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Things you wish you knew/did before you traveled to Europe

Things you wish you knew/did before you traveled to Europe

Old Mar 29th, 2011, 05:44 PM
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I never get on an airplane without earplanes. I hate it when my ears pop and I can't get them back to normal.

Like StCirq, I don't bother wiping down the plane. "I'm a firm believer in exposing myself to as much bacteria as possible." I deal with people so I'm exposed to germs and rarely get sick. I wash my hands frequently and drink plenty of water.

Your schedule seems a little packed, but you're already going to do it. Now, enjoy it. If you start to feel overwhelmed, don't worry, you'll know better next time. If it's the perfect pace then you'll know not to ask other people what they think next time. Know thyself.
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Old Mar 29th, 2011, 05:55 PM
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Important fact to know: If you live in North America, find out when European daylight savings time starts!!! On my first trip to Europe, we had NO CLUE that Europe changed on a different date.

Thankfully, this only resulted in our arriving at Fiumicino far too early - our flight departure time had been changed and we didn't know the time had changed on departure morning! So went spend 3 extra hours at the airpot. Could have been worse!
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Old Mar 29th, 2011, 06:06 PM
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hetismij ,
"I think such precautions are rather ott tbh, and probably rather annoying for your fellow passengers."

ParisAmsterdam,
Maybe you should get one of those surgical masks like they wear in China, Korea and Japan. No ... wait... might make the aircrew and passengers nervous! ;^)

StCirq,
"As for the Purellists, it would drive me nuts if someone started wiping everything in sight down with antibacterial wipes. I'm a firm believer in exposing myself to as much bacteria as possible. Perhaps that explains why the last time I was even a tiny bit sick was more than 30 years ago."

LSky
Like StCirq, I don't bother wiping down the plane. "I'm a firm believer in exposing myself to as much bacteria as possible." I deal with people so I'm exposed to germs and rarely get sick. I wash my hands frequently and drink plenty of water.


Hey everyone, I thought this might be of help to anyone who gets sick when flying. I never get sick at home, at least a decade since I've taken antibitotics, and that was after a surgery. I do not use antibacterial stuff at home specifically because I believe you need to be exposed to germs in order to build up a tolerance.

BUT and this is a big BUT, I have gotten very sick when flying...103 temp, 2 rounds of antibiotics, down 3 weeks last time. Does that sound like a fun way to start YOUR trip??? I don't think so. So I tried to avoid it.

Call me overly cautious, I didn't want to be that sick in a foreign country. I'm not talking a little cold here. I didn't "wipe down everything in sight or the plane". I wiped my tray table and armrest, took all of 5 seconds. Hope it wasn't too annoying! How is washing your hands often different than using gel every few hours???

I don't know if was because of the dry air drying out my nasal passages combined with germs or whatever, but I decided to be pro-active and it worked. Sorry if others thought it is OTT or annoying.
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Old Mar 29th, 2011, 06:09 PM
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duct tape, Ocean Spray to help prevent nasal dryness on flight, an empty water bottle that can be filled after passing through security to keep hydrated while in flight.
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Old Mar 29th, 2011, 06:25 PM
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On the Today Show, a couple of weeks ago, it was suggested to take antibacterial wipes to wipe down your tray and arm rest. I don't think those trays are ever cleaned, at least the ones I have encountered.
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Old Mar 29th, 2011, 06:35 PM
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Thanks scatcat
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Old Mar 29th, 2011, 07:02 PM
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When traveling anywhere my husband and I always pack half of each of our clothes (full outfits)in each others suitcase, this way if one suitcase is lost we at least have some clothes and also each pack a full change of clothes in a carry-on.
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Old Mar 29th, 2011, 07:17 PM
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I always wish I'd packed less.
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Old Mar 29th, 2011, 08:15 PM
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michele_d, I'm with you. I, too, wipe down the tray table lock, the tray table, and the arm rests. They are NEVER cleaned.

I also wipe down light switches, door handles, bath/sink handles, telephones and TV remotes in the hotels. I travel every week for business... I know what gets cleaned and doesn't. And, trust me, the bedspread is the first thing to go in my hotel room.

I also bring rubber flip flops that I can wear as slippers or in the shower so I don't get athelete's foot.

