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Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: My rule of thumb is to take enough clothes for the length of the trip PLUS two days, whichever is
shorter.... (to be on the safer side, ya know?)
If you are traveling on business, you can probably pack along two suits and rotate between them. Try to take different colors of shirts/blouses; mixing and matching might fool people into thinking you brought more clothes than you did. That's the whole idea, isn't it? ;-D
If you are going on an extended trip, pick one color and stick with it... like say black. If you are part of the Generation X (ahem!).... REJOICE! Why? Because black travels very well. You can get ketchup stains all over
your black jeans or coffee stained on your black t-shirt... and nobody will ever notice! Just make sure they don't stand too close to you to catch a whiff of the...er... Well, I'm sure you know what I mean!
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: These are the absolute necessities. So DON'T ever forget to pack them along!
Contact lens equipment and spare glasses. You might also wish to consider bringing along disposable contact lenses especially if you are going to be at a place with poor water supplies...
Makeup (I never leave home without it!)
Hair care products (brushes, comb, blow dryer, hair gel, hair spray... Get the picture?)
Photo Equipment: I bring along TWO types of cameras with me and load them with TWO different types of films i.e. ASA200 film (for day) and the high speed Kodak 800 film for museums or places that do not allow flash photography.
So, the cameras that I'd bring are:
the Olympus mju Zoom (with wide-angle lens) which comes in a cool silver metallic color. I usually use this camera for day photography.
the Pentax 150 Zoom which I use for places that DOES NOT allow flash photography.
These days, I also bring along the ultra-small Canon IXUS Zoom camera - smaller than the size of my palm (and it also comes in a cool metallic silver shade). You can even hang this camera around your neck and it'd still look cool on you. :-) This camera requires a special type of film (APS) to be used.
Miscellaneous: If you are going to do lots of walking and sightseeing, do remember to put the following items into your tote bag or backpack:
Your all-important Guidebook.
DON'T forget to bring along your much-treasured ATM card to withdraw cash. Yes, no need to rush to the
money-changers to change all your money into the
Belgium currency before your trip.
And DON'T use your Visa or Mastercard to withdraw cash. This is considered a CASH ADVANCE and you'd be slapped with a HEFTY fee whereas if you were to use YOUR own ATM card, you will NOT be charged for any fees.
In fact, you WILL benefit and enjoy from the low interbank exchange rates. Trust me (I used to work for an American bank).
Just ensure that you adhere to the following steps:
Flip to the back of your local ATM card, do you see the logos 'Cirrus', 'Plus', 'The
Exchange' etc. on it?
If the answer is 'yes', then you have absolutely nothing to worry about!
Why? Because you can withdraw cash from any ATM machines in the U.S.A., no matter how obscure the town you're at is.
If you use this method, you'd also save alot from the interbank exchange rates. Money changers will charge you much, much more compared to a bank.
I've been using this method countless of times before and so far, no ATM machines in this world have failed me.... yet. Yes, even in the remotest village of Africa!
Have a great trip!
'There are two kinds of adventurers: Those who go truly hoping to find adventure and those who go secretly hoping they won't.' - William Least
Updated Aug 24, 2002
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