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First time traveller to Europe -need tips

First time traveller to Europe -need tips

Jan 29th, 2004, 07:15 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jan 2004
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First time traveller to Europe -need tips

Hi anyone who has been there, I am going in april for 2 weeks to 7 countries. I know I need to pack light. We are going with a tour group. I need to know which way is the safest and best way to carry stuff while on tours. Back pacs, no, fanny pacs, no, money belt, maybe,what is best? Thanks anyone.
roxee is offline  
Jan 29th, 2004, 07:31 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
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There was just a thread on this - look up fanny packs above.
nytraveler is offline  
Jan 29th, 2004, 08:15 AM
  #3  
 
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For first time travelers to Europe, Rick Steves (http://www.ricksteves.com/) offers good advice. There is a "Tip" section, addressing such things as money belts and what to carry in them. Personally, I only carry photocopies of my airline tickets and I use a version of a money belt that goes around your leg (smoother looking under skirts or pants).

Backpacks (most likely you mean backpack-type purses or daypacks) are easily rummaged through as you can't see what's happening behind you. Try a bag/purse that crosses the body or goes over the shoulder and hugs the body.

Since it's your first trip and especially since you're moving around so much, keep repeating "pack light" to yourself. And, take more film that what you originally estimate.

Have a wonderful trip!
Chicago_Heather is offline  
Jan 29th, 2004, 10:13 AM
  #4  
 
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This is a bit hard to find, but my favorite security wallet is a cloth zippered wallet (kind of like the kind that have a loop to attach to a belt)with a flat metal clip (clip is covered with leather). The wallet is big enough for your passport, too. You can slip the clip over a waistband of slacks or skirts, and you don't need to wear a belt to use it. (I hate belts). So the wallet is tucked inside your slacks, and only the leather-covered clip shows. NOthing shows if your jacket/sweater covers it. But it is easily accessible (unlike a round the waist or neck-strap moneybelt) and you don't have to undress to take it out.
Going in Style (a travel store in San Francisco) carries them, and they are the best.

As long as you passport, credit cards and cash are safe, I say carry the bag that is most comfortable for maps, guidebooks, sunglasses, etc.

Another option for a woman-- get a very small over the shoulder bag with a long strap. As long as you wear this under a jacket/sweater, etc., it is not easily accessible-- I'd still use the concealed wallet for valuables, but a slightly larger bag like this is good for semi-valuables, like a small digital camera or sunglasses, a small amount of carry-around cash, tube/subway passes, etc.

PS If you are in England, NEVER call these waist packs "fanny packs". Fanny is a word not used in polite company. They call them "bum bags". Since learning this, I have decided to call them "waist packs"-- don't think that term is ever offensive.
tashak is offline  
Jan 29th, 2004, 10:35 AM
  #5  
 
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Hi
Click at the top of this screen on Destinations, and go to the info for each of the cities you will be visiting.
In most cases you will find very good suggestions for what to pack, what to see, basic etiquette, tipping, etc.

If you search on this forum in the little box above on Pack or Safety or
backpack, you should come up with many past threads on packing, totebags vs hidden wallets, etc.

I am in the totebag school, I have a lightweight nylon totebag with long shoulder straps that on the plane is my carryon, and while traveling it's my daytime purse. It has deep zippered pockets inside for wallets and such. I keep my wits about me but enjoy myself, and I've never been robbed.

Waistpacks in any city usually are worn by tourists even from other places within a given country) and while I don't mind being labeled as a tourist (it's usually inevitable, especially so in a large group), I do mind being considered an easy mark. I don't want to wear a waistpack, I don't want a backpack to be robbed from behind, I don't want to have to go inside my clothes to get my wallet out. I live in a large city at home, and get by just fine with my purse every day, in crowded situations. But that's me, you should do what you're comfortable with.

By the way, if your tour is handling the luggage for you, you may not have to worry as much about packing light as those of us who are doing our own hauling.
elaine is offline  
Jan 29th, 2004, 11:05 AM
  #6  
 
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As Tashak says--
"If you are in England, NEVER call these waist packs "fanny packs". Fanny is a word not used in polite company."

I made that mistake in front of an English couple many years ago and found out that my English "fanny" was on the other side.
janeg is offline  
Jan 29th, 2004, 11:37 AM
  #7  
 
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Elaine - I'm with yuo. A lightweight nylon bag - I use a medium size sportsac with lots of zipper compartments - works just fine. It's light to carry, you can see it at all times - and anyone trying to steal out of it will just end up with my sweater or foldable umbrella because of the inner pockets.
nytraveler is offline  

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