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Packing list/Things I wish I knew before my Europe tour

22 Sep 2007 lkgreen said

I went on the European Impressions tour in Aug 2007. Below is my packing list, complete with commentary on problems and what I wish I had while I was over there. Hope this is helpful to some. Please email me @ if you have any other questions. I'd be happy to share!<BR><BR>Europe Checklist:<BR><BR>Clothing<BR>Jeans (3)<BR>Black Pants<BR>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.<BR>Black Capri<BR>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.<BR>L&S Black Skirt –It is important to bring nicer clothes because many people dressed up for dinner, even in the hotels.<BR>Exercise Pants/Shorts –Never wore these.<BR>P.J.s (T-shirt & Black Capri sweats) -Perfect<BR>T-Shirts (7)<BR>Long Shirts (2)<BR>Dress Shirts (2) –I should have brought more dress shirts for the reason listed above.<BR>Tanks (3)<BR>Black Sweater –This is good for cold nights when you go out.<BR>Swim Suit –One was plenty for the Impressions tour.<BR>Walking Shoes<BR>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.<BR>Dress Shoes<BR>Undies (10) –This was a good number, because our laundry day was in Nice, which is day 10 or so.<BR>Socks (10) Low-cut<BR>Bras (3)<BR>Jacket (Lightweight, waterproof, hood) –This jacket was the BEST. I totally recommend one because you will use it often.<BR>Scarf –I never wore it.<BR><BR>Bathroom<BR>Face wash<BR>Cotton Squares<BR>Deodorant (2)<BR>Cover-up<BR>Eyeliner<BR>Mascara<BR>Remover<BR>Tampons<BR>Shampoo<BR>Conditioner<BR>Antibacterial Soap (2)<BR>Razor (2)<BR>Brush<BR>Hair Ties/Clips<BR>Tooth Brush<BR>Tooth Paste<BR>Hand Dryer<BR>Tissue paper (Lots, double for TP) –I only used my tissues for TP once. It was plentiful in all toilets.<BR>Suntan Lotion<BR>Face Towel<BR>Tweezers Kit<BR>Ibuprofen<BR>Sudafed<BR>Nyquil<BR>Tums<BR>Clairiton<BR>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.<BR>Cortizone<BR>Pepto-Bismol<BR>Vitamins/Pills (C, Women’s Daily)<BR>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.<BR>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.<BR>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.<BR><BR>Miscellaneous<BR>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.<BR>Camera<BR>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<BR>Recharger<BR>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.<BR>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<BR>IPod/Charger –I only used my Ipod on the airplane. They play music and movies on the bus.<BR>Glasses/Sunglasses<BR>Small Flashlight<BR>Travel Alarm clock<BR>Reading/Travel Book<BR>Contiki Pack<BR>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<BR>Pens/Journal/Address Book –Try to stay on top of your journaling. You’ll be happy later.<BR>Sewing Kit<BR>Insect Repellent –I got eaten ALIVE the first three days until I put this stuff on.<BR>Plastic Baggies (Wet Stuff/Liquids)<BR>Water Bottle<BR>Granola Bars<BR>Watch<BR>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<BR>Spot Remover<BR>Neck Pillow –If you don’t have one, get one. It’s the best. Target: $8<BR>Umbrella<BR>Duct Tape<BR>Poncho<BR><BR>To Do Before Europe:<BR>Shop<BR>Call Bank/Mobile –Just to tell them you will be using your card/phone outside the states.<BR>Pack<BR>Get Euros –I did mine through my bank.<BR>Traveler’s Checks? –I didn’t bring them, and I have no regrets.<BR>Money in Account<BR>Pay Bills<BR>Check Flights<BR>Europe Train Schedule –Make sure you are familiar with the tube routes and what one you need to take.<BR>Make Copies/Scans of Passport & Cards<BR>Activate Calling Card<BR>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.<BR><BR>Other things I wish I knew:<BR>-Read your Contiki packet more than once. Lots of good info in there.<BR><BR>-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.<BR><BR>-Keep change in your pocket. It might seem lame, but you have to pay for the toilets at almost every restroom.<BR><BR>-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.<BR><BR>-Do all the Optionals. You will be so glad you did.<BR><BR>-Put yourself out there and ask different people to do things with you. This eliminates continent-cliques.<BR><BR>-The language barrier really wasn’t that bad. Use hand signals and listen to voice tones.
  • Read the responses 64 responses so far
  • 23 Jun 2011 Tsholo said


    thanks a alot…very helpful…quiet informative!

  • 23 Jun 2011 franky h said

    franky h

    That is some good advice there. Many thanks, I’ll be using this when I start packing for my trip this summer!

  • 23 Jun 2011 delvene said


    thanks for that! i have 2.5 months to go until our euro horizon tour and i cant wait!

  • 30 Jun 2011 Alish626 said


    Great list this has been so helpful.

  • 5 Jul 2011 Elena said


    Also, remember some after-sun cream! You’ll need it this summer!

  • 15 Jul 2011 adparker22 said


    Thanks for the list! Extremely helpful!! :)

  • 5 Dec 2011 Explorer1329361 said


    I found this blog that reviewed Contiki Europe tour – but just the food/restaurants …some good advice !

  • 11 Dec 2011 Explorer1307236 said

    No one on our tour took money belts we all had hand bags or back packs and as long as your back pack is locked while walking and you don’t put your hand bag down it’s safe… No one on our tour got pick pocketed either….

    Your tour manager will give you a list of addresses for all the hotels. Please keep this in a safe place as you will need it to get back to the site…

    I Just used my Aus mobile.. It was really expensive to call or receive calls but i only used it to msg my family… There is Wi-Fi at most of the hotels so you can catch up with friends or upload your pics. Don’t take travellers cheques.

