What to bring???????

May 10th, 1999, 02:29 PM
  #1  
sandy
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What to bring???????

Other than the obvious is there anything else I need to bring to Europe? Is there anything particulary hard to get overseas? Is there anything when you got there you said, "Darn, I wish I would have brought______?"
 
May 10th, 1999, 02:45 PM
  #2  
Diane
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Bring an extra measure of Patience. It will improve how you are treated, and in return make your trip much more enjoyable. Smile, listen carefully, and realise how lucky you are to be there.
 
May 10th, 1999, 02:58 PM
  #3  
elaine
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also extra film, it's expensive in Europe.

If you do a Search on this site for
"pack" you may locate the many previous threads on this and related subjects.
There was one recently along the lines of "what item would you absolutely take with you."
 
May 10th, 1999, 02:59 PM
  #4  
sandy
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Diane, thanks. Your advice is just as good for home or abroad.
 
May 10th, 1999, 07:33 PM
  #5  
Dave
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Lately, some 'posters' have also mentioned wash cloth's, GOOD maps, and 'disposable' (soft) pillows.
 
May 10th, 1999, 08:47 PM
  #6  
lynn
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Hi Sandy -

Patience is a must. And so much smiling, you'll feel like a contestant on Miss Universe. Smiles disarm most people and are non-threatening. They go a long way when the language barriers pop up.

As far as "things" to take. Lots of film is a good idea. We take tons. I have a packing list that I always refer to when getting ready for a trip. Most things are available in some form over there but there are those certain items you just feel more comfortable about when you bring your own and you know they're handy. For us, these include aspirin, tums, pepcid, and plastic baggies (couple different sizes, they often come in handy). I also bring an envelope or pouch for keepsake receipts and restaurant stubs, if you just toss them around they get lost very easily. Another thing I love to bring is a small pocket-sized tape recorder. They keep getting smaller and smaller and are very handy for "keeping (or speaking) notes" on your trip. I would keep it in my purse or at the room and record 2 or 3 times a day what the time was and what we were doing and had just done. You'd be amazed at how easy it is for things to start blending together when you get back. I always type out my tape within a week of return so I remember as much as possible. Then, it really helps when I'm sorting pictures. I can very easily put them in order the way the trip unfolded.

One more thing, make sure you have photo copies of all official documents in a separate place from your passport. Copy passport, airline tickets/itinerary, hotel confirmations. You never know!

Happy Traveling
 
May 11th, 1999, 12:47 AM
  #7  
Maira
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Sandy, Lynn's list is pretty encompasing and has a lot of great tips. I think small ziploc (plastic) bags are good to take (store the receipts, keep used films from new ones), etc... I also take a set of binoculars, an extra set of replacement batteries for camera, a spare tote bag etc...
 
May 11th, 1999, 05:56 AM
  #8  
anne
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The graffiti board on Rick Steves site has a lot of good packing tips -check it out!
 
May 11th, 1999, 06:47 AM
  #9  
Kimberley
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Hi, just a comment about the statement that film is expensive in Europe... while I would definitely agree that film (like so many other things) can be much more expensive, this isn't necessarily something to stress about. I actually developed a few rolls in Venice (typically a very expensive city) in a one-hour photo shop on the rialto bridge. Not only wasn't it more expensive than one hour developing at home, each roll I developed came with a free new roll of film. I guess you can't count on something like that, and if you're really concerned , just bring it...my point is just that you won't necessarily pay three times the price if you forget or run out. KK
 
May 11th, 1999, 07:02 AM
  #10  
cheryl
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Pocket-sized packages of Kleenex. I make sure that we have them in our jacket pockets as well as my purse. Public restrooms seem to always be out of TP (here in the US, as well as Europe!)
 
May 11th, 1999, 08:28 AM
  #11  
cherie
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I am both totally nuts and a former Girl Scout so here's my usual packing list (not including clothes) for any trip even in US: Swiss Army knife(,ust have cork screw and scissors), sewing kit, small kleenex pkgs, toilet paper without the core (abroad only), buillon cubes (if you feel ill & want to stay in hotel they're a life saver), instant coffee & tea bags (for lazy morning), film & camera, etc., drip-dry hanger-clips, soap, pad or post-its & pens, deck of cards for the kids, emery boards, flash light, candle & matches. I also take along my Rx (glasses) in case I break mine (its happened and was a life-saver), I photocopy my passport and my families all onto one sheet and keep it separate from the real ones in case of theft. I only take the major credit cards and leave any extraneous ones behind. The only time I wished I had something was in Prague when I wanted to put my hair up and they didn't sell HairPins. It became silly because they didn't have any in the city and one boutique would suggest another store, etc., until I gave up. It wasn't exactly going to make my evening; it was simply something unexpected.
 
