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Looking for old posts re: things you wish you knew b4 going ; packing etc.

Looking for old posts re: things you wish you knew b4 going ; packing etc.

Old Mar 21st, 2012, 08:01 AM
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Looking for old posts re: things you wish you knew b4 going ; packing etc.

Hi Fodorites,

I'm trying to locate two ( I believe ) forum posts that were present last summer. I don't remember the specific titles, but the topics involved things you wish you knew before going and things to pack etc. . They were wonderful threads of little tips from travelers that involved a wide spectrum of topics - a free for all of great advice.

Any help is appreciated. Thank you !
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Old Mar 21st, 2012, 08:13 AM
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Sorry - just found it myself. I looked for two days and then as soon as I asked, poof ... I found it. Murphy's Law

It's called ' Things you wish you knew/did before going to Europe' - wonderful tips. In case someone is interested. Don't know how to repost it to share.
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Old Mar 21st, 2012, 08:24 AM
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There have been many of those posts over the years, but how about we start a new one:

Remember that Europe is not a third world country. You can purchase aspirin, Tylenol (Panadol), toothpaste, shampoo, deoderant, conditioner, cream, etc, etc. So don't bring a lot of anything with you.

After you pack, look at everything and cut it in half. Really, you can. If you forget something or need something you can buy it there and have a rememberance of the trip. I buy all of my shoes in Italy because they fit better.

There are laundromats all over so you can wash. I bring Purex sheets that have detergent and softner in them. They keep the luggage smelling well and cut the cost of buying detergent.

Bring underwear that can be washed out with soap and water each night. I only pack 3 pair for a 6 week trip.

I travel with legal carry-on luggage for 6 weeks and that includes carrying gifts for family.

Relax...no matter what happens you can deal with it. Enjoy your trip. Even if you don't speak the language, you will be fine. Every mistake is a learning experience.

The more you walk around (rather than buses and taxis) the more you will find the "gems" of the city.

Do not eat in the tourist centers of the city.Walk into the residential areas. Better food for better prices.
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Old Mar 21st, 2012, 08:25 AM
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You found it as I was writing so maybe I have added someone else didn't. Enjoy.
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Old Mar 21st, 2012, 08:41 AM
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Thanks Ann1 -your Purex sheet suggestion was one of the ideas I was looking for as I remembered this thread.

I love that you can travel with one carry on for such a long time, that is my goal for 2 1/2 weeks.

I was going to ask - if you purchase something in Italy which doesn't fit in your original carry on, do you send it to the States (or is this too costly) ?
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Old Mar 21st, 2012, 09:05 AM
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I want to say that one is "legal" in the overhead and one small bag under the seat. Yes, I purchased a sconce in Murano and had it sent home. It was expensive but I love it. My sister-in-law had a huge bowl sent home, also. I bring an expandable tote that packs flat in my suitcase. We generally buy wine or if we over buy, the small expandable comes out and one bag goes into luggage. We live in the US so on international flights they don't charge for one bag in luggage. Domestic, of course, they do. If they do charge, you would have to weigh the difference of postage and charge.

Always remember...if you get on a flight and they have to take away one of your bags because it doesn't fit....Have all prescription meds, cameras, jewelry and anything you need immediately in the bag you keep.

Bring the chemical name and dosage of any prescriptions you take and your doctor's name, number, fax # in case something happens to the prescriptions. You can replace them easily in Europe.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2012, 07:31 PM
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I just show my wife her suitcase and tell her whatever she can fit in she can take. After a couple of times, she now gets it about packing.

If you want small stuff, try www.minimus.biz for sample packs of about everything.

My longest trip so far is 6 weeks with a 22" suitcase and no stored carryons.

Ann1 knows her stuff.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2012, 08:34 PM
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I do pack sufficient essential toiletries and pharmaceuticals for the duration. Sure you can get it there, but you'll waste a lot of time shopping and pay a lot more. It's far better to have a band-aid in your pocket at the start of a blister than walk around looking for a pharmacy then have to purchase many more than you need.

