Wednesday, 26 March 2014

My Train & Commuting Travel Essentials

Just a quick post today, as I have the first of my big final university deadlines tomorrow I've been spending the past few days putting the finishing touches to my portfolio for my Britain in the 1950's class. So, I thought I'd put together a quick, non food post you guys have been requesting for a while on Twitter and Instagram. I spend a lot of time on the train backwards and forwards between Canterbury and London, and when I'm in London I spend even more time than that on the Tube. When I'm in Los Angeles, I spend an absolutely insane amount of time on the bus. (Yes, I know that no one takes the bus in LA, but considering it worries me enough driving in my own country, I want to have finally been brave enough to drive in France first!)
Travel Bag Essentials
Just over three years ago when my location hopping madness I used to spend so much time absolutely bored out of my tree commuting as I did not know how to pack my bag properly so that I was not carrying dead weight around with me, but I still had enough to get some work done, or just stay occupied. Also, recently I've invested in a few items to make my commuting packing easier, as when I'm living in Kent next year but still working a lot in London, I'm going to become even better aquatinted with the high speed train link!



My most recent purchase was this beautiful navy blue leather tote bag from Aspinal of London. I have been looking for a new handbag for the best part of two years, but with all my requirements (not too big because I'm little, I need to be able to have it over my shoulder and fit my camera and iPad in and I don't like the base to be hard and solid) I'd officially given up home. Having been in practically every handbag shop in London and Los Angeles looking I'd started to consider just using a good quality nice leather tote bag instead. I settled on this one only recently, and I love that it has an attached little pouch inside so I don't have to go rooting around for essential such as my house keys, Oyster card and lipstick! I also thought it would be perfect for me traveling on planes and trains (and it has proven to be) because it is lighter than my average handbag, and it can also fit my new smaller MacBook, my iPad and my camera in, plus the essentials all at once. It also comes in beige and creme, and for an Aspinal's bag at £195 is quite reasonably priced.


iPhone 5, iPad & Charger

A bit obvious I know, but I'd be lost on the train without them. I hook my phone up to be a WiFi hot spot so I can get internet on my iPad (and on my laptop if I have it with me) so I can keep on working on the go. This does drain your battery a bit, however, so hence the charger too! On my iPad I also have my Kindle with some books on (even though I do prefer classic paper editions) and a Tatler subscription that I always read cover to cover every month. At the moment I'd reading Mary Berry's Recipe For Life.



I've suffered from horribly dry lips all of my life, but on my first trip to Sephora in Los Angeles I discovered British brand Dr Lipp and their fantastic Nipple Balm For Lips which is the best lip balm I've ever tried, and I never leave the house without. It tripled as a balm, gloss and base coat for lipstick, and is also good for cuticles and chapped skin. Here in the UK you can pick it up in Space NK and I really recommend you invest in a tube. I have several in various bags.


Railcard & Oyster Card

Again, pretty obvious but even through my Young Person's Rail Card is going to expire in August, I'm going to renew it (you can get a year for £30 or 3 for £70, right up until your 24th birthday) as it gives such massive savings on train journeys. If you do use the train often and you don't have one, it is worth the investment, especially if you live somewhere, like me, in the South of England with such massive train fairs. Also, a little life hack for Londoners with discount rail cards. If you take it, and your Oyster card to train ticket office in London or an Underground station ticket hall you can ask them to link the 1/3 discount to your Oyster. This is especially good for people who, like me, will no longer be entitled to a Student Oyster soon!


iPod

Another rather self explanatory one. Mine is full obviously of music (there are an insane number of country music tracks on here), but when I'm traveling I also love listening to audiobooks (I don't have one on the go at the moment, but I did all of the Girl With A Dragon Tattoo books on here) and podcasts, my favourite forever and always being the Joy The Baker Podcast.


White Chocolate Aero

If you've been following my blog posts in collaboration with Aero, you'll know that the winner of the big online competition to become Aero's next Limited Edition flavour was White Chocolate. Even through I was on Team Strawberry, White Chocolate was my actual favourite when it came to the taste test, so I'm glad that I can now pick it up in stores. While I've tried carrying healthy nibbles and sugar free mints on trains with me, if you are delayed and waiting around, sometimes in the cold nothing is as satisfying as a good bar of chocolate, so I always try to have one on me. Also, if because of meetings I've missed a meal and I end up filling up on sushi at the station by way of lunch and dinner, it makes a great dessert!



What do you find are complete essentials when you're traveling and commuting, and what bag do you all carry them all around in. I'd love to hear some more of your travel and train tips, as South Eastern trains are soon going to become a bigger part of my life than it already is! 


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11 comments:

  1. Great post. The 16-25 rail card is a godsend, especially when travelling 200miles round trip every other weekend!

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  2. That is really far, makes my journey sound really simple!

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  3. Just outside London to Birmingham, haha!

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  4. Ooh I didn't know you could ink your Oyster to your railcard, love that tip! Also I also spent a year living in the US and came back with a total love of country music, I could listen to it ALLLL day (to my housemates' disgust) - what are your faves??


    Bxx
    b-jolly.co.uk

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  5. This bag looks great!! I've been looking for a greate tote for ages. May I ask where you bought it?
    xo Andrea
    Wonderful and Marvelous

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  6. I love Lady Antebellum, Carrie Underwood, Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, Luke Brian, Sheryl Crow and at the moment I'm obsessed with Granger Smith's album 'Dirt Road Driveway'. You?

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  7. It is from Aspinals of London, you can buy it here: http://www.shopstyle.co.uk/action/apiVisitRetailer?id=447046746&pid=uid5321-9502861-7

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  8. Still annoyed the cappuccino flavour didn't win but gonna that new aero very soon!

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  9. I love love love Luke Bryan - right now I'm loving Brett Eldredge, Hard to Love is constantly stuck in my head!

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  10. I have not heard any of his stuff, off to YouTube now! And Luke Bryan... I had about a whole month with Drunk On You on repeat, then I moved onto That's My Kind Of Night for about two months!

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  11. Womble feels the same way as you!

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