Go ahead, call me a germaphobic. I really don't care what anyone thinks. The front desk crews think I'm doing the right thing... in their hotels!
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Old Mar 30th, 2011, 12:53 AM
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michele_d, I'm with you too. With three autoimmune diseases and at high risk for more, even a cold can kick my immune system into overdrive and leave me more or less bedridden for months -- if not hospitalized. So I take prevention very seriously, and would love to hear any suggestions you have for antibacterial wipes that travel well (small container, don't dry out, etc). Over the years I've gotten really good with not touching my face in public, using Purell before I eat, etc. But wipes for the areas of the plane I'll be in contact with for 10+ hours would be nice too.

Don't let the naysayers get you down. "An ounce of prevention" and all that -- it really is true. I don't care one bit if I annoy other people by looking out for my own health needs. The few inconspicuous things I do are far less damaging and intrusive to others than those who board a plane hacking and coughing from a cold, with no concerns for who they spread the germs to.

To the OP, lots of good suggestions already (though some of you look like you're preparing for a safari, not the major cities of Europe!), the only thing I would add is a very small multitool that you can keep with you. I have the Swisstech Utilikey on my keychain and use it for small odd jobs frequently. Used it today to cut the plastic tie on a package of hairbands I had just bought, so I could actually use them rather than wait til I got home to a full pair of scissors.
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Old Mar 30th, 2011, 01:05 AM
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I have never in my life used anti bactieral wipes anywhere....bonkers!

Maybe that's why I have a functioning immune system
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Old Mar 30th, 2011, 01:19 AM
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Help! Just realised that my post looks like it's directed at GlassCannon....it's not. If you have a medical condition that means your immune system is wonky, then you have to do everything you can to stay well, but for your average person who doesn't suffer this, it's just so unnecessary.
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Old Mar 30th, 2011, 01:21 AM
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My diseased immune system has nothing to do with antibacterial anything. I wasn't coddled as a child -- I played in the mud, climbed trees, caught chicken pox from the neighbor kids, and wasn't told to wash my hands before dinner. My first autoimmune disease developed when I was 11 years old, during a very stressful time. My second showed up when I was 18, my third at 23. Now at 30, I just try to manage my symptoms, avoid/minimize relapses, and try to prevent developing a fourth. I do everything I have to do to live with these diseases.

Be grateful for your healthy immune system. Don't take it for granted. And don't give me the evil eye for doing something that affects you not one bit but makes my life infinitely more livable.
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Old Mar 30th, 2011, 01:23 AM
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I'd make it my first order of business to get some coins because you'll need them for pay toilets. (Yes, there are pay toilets in Europe, and they're usually very clean, too.)
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Old Mar 30th, 2011, 01:24 AM
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Ah alihutch, I posted at the same time you did, sorry about that. No offense taken. But my larger point still stands: anyone who thinks antibacterial wipes are OTT need to get over themselves. You can't tell by looking what someone else is dealing with, whether that's a bad previous experience, autoimmune diseases, or cancer. It doesn't affect tour travel experience, so stop worrying about it.
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Old Mar 30th, 2011, 01:39 AM
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Glasscannon, I'd walked away from the PC and then your post trickled through my brain and I though OMG, that's gonna look horrendous and SO wasn't aimed at you!.... My brain seems to be in slo-mo this morning....
Glad that you still travel despite all...
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Old Mar 30th, 2011, 01:48 AM
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Torch, penknife, string, a few washing pegs, roll of electrician's tape, a little home money, local dictionary, photocopies of everything, whole insurance documents, pocket size tissues
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Old Mar 30th, 2011, 02:03 AM
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Small travel clock with lighted face for bedside. I had hotel rooms in Lisbon and Nice recently that did not have a clock in the room. When I called the front desk, I was told that this was not a service they provided and of all times I had forgotten to pack mine. Very inconvenient to try to read my watch in the dark.
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Old Mar 30th, 2011, 02:59 AM
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ricksteves.com

good info for me most important

moneybelt everything of value there

insuremytrip.com #1 thing folks forget

viamichelin.com good roadtrip site.

mdtravelhealth.com travel medical kit

travel.state.gov monitor travel alerts etc

Have fun,
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Old Mar 30th, 2011, 03:01 AM
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onebag.com for me great packing tips

try to sleep a tonne on the plane over

for me melatonin natural jet lag supplement
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