This was originally written by us for Geckos Adventures.
Reading Harry Potter, I always wondered why the characters didn’t travel more. Sure, the Weasley’s went to Egypt that one time and the Triwizard tournament came to Hogwarts, but did Voldemort put a ban on international travel? I don’t think so. He just spent his time obsessing over an 11-year-old boy and hating muggles, like a normal human.
If you, like me, spent your pre-teens, teens and (ahem) twenties, re-reading Prisoner of Azkaban, crying into your Order of the Phoenix paperback and wishing you could apparate rather than catch the train, then you’d probably agree when I say real life would be better in the wizarding world.
You know what else would be made exponentially better with magic? Travel. If you’re nodding your head at the computer screen right now, firstly we should be friends* and secondly, read on for my comprehensive list of backpacking spells. Travel hackers, eat your hearts out.
OBLIVIATE; used to hide a memory of an event
Like last night’s happy hour, for example. Man, I would use this spell on myself and my friends all. the. time. I’d use obliviate to un-see the things I saw (like that old man wearing the Spongebob sweater and no pants) and un-do the things I did (like betting the Americans that I could eat a plate of nachos as big as my head).
Basically, this is a spell for regrets but it must be used wisely. With such power comes great responsibility, so don’t go obliviating the events of last Christmas and accidentally erasing all memory of your second aunt Shirley. Also, I reckon Ron would wanna obliviate this particular memory.
SCOURGIFY; used to clean something
Grimy shower floor? Scourgify! Suspicious bed clothes? Scourgify! Can’t get to the laundry? Scourgify! This is a must-have on the road because there are no ends to the disinfectant possibilities. #cleanliving at its finest. Also, we don’t condone the use of house elves like Dobby, so get your act together and practice this spell you grot.
PORTKEYS; objects that when touched will transport you places
Okay. This handy piece of magic will basically make flying obsolete. It’s a) efficient b) cheap and c) great for the environment. Travel by portus will hardly leave a carbon footprint after all. Originating from our muggle understanding of the world ‘portal’, a portkey involves a process wherein the traveller grabs hold of an everyday object (that’s obviously been enchanted), spins through a vortex and is spat out at the desired destination.
In my case, it would be a Belizean beach. Though this method of travel would prove difficult when it comes to maintaining international immigration laws. It’s a positive if you’re a fugitive on the run though – no paper trail. PS. I am aware the above gif is not a portkey but hey, give a girl a break.
SILENCIO; silences something immediately
Forget crying babies on airplanes, rowdy dorm mates and noisy local soap operas on overnight bus journeys. All you have to do is mutter a little ‘silencio’, point your wand at the loud loud loud culprits and settle in for a soundless slumber. It will also be great for silencing that annoying travel companion who keeps telling you about her adult cat. If it’s not Lil Bub, we dont care.
LUMOS; Creates a narrow beam of light from the wand’s tip
There’s nothing humorous about this one. This is just a god damn practical spell. Dark alleyways, early mornings, caving activities, trying-to-get-the-key-in-the-door during the night time. Everything. Also, being able to cast your own light means you can leave that chunky torch at home and stop being so reliant on AA batteries.
ACCIO; summoning spell
So HP used this spell during the Triwizard tournament when he summoned his Thunderbolt broomstick. It was amazing, massive plot point. But just imagine if you could summon things in real life. Go on, take a second and do some imagining. What would you like to summon right now? I’d like to steal my coworkers almond croissant right out of her hands, that would be nice. Now imagine being able to summon your baggage on touchdown or summon your towel from the hostel bathroom. Because let’s face it, there’s nothing worse than the wet hallway nudie dash. Do you think Harry Accio’d Ginny for a cheeky pash?
EPISKEY; heals minor injuries
This one is pretty obvious. Until the day we all turn into robots (it’s coming soon), humans will be in need of a good healing charm. And episkey is the perfect spell for travellers on the road. Sometimes, (like when you’re halfway up the Inca Trail) you just don’t have time to stop by the chemist to top your stash of blister cream and panadol.
BUBBLE-HEAD CHARM; large bubble of air around the head
If you don’t understand how this works, picture a very old-school scuba diver (the kind with the full head helmet) and now turn that helmet into an air bubble. There we go, you’ve got it. This charm is rad for those into diving/any water activities or, alternatively, for those travellers not into city smog. Say no to pollution.
AGUAMENTI; produces a jet of water from the caster’s wand
Amazing unto itself. But what if you could change it to ‘wineamenti’? Actually, it looks as if Luna and her dad have already developed that particular charm.
Have I missed any spells? What other magic would you pack in your wand?
* We could lie on the couch together and shout ‘accio’ at the remote control, united in our laziness. You could correct my pronunciation of ‘wingardium leviosa’ while I host an experimental butter beer brewing Sunday session. It will be incredible.