Going on a European vacation is fun, exciting and can be a little daunting. It is tempting to pack everything, but you must travel light. Most tours comprise several different countries in a span of a few days, so you need to bring things that are versatile, functional and lightweight.
1. Know your itinerary. Where in Europe are you going? What specific places or landmarks will you visit? Check what activities are included in your tour. You may not be allowed inside churches wearing shorts and slippers or if your arms are bare. Some tours have dinners so you’ll need a dressier outfit with matching shoes or dinner jacket.
2. Check the weather. What season are you going? Check how the weather will be for the duration of your trip so you can pack accordingly.
3. Check the hotel website where you will be staying and see what amenities are included in your room such as a hair dryer. Also, inquire if there’s a gym or pool you may want to use.
4. Invest in good sturdy luggage with 360 degree rotating wheels. Your luggage must withstand the wear and tear of traveling, especially when you need to run from one airport terminal to another.
5. Pack light! You can always buy at your destination. Pack clothes that don’t need ironing so you have one less thing to worry about. You need to launder your clothes so bring a little detergent. Don’t dress too casually in Europe since Europeans are more fashionably dressed than their American counterparts. Bring pieces that you can accessorize and won’t look too dirty even after several days of wear.
Ideally, your luggage should include underwear, socks, 2 collared shirts and blouses, a dress or long skirt, jeans and one pair of trousers or slacks and one tie for the men. Throw in a pair of swim trunks or bikini and a foldable hat or cap. A pashmina is lightweight and versatile piece to bring as it can glam up a plain outfit for evenings, keep you warm and can be used to cover your head and arms when going inside churches. Remember you still have the clothes and a light jacket you are wearing on the plane, plus your extra set in your carryon.
Clothes should be a little loose, you may gain weight eating all the pasta and gelato in Rome!
6. Wear comfortable shoes, as tours will have you on your feet constantly. Do not wear your tennis shoes! Nothing says American Tourist more than blue jeans, sun visor and white tennis shoes in the streets of Paris.
7. Bring small packs of your favorite toiletries. Include bath salts or bubbles if you want to soak after a whole day of touring. You may bring shampoo, conditioner, bath wash and puff, toothbrush, toothpaste, lotion, sunblock, disposable razors and sample sizes of facial care products. Just bring enough the duration of your trip. Pack your auto volt phone charger with matching universal adaptor.
8. Prepare your carry on. Have your passport, a photo ID, cash and 2 credit cards with you. Never put money in your check in luggage. Include one change of clothing, camera, extra memory cards, cellphone, pen, sunglasses, eyeglasses, prescription medication in its original containers and hand sanitizer. Include a written prescription of your medicine with its generic name. Wear jewelry on your person.
Don’t over pack since you want to save some luggage allowance for the souvenirs you’re sure to bring back home with you. Bon Voyage!