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Traveling 1 month first time - What to bring and how?

Traveling 1 month first time - What to bring and how?

Feb 6th, 2007, 07:17 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 19
Traveling 1 month first time - What to bring and how?

Ok so this summer, Mid June, I will be leaving to go to Europe for 1 month. I will more than likely land in Shannon Ireland first, stay a few weeks in Ireland, and then go over to France, Belgium, Netherlands or Switzerland, and DEFINITELY Austria..but that's just a pretty rough guess as of what 5 countries I want to see.

So anyway, this is all new to me, and I know everyone says to pack light, and I can understand that. The only thing that I can really think of that I'll want on me at all times is my camera, which is a Nikon D40, with an extra lens. Other than that, I'm totally clueless...

How much clothing do I bring? It's summer time so I wont be loading heavy clothing of course, but i might want to bring a jacket. But like, I have no idea what to bring and what I'll be able to get/use in Europe(I'll be staying in Hostel's.)

Im talkin everything, how much of what, etc. Any suggestions would really help right now. Main questions are the following

1. How should I bring my money, ATM Card, Cash, Both, Traveler Checks, All three of those? Should I mainly exchange in Euro's?

2. How much clothing do I need for 1 month of traveling to 5 different countries(in the summer).

3. Any suggestions as to how I should carry my camera and its lens?

4. Any suggestions as to how to carry cash while backpacking Europe?

Anything you guys got would be REALLY appreciated. Thanks alot guys.
MikeTarr is offline  
Feb 8th, 2007, 06:16 PM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 7,425
Contact me off line and I will send my packing list. If traveling light ----
Pack two changes of clothes and wear one. Avoid all cotton by wearing only synthetic blend clothing.

Do you really need that much camera? Think about it.

Need to plan for a range of temps. Use layers of clothing that are added or deleted as temp indicates. A rain jacket is a must along with waterproof footwear.

For the hostel's you should probably bring a silk sleep sack, and wash cloth and towel.

For cash use a debit card tied to a US checking account. A money belt is necessary for excess cash and critical documents. Travel checks are worthless.

Have a pretty non-descript day bag for yjr camera.

Also, read Rick Steves, Europe Through the Back Door for more suggestions. That should get you started.
fmpden is offline  
Feb 8th, 2007, 06:39 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
For your dSLR, besides the old-fashioned camera bags, there are two alternatives that are quite popular. You may want to take a look of them at a store.

One is the "sling bag" like the Lowepro Slingshot. You wear it across your shoulder, but you can "sling" it from your back to your side to get stuff out without taking it off.

The other is camera bag disguised as a casual day bag. Like the Crumpler "5 Million Dollar Home".
rkkwan is offline  
Feb 8th, 2007, 06:47 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 532
I would also suggest the sling bag type thing. I've been looking at something similar in our camera store for the past month. The extra lens can be wrapped in thin bubble wrap as extra protection. You must bring your DLSR. Why have a great camera for a great trip if you aren't going to put it to use. You may want to consider ways to either download your photos while traveling (cyber cafes?) or bringing along an extra SD card.

I would agree also with the credit or debit card. Make a photo copy of the card and have the PDF file available on a password protected site. Then if heaven forbid something happens you'll have the information to contact your credit card company.
hlphillips2 is offline  
Feb 8th, 2007, 09:36 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,659
Make sure your backpack fits you well. Get a small simple daypack to take with you sightseeing. Usually hostels will let you store your big pack in a locked room, but you can't access it all day until the hostel opens again at 4 or 5 pm.

If you have a great camera and know how to use it, I would take it. I would download my pictures onto a site, or have them put onto a disk regularly so that if somehow against all odds it is stolen you at least have the photos.

I would learn some French or German phrases.

Even though it is summer many Catholic Churches will require you wear pants to enter.
5alive is offline  
Feb 8th, 2007, 11:50 PM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 223
We have just returned from 5 weeks in Europe. My hubby carried our SLR camera and lenses and video camera in a sling bag - lowepro, like a couple of othe posters have suggested. It worked really well - he never had to take it off his back unless he actually wanted to, as you can just swing it from the back to the front.
Can also recommend packing lightly. We had far too much, even though I thought I was travelling with very little. We also seemed to wear the same thing day in/day out, and some items didn't get worn at all. We would also wash clothing in the bathrooms of hotels and let them dry over the radiators. We took a few pairs of underwear each, but found that we really needed more - depends I guess on how much washing you intend doing. I took 4 pairs of trousers (including pair of jeans) and 1 skirt, didn't wear the skirt at all and coud have done with just 2 pairs of trousers.
Moneywise, we carried a bit of cash, and then used ATMs to withdraw money - we would normally get the daily limit when making a withdrawal, due to the higher bank fees on cash withdrawals.. We also used VISA alot. Never had any difficulty.

amandab is offline  
Feb 9th, 2007, 02:54 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
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I hope you meant a few nights in Ireland, not a few weeks, or you won't have much time left out of your month for the other countries!

