Packing list/Things I wish I knew before Euro Impressions Aug. 7-26 2007
22 Sep 2007 lkgreen said
Capri –I should have brought more of these. It was hot, but not many people in Europe wore shorts, so I wore these a lot.
Shorts (1) –One was fine, it is true what they say about minimal shorts in Europe. I only wore mine in Venice, because it was excessively hot.
L&S Black Skirt –It is important to bring nicer clothes because many people dressed up for dinner, even in the hotels.
Exercise Pants/Shorts –Never wore these.
P.J.s (T-shirt & Black Capri sweats) -Perfect
Long Shirts (2)
Dress Shirts (2) –I should have brought more dress shirts for the reason listed above.
Black Sweater –This is good for cold nights when you go out.
Swim Suit –One was plenty for the Impressions tour.
Flip-Flops –Most people stress to bring comfortable walking shoes, and it is true that they are important, but honestly, I wore my thongs half of the time and was totally fine walking around.
Undies (10) –This was a good number, because our laundry day was in Nice, which is day 10 or so.
Socks (10) Low-cut
Jacket (Lightweight, waterproof, hood) –This jacket was the BEST. I totally recommend one because you will use it often.
Scarf –I never wore it.
Antibacterial Soap (2)
Tissue paper (Lots, double for TP) –I only used my tissues for TP once. It was plentiful in all toilets.
Dramamine/Bracelets –If you suffer massively from motion sickness like me, and hate the drowsy feeling after pills, I would totally recommend the motion bracelets and a serum that goes behind your ears. I found both at Wal-Mart and they worked like a charm.
Vitamins/Pills (C, Women’s Daily)
Airborne –I took this and my vitamins every night before I went to bed without fail, and I never got sick. That is saying a lot, because I contract other people’s colds easily.
Travel Laundry Bag/Detergent –Very helpful. Instead of paying a lot for the hotel to do my laundry in Nice, I took some time in Florence to go to a laundry mat, which was super close to the hotel. It took a half an hour, and I did not have to worry about my things shrinking, like other people’s did in Nice.
First Aid Kit –Bring a box of Band-Aids. You will need them when you develop blisters from your dress shoes after your first night out.
Small Backpack for Day/Overnight Bag –We never needed an overnight bag, but I had a backpack, which held some extra clothes, my neck pillow, Ipod and other things. I left it on the bus in the day while I was tooling around the cities and in the hotel overnight. I would not recommend a backpack for a day bag, it is just too heavy and a hassle. I had a medium-size purse with a long shoulder strap that was attached to me during the day. It fit my camera and everything else I needed.
Batteries (Rechargeable & Non) –If your camera eats batteries like mine does, I recommend rechargeable batteries. Charge them all BEFORE you go. Make sure that the charger is the correct voltage to work in your adapter, because mine was not and it fried the charger. I ended up buying another charger and batteries in Germany. Best Buy: $30
Adapter –DON’T forget this! It’s an adapter to make your American devices work in Europe. Also, double and triple check voltages to make sure they are compatible; otherwise you’ll fry your electronics.
Memory Cards –I recommend at least 2 gigs. It was a drag for people to put pics on CD’s every 3 days. Best Buy: $20
IPod/Charger –I only used my Ipod on the airplane. They play music and movies on the bus.
Travel Alarm clock
Money Belt –I wore it on my waist under my clothes maybe five times. Most of the time it was in my purse, like a wallet. Target: $10
Pens/Journal/Address Book –Try to stay on top of your journaling. You’ll be happy later.
Insect Repellent –I got eaten ALIVE the first three days until I put this stuff on.
Plastic Baggies (Wet Stuff/Liquids)
Locks –Don’t put your locks on your suitcase until you get to Europe because even the TSA ones tend to get lost during baggage check. I used one on my backpack and suitcase every time I left them in the room. Target: $10
Neck Pillow –If you don’t have one, get one. It’s the best. Target: $8
To Do Before Europe:
Call Bank/Mobile –Just to tell them you will be using your card/phone outside the states.
Get Euros –I did mine through my bank.
Traveler’s Checks? –I didn’t bring them, and I have no regrets.
Money in Account
Europe Train Schedule –Make sure you are familiar with the tube routes and what one you need to take.
Make Copies/Scans of Passport & Cards
Activate Calling Card
Get new Cell Phone –Make sure your cell phone can be used in Europe. The calling card only worked some of the time. A lot of hotels charged you for the phone, and some didn’t even have one. Be cautious, cells calls are spendy.
Other things I wish I knew:
-Read your Contiki packet more than once. Lots of good info in there.
-The tour guides are a wealth of information. They will give you maps, history lessons, cool places to go and tons more. Don’t hesitate to ask him/her questions because know what they’re doing.
-Keep change in your pocket. It might seem lame, but you have to pay for the toilets at almost every restroom.
-The bus stops about every 2-3 hours at a rest stop/eating place. Spain and France’s were outrageously expensive, but the rest were reasonable.
-Do all the Optionals. You will be so glad you did.
-Put yourself out there and ask different people to do things with you. This eliminates continent-cliques.
-The language barrier really wasn’t that bad. Use hand signals and listen to voice tones.
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