Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

What Can't you get or Live Without in Europe?

What Can't you get or Live Without in Europe?

Old May 10th, 2006, 07:36 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 13,323
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
What Can't you get or Live Without in Europe?

I always dress, look, act, think, write, speak and dream like a local when traveling across the pond. However, I often wonder what less globally-aware and culturally sensitive travelers suffer through in the old world. What do you long for, what do you crave, what do you pack and take with you?

Seriously, what can't you get or live without in Europe?

I read once where a poster had a hard time finding dental floss and now I always take a new batch with me - odd, isn't it? I also often have a hard time finding a good cup of coffee, except in Amsterdam for some strange reason.
degas is offline  
Old May 10th, 2006, 07:54 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 370
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
On my last trip, I took a compass. It was absolutely invaluable, both for driving and for walking through cities. I can't count the number of times that I couldn't see any landmarks, but I knew if I just walked in a particular direction, that I would get where I needed to go.
vegaslocal is offline  
Old May 10th, 2006, 07:54 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 662
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The only item I ever miss is mom, because she savors her travels every bit as much as I do and is a joy as a travel partner. So, a week from Saturday, I'm packing her along for a 4th time and heading to Spain.
Chicago_Heather is offline  
Old May 10th, 2006, 07:58 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,699
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Heather, I hope my son has similar sentiments some day. I introduced him to Italy at the age of 14 and I hope he misses me when he begins traveling on his own.
sandi_travelnut is offline  
Old May 10th, 2006, 07:58 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,657
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Am I allowed to chip in from my Brit perspective? I too often find coffee a struggle, because I drink it black. Particularly in the coffee capital that is Italy. I don't always want an espresso and americano is usually too watered down for my tastes. Cafe Lungo sometimes works, but more often than not, when I ask for cafe lungo, I get a watery americano. However, I concur with you Degas, the Dutch do a GREAT cup of coffee, particularly for a black coffee drinker like myself - all frothy on top and a biccie on the side!

As a result of all this, I take a mini electric kettle, a bag of my favourite ground coffee and a small cafetiere (what you'd call a coffee press?), so that I can make a cup to my own strength first thing in the morning.

And if I'm self-catering, I take bacon. Proper English bacon to make a proper bacon buttie with. I've tried using pancetta - a grand failure.
Kate is offline  
Old May 10th, 2006, 08:02 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 6,036
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The only thing I can really think of is my little battery-operated travel fan I purchased from Sharper Image. I do tend to get hot when I sleep, but more importantly the fan offers "white noise" that can muffle out the sounds in hotels where the walls are thin and my neighbors are loud, helping me sleep much more easily. I never travel to Europe without it.

Tracy
tcreath is offline  
Old May 10th, 2006, 08:08 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 637
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I really miss Mexican food (not impossible to find, but it makes DC mexican look good, and just isn't tolerable for someone who's lived in Texas most of his life).

A lot of European TP really sucks

Sometimes it's a pain to try to find what you need, just because there are so many different stores, when all you really need is a Walmart (easy enough to live without, it just makes life easier)

Besides that, nothing, really
grsing is offline  
Old May 10th, 2006, 08:09 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 898
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Heather, that is beautiful what you wrote about your mom; I hope you show it to her.

Can't answer the original question yet, but I'm pretty sure I'll miss a good shower like I have at home, and a nice, big glass of soda with lots of ice.
Maire is offline  
Old May 10th, 2006, 08:19 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 488
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
When I went to Spain in the 70's, I brought my own TP, because what they had there was more like wrapping paper.
Right now I am pacing to leave for my 5th visit to the UK - we leave on Saturday. I bring my own Sweet & Low for my tea. It is availalble there, it's just not very common and sometimes hard to find. Also eyeglass wipes - the disposabe kind in foil packets - the last time I was there, I went to a dozen chemists before I finally found some. My travel partner is my mother, and she smokes, and always brings enough of her own cigrarretes to last the duration of her trip - said she bought local cigs once and didn't like them.
Daisy54 is offline  
Old May 10th, 2006, 08:21 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 488
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I meant PACKING, not PACING! (Though I am eager to leave, I'm too busy to pace!)
Daisy54 is offline  
Old May 10th, 2006, 08:25 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,626
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
As a transplanted Canadian who lives in Paris, I crave Smartfood (white cheddar popcorn), decent bagels and Coffee Crisp chocolate bars. I also miss Neo-Citran (similar French cold remedies taste strange), North American lemony laundry soap/dryer sheets and cinnamon Listerine breathstrips. I stock up on the latter when I go home, but it's hard to fill your suitcase with Smartfood because it takes up so much space.
Kate_W is offline  
Old May 10th, 2006, 08:26 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,108
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I am anticipating some serious salsa withdrawal on our trip to Germany this summer. It is only for 2 weeks though. I can make it
J_Correa is offline  
Old May 10th, 2006, 08:27 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,229
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
What is TP and why I'm missing this?

Blackduff
blackduff is offline  
Old May 10th, 2006, 08:31 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 10,317
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
TP: How funny. The TP I buy is just as good as any old US brand.

Walmart opened in Germany but it wasn't a success. Aldi had already spoiled us with cheap products.

Most US products have made it to Europe except for maple bars. Can't find them anywhere. However, I certainly can live without them.
kleeblatt is offline  
Old May 10th, 2006, 08:31 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,626
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Gosh, blackduff, I sure hope you're not short of toilet paper (i.e. TP), wherever you are.
Kate_W is offline  
Old May 10th, 2006, 08:38 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 90
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I always take individual packets of Splenda with me when I travel. Other than that, everything I need/can't live without can be bought in Europe.

Now, when I'm at uni in Scotland for months at a time, I really start to miss good mexican food and American football on tv. Unfortunately, I can't fit either in my carryon.
ashields is offline  
Old May 10th, 2006, 08:49 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,108
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
For those who use artificial sweetener - my mom travels with a dispenser of Equal tablets rather than the packets. The container is hard plastic and very small, sort of like a breathmint dispenser. Very convinient because the container is really robust, so she can just toss it in her purse, bag, or wherever. Perhaps they make a dispenser with Splenda tablets too? Something to keep an eye out for.
J_Correa is offline  
Old May 10th, 2006, 08:51 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 54
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Vegaslocal - I like that compass idea!! I'm going to get one this week to take with me on my upcoming trip. Thanks!

Me? I know it sounds silly, but I miss my Diet Coke when I go. It can be really hard to find in many spots in Europe and their Coca Cola Lite is no substitution. (It tastes like Tab. Yuck!) Sometimes I'll sneak a couple of 16 oz bottles of the "good stuff" in my suitcase when I pack. (Hubby thinks I'm nuts....)
bakergirl is offline  
Old May 10th, 2006, 09:01 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 4,874
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
When I'm in Europe, I crave the giant glasses of iced tea we drink here in Texas.
missypie is offline  
Old May 10th, 2006, 09:02 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 45,322
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Well degas, in my case it is what I miss when I am home. I miss, long for and crave all the wonderful Italian food and wine!
LoveItaly is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:22 AM.