Bring a jacket and a warm sweater for the evenings (you never can tell in Europe) plus a load of T-shirts. That and a couple of pairs of trousers/jeans should keep you going if you can wash stuff as you go.
nona1 is offline  
Feb 9th, 2007, 03:10 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 76
I would say take cotton clothing or at least the newer manmade breatheable/wicking fibers. We spent last July in Italy, and temps were 90s-100s.

We were thankful for our lightweight clothes and would have died in synthetics or dark colors. We did laundry in our room, so the lightweight stuff dried overnight. DH & I both had microfiber underwear, 3 pr, which workded out well. We did one laundry trip during our 3 wk stay... to a self-serve laundry, where we enjoyed conversation with the locals.

The Italians are wearing wrinkled linen in the summer, too.

You will not regret packing light. We each took only a 19" wheeled carry-on and small tote or daypack (for camera equipment). When you are dealing with stairs and trains and tiny trunks of rental cars, you appreciate it.

cupspinner is offline  
Feb 9th, 2007, 03:15 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,998
First: Check airline baggage allowances.
Second: Work up a travel schedule.
Question: Why spend two weeks in Ireland and the rest of your time in 5 other countries? Maybe just Ireland and Austria.
GSteed is offline  
Feb 9th, 2007, 04:02 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,225
Hi M,

A. Go to the library, get some guidebooks and create an itinerary.

B. You should be looking at airline tickets now. Fly into your farthest destination and out of your nearest, or vv.

After you have an itinerary, we can help you tweak it.

1. Charge everything you can. Get cash at ATMs. You might want to bring some Traveler's Checks in USD for emergencies.

2. You need no more clothing for a month than you would for 2 weeks.

3. ....

4. You don't carry more than about 100E.

I suggest that you limit your visit to 4 countries in 4 weeks.

ira is offline  
Feb 9th, 2007, 04:17 AM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,397
i suggest the best ruck-sack/backpack that you can afford. the newer styles where you can zip away the straps under a flap is what i sometimes use. this allows you to more easily carry it on to trains and makes for a neater package. for flights, it also allows it to be checked as regular luggage rather than irregular luggage (often a separate desk). it also makes it more discreet if you want to stay in some hotels ('backpackers' sometimes not very welcome). mine is black or dark blue so it looks like regular luggage when the straps are zipped away.

you really don't need much clothing. just wear everything over and over. 2 pairs of synthetic trousers and a pair of nylon shorts that you can also swim in, some t shirts, a fleece top (i like a dark coloured, not-too-fuzzy one as it can be worn out at night without looking like a mountain climber). also, a waterproof jacket.

i would only bring one pair of shoes and maybe some walking sandles. for shoes, i recommend black leather shoes that are more 'athletic' than they look (merrill, etc). these kind of shoes can take you just about anywhere from hill-walking to city walking to nightclubs to decent restaurants.

i'm not in the militant 'what to wear in europe' camp, but when you want to bring only the bare minimum, you need things that you can get by with for both nightlife and daytime comfort.
walkinaround is offline  
Feb 9th, 2007, 06:15 AM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 7,425
<<<would say take cotton clothing or at least the newer manmade breatheable/wicking fibers --- We were thankful for our lightweight clothes and would have died in synthetics --- cupspinner >>>>>

my recommend is synthetic blends -- that is exactly what "manmade breatheable/wicking fibers are --- synthetic -- even if you didn't recognize it. One hundred percent cotton is too difficult to care for and drys too slowly to be convenient.
fmpden is offline  
Feb 16th, 2007, 08:27 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 19
Hey guys, thanks all for the help, and sorry what I meant was a few days in Ireland, not a few weeks. My plan as of now is Ireland, Belgium, France, and Austria, from June 14th to July 14th.

MikeTarr is offline  
Feb 16th, 2007, 09:18 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 88
The site is a great resource. I would also consult www.eurotrip.com for budget travel advise. It caters to a younger crowd offering great advise for first timers.
The_Pixies is offline  
Feb 17th, 2007, 06:38 PM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 96
rick steves website will give you plenty of info for your 1 month trip
sherm99 is offline  
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