Did you mean?Try your search again
Luggage and bags: Your destination and activities will guide your packing. Try to take as little as possible. Many airlines are charging per bag, including carry-ons so it's wise to take as few as possible. Check your airline for allowed bag weight and dimensions. Weigh and measure your bags to make sure you won't be repacking at the airport. We've seen it and it doesn't look like fun.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Many people want to avoid looking like a tourist. You can't. You buy your clothes where you live; they buy their clothes where they live so you are going to be dressed differently. Then there is the matter of class and gender. You can't win this one so don't try. Take comfortable clothes that are appropriate for the weather and your activities. Don't buy all new clothes for your trip. Nothing screams "TOURIST" more than clothes that still have the manufactureres fold lines on them. We simply take our normal clothes, enough for a week and then do a laundry when we need clean clothes. They sell anything you will need so if you forget something, buy it there . . . and you'll have a nice souvenir in the bargain.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Make sure you have enough of required prescription medicines and put them in your carry-on bag so they aren't lost if your luggage doesn't make it with you. Accidents happen so carry an official prescription copy with you too and have your doctor put it in generic form so it can be read by a European pharmacist. Other than prescriptions, don't worry too much about taking what you need. If you forget something, go to the nearest store and buy it there. They sell Ivory soap and Colgate toothpaste in Europe too. They have most of the brands you use at home and it's also fun to try more local brands. We don't take most of our toiletries because we go for a month so we buy them when we arrive and they are usually gone when we're ready to leave. One less thing to put in the suitcase!
Photo Equipment: This is very personal. I have a reasonable digital camera, two 8G memory cards and 3 full sets of batteries along with a charger. You may want more equipment or you may want less. I also take a laptop and transfer my photos each night into a dated folder listing where we were that day. Then I burn a copy onto a CD and clear my camera disk for the next day. I keep a written journal to jog my memory when going through the photos at home later. It's given me a lot of pleasure but it's probably overkill for most people.
DO take a dual voltage battery charger. Look on the back label for 110-240 or figures very similar. If your charger says 110-120, go to the drugstore and buy a dual voltage charger so you don't have to carry a converter with you. Most these days are dual voltage but it's a good idea to check.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: We used to put our camping equipment (including tent) into a large duffle bag and check it through. Since 9/11 and hypersecurity, we've given up camping in Europe. We camp where we can drive and in Europe we used budget accomodation, including Gites de France in France, Agriturisimi in Italy and Gasthauses in Germany. Check on the VT Forum for budget ideas in your chosen country. I highly recommend Logis de France (hotels) and Gites de France in France. We love them.
Logis de France
Gites de France
Italian Agriturismo in English
Miscellaneous: Electricity: You can find all you will ever need to know (with photos) at World Electrics
Basically, if you have dual voltage (110-240 v) appliances, you need only a small adapter so you can fit your plug into the wall socket. In the UK there is a button on the wall socket to turn it on (in addition to plugging in your appliance). This was a surprise to us.
If your appliance is 110-120v, you will need a converter to change the voltage that goes into your applicance. European voltage is 240 and that will fry your US 110-120 appliances. You can get new dual voltage appliances or get a converter. The converters are available at Radio Shack, Walmart, Target, most drug stores and all department store luggage departments and luggage stores.
We always take a package of adapters because European plugs are shaped differently from US (UK is different from the continent) so you plug into the adapter and the adapter plugs into the foreign wall socket. These are very cheap so get one that takes 3-prong plugs and is adjustable for different countries. The adapters are available at Radio Shack, Walmart, Target, most drug stores and all department store luggage departments and luggage stores.
Updated Apr 24, 2013
Luggage and bags: It is a good idea to put your full itinerary on a luggage tag attached to the handle of your luggage. It is an even better idea to put another copy of your full itinerary inside each piece of luggage. If it is delayed or lost, you will eventually get it. If your home address and phone are on the tag, they will call you at home . . . only you will be on vacation and without your luggage. We've had our luggage shipped to us all over France and Italy when it disappeared. The longest wait was three days and it's usually on the next flight. If your info is with the bag, they can contact you and ship it to wherever you happen to be when they find it. Sounds silly but it works. I've attached a photo of a business card I use in my luggage tag and another photo of an itinerary placed inside the luggage. (The names have been changed for reasons of privacy.)
Written Feb 11, 2013
Miscellaneous: If you are looking for a cash card to travel with Try Caxton fx. They have a world traveller card which may let you upload cash from from your card, I used it in NZ, Thailand etc from UK fine, but it's one of the lesser known ones but works great for travelling somewhere with multiple currencies, they do have a euro card too. The rates are much lower than those in travel agents and use the banking rates not tourist ones, more cash for us to spend.