    I’m glad i only took 500 Euro and most places don’t accept them..

    Don’t buy water all the time… The water at all the Contiki sites is perfectly safe to drink…

    I didn’t take pens, journal, torch/flash light or address book. I put my journal into my notes on I Phone and this saved some weight in my luggage.

    I didn’t take a sewing kit and didn’t need one.. You don’t need an umbrella as they can be bought at any tourist store in Europe and are really cheap.

    - It was expensive to wash your clothes and especially if you get someone to do it for you.. In Rome a lady did my washing and it cost 15 Euro but i had alot to do and i didn’t want to waste my site seeing time washing.

  • 13 Dec 2011 Explorer1296283 said


    Does anyone have any advice on luggage? More specifically is it better to take a normal suitcase or a large backpack type(which also has wheels when needed)? We are doing the Road to Athens in May 2012 and I am trying to decide if a large backpack might be better and easier to carry if the hotels don’t have elevators.

  • 14 Dec 2011 Explorer1307236 said


    There were some stairs so it was hard to carry 20+kg of luggage. Next time i would probably take a back pack suitcase with wheels. Alot of the contiki sites had some stairs but most hotels had elevators.

  • 14 Dec 2011 Reka803 said


    Great thread!! Just wanted to add a few more make copies of everything iI mean everything and keep them with you at all times and keep another set of copies at home for your parents( make sure your parents have a copy of all the hotels you will be at each night at home or whomever else. Try to separate your cards and put them into 2 different places in case you loose something ( bad experience first time). I would bring more nice dresses, maybe its just me but many people were decked out on my summer trips. I just like to dress up during dinners and clubs and going out even in the day a few times or night especially only summer time though, make sure you get a charger for your phone, bring more well I bought about 7 camies and wore them all very comfortable, make sure you have your tour managers phone number at all times and the list of the hotels you are at. Most taxi drivers do not know and they will recognize the address, hotel phone number should be on the list. Ask for a wake up call even though they automtically do it for you they sometimes forget. Bring a good flat iron ( sedu is great), Europeans loved to be tipped, tip always, bring drivers license some clubs do card you, beach towel, no need for a hair dryer as the hotels in Spain and Italy have them, and most of have fun and get to know as many people as possible, I jumped from one group to another you’ll meet amazing people!! Ask anything I did 3 Contikis this year!! PS Tightening up everything things spill. :))

  • 17 Dec 2011 Explorer1334491 said



    thanks to everyone for your advice!!! Does anyone have any advice for Europe in April? I will be going to Italy and France. I’m not really sure how cold and wet it gets..

  • 18 Dec 2011 Chelsea said


    I did the European Adventurer (August 2010 – 37 days).
    Would suggest scanning your important documentation and emailing it to your gmail account (or whatever you use) so that you can print new copies from an internet cafe if needed.
    I took a lot of dresses and lived in them – simple ones that could be worn day or night and stay cool and comfy in. A maxi dress with a cardigan is perfect for going to places of worship, such as the Vatican, where modest dress must be worn and knees and shoulders covered.
    I didn’t use a moneybelt once – just be aware of your surroundings.
    Plastic ziplock bags in a couple of sizes are so useful, put your liquids in them. 30SPF sunscreen and good quality bug repellent are musts.
    When we went out, we dressed up. For example, the dinner and show in Paris, the Monte Carlo casino in Monaco, and nightclubbing in Florence. Most of the girls were in dresses and some in heels. Guys in collared long-sleeve shirts. Guys, dress shoes – don’t forget them (and appropriate socks to go with them).

    Italy in April – Expect Lows in the North of 5 degrees Celsius and highs in the South of 18. It will likely be sunny and you’ll be grateful for your sunglasses, but be prepared that you may need to buy a cheap tourist umbrella or nip into a cafe for some Gelati should a rainshower pass through.

  • 22 Dec 2011 Explorer1334491 said


    Mmm gelato :) I’m up for that thanks.

  • 22 Dec 2011 Explorer1307236 said


    Make sure you try the Nutella Gelato!! The Kiwi Fruit flavour is nice too!

  • 28 Dec 2011 Stace said


    This is amazingly useful – thanks for taking the time to write it!

  • 5 Jan 2012 sjaneo said


    how many dresses would you recommend? Only doing the 7 day london and paris tour so there’ll be the cabaret, west end musical. I dont want to take too much stuff so thinking about what I could take that I could use at other times (am going to Scotland for 3 weeks beforehand).

    Good excuse to buy more clothes :) although probably goes against my saving resolution

  • 1 Feb 2012 NicoleCooke said


    this prob sounds stupid, but do people pack hair streghtners?? and also do you wear heels at any stage?

  • 1 Feb 2012 jade89 said


    1 dress… then buy another whilst you’re there ;) (or just wear the same one – no one will notice or care!)
    Some take straighteners, some don’t… how often do you straighten your hair? If its only occasionally then I wouldn’t bother, and if you get desperate you can probably borrow someone elses, or go buy a cheap one at the chemist (or iron your hair!)
    Didn’t pack heels cause of the walking on cobblestone streets/space saving issues, but decided I wanted a pair to wear to moulin rouge so I wasted a bit of time hunting for them (since you tend to stay on the tourist trail things like basic heels that don’t cost a fortune can be a bit hard to find).

  • 2 Feb 2012 NicoleCooke said


    i only straighten it when i go out :/ Thank you so much for replying has been very helpful!!! also another question do ppl take pillows and sleeping bags??

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