- Sensible Shoes - regardless of where you're going, you're going to need to walk at some point. It may just be from the taxi to the hotel or it might be from the farm gate to the end of a 10 mile route but anything could happen and it's good to pack shoes that are comfortable. You might develop a killer blister or you could snap the strap on your favourite pair of heels. You may get soaked in a sudden shower of rain or you might simply realise your shoes of choice are rubbing. Even if it's just a pair of Converse to sling on, it means for a weekend away you can take one pair of not so sensible shoes knowing you'll always have a backup. Pack a spare pair of socks whilst you're at it.
- A Good Book - To make the travel time feel like minutes instead of hours. It can be a guide book or the latest Nicholas Sparks love story but a good book is the best way to take your mind off traffic/delays/the general stress that comes with travelling. If you're in a car, you may want to spend your time gazing out the window (especially on a Trek across the USA!) but if it's a couple hours on the train or in the air, bury your nose into a book and lose yourself.
- Light Jacket/Cardigan - Going along the sensible route again...take a light jacket or cardigan, even if its mid summer. The weather can take you by surprise (Mother Nature - temperamental lady) and there's nothing worse than shivering in a sudden breeze and having to head inside sooner rather than later. Don't ruin your evening by wishing you were warmer.
- A Travel Journal - When I went on my travels, my brother gave me the best going away present ever. He bought a really nice hardback travel diary and stuck a photo of the two of us on the front page. I used to write down funny events, new friends' details, draw out maps, remember quotes and stuck in tickets, mementos and postcards. Take a travel journal along on your weekend and even if you don't actually write in it, you can still use it to stick your memories and postcards in, keeping them in a safe place. It was also a good place to keep addresses of friends, old and new. You never know who you'll want to get in touch with or think of whilst you're away. You may also want to blog about your weekend but only have time once you're back, so can write down your ideas and thoughts in there too.
- The word "YES" - Make sure you pack your PMA (positive mental attitude) and the best three letters in the world - Y-E-S. You may have your whole weekend planned out but always be prepared to explore in case you stumble across an unknown area of town you weren't planning on visiting or bump into someone on their way to what could be an amazing festival or event you hadn't heard of. Especially if you're in a hostel or busy hotel, the potential is there to turn a simple weekend into a weekend of anything and everything possible. A weekend may only be a couple days but it can turn into the trip of a life time - make it happen.