Travellers cheques are also a safe option but you get stung with the commission, much safer than carrying all that cash at least
Written Sep 17, 2012
Luggage and bags: You are not going to the wilderness. You are going to a very civilized place. Do not try to pack for every possibility. If you need an item that you did not bring you will be able to find it in Europe. Bring a little extra cash to cover the occasional unexpected necessary purchase. A few extra bucks are much lighter and more flexible that any item that you do not use on your trip.
Focus on items that are flexible and work well with the other items in your kit. Like colors of clothing that are complementary.
Items that you must not leave
2. Copies of Prescriptions
3. Extra Corrective Eye Wear
Items to leave at home
1. Heirloom jewelry
2. Any Item that you cannot afford to loose.
Load your bags before you leave and then carry them around for an hour or so. Then repack your load. Do this till you can carry your load with ease. Then you can approach your travels with confidence that you will be able to go anywhere you wish.
REMEMBER 2 BAGS OR LESS!!
Updated Oct 15, 2011
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: You are allways afoot in Europe. Bring your most comfortable broken in walking shoes or boots.
If they are new wear them at home till the are broken in. If you do not have a pair that fit replace them with a pair that do. Look till you find a brand that fits your foot. Look for a good shop where they still know how to measure your foot and fit you with the right footwear.
Break them in at home. A blister at home is an annoyance. In Europe where you reach most things on foot it could derail your fun completely.
Bring good socks. Wool or synthetic will work much better to prevent blisters than cotton and dry faster when you wash them. Bring at least 3-4 pair so you can wash one pair out each evening and have a clean dry pair always ready
I know this sounds a bit excessive but footwear and walking are an especialty of mine. I have hiked 10s of thousands of miles and I am on my feet every day. I have fit hundreds of people with boots and shoes. I have not had a blister since 1979. (brag, brag, brag)
Written Oct 15, 2011
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: The best way to see most parts of Europe is on foot. Throw all thoughts of vanity out of the window and be sure to wear hard wearing, sensible, comfortable non-slip shoes, becfause more often than not you will be walking on ancient cobblestone paths and roads or rough and uneven paving stones. There is nothing that can take the fun and enjoyment out of sightseeing than sore feet or worse still, an injury sustained during a fall.
Updated Jun 2, 2011
Miscellaneous: How often do we see when reading hotel reviews that there were no tea or coffee making facilities in the room? These days it is extremely common to find that rooms in three star and less hotels do not have provision for a cuppa in the room. If it is important to you to have a late night cup of tea or coffee, then you can always pack your own little electric jug or kettle.
Now I can hear you saying that a kettle on top of the fan in my previous tip is taking the packing things a little too far. But if you do what I do, you can usually pick up a cheap little jug at your first port of call and discard it at your last stop. This way, you don't need to take it on your international flight back home. For the few euro it will cost you, it should be well worth it to know that you can still have your late night cuppa and you can easily pick up a few disposable cups and plastic spoons at a minimart to get you by.
By the way, the kettle in my pic cost me $13.95 and weighed very little, so I am still carrying it around with me.
Written Oct 21, 2010
Miscellaneous: Not many budget hotels in Europe are air conditioned. In fact there are very few indeed. Germany and Austria come to mind as being more inclined to heating than cooling in their hotels. It can sometimes get quite hot in some of the rooms especially during the summer months. You may be able to open a window, but in many cases, there will be a lot of noise from traffic etc outside the window. I have been caught once too often and now I carry a small desk fan, which, though not always totally effective is far better than nothing. My little fan weighs about 1kg, which some might think is excessive when trying to watch baggage weights, but to me, it is worth ten times its weight in gold. Even in Vienna in mid-September, I needed my fan. It is the first thing that goes into the case when I am packing.
Updated Oct 11, 2010
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: It is always wise to travel light, there is nothing new about that bit of information. Do be aware that in Europe, the weather can change dramatically in a matter of hours so always have a light rainjacket of some sort and a compact umbrella in your day bag. I have a very lightweight waterproof bag that I wear like a backpack and in it I carry nothing else but my rain jacket and umbrella. It is no weight to carry and is my insurance against the rain and cold.
Written Jun 3, 2010
Miscellaneous: for to the UK
http://www.britainusa.com/visas/index_visa.asp?i=41000 or click here
for visa to Germany
http://www.germany.info/relaunch/index.html or click here
and specifically (for forms):
http://www.germany.info/relaunch/info/consular_services/visa.html or click here
Updated Mar 11, 2008
5 Reviews and 707 Opinions The Four Seasons George V is truly one of the world's great hotels. I really, really love to stay...
The Montague On The Gardens London
5 Reviews and 1446 Opinions The concierge was fabulous, the hotel very grand, and despite the rooms being small they were...
Albergo Del Senato Rome
5 Reviews and 1443 Opinions The Pantheon is my favorite building in Rome and might be my favorite building in the world. The...
More Countries in Europe
see all Europe member meetings