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What items/ supplies do you take with you on your 2 week vacation to Europe?

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What items/ supplies do you take with you on your 2 week vacation to Europe?

Old Dec 20th, 2006, 01:42 PM
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Mr_Dreamer
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What items/ supplies do you take with you on your 2 week vacation to Europe?

I asked a simple question about where we can buy thing we may need in Europe if we ran out of the supplies we brought with us and of 123 replies 1/3 of them either told me to stay in America or I was kinda insulting (in a way) the European traveler and the citizens of Europe! What would you take with you for your first visit to europe and what would you do if you ran out of your favorite products while there.
 
Old Dec 20th, 2006, 01:49 PM
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After many, many trips to Europe, I've learned I can buy anything I discover I don't have and need -- including socks, flashlights, OTC medicines, toiletries, etc. I've often bought these things inside airports or on the Autogrille in Italy. Or in open air markets (like socks).

The only thing I would be sure to have is extras of your essential accessories for a digital camera, your prescription medicines and an extra pair of whatever eyeglasses you might wear.

What "supplies" are you taking?
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Old Dec 20th, 2006, 01:51 PM
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I'm rather cheap and don't have 'favorite' products. I typically don't run out of anything I take, either. I use whatever the hotel has for bath products but do pack a small size of the basic stuff. I don't have high-maintenance needs, ex. hair-styling products, and I don't pack any food products b/c I like to go to the store and buy room snacks, sodas, milk, wine, beer etc. from the local supermarket.

Recently, I have added packets of powder bubblebath - that's something I look forward to after all the walking we do.
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Old Dec 20th, 2006, 01:53 PM
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For every one of my favorite "products" (tea, crackers, shampoo, toothpaste, etc.) I've found one I like better in Europe, and enjoyed the experience of shopping for it. So now we take a 2-day supply and buy what we like when we get there.
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Old Dec 20th, 2006, 01:55 PM
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We have a "travel pak" which we take and it includes laundry supplies, plug adaptors, a flashlight, replacement batteries, a small amount of duct tape (it can be used for almost anything!!) a Swiss (Army) Tool, band-aides, antacid tablets, multi-symptom cough and cold medicine, a battery-powered alarm clock, a battery-powered toothbrush. On some trips we have added and subtracted as needed such things as insect repellant.

Yes, you can get a lot of these things once you get there but after being sick in Berlin, on a Sunday, when very few pharmacies were open I always take the cold preps.
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Old Dec 20th, 2006, 01:56 PM
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nessundorma, I mean like favorite comfort items from home, like a certain brand of cigarettes or coffee/tea and bourbon! would you look for them or just buy what ever the local store offered?
 
Old Dec 20th, 2006, 01:57 PM
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Mr. Dreamer,
I've read your other thread and I think some people are giving you a hard time for asking some basic questions and making some assumptions because you haven't been to Europe before, so just hang in there. You're going to have a great time.

Having lived in Germany for the past year, I can tell you that you can pretty much find anything you might run out of at a basic European supermarket. However, basic supermarkets are sometimes difficult to find in the tourist centers of European cities, and even if you find a store, translating those foreign labels can be daunting! Thus my advice is to prepare like you would for any trip, and bring as much of your toiletry supplies as you think you will need for the journey. Think basics first and foremost - toothpaste, shampoo & conditioner, face wash, and any special lotions and makeup that you (and Mrs. Dreamer) can't live without. Your hotel will most likely have shampoo and soap.

With that said, do travel with an open mind and be willing to try a European brand or two - especially the coffee and tea you are suggesting that you will be bringing. Europe has the best coffee and tea in the world!
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Old Dec 20th, 2006, 01:58 PM
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sweet 'n low
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Old Dec 20th, 2006, 02:00 PM
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The only "supply" I might bring with me, aside from a minimu of cosmetics and personal grooming items is a bunch of Sweet&Low packets for coffee.

You can buy ANYTHING where you are going; pack what you think you will need; bring extra if you are nervous about running out... Stock up on the cigs and alcohol at the duty free shop of your departure airport. No one is going to search your bags when you arrive in Europe so bring 10 cartons if you smoke that much. Contrary to what I read on another post, cigarettes are NOT more expensive in Europe than they are in the US..not for some of us anyway.
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Old Dec 20th, 2006, 02:00 PM
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oh, don't worry about those posts, what difference does it make if someone doesn't like the teabags you drink. SOme people just think you should spend a lot more time shopping for things you could have easily brought, I guess.

I don't run out of things much, either, because I don't use a lot of anything or don't stay long enough, I guess. The only things I take because I like my own brand and don't want to spend any time buying what I already have are over-the-counter medications. I always take some Pepto Bismo tablets (which you can't buy in France), and I take some Visine eye drops after spending way too much time trying to buy a similar product and never finding it. I do take some aspirin and cough lozenges, also (Sucrets or Halls), but sometimes I want those on the plane. I like the menthol in Halls sometimes even when I don't have a cold.

As I said before, I do take some instant Folgers with me, because I like making some regular coffee in my hotel room sometimes.

That's about it, I'm not that tied to anything else or don't run out of it. Sometimes I wish I'd had something I didn't (like more hand lotion), and then I just go to a "drug" store and buy some foreign brand (drug store like the term in the US, in Europe, they may be different than a real pharmacy), they are all pretty much the same. A lot of brands are international anyway, so you can recognize a lot of the shampoo, deodorant, etc., but I've found some new brands I like that way of hand cream.

