Luggage and bags:
Pare your crap down & pack light! I work for an airline loading freight & luggage & have found a travel-type backpack to be the best of all worlds. Travel-type packs have the option of protecting the straps & sholder harness behind a zippered cover. Check out LL BEAN, or REI.com or any outdoor store. Trust me, strapes & loose gear get torn off ALL the time in my business. It just breaks my heart to see somebodys stuff (& vacation plans) fall apart due to loose items. Conveyor belts just EAT THEM UP! Travel packs also have a shoulder strap & handles for when it's all zippered up that makes it look more like a suitcase. Use it as a backpack when on the move & you want your hands free, a suitcase when checking into airport or hotel. Sometimes "backpack" conveys "hippie-type". This is more incognito.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Be prepared for wet & cold with high-tech thermal underwear & a scarf. I can not say enough good things about these two items. I've had my travel pack missplaced by the airline for 48 hours but because I ALWAYS keep these essentials in my carry on bag, I was reasonably comfortable & warm in January with just my best travel suit. CABELAS.com has quality wet & cold weather stuff. Hell, they even sell "Nomex" fire-proof underwear should you be prone to nod off while puffing sweet slpiffs! ("Dude, I flaked"..!)Polartec scarfs are heavenly-soft, light weight, & WARM. Also a good pair of light weight hikeing shoes/ mocs are ideal over wet cobblestones. Another item that REALLY helps beat the cold:...those dry chemical hand warmer packets used by skiers. These things RULE! Most sporting good stores stock them. Just cut open the plastic cover & shake the thing around a little. Pretty soon the thing starts pumping out the heat like crazy for up to 8 hours! Two a day in real raw weather should cover you.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Excedrin. 250mg each. The BIG Guns, for headaches & the morning after. I swear by them. Pop one BEFORE hitting the town & drink water. Drink LOT's of water! The tap water in town is really fresh & cold. Have a couple of glasses when you arrive from your flight, before you go out, when you (finally) stumble in at all hours of the morning & again when you wake up in the night. Honest! It works wonders toward making you feel your best so you can drive on & hit every coffeeshop on your list. "
"To finish 1st, FIRST you have to finish"
REMEMBER: Hot showers & cold drinking water are your FREINDS!
Photo Equipment: Photo Equipment. Hmmm...
When committing questionable acts while away from home, be sure to hide your face so that family & friends back home don't catch you on some web-cam. RELAX! I'm just kidding! ("You're not getting paranoid on me, are you.."?)
Miscellaneous: A visit to AMS has a way of making you, er, what's that word, FORGET stuff...! My pocket-sized journal takes notes & observations on places I've been to, events, ideas, resturants, memoriers, ect. So often a cool song plays that really makes that moment perfect & the vibe ideal & I'd like to remember it. Months later I'll hear the song again & can almost picture myself back in AMS, tucked away in some cozy coffeshop, sipping on a Heineken & their best bud, Aahhhhh, freedom.....! It really makes me laugh, though, as I re-read my notes, on how neat & orderly everything starts out on page 1, then slowly disintigrates over time as the beer & the buds work their magic, night turning into the next day, day to night, my printing gradually getting larger and more scrawlled, until by day 4, when I'm practically spray-painting across the pages the kalidascope of events & things I've seen in a kind of Dennis Hopper or Hunter S. Thompson "Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas" type journalism, complete with a massive spliff.
Luggage and bags:
Luggage with wheels is always a good idea, wherever you are travelling
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: ~ A cap/hat that covers your head and neck.
~ Comfortable sandals and tackies/trainers/sneakers. Depending on what time of year you go, dress for that season. See what the local weather is doing prior to leaving home!
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: ~ sun screen if its summer, yes, I got burnt going on the canals for hours!
~ headache tablets (they go everywhere with me. It?s difficult getting medicine in foreign countries sometimes.. even if you DO understand the language
~ otherwise, just the usuals needed. No added things needed? you aint going on safari! haha
Photo Equipment: Your camera, with charger, and a EUROPEAN plug extension.
Very NB, or else how are you going to write your important VT tips? haha
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: n/a
Miscellaneous: Have a map handy at all times.
Miscellaneous: The last time I was in Amsterdam was in March of 1992. Winter was still around, although there was no snow on the ground. You do need very warm clothing.
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