Knowing what to add to your packing list can make or break your holiday. While we can buy what we need on location it’s often good to know what you may need ahead of time. Here are some handy pointers:
Packing List: Clothes
Europe generally has a more formal culture than Australia and New Zealand and it’s therefor good to pack some formal wear such as a smart suit jacket/black dress for such occasions. Some top-of-the-line restaurants will insist that men wear ties and that your footwear is up to standard.
On the subject of shoes, every shoe has a purpose. It’s good to add some walking shoes to your packing list as well as some dress shoes to go with your suit jacket/dress. Lightweight canvas shoes are also great for beachwear.
Your choice of jacket is a critical. Europe is known for its extreme climates and therefore you will want something lightweight that is both waterproof and windproof. Unlike Australia and New Zealand jackets are seen as more of a fashion statement than a practical utility, so you may want to leave your Swanndri back at the farm.
Scarf’s are common attire for both men and women throughout Europe. This is great because they are both cheap and lightweight. They not only keep you warm but are also a great way to change your appearance from formal to informal and vice versa.
Packing List: Travel Gadgets
If you plan to visit any tourism centres it can be a good idea to have a money belt at the top of your packing list. Pickpockets are a real threat in such crowded centres and tourists are the target. If you have a money belt your cash and personal belongings are far safer than in a hand bag or in your pocket. Money belts can be bought at any airport and most pharmacies will sell them too.
Although you will have access to water at your accommodation, you will want to have some handy when you’re on the go (especially if you’re part of a tour group). There are many reasons for this; climate change can affect the body, lack of access to water in remote locations, and physical exercise all contribute to this. I once spent three days unwell in my bed due to climate change and dehydration. It’s not worth it.
A pen and paper will serve you well in many circumstances. Use it to scribble thoughts, memories and ideas, as well as directions, foreign phrases, and reminders. The great thing about such simple utensils is that they don’t run out of battery or require a charger!
Lonely Planet Phrase Book
Because Europe has so many languages it’s impossible to learn them all. Including a Lonely Planet phrase book as part of your packing list will help you learn at least the very basics. Decide on which countries you will spend most of your time in and learn simple phrases such as “I am from New Zealand” and “where is the hotel?”
If you are planning to visit multiple countries you may want to buy a universal power adaptor. These contraptions will have multiple shaped prongs and forks to ensure that wherever you go you’ll have a power supply for your electronic devices.