Have you ever had that moment when you inadvertently step in a very large muddy puddle, and think to yourself 'I wish I'd brought my giant wellies'? Well, even if you haven't, I have- and it's rather irritating. Even if you've never fallen head first into a puddle, you have probably had a moment of regret when you realise one vital item of clothing that you wish you'd taken on holiday with you. Similarly, it's always an inconvenience to have to sit on your suitcase in order to get it shut. I think that one of the hardest holidays to pack for is a retreat to the countryside. Even in the summer, you can never be quite sure of the weather you will encounter whilst inCornwall, for example.
Perhaps you're planning an escape to the country soon, and are dreaming of the rolling fields and curling up by the fire...but don't let your guard down just yet- before you can relax you have the horrendous task of...
Packing for a countryside holiday!
Some of these items are more obvious than others, but in my opinion they are all worth pointing out. You don't want to be half way down the M5 and part way through the sentence 'of course I've brought a coat' when you remember that it's in your wardrobe.
- Wellies- leaving your wellies at home when you go on holiday in the country can lead to a fairly dire case of soggy socks. Weather taking a stroll in the local village or visiting a historic monument in a field, wellington boots are an item of necessity, even in the summer- the countryside is the home of the surprise puddle.
- Walking boots- a good alternative to the wellington, a sturdy walking boot is another essential. One of the greatest things to do in the country is go on a long winding coastal walk, or a stroll through the woods and fields. It would be awful to go on a holiday in the country and not enjoy the fresh air.
- Woolly socks- the snugness of these first two items rely fervently on the woolly socks. Be sure to take at least a couple of pairs; some for your boots, and some for relaxing in a cosy, traditional country cottage.
- An old pair of jeans- much like wellington boots, old tatty jeans provide important protection against some of the unpredictable situations you may encounter on your country adventure. They should be worn during the day, perhaps if you're visiting a local beach and fancy climbing the rocks, or are making your way through grassy terrain- it won't matter as much if the fabric snags.
- A fleece- This is something I have had imposed upon me since childhood, and I have grown to love the fleece. Even in some of the summer months, a coastal wind can be biting- a fleece will help insulate you.
- A raincoat- I don't want to stereotype in my imaginings of a holiday in the countryside...but from experience, when I think of a country holiday I can't help but think of the occasional raindrop. Nothing wrong with this, a little refreshing rain can be enjoyed within the comfort of woolly socks, wellies and a raincoat. Also useful for visiting the beach on a crisp clear day, or perhaps for a boat trip.
- Something a bit smarter- Despite the above, it doesn't all have to be woolly fleeces and plodding along in your sturdy boots- you should also take one or two combinations of nicer clothes, depending on how long your stay is. Patterned jumpers are very much in fashion at the moment for both men and women- and in keeping with your country escape. That and a smarter pair of jeans and some less cumbersome shoes, and you're all set for a night at the local pub or a night in and home cooked meal with friends or family. In the summer a floaty dress for the ladies or a pair of shorts and t-shirt for the men and you're ready for a barbeque in the sun.
- An umbrella- I won't point out the importance of an umbrella- it holds the same significance as the raincoat and wellies!
- Suncream- considering everything else listed so far, you may be surprised to see this item. But don't be- in an open coastal or country location you can still get burnt, even with a fresh country breeze keeping you cool.
- A book- Unlike the city, the countryside lends itself to more traditional activities and attractions. There are waterparks, zoos, historic monuments, country houses and churches to visit...but when you don't fancy doing that you could sit next to the wood burning fire or on a blanket on the beach and get into that book you've been meaning to read...
- A notepad and pen/chalks- Like the book, this is another non-essential- but your holiday will be much more enjoyable with it. The countryside has some breathtakingly beautiful scenery- and whether you're an artist or not, recording it makes for a relaxing activity. Chalks are also good on the beach, especially if you have children- at least an hour of amusement can be gained from colouring in a pebble. And you get a nice souvenir to take home.
So, there's a list of some of the items for you to remember next time you're planning a holiday in the country, whether at home or abroad. Some of them are absolute necessities if you want to avoid those pesky surprise puddles, and some are just nice things to take- but all should make your holiday checklist!