May 11th, 1999, 11:10 AM
  #12  
elaine
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As long as we're getting more comprehensive, here are some of my "must takes"
small umbrella
"Streetwise" maps for each of the major
cities I'm visiting
pre-numbered plastic film cannisters, so
I will know that the first roll of film I finish goes in cannister #1,etc. When I develop the rolls I write that same number somewhere on the envelope so I can identify my pictures in chrono. order
travel alarm clock
a small notebook and a pen for my travel
diary (or the microrecorder already mentioned). The pen in either case.
a list of the names, addresses, and phone numbers of the people I want to call or write to
My phone card, with instructions on how to use it in Europe
Extra luggage tags in case mine are lost or break off
An extra foldable nylon tote bag that weighs nothing, folds into a very small size, and can be used for any new treasures I bring home with me on the plane
bandaids for cuts and blisters
analgesic of choice in a purse container or baggie
more socks than I think I'll need
A large bottle of water for the plane ride
I also have a lightweight pair of small binoculars that I have loved using to get a better look at paintings, frescoes, etc that are high on walls or ceilings
Also before I go I change the batteries (unless I've very recently done it already) in watches,travel clock,camera.
plug adapters and a current transformer if needed for any appliance I take
Yes, and a washcloth that has its own plastic baggie
extra small photos if needed for
transit passes (e g London) or emergency passport replacement, along with the aforementioned photocopies of the important passport pages
driver's license
It sounds like a lot but none of them weigh very much.


 
May 11th, 1999, 11:11 AM
  #13  
elaine
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As long as we're getting more comprehensive, here are some of my "must takes"
small umbrella
"Streetwise" maps for each of the major
cities I'm visiting
pre-numbered plastic film cannisters, so
I will know that the first roll of film I finish goes in cannister #1,etc. When I develop the rolls I write that same number somewhere on the envelope so I can identify my pictures in chrono. order
travel alarm clock
a small notebook and a pen for my travel
diary (or the microrecorder already mentioned). The pen in either case.
a list of the names, addresses, and phone numbers of the people I want to call or write to
My phone card, with instructions on how to use it in Europe
Extra luggage tags in case mine are lost or break off
An extra foldable nylon tote bag that weighs nothing, folds into a very small size, and can be used for any new treasures I bring home with me on the plane
bandaids for cuts and blisters
analgesic of choice in a purse container or baggie
more socks than I think I'll need
A large bottle of water for the plane ride
I also have a lightweight pair of small binoculars that I have loved using to get a better look at paintings, frescoes, etc that are high on walls or ceilings
Also before I go I change the batteries (unless I've very recently done it already) in watches,travel clock,camera.
plug adapters and a current transformer if needed for any appliance I take
Yes, and a washcloth that has its own plastic baggie
extra small photos if needed for
transit passes (e g London) or emergency passport replacement, along with the aforementioned photocopies of the important passport pages
driver's license
It sounds like a lot but none of them weigh very much.


 
May 11th, 1999, 12:50 PM
  #14  
lisa
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It depends on where you're going. On the Greek island of Poros several years ago I was dismayed that the only towels available in our hotel were very small, (slightly larger than hand towels) and very thin (the weight of dish towels) -- there were no bath towels at all. We asked about it and were told that those were the only kind available on the entire island. In checking around at several shops, it appeared to be true! But elsewhere in Europe I have found it easy to get everything I needed (except ice -- too bad that doesn't pack well!). Rick Steves points out that you shouldn't bring too much extra stuff -- sometimes the experience of shopping in another country for something like toothpaste or soap, etc. can be fun and part of the cultural experience. Although I agree that you should always bring lots of plastic ziploc bags -- good for everything from storing leftover food to packing wet bathing suits. And obviously be sure to bring anything that you really *need* like medicine. Another thing I bring and always end up using are band-aids or moleskin for taking care of those blisters you'll develop from all the walking you do. Some hotels lack sink or bathtub stoppers, and a small round rubber ball or flat rubber circle (like the kind many people use for opening jars) can come in handy for that. I always like to bring a bottle opener/corkscrew and a swiss army knife (with scissors and tweezers) which comes in handy for those wine-and-cheese picnics. A collapsable cup (sold in drugstores) comes in handy as well.
 
May 11th, 1999, 05:06 PM
  #15  
Chris
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Aside from all the great suggestions you've gotten, I have to add what I think is THE most important - good, comfortable walking shoes! I purchased gore-tex walking/hiking boots from LL Bean and was so happy I did! We walked miles everywhere, everyday in all weather - rain, even snow. They were super comfortable, supportive and the goretex kept my feet dry in inclement weather.
The other must mentioned that I highly recommend is the extra foldable totes bag! Just slip it in your luggage and it will be vital to carrying all those unforseeable treasures you find and have to have! It's real expensive to ship on the economy ($20 or more!), so the ability to carry it is great. Just beware of not overpacking prior to leaving because your load WILL get bigger as you go along and it gets rough hauling that stuff around particularly on and off the trains! Which, by the way, the train stations have no ramps, elevators, or escalators, so you're hand carrying your gear up and down stairs alot! Have a great trip!
 
May 11th, 1999, 07:20 PM
  #16  
Mary Ann
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Sandy: All the above is great advice. I do not think I saw two things that helped us. Shout spots and little packages of moist towlettes to carry in purse or pocket. The shout spots are great when you are in the middle of no where (and planning to recycle clothes) and drip something. Of course on picnics they both come in handy.
 
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