Rastaguytoday: My husband is so much nicer than you. He never complains about what I pack and is happy to haul it around for me.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2012, 04:03 PM
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I agree somewhat with djkbooks. However, I was sold the best band-aid for blisters in Rome. I can now buy these specific band-aids in the U.S., but I'll be forever grateful to the older gentleman in the farmacia near our hotel who somehow understood my poor Italian and saved me from many days of pain.
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Old Apr 1st, 2012, 10:37 AM
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@djkbooks: I didn't say not to bring anything, I said not to bring a lot. As Jean said, sometimes the things you find in Europe are better than here. It's interesting to go into the stores, also. Your husband might not mind hauling your stuff around, but that gets old really fast. Out of consideration for my husband.....our policy is you pack it, you carry it. We help each other on to trains, etc, but that's it.

@Rastaguytoday, thank you, we have been traveling a lot for many years and have learned a lot of lessons. Your policy with suitcases is correct.
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Old Apr 1st, 2012, 02:25 PM
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I always take these things called wine skins...great for bringing home wine, honey, configures, etc...anything that comes in a breakable bottles, jars....They are sturdy stiff plastic with bubble wrap inside and can be sealed (adhesive strips). Love them for travel!

Always take a copy of your passport that you keep separate from the original. I always register on the State dept. site re: where I will be, the dates, contact info, emergency contact info....good to know that they will know where you are should there be a crisis of some kind!

Agree with fabric softener sheets in suitcases. I don't do laundry while traveling but they are great when drawers are not fresh and if you have static in the air! I also take those little disposable cloths that foam up when wet, for washing my face. Not every place has wash cloths and these pack flat and are easy to deal with than a bottle of cleanser.

I never leave home without my cashmere wrap... Works as a wrap, neck roll, travel blanket, scarf everywhere! It's a must for business or personal travel.
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Old Apr 1st, 2012, 03:03 PM
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Invest in a good set of travel bottle. I love naglene bottles that I bought at REI many years ago for about the price of travel sized toiletries. The only thing I can think of that I can't fill in my own travel bottle is hair mousse. So, I don't bring it.

I use a Salux cloth at home as well as on the road, it's a Japanese wash cloth, they dry quickly. (I bring a couple of old ones in case I forget it) In case you haven't heard of them here's a link: http://www.saluxshop.com/

Never travel without some moleskins for blisters.

If I forget something, it's fun to shop in a different market. I found some dental floss in Germany that I look for each time I return.

I do like a small first aid kit for problems that I may have. It was difficult to explain that I needed some Lysine b/c I felt a cold sore coming on in a langauge I didn't know. Luckily I didn't get the cold sore but one can never be too prepared.
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Old Apr 4th, 2012, 06:01 PM
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All this talk of blisters makes me want to mention my number one, or at least top ten, must do. Bigger footwear. European streets of cobblestones, ruts, mistmatched pavers and extremely old stones make walking dificult and in some cases prone to ankle twisting. So I have a pair of shoes I only use for traveling and they are a half size larger than my normal size. This accounts for feet swelling from tons of walking and the shoes are flatter and more sturdy and easier to walk in than sandals or flip flops.
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Old Apr 4th, 2012, 06:10 PM
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Bigger shoes would never work for me, but I do try on travel shoes late in the day when my feet are their largest. By 'flatter,' I assume you mean no heel, and that is essential for me. I go for comfort and not for style/fashion. I have some walking sandals that are extremely comfortable, but flip-flops? Never.
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Old Apr 4th, 2012, 07:51 PM
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we also travel for a month with only one suitcase (and another one packed inside for stuff we buy.)

the one thing i don't leave home without is some bacitracin/neosporin or some other antibacterial ointment. sale of antibacterial ointment (in our experience) is limited in europe and it's a big comfort in case we get a major cut or scrape.
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Old Apr 4th, 2012, 07:53 PM
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oh-- and love the detergent sheets idea and will bring some this time!! (never used them, but think i remember seeing them.) too many times we've had to buy expensive laundry soap when we do a big mid-trip load! thanks for that.
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