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BaerFace Jan 11th, 2007 11:47 AM

25 Day AAA Europe Trip
Hi everyone, first time poster!

My wife and I are booking a AAA tour through Europe for 25 days in May(our first trip overseas) and Just had some questions about packing.

We have no idea what to pack, or how much to pack. I will have a very nice camera with me at all times, and would love to bring my laptop to download the thousands of pictures into.. but I understand that might not be feasible, and I will just have to buy more memory cards.

Anyway, any advice would be greatly appreciated, and Iím sure you'll be hearing a lot more out of me.

Christina Jan 11th, 2007 12:00 PM

well, I imagine that tour gives you a limit on baggage, they all do, so you can use that as a guideline. It is probably one 24-25" suitcase per person, I imagine (and you can have some smaller carryon case or something). That's a good size for a 3 week tour like that, and you won't have to be lugging it around yourself that much.

I don't know where you live, but for most of wetsern Europe, you can pack for the type of May weather you might have on the East Coast of the US, that should be about right (like NY city or Wash DC). Of course you will want comfortable clothes for all the touring and sightseeing (some slacks, etc.) and good walking shoes, but I'd also suggest you pack at least one outfit that is a little nicer for a performance or nice restaurant. For ladies, this could just be a versatile simple skirt and black flats, as well as some dressy top/blouse. Be sure to pack some kind of sweaters and lightweight rain jacket probably. I have a nice black/tan reversible rain jacket with hood that is hip length and is simple so can be casual or dressy. I got it at Burlington Coat Factory, it's really nice.

suze Jan 11th, 2007 12:47 PM

Does the tour company provide any guidelines for size of suitcase, or the number of pieces of luggage you are allowed? 2nd, can you ask them if anywhere along the way you will have time & access to a laundry facility?

General guidelines for packing I would include 2-3 pair of comfortable shoes. Plus shirts & pants in fabrics that will travel well and colors that mix & match. Your wife might like a couple skirts, or maybe is more comfortable with slacks?

Think about "layering" since you will likely find spring weather most places. For me, that might be a tank top, with long sleeve shirt over it, and light knit jacket over that, pants, and comfortable shoes.

Lots of people travel with their laptops. Use the "search" feature here and you can find threads discussing the pros and cons, and things you need to consider like adapters, converters, etc.

Welcome to the Fodor's forum! Happy planning!!

FainaAgain Jan 11th, 2007 12:48 PM

you will find good advices in this thread:;tid=34490621

FainaAgain Jan 11th, 2007 12:50 PM

also this one:;tid=34905739

(sorry, I don't know how to post several URLs in the same reply)

suze Jan 11th, 2007 02:07 PM

One handy tip concerning toiletries and cosmetics... Buy or reuse small sizes plastic bottles for things like shampoo, etc. Only take just what you need for 25 days worth. Don't take full size containers of anything. I use 1 gallon ziplock freezer bags rather than a regular toiletry bag. This can really help with "packing light" but having everything you need.

ira Jan 11th, 2007 02:11 PM

Hi FA,

>I don't know how to post several URLs in the same reply.<

Just keep adding URLs the same way you posted the first one.


ira Jan 11th, 2007 02:13 PM

Hi B,

Before you book:

What's the itinerary?
I hope it's not "If it's Tuesday, it must be Belgium".

What are the hotels?

What's the cost?

What meals are included?

I have yet to find a tour that gives me the same quality for less than I can do it myself.


SuQue Jan 11th, 2007 02:29 PM

You will be able to transfer your photos from your memory card to a CD in camera shops/internet cafes/convenience stores throughout Europe. I also bought a larger memory card just in case. I would not bother to bring my laptop along.

Christina Jan 11th, 2007 02:32 PM

Ira, I appreciate what you are trying to do (sort of), but this is a long trip, probably to several countries, for someone who has never been overseas before. And in just a couple months. There is nothing wrong with taking a tour like that, I took a couple when I was just starting to travel and had a very nice time. NO need to be a wet blanket.

RufusTFirefly Jan 11th, 2007 07:18 PM

Before booking a tour, I would check hotel locations. I've had friends who have taken tours and been disappointed that some of their hotels were way out in the burbs--it was difficult for them to do anything on their own when they wanted to--and with not much of interest in the vicinity of their hotel.

janisj Jan 11th, 2007 07:31 PM

ira has some good questions - not necessarily to try to talk you out of taking a tour. But knowing what is/isn't included and which hotels are used will really help.

in the tour description, sites that say "see" mean you basically just drive past. Those that say "visit" mean you get out of the bus and actually walk around. And usually a tour's price depends a lot on which hotels one chooses - the lower priced options are lower priced for a reason.

So - again not trying to talk you out of the tour - but since you have not been on a tour to Europe before, we can help you a lot re what to expect. So give us some of the details if you have any questions . . . .

ira Jan 12th, 2007 09:12 AM

Hi Christina,

Ditto Janis.

Thanks for clarifying, Janis.


BaerFace Jan 14th, 2007 12:54 PM

I have uploaded our trip itenery here:

baerface. com/trip.html

you'll have to get rid of the space, this is only an image file from a scan.

This was better than typing it out. The reason we went with a tour is because we don't have the time to plan everything, and we really like AAA and have heard good things.

janisj Jan 14th, 2007 01:25 PM

A tour is one thing - but I'm sorry - that itinerary is nuts.

Just love things like &quot;<u>pausing</u> to view the Chateau of Amboise&quot;, or seeing &quot;<u>all the major sites</u>&quot; of London on a 1/2 day tour, or leaving Kings Cross by coach and driving to the coast, taking a ferry and then driving through the Benelux seeing Dam Square and a diamond cutting factory, all on the same day (any guess where they get their commissions from??)

SusanP Jan 14th, 2007 01:40 PM

Wow, I can see why you didn't want to retype the itinerary! Really, I'm not trying to be mean or rude, but this is a truly insane itinerary. 11 countries in 25 days is unbelievable. All you will remember will be the inside of the bus. Sorry to say this, but of many insane itineraries I've seen posted here, this tops them all.

suze Jan 14th, 2007 02:13 PM

Hopefully you will post back after the tour and let us know how things turn out for you?

Back to your initial questions about suitcases, clothing, etc. hopefully AAA will give you some kind of guidelines.

suze Jan 14th, 2007 02:18 PM

I'm curious as to how you get from place to place. There's some awful long distance with no mention of travel time subtracted from the various sight-seeing of that day. I assume that little arrow means a flight? Are the other legs via train or bus?

Not that it matters to your planning, I'm just wondering how many total hours of most days will be spend in transit.

janisj Jan 14th, 2007 03:51 PM

&quot;<i>I assume that little arrow means a flight</i>&quot; Nope - This is a coach trip all the way - except for the short Rhine cruise. 100% sitting on a coach - &quot;pausing&quot; to see a Chateau . . . . .

Treesa Jan 14th, 2007 03:59 PM


Please reconsider. You'll &quot;see&quot; everything but remember nothing.

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