Taking that dream vacation is one of the great experiences in life. Imagining it for years, saving up, making plans and finally booking the itinerary are all exciting steps. For many of us, a trip to Europe is at the top of our dream destinations. Once you have decided to go for it, the dreaming part is done. Your ultimate trip is on the way. Now, you need to prepare for the details.
After deciding where to go and what to do, many of us have the same big question remaining: what do I pack? There are so many options, so many contingencies to plan for, and so many possibilities when it comes to weather and activities, you wonder where to start and how on earth you are going to fit it all.
The first thing you want to do (aside from taking a deep breath) is to make the conscious decision to pack light. You might feel like you need a lot more clothes and accessories than this will allow for, but the freedom and ease that come with packing light will make help make your trip that much more enjoyable.
Now, let’s cover the basics. Here is a list of items that will make a solid packing list. You can go heavier or lighter, but consider this as a good place to start.
Let’s get the big category out of the way first. Clothing takes up the majority of your packing space. You want your clothes to make it easy to do what you want on your trip. There are just a few things to remember.
First, make sure the clothes you pack are versatile. You don’t want to pack things that will only be worn once. Second, you want to focus on light-weight clothing that takes up little space. If you are traveling during a cooler time of year, layering is a great way to go. You can use the sweaters and other warm layers that you pack multiple times in different combinations. Make sure your clothes match, so you can mix it up. If you pack fewer items, which you should, changing up the combinations will keep it from getting boring.
On that note, pack some light accessories to help change up your travel wardrobe. Scarves are great for keeping warm and dressing up a shirt or sweater you might be wearing a few times on your trip.
In terms of specifics, take a few different types of pants, including a pair of slacks or trousers that can be dressed up for nicer evenings out. Versatile shirts that can be worn to dinner or just walking around town will come in handy. Make sure the socks and undergarments you pack will wick away moisture to help you stay fresh and warm.
This is important. Pack two pairs of shoes. That’s it. Make sure they are comfortable. Traveling to Europe usually means a lot of walking and time on your feet. You want to explore, and your shoes should make that easy for you. Also, make sure your shoes are broken in before you leave so you don’t wind up with blisters on your first day.
A jacket is also important to take along for cooler or rainy days.
In addition to scarves and belts, sunglasses are an important accessory to take along.
One final note in the clothing department. Since you will be re-wearing your clothes, take along some travel detergent and stain remover. A quick wash in the sink and an overnight hang dry, and you are back in business.
First, pack a toiletry bag to store all of your products in one place. You will have to travel with your liquids in a quart-sized baggy, but once you arrive at your hotel, you can transfer everything to your toiletry bag. A bag that can hang from a towel rack or hook is very handy.
Specific toiletries to take include deodorant and cologne or perfume, lotion, sunscreen, facial products like face wash and makeup, soap, and toothpaste. You also want to consider hand sanitizer. Sanitizer or wet wipes are also helpful. Don’t forget your prescription medications and pain reliever. Travel toilet paper and tissues are also musts. A very basic first aid kit with bandages and antibiotic ointment, and you are about set.
When packing gadgets, be honest with yourself about how you will use each item. Some things are necessary like a camera, music, e-reader (or book). Other things like laptops are for you to decide. Just make sure you pack the power cords and the proper plug and power adaptors together. An alarm clock is a good idea too. You would be surprised how many hotels don’t have one on the nightstand.
Odds and ends
Finally, take copies of your travel documents and reservation confirmations, just to be safe. Several baggies are good to have. If you want to take a money belt, remember that too. Grab your guidebooks, as well, and you are ready to travel.
One last (major) thing
By now, you should be asking yourself one big question: how do I take all of this? Where can I find a bag that will hold all my stuff (even though you have packed light) and still be light and portable? The answer is this amazing bag. With the right combination of packing space and portability, this bag from Nomatic is the perfect way to pack for your trip to Europe.