or tourist centers, and will often have the main tourist attractions already marked. A pen is also great for marking where you’re staying, or where the closest subway stop is, so that you know where you’re going at the end of the day. Don’t forget the guidebook with all the great suggestions of what to visit either.
This is particularly essential in summer, and refilling a water bottle is always much cheaper than buying something. In places like Italy in particular its great because they have amazing free water fountains all around the city with cool, fresh water.
This is an idea that a friend introduced me to when travelling together. In hot sticky weather it was so nice to be able to wipe our hands clean, or if the public bathrooms didn’t have soap etc.
These are definitely a necessity in summer if you don’t want to be paying the consequences and dealing with sunburn for the next few days.