There are big decisions to be made when it comes to packing for a European vacation. The choice of outfits should be wrinkle-resistant, color coordinated and comfortable to wear by day and night. There are a few extra specials tips beyond just the wardrobe that will make any European tourist just a little more organized.
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Everyone has his or her own ideas about what and how to pack but one particular travel expert, Carl Richardson, is a Certified Travel Counselor with a wealth of knowledge to share about packing for a European adventure. He knows the ins and outs of preparing for a trip and is eager to offer his ideas.
Pickpockets are not uncommon at European airports and crowded tourist attractions, so it is important to protect cash and valuables. One option is to wear clothing with inside pockets, but when that is not an option be sure to pack a money belt or purse that fits tightly against the body. A money belt is a flat, hidden zipper pouch that is worn around the waist or as a necklace and tucked under clothes. A side satchel or crossbody bag works as an alternative. Do not keep all cash and credit cards in the same place.
No one wants to stand out in a crowd, especially when in a foreign country where it is best to blend in. Be aware that some tourist attractions do not allow patrons to wear ripped jeans, T-shirts, tank tops or very short dresses. Sweatshirts and T-shirts with symbols or words that have alternate meanings or can be translated differently in another country should also be avoided. Pack clothing items with the same color scheme such as black, gray, white or denim, which will make it easier to mix and match outfits. Use easily packable accessories like scarves and jewelry to dress up an outfit.
This is a unique thing to pack that does not take any extra room in a suitcase, but the traveler carries it along everywhere they go: vocabulary. Learn a few words of the native language to make life easier. European countries that commonly speak English even have some unique words that a traveler should be aware of; England calls a bathroom the loo, the subway is called the tube, an elevator is a lift and an ATM is a cashpoint.
Ziploc plastic bags are not readily available in Europe but can hold carry-on liquids, leftover food and wet swimsuits. Over-sized, two gallon Ziploc bags allow clothes to be compressed and save space with packing. Bring along some extra Ziplocs to carry home dirty laundry. Another plastic wrap tip uses Glad Press’n Seal to keep jewelry tangle-free. Lay necklaces and bracelets atop of a piece of Glad Press’n Seal, fold the wrap over the jewelry and press to keep chains tangle-free. One last tip is to drape plastic wrap over the top of bottles of liquid like shampoo and conditioner before screwing on the top to prevent leaks in a suitcase.
There are always a few minor mishaps on a trip, which need a quick and easy repair. Many temporary fixes happen thanks to a strip or two of duct tape. This versatile tape can repair a punctured or ripped bag, fix the sole of a shoe that falls off or repair a hem. Rolls of duct tape are generally over-sized so inconvenient to pack in a suitcase. Chances are, you will need a foot or less so save packing space by spooling or rewinding about 12 inches of traditional duct tape around a dowel or a short golf pencil.
Nancy is a native Bostonian. She enjoys the sights, sounds and tastes of Boston while exploring the city by day or night. Nancy is also a school nurse at an independent middle/high school. Her work can be found on a variety of websites, including Examiner.com.