Holidos and don’ts: does the shoe fit?

No, it’s not an excuse to show off my sarong. Although!

No, the prep notes are clear to anyone who goes out to the Maldives… it’s a sandy island so don’t wear stilettos. Flat shoes or flip-flops please.

But, of course, some just didn’t listen, putting fashion sense before common sense.

So buckle up, here’s your guide to what to wear, and where, around the world.

On the beaches

Sounds obvious doesn’t it?

It has to be flip-flops.

Yes, but what do you do when you want to go for a swim and have to step out on the warm sand.

I’m reminded of the day off we took after 30 days working in Boston to spend at the beach in Manchester, New Hampshire, only to then burn our feet.

Why not go for rubber beach shoes instead?

They’re actually quite stylish now, not just those opaque ones we remember from our childhood. Visit http://www.amazon.co.uk.

Walking around town

We all love to shop (or is that just The Scary One)?

But don’t fall for that old adage about breaking in a pair of shoes.

You might be dying to try on those killer heels, Mediterranean leather shoes or designer trainers, but you’ll end up dying with pain.

The Son and Heir has great memories from his first trip to New York but while he might have chosen to forget that he had to limp around Manhattan the rest of us get shivers thinking back on it.

Liking Hiking

My Donegal Uncle Danny, who emigrated to New York, always insisted that there were only two lessons in life.

Good shoes and a good bed… you’ll spend half your life on your feet and the other half in your bed!

The best boots I have on my shoe rack are my North Face hiking ones.

At not much more than €100 nearly four years ago they have walked me 100kms along the Camino, and the same along the Via Francigena into Rome.

Who am I kidding? It was more like 250kms… I kept getting lost!

But they will be on my feet when I set out on another trek, this time in Tenerife in September. Visit http://www.53degreesnorth.ie. Or http://www.thegreatoutdoors.ie.

Your shoe salesman

Travel writing’s gain is shoe salesmen’s loss.

My first job when I was at school was as a shoe salesman.

Where I learned among other things that customers don’t like getting two left shoes, two different style of shoes or two different-sized shoes.

You’ll know this anyway but a quick reminder:

Ireland and UK: 6,7,8,9,10 etc.

European; 38,39,40,41,42 etc.


And I’ll leave you with one for the road from a sign outside a shoe shop:

Buy one, get one free.


Holidos and don’ts

Plugged in: Photo by rawpixel.com

If I had a euro for every charger I’d left behind… I’d have enough to buy a new charger.

On the off chance that you’re in La Grange in Loudenvielle in the French Pyrenees and you see a Turkish Airlines charger http://www.turkishairlines.com with two entry points (if that’s the technical expression)…

Perhaps it would have been better had I just headed back to Lourdes and bought some St Anthony trinket and paid him to return it to me safely.

Irish and British chargers

Simple. It’s the one you have already… the one you’re always looking for around the house or the office.

Of course you’re Irish one doesn’t have to have a green lead. Some come with a detachable lead that you can take out of the plug which increases your options. Get one of those as it’ll make your life easier.

It’s a Type G and it is a three-bit though maybe that’s just my word for it, but you know what I mean.

Those Europeans

Two prongs make a right: In Europe

They’ve got two prongs… I’m beginning to get a little nostalgic now about that Turkish Airlines charger.

You can do one of two things. If your charger comes away from your Irish plug well done and you can go for the likes of a PICILOO USB Plug Adaptor, 2-Pack USB Charger 2.1A/5V Dual USB Wall Charger Power Travel Adapter for Phone XS XR X 8/7/6/6S Plus 5S, iPad, Samsung Galaxy S8/S7/S6 Edge, HTC, LG, Moto.

Come again. I found more info than I needed but go to http://www.amazon.co.uk and you can pick this up for under a tenner sterling.

But if you come attached to a plug… the phone, not you, although sometimes The Scary One thinks I should be… then http://www.lovehoney.co.uk is selling UK to Europe adaptors for £5.99.

They’re Type C, E and F and they also apply to European Turkey and Asian Turkey (Antalya), Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt and a lot of Northern Africa… though check before you go for regional differences as with chargers just like their politics they don’t always agree.

Make America charge again

Right, this is as easy as A, B (no, not C).

Our good friends at Amazon have again come to our aid here.

You should buy a multiple USB port charger which includes swappable plugs like a 4-port USB travel charger.

Amateurs, like me come with a bag and a couple of those above.

The professionals go for this one below from http://www.amazon.co.uk at £11.99.

And good news, it is recommended for numerous different countries around the world on a daily basis.

Thank goodness for that… I was beginning to think this was a science test.

And remember look out for my charger if you’re in the French Pyrenees. St Anthony could build a shrine with the amount of cash I’ve put in his charity box over the years.