If I learnt one lesson from travelling the world, it was just how unpredictable the weather can be. It didn't matter where we were either - the rain and thunder seemed to follow us around wherever we went.
The first storm we hit was in Sydney - where the skies opened and didn't close for a solid 3 days. I lost two pairs of shoes to the Sydney floods - which was money right down the drain!
After stocking up my shoe collection, we headed up to Hong Kong - where we were greeted by rain - and waved off with it too. We actually flew in and landed through a thunderstorm, and yet another pair of shoes were ruined before we even arrived at our hotel.
But it's not just the shoes.
I've had a phone ruined because of the rain (touch screens hate water... take note people!), a cardigan literally shrunk in the rain whilst I was wearing it (disaster...) and let's not even get started on suede handbags - because I might cry.
I'm heading to Paris in a couple of weeks (and I live in London) so rain is a constant issue - especially during this time of year. But, saying that, I've learnt to be prepared for the weather now. So come at me rain - I'm ready.
First thing's first - protect your feet.
There's nothing worse than sightseeing with wet, squelchy feet - and I've learnt that the hard way. Luckily though, for unlucky people like me (the kind of people who always get caught in the rain...) there seems to have been a welly-revolution over the last year! I'm totally not a welly person - but I get that they're useful and sensible for wet weather. Saying that though, I still don't want to wear some big clonking wellington boots to a nice museum, or bar in the evening... let's face it, the traditional wellington boots you wore when you were a little'un aren't exactly the height of fashion!
I found these boots by Sorel (a nice sensible brand your Mum would approve of!) and I'm hooked. They don't look like welly's but you get all the perks of a wellington boot. They're completely waterproof (I've tested them, trust me) and they look good. Mine have heels which means I can wear them for going out too - which is an added bonus.
Next? Something to keep dry!
In cities like New York, London and Hong Kong, the rain can literally come from nowhere. I remember in New York we were walking down the block on a pretty decent day when I noticed people 50 yards up the street starting to duck into stores. I was kind of confused at first, until the wave of heavy raindrops hit us - out of the blue.
Now, if I'm in a rainy city I always try and carry a little anorak or poncho with me just in case. They're so cheap that it doesn't make sense not to! If you're caught out with nothing - it can be pretty miserable (and cold) later on in the day when you're trying to dry off! But you don't need to wear those horrible plastic "tour-bus" ones, there are other options out there. Mine is flowery and cute, and actually looks nicer than my 'real' coat.
Don't get your phone out!
Another mistake I've made. I don't know why I expected my phone to be waterproof (because, FYI it isn't) but you know when you get it out without thinking - and the next thing you know you're claiming back on insurance because it couldn't handle the water? I think getting a waterproof phone case is a good idea wherever you're travelling to though - because it may come in useful even when it's not raining. When we snorkelling in Australia and Thailand I noticed more and more people using their phones underwater as cameras!
Last, but not least.... always be prepared for a downpour!
Always carry an umbrella! Because the moment you leave the house without one - is the moment it'll rain and hail like never before. I know lots of people don't carry them because they take up loads of space and are generally a bit annoying... but you can buy micro umbrellas now, so buy one of those instead. They're literally the size of a glasses case - so no excuse!