Part Two of How to Budget Travel to Europe: Tips, Tricks, and Advice
From the basics of planning and going to making the most of your holiday
Packing for Europe
Consider leaving many items at home, such as your jewelry, hair dryer, leather coat, and laptop. The one “expensive” item you should take is a camera. However, point-and-shoot (POS) cameras can be inexpensive, small to pack and deliver nice photographs. Whichever you choose, take care to keep the camera on your person at all times, for both security reasons and because you never want to miss a good photo opt. Make sure you have the correct memory card, batteries and charger for any electronics going on the trip.
Pack clothes that all go well together so any mix-n-match configuration will work. Also, select clothes that can be layered. That way if it is colder, you can layer-up most of the items you take and remove them as it warms up. Dark colors show less stains and you could get by with less washing. Speaking of “washing,” pack 3-5 pairs of socks, underwear and t-shirts and wash them out in the sink and air dry overnight.
Backpacks are the way to go when travelling overseas. A second option would be a roll-aboard bag. A backpack leaves your hands free to use a vending machine, pay for train reservation, or run to catch a bus. A roll-aboard will save on your back but will also slow you down a bit. With either option, many luggage companies offer a “carry-on” bag that will fit in most overhead compartments on airplanes. If traveling with two or more people, consider everyone selecting one style of bag so either you are all carrying backpacks; or you are all rolling luggage through the streets of Europe together.
Practice packing your bag of choice at home before you go. See if you can fit everything you want to take and start to slim down what you really don’t need. It may be helpful to pack your bag full and stroll around your hometown before you go to get an idea of it feels.
Stay Safe on the Road
Use a money belt when going overseas. They are inexpensive and work well. Keep some cash in a pocket to access throughout the day, but put your passport and credit cards in the money belt.
Take all prescriptions drugs in their original containers and take a second pair of eyeglasses. If you have medical concerns, consult your doctor beforehand.
Water is safe to drink throughout Europe. However, bottled water is available everywhere just like it is here in the U.S. You will be outside and walking a lot so stay hydrated; and pack your favorite sunscreen.
A full line of travel bags and money belts are available through the Rick Steves Travel Store. Rick also has packing suggestions and check-lists at his website.
Local Transportation, Accessing your Money, and Travel Resources will be highlighted in Part Three of this Series on How to Budget Travel to Europe.
Michael writes about happenings in the Rochester area, travels across Michigan and destinations around the world. Contact him at Michael@RochesterMedia.com