The airfare has been booked, the hotels reserved and you just finalized the car rental for pick up at the airport. Now that the easy part is over, it is time to pack. For those who have never been to Europe, this can be a difficult task. A European vacation is much different than the last holiday your family spent at Disney Land, and you need to pack with this in mind. What to bring and what not to bring can often be difficult questions to answer. Here is a list of things that you should not leave home without on your trip to Europe.
In this day and age of technology and the major role it plays in our lives, one thing that should be included on your packing list is a universal adapter. European plugs are different than ours in the states, so a universal adapter is important if you plan on bringing your camera or any other electronic device with you. Also research on each specific country that you plan to visit as sometimes electrical outlets vary from country to country, so be prepared when crossing borders. Bringing a power outlet or extension cord can also be a good idea as some hotels have poorly placed outlets that can be a hassle more than a help.
As for the clothes that you bring with you, avoid packing white clothes. White shirts and pants do no justice in hiding stains, so just avoid bringing them with you. Pack clothes that can be worn a few times, as well as clothes that match up with multiple outfits. Being able to mix and match with a limited wardrobe can reduce overall luggage weight and leaves more room in your suitcase for souvenirs. It doesn‚Äôt hurt to do a little research about each country you plan on visiting to find out what the locals are wearing. Not looking like a tourist reduces the risk of petty theft crimes.
When it comes to bringing money and how you will make purchases in Europe, there are a few options here. The easiest and safest way to carry money around is to obtain a Visa gift/cash card or similar, upload a set amount on it and use that as your currency. These work great as they have a unique PIN number that only you know, so if it gets stolen you‚Äôll have some time to cancel it. They are also handy as some ATM fees in Europe can be pretty steep, and the prepaid gift card usually has a no fees or a smaller fee for each transaction.
Another handy monetary tip when traveling is to invest in a cheap, decoy wallet. This wallet should be carried in your back pocket and contain a few small denominations of the local currency, some business cards that don‚Äôt‚Äô have any significant meaning as well as any other cards/calendars that can normally be found in a wallet. A handy idea is to clean out your real wallet of anything you don‚Äôt need anymore, and place it in the decoy wallet. If you happen to fall victim to a theft, just give the thief your fake wallet and continue on your way with your real wallet hidden on you or even back at the hotel room safe.
Other items that are handy for a trip to Europe are a language book for the local language, a small flashlight, zip lock bags, padlocks for your luggage and duct tape, as there is always a need for duct tape. Instead of taking the entire roll of duct tape, simply wrap a desired amount of tape around a pencil for easy transport as this won‚Äôt take up as much space. You‚Äôll never know what you might need it for, and it is handy when you do need it.
While this list doesn‚Äôt include everything that you need for a vacation in Europe, it should give you an idea of what are the essentials to take when traveling oversees. Book your fall vacation to Europe now and save money!