Yesterday, I set off on a 3 week trip to see various parts of Europe. As such, I had to plan carefully what I was going to take with me, especially for writing. Vacations should be time to rest, relax, have fun and experience new things, and you may choose not to write too often while away. But if you do intend to get some writing done on holiday, and let’s be honest there’s tonnes of inspiration in travel, here’s some things you may want to pack.
1. Lightweight Laptop
If you’re going to take a laptop, it’s worth taking a lightweight one. They’re easy to carry around, even in a day bag. They don’t take up much space and shouldn’t weigh too heavily on your luggage weight or size allowance. Quick and easy to whip out for some writing, and handy for if you need to connect to WiFi and do some research.
You may choose to avoid bringing a laptop at all, due to size or simply because you don’t want to risk damage or loss. Personally, I didn’t want to commit full focus by having my laptop, to allow full time to enjoy the holiday. In these cases, just take a notebook or two, and some pens. You know how it is, being a writer. You never truly shut off. So even if you don’t intend to write often, you’ll no doubt have moments when inspiration strikes and you need to write something down. Keeping a writer’s notebook handy at all times is good practice, holiday or no holiday!
If you’re a writer, you probably love to read. Don’t let your packing list miss off some reading material. Whether books are your thing, or an E-book is more practical, be sure to take some with you. The writing mind is often fuelled by reading, and it’s a great pastime during long journeys.
You may want to take down notes about a place later. So in the moment, take some photographs. You’ll be able to look back on them later, and add authenticity to your writing by spotting the smaller details you may not remember. It’s also worth taking some video footage. Being able to reflect on the way things sound and move is another fantastic way to breathe life into your writing at a later date.
Even if you don’t want to work on a specific writing project, keeping a journal while you’re away is a great idea. It keeps you in the habit of writing daily, and preserves your memories so you can always look back on your vacation and remember the finer details. And you never know. If you ever want to do some travel writing, or use your experiences in a story, you’ll have a reference point to go back to.
What do you take on holiday with you? Drop me a comment.