Summer’s here – which means it’s time to find your jet-set essentials.
WORDS BY CHRIS ROWLANDS
Ah, summer. It never gets old. Come rain or shine, weekend break or long-haul adventure, the year’s sunniest months rarely fail to serve up a soul-soothing sense of relaxation.
So it is, once again, in 2017. As the year edges rapidly towards August, thoughts of trips not-yet-taken and beaches still to be explored inevitably enter the mind – and, with them, the quest for a delightful clutch of travel accessories begins.
See, no journey, big or small, is complete without an accompanying satchel of essentials, bespoke to the owner and important in their own way – whether sun cream or camera, headphones or sketchpad.
Whatever your plans (and whatever will be by your side), here’s our pick of summer holiday essentials for 2017 – satchel and all.
The load-bearer: Nutsac Satchel
When the first journey-maker took their first step, you can bet they had a stellar satchel upon their shoulder. OK, perhaps it was a rucksack (or, you know, a heavily laden llama), but the fact remains that you can’t go far without a decent bag – and this leather and waxed-canvas number from Nutsac is certainly that. Yes, it’s a little diminutive, but those compact proportions ensure a light load, while the tough construction should see it go as far as you do – and there’s a lifetime guarantee to prove it.
The reading material: East West Street
No packing list is complete without a page-turner to digest in the sun outside a faraway café. Sometimes, though, you want something more than a trashy novel to enthral in the afternoon hours. And, while the Nazi origins of international law, genocide and crimes against humanity might make for a stark contrast with your usual August paperback, this astoundingly well-researched work from lawyer Philippe Sands is truly gripping. Likely to shock, educate and inspire, its web of characters and threads of events are more fascinating than any work of fiction.
The poolside party: JBL Flip 4 bluetooth speaker
Sun, sea and far-flung frolics ought surely to be enough for most on their summer getaway. Thing is, after a long day’s relaxing, sometimes there’s nothing but a tune that’ll do to nail the cocktails-and-chill vibe. Enter JBL’s Flip 4 Bluetooth speaker: waterproof and durable, it kicks out a seriously hefty (yet delightfully clear) body of sound, while a 12-hour battery life should see the Spotify playlist rolling on until well after the sun sets. There’s a built-in microphone, too, so you can hit up Siri without moving from your lounger.
The memory maker: Lomography Simple Use Film Camera
Having a good time on holiday is almost a given. Remembering that good time when it’s all done and dusted, sadly, is not such a certainty. You could, of course, snap a thousand shots on your smartphone – destined forever to live in pixel form on your hard drive, opened only when you try to remember the number of columns on the villa in Puglia. Alternatively, you could go old-school and make memories to treasure. This pre-loaded Lomography snapper does 36 exposures, with three colour flash filters for properly edgy Instagram fodder.
The in-flight entertainment: Sony MDR-EX450P earphones
Love the sound of engines inside the aeroplane cabin? You’re probably alone on that one. Short of shelling out hundreds on a high-end set of noise-cancelling headphones, blocking out that dull in-flight roar means either bunging some plugs in your lugholes or humming your way to Havana. Unless, that is, you pick up a set of these in-ears from Sony. With stellar sound quality and a price tag that won’t break your summer budget, their cushioned build does an excellent job of keeping your head free from those sky-high rumblings.
The ideas keeper: Stamford Notebook Traveller’s Journal
Little fuels the imagination like a new destination and having the time to enjoy it. Trust us, we’ve tried it. When inspiration strikes, you need a trusty journal in which to scribble and sketch – which makes this leather jotter a dream. Sustainably sourced, hand-dyed leather protects a pair of replaceable internal books (whose leaves are milled in Cumbria), while woodland carbon offsetting means you can write without guilt. And, like all of the best travel bag essentials, it’ll weather with every adventure, as the leather closing secures your every musing.
The bank: Nodus Compact 4 Card wallet
Soaring around the world with a wedge-thick wallet in your pocket might make you feel properly business class, but it won’t do much for your attempts at travelling light. Pick up this slimline leather card-holder from Nodus, though, and you’ll have the best of both worlds: subtly stylish, it’ll happily carry four pieces of plastic, while a central note pocket will do for your spare readies. Better still, there’s an internal key slot to stop locked-out hotel dramas, while RFID protection on one side prevents the dreaded contactless card clash.