Time flies. I’ve been wanting to write about the travel tips I’ve learnt this summer after I’ve spent days on end sightseeing all day long. I’ve included the words Lovely Weather Edition in the name of this post because especially the last point would not be recommended for rainy, snowy or freezing weather.
Nor would it be recommended for brutally scorching hot weather, as we accidentally learnt the hard way.
1. Wear sneakers
This one goes especially for the ladies. If you plan on doing lots of walking all day long then don’t bother with cutesy shoes. Of course we’re not even going to consider high heals here, no thank you. Not even flat healed sandals. It doesn’t matter how chic or elegant your outfit is, you won’t feel so when you’re hobbling around in agony. Because of pinching straps. Because of blisters. Because of whatever. Just go in sneakers or supportive shoes.
This summer there were a few days when I wished I had skipped the sandals and went for sneakers. A culminating point was on the day the above photo was taken (in Ronda, Spain), something horribly wrong was going on in my foot, as in I was sure I had a fissure or something. Wearing something more supportive might have avoided a lot of the damage and pain.
2. When in restaurant doubt, ask the locals
As I mentioned in my Brantôme post, we had a dinner at a fabulous restaurant thanks to a cool local girl whom we stopped to ask. She may have been way cooler than me, but my advice would be to ask a local that looks like they may have your style and taste. Save yourself from overrated web opinions, the locals probably know better which would be the best places according to what you’re looking for.
3. Bring a book. Or an e-reader
When you’ve walked so much that you just can’t anymore, it’s nice to find a spot to have a sit down, rest and read. We did this on the river bank in Brantôme for about half an hour. It re-energized us enough to get back up and continue later on.
4. Bring a light scarf
Even though it may be summer and the weather seems perfect, if you’re going to be out and about all day long, plus you don’t know the microclimatic circumstances of the area, something like a light silk scarf will hardly take up much area in your bag and help keep you cozy if it gets cool.
When we were in Ronda, it actually got very chilly once the sun went down. You wouldn’t imagine that it would get cold in the middle of Andalusia in the middle of summer, but it did.
5. Picnic whenever possible, and if you do, bring a multitool
During our road trip through France and Spain, whether we were on the road or sightseeing in small towns, we had a picnic every single day for lunch. We would have fresh bread from an artisanal bakery and a selection of local hams, cheeses, pâtés and fruit. It’s a wonderful way of savouring local produce whilst spending much less than in a restaurant.
As you’ll need to cut things and maybe even open cans, bringing a multitool is a great idea. My brother gave me a Leatherman a few years ago, and boy did I use it a lot this summer in our picnics!
Picnics, however, are only pleasant in pleasant weather. On our last day of our road trip this summer, we were somewhere in the middle of Spain on the way to Andalusia. We were used to the mild warm weather and greenery that were so perfect for picnics while were in France and going through the Basque region in Spain. So, on this last day in the middle of Spain. There was not a leaf nor bit of grass in sight. It felt like we were going through hundreds of kilometers of dark brown desertic land. We had no idea where we could stop to have the lunch we had packed with us: a loaf of bread from France, ham and cheese from France and Spain, and thankfully lots of water. When we finally stopped, we got out of the car and the 45ºC heat hit us.
Don’t bother trying to picnic in the middle of Spain in the middle of summer.