When I have run out of instant coffee, I just went in a grocery store and bought something that looked okay (freeze-dried, whatever I like best). That's where I found the MOnoprix instant espresso or maybe Nescafe instant espresso which doesn't taste like espresso, of course, but has a more robust flavor than the regular instant so tastes more flavorful to me as regular coffee. I like to buy foreign brands of chocolate bars and candy for fun, also.

I run out of batteries sometimes (AA or AAA) but batteries are batteries, I just go into a sundries store and buy some more.
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Old Dec 20th, 2006, 02:05 PM
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Mr. Dreamer,

One of the reasons I travel is because I like coffee, tea and alcohol better overseas (I used to like the cigarettes too, but I quit). But if I was still addicted to something American (so to speak), for two weeks you should be able to find room in your suitcase for 28 teabags, a ziplock bag of coffee and if you are smoking more than half a pack a day, I strongly urge you to switch to a European brand because (a) they are marginally healthier and (b) switching for two weeks might help you quit entirely.

Many places in Europe -- even small towns -- are proud to advertised "an American bar." You can find many American brands of liquor -- certainly in the major hotels, and a drink in a swank hotel bar can be a very nice pre-dinner activity.
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Old Dec 20th, 2006, 02:05 PM
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I don't think I have ever taken a US food item w/ me to Europe (many, MANY trips) except for a few nibbles to eat on the flight over.

I take one 19 inch suitcase and am not going to fill it w/ coffee, sugar, tea bags, booze or anything else I can easily get in Europe.
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Old Dec 20th, 2006, 02:09 PM
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When I smoked (and I smoked a LOT) I always bought several cartons of cigarettes as they really are extremely costly compared to where I live plus I liked my brand. I'm quite sure I was over the limit on what I was supposed to take but never was stopped.

If you wear contact lenses, take your favorite products for them. I always traveled with extra zip-lock bags as I couldn't find the similar freezer kind when I looked in the UK.
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Old Dec 20th, 2006, 02:10 PM
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I always bring medicine enough to last a week longer then my trip.

I would take an expanding suitcase or a tote bag for purchases.

I would bring my own shampoo if staying in a budget hotel, and what provided would use for a quick laundry.

I would bring a list of museums with maps, opening hours.

I would make sure I have enough money - ATM, Credit Card - and have copies in the suitcase in case of emergency.

And I would search this website for earler threads with similar advices.
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Old Dec 20th, 2006, 02:13 PM
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Thank you all for your advice and kindness, I feel better now about my question about comfort items.
 
Old Dec 20th, 2006, 02:34 PM
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Mr_Dreamer

I agree with Dukey, those are the things (flashlight, cold medicine, pockets of woolite for washing personal items, band aids and scotch tape)I take with me when I go to Europe especially Italy. I always take bottles of green tea with me also because I know I won't find them easily in Europe. There is no 24 hour drug store in Europe so I always bring a lot of cold medicine.

I hope you and Mrs D have a wonderful time. Europe is such a special place and I hope you enjoy all the beauty it has to offer.

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Old Dec 20th, 2006, 02:48 PM
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The only time I've ever had trouble finding something I needed was this October in Italy. I could not, for the life of me, find an inexpensive facial moisturizer with SPF protection. I got to scour the shelves of a lot of pharmacies & grocery stores, though!
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Old Dec 20th, 2006, 03:08 PM
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My daughter now lives in Italy and has mentioned that she can't find peanut butter (but Nutella should be a great substitute--I mix it WITH peanut butter here in US, yum!) Also--they do not sell antiperspirants, just plain deodorant. Another poster mentioned that antacids are hard to find. Splenda or Sweet and Low is not to be found, which may be a healthy idea. See the recent thread on bringing your favorite pillow; for some people it's a must. It was a surprise to hear from my daughter that she bought a Z-pack antibiotic (zythromycin) over the counter from pharmacist, and I also bought a product that was same as Tylenol with codeine, over the counter in Ireland, so I stocked up. If you are absolutely dedicated to your own brand products, by all means take them with you and feel happy to have them when you need or want them on Sunday or in the middle of the night. I always travel with Benadryl and Immodium, in case of the unexpected allergy or stomach distress. Good luck, you'll do just fine.
 
Old Dec 20th, 2006, 03:15 PM
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Thank you all for your replies. We don't use to much sugar products or any fake ones like Splenda or Sweet and low. Most of the hot things we drink are unsweetened (coffee&tea)
 
Old Dec 20th, 2006, 03:39 PM
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>nessundorma, I mean like favorite comfort items from home, like a certain brand of cigarettes or coffee/tea and bourbon! would you look for them or just buy what ever the local store offered?

If you are comforted by the brand name, by all means take them with you. If you can avoid it, pack light - this will make your travels much easier.

No idea about the Folgers coffee, but you will find dozens of sorts of instant coffee in any supermarket - whether they taste exactly like your favourite brand.. no idea... even the same brands may have a distinctively dfferent taste (like Coca-Cola which is made with glucose sirup in most European countries and with corn sirup in the USA - you can taste it)
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