I have to admit that I’m one of those delightful people who pack for all eventualities. I love the idea of packing light, the freedom of just having one small bag slung on your shoulder. No ridiculous charges on budget flights that rip you off more than if you flew business class. The liberation of travelling with a pair of clean pants and not much else appeals but it’s not for me.
Experience has taught me that you can rely on nothing at your destination. It will be cold and raining at that sunshine-seeking destination, freak weather ordered up especially for the only seven days that you’re going to be there. Besides which, have you seen how much I pack in a ‘handbag’?!
But my favourite, must-pack accessory? That is other than penknives, emergency medications, blankets and pillows, adaptors and extension leads and a mountain of books, of course! It’s got to be the most versatile weapon in my how-to-survive-a-holiday toolkit.
The humble flip-flop.
Oh yes. They rock. My feet may not be keen on wearing them for extended periods of time (ie more than 5 seconds) and if you plan on attempting to climb hills and mountains or going hiking in them then I will laugh at your stupidity but they definitely rock.
- If you’re brave enough to take your proper shoes off during a flight (I firmly believe that it’s better to be in a plane crash whilst wearing one’s boots, it’ll make all the difference), you can wear the flip-flops as light slippers to track up the grimy aisle to the even more suspicious floor (I’m not one of those modern germ-phobes but I do have certain principles about where I put my bare feet, hospitals and supermarket toilets follow on this list, besides I hate getting my socks dirty and then putting them back into my shoes, euw!) of the toilet cum sardine prison.
- You can also wear them as slippers in your hotel room, especially if it’s one of those motel or B&B-type places with ‘vintage’ carpet. (Hmm, maybe I am a little bit of a germ-phobe in certain contexts!)
- In your hotel room or wherever else you’re pitching up for the night, you can use your flip-flops to wedge doors and windows open, or shut.
- If you’re in a really swanky place (that’s sarcasm in case you missed it), or just a mud-swamped campsite, you can wear your flip-flops in the shower (yeah, OK, I think my germ phobia is about where I put my feet).
- You can use flip-flops to swat bugs and fellow travellers.
- Those flip-flops don’t just wedge doors open, you can use them to prop that really wobbly table up so your drinks are safe or you can just get on with writing a semi-legible postcard.
- Certain types of beaches are also not particularly kind on the feet (yes, it’s all about the feet, well, we are talking about footwear after all). They can be hot, they can be sharp, and they can be full of all kinds of nasties. You need flip-flops.
- In between swatting annoying pests (human or otherwise), you can fan yourself with them when the heat or humidity gets too much (that doesn’t happen much on my kind of holiday).
- If it floods (which it does do on my kind of holiday), you can wear them quite happily without fear of shrinkage or worrying about how to dry them out.
- They also work on a similar principle as snow shoes on mud if that’s more your kind of holiday, willingly or otherwise.
- Apparently some people wear fashionable shoes, so even the flimsy flip-flop can be a welcome relief after a while.
- And of course, you can always write a cheerful or profound message on them and leave them on the nearest shoe tree.
What have you used flip-flops for? And what do you have to take with you when you travel?