With summer fast approaching, it’s time to dig out our shorts, pack a suitcase and head off on our travels. If your plans this summer involve a bit of good old fashioned sightseeing, what you choose to carry with you can have a big impact on how enjoyable your experience is.
When you’re exploring a new destination in warm weather, nobody wants to be weighed down by a heavy bag that’s full of things you don’t actually need. This guide will help you limit what you’re carrying to the basic essentials and make the most of your exploring opportunities this summer.
- Before you pick your necessary items, you’ll need to make sure that you’ve got something that’s suitable to carry them in. Everyone wants to be a stylish jetsetter, but when you’re sightseeing you should always opt for comfort over fashion. Carrying a backpack, rather than a satchel or a shoulder bag, may make you feel like you’re back in school, but you’ll distribute the weight evenly across you back and be much more comfortable.
- Ditching the heavy guide books will be a weight off your tired shoulders. Though it’s always nice to know some information about local history and culture, carrying a substantial volume around all day is going to leave you tired and aching.
Do your research on the local sights before you set off. That way, you’ll have a better idea of what you’d really like to see and your exploring will be structured. You’ll rarely be left staring at a glorious piece of architecture without an idea of what it is you’re looking at. Most tourist attractions and sights will provide information that will satisfy even the most curious of culture vultures.
- When you’re exploring big cities, it’s often a good idea to make use of local public transport. Your feet will thank you for it and you’ll undoubtedly see more.
Find out how the local system works. More and more cities, especially those in Europe, are adopting electric ticket schemes that allow you to buy a day or week ticket, which you load with credit and scan each time you travel by public transport. You won’t spend time searching for loose change at the bottom of your bag and buying a ticket in advance will normally make you a substantial saving.
- If you’re planning on spending a portion of your holiday exploring religious buildings and sites, bear in mind that there may be a dress code to get in. Guides like this one for the Vatican in Rome are a good way of checking what could possibly stop you from getting access.
For women, it’s a good idea to carry a lightweight shawl in your bag, as you may be required to cover your shoulders if you want to enter a church or temple.
- Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower, the Empire State Building. It’s surprising how many of the world’s most popular sights require you to look up. Having some sunglasses are essential for sightseeing in the summer months.
Ray ban sunglasses are a great choice, as they’re lightweight and comfortable. What’s more, there is a full range available from Red Hot Sunglasses, which offers free worldwide delivery on all orders. It’s also a wise move to have something to cover your head. Too much sun will quickly make you ill and restrict your sightseeing to the four walls of your hotel room.
- Cities can be dirty places and you’ll not always have access to a bathroom to freshen up. Wet wipes and gel sanitizer won’t take up a lot of room in your bag, but will be something of a life saver if you’re feeling a bit grubby or you want to wash your hands before you eat.
- Socks with sandals. A t-shirt emblazed with the name of the destination. And an enormous camera. It’s the uniform of every sightseer.
It’s up to you how you want to dress, but leaving your camera behind is a wise move for saving space and reducing the amount of weight you’re carrying around. Using your phone to take photos of your favourite sights will give you one less thing to worry about losing and will free up precious space for you to carry more souvenirs.