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Packing For Europe

Posted by Randy LeGrant | Jan 8, 2014 10:30:00 AM

Unfortunately, 75% of our participants choose Western Europe as their destination of choice for their GeoVisions program.

I write "unfortunately" simply because we have other amazing options, like Jordan, and Turkey and SE Asia.  And of course our programs in Europe are also amazing ... we just like to see people get a little feisty with their plans and locations.

So before I get myself into trouble, I wanted to share a very cool Blog post I ran across over on the GoAbroad.com Blog site.  It's entitled, Basic Packing Tips For Your Trip To Europe.  It was actually a guest post by Andy Steves, of Weekend Student Adventures.

travel walletAndy reminds travelers that the first rule is not to forget your Passport!  He suggests that it gets packed first.  After 39 years of professional travel, I'm going to disagree to the point that I use a travel wallet ... the size where I can fit my credit cards, airline and hotel cards and my passport.  It actually looks a little like the photo here.

This thing is appropriate for women or men, students or old geezers like me.  If you fly a lot you will realize you're going to need your tickets/boarding pass and your Passport together all the time.  It's a great place to store your luggage receipts if you check a bag or two or three.  And because I'm typically going 100 mph on my travels ... I like to know all of my travel docs that I simply cannot do without are in one place and that I don't accidentally pack them in my luggage.  This one piece stays with me at all times.

Andy goes on to provide a list of what to take and what to leave at home.  One more thing that I disagree with on his list to leave at home is a Baseball Cap.  I don't go across the road to get my mail without my Red Sox cap.  Not happening and in all honesty ... Europeans really do want to see Yanks in their baseball caps and sneakers.  It feeds their stereotype and we all like that monster fed as much as possible.  Europeans are not offended by your sneakers and caps and don't let anyone tell you they are.  Yes!  Fit in.  No! Don't change who you are.  And it's great to see travelers make cultural adjustments as they travel.  As you learn, you change.

Probably the best part of the post is choosing a travel bag.  Andy provides some great choices.  So if you have 5 minutes, take a look at Andy's post on the GoAbroad site and take it to heart if you're flying soon.

contact lens caseLastly ... I saw a great packing idea on another site and I don't remember where it was.  I recently took a trip with my youngest daughter and I was shocked that her makeup bag was the size of her suitcase.  That's CRAZY and I spent the entire trip telling her that.  Want a great idea that will help?

Yep ... there on the left.  No!  Your other left.  And what does a contact lens case have to do with makeup?  They are small.  You can carry a dozen of them in the space of 1 or 2 bottles of something.  They are made for contacts and lens solution ... they don't leak.  You can fill them with creams, liquids and mushy solids.  And they cost maybe $4 at the most and even then you can get a full set of them.  So if you need to travel with liquids, gels or creams, try the contact lens carrying cases.  In that one quart zip lock bag, you can get at least a dozen of those little guys in there.

Enjoy Andy's post and if you have other ideas that would help our participants pack lighter please feel free to use the Comments section below and share.

Written by Randy LeGrant

Randy is the Executive Director of the GeoVisions Foundation. He has spent the last 44 years managing organizations that send people abroad on cultural and educational exchanges.

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