Tuesday, November 29, 2011

How To Pack For a Europe Trip

So...Europe is really gonna happen! MUWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! After the approval of my Schengen visa, I floated back to the office grinning ear to ear. Once I sat down back in my desk, I knew that I had to move fast to do all the work delegations that I postponed. I had to book rail tickets. I had to book the tours. I had to buy Euros. And most of all, I had to pack! Since I only had three days left before I fly out, this was a nerve wracking experience for me.

I already researched about the recommended packing list for backpackers and customized it accordingly for me:

Backpack vs. Wheeled Luggage. Since I was doing Europe on a budget, I thought a backpack would make me a more “authentic” backpacker. I bought a new Sandugo Ascent 40 backpack for Php 2,100 (it was on 20% off sale) for this trip. Wrong choice. I packed the backpack to its full potential without any thought that I would be shopping alond the way. Good thing I had access to a medium sized luggage in my next city. For my next Europe trip, I’ll ditch the backpack.

The backbreakers:



Fab outfits for layering. I got advice from a forum that the best way to pack for warm and cold weather is to layer the clothes. This is to avoid bringing bulky coats. I’d love a picture with a trenchcoat but I’d be in Europe during its post-summer/pre-autumn season so it is not so practical to bring and buy heavy coats.

I have my own inner kikayness. I have to say “fab” outfits because I care how I look like in pictures. Hello! Europe to no. This is my ultimate dream trip. I want to look fab and not drab. I wanna look at the pictures after couple of years and remember my fabulousness. I am a pack rat. I can’t pack light. I really try to every time I travel but, but...nah.

Enough underwear. Of course. I still showered and change my underwear everyday.  Hygiene will not be compromised! For girls, I suggest you bring nipple tapes because bras take up too much space.

Light sleepwear. A couple of shirts will do. I brought 5, I would have survived with 3 only. Since you will be sleeping, you won’t be sweating as bad. If you are staying at a hostel like I did, bring a presentable shirt. Something that you can wear to breakfast and

Travel towel. Bought a microfiber towel for Php 1,190. It really works! Light and dries up quickly. A good investment.

Camera. Since my beloved Canon Ixus 75 of three years conked out during my trip in Biri, I had to buy another camera for this trip. I am not an SLR-person so I bought Canon S95 – a pretty good point and shoot with some manual features.

Memory Card. You can bring extra memory cards and/ or you can bring a portable hard drive and just transfer the pictures in the hard drive as you go along the trip. You can befriend you roommate and borrow her laptop so that you can transfer your pics – something I learned during my hosteling experience.

Laptop. I had to bring my bulky 13.3” laptop which weighs about 5,000 tons. It was my first time traveling alone so I had to communicate with my family and the world that I am alive.  

Money belt – NOT a fanny pack. I kept my passport, credit card and money here. You can lose everything else except this money belt. I wore this underneath my clothes, next to skin. You only take this off when you shower.Costs Php 700 in The Travel Club.

Day pack/totepack. Where you keep your day’s money, snack, water, tickets and other stuff you carry around.

Socks. Three thick pairs will do.

ATM. Money. Credit Card. Moolah.

Hat/beret. I only brought one so this is my only headgear throughout the entire trip. Useful and completes the outfit!

Passport and valid IDs. I kept a scanned copy of my passport and other documents and stored it in my email. A photocopy is kept in my backpack left at the hostel.

Walking shoes/boots. I exerted effort in choosing which shoes will be the best. I ended up with Merell, not because of reviews but because... I just want one but they are kinda pricey. This is the perfect excuse to buy one.

Slippers. For the bathroom.

Mp3 player with earphones. For that long airplane ride and waiting time.

Contact list of your family members
Contact information of Philippine embassies in Europe.

Universal adapter. Got one for Php 300+ at the hardware store.

First aid kit. Bring one even if you won’t use it.
Sewing kit. A must.
Swiss knife. I just borrowed one. Remember to check this is with your luggage when flying.

Laundry detergent. One sachet will do.

Cellphone. Open-line. If you want. Comes in handy if you want to call some shops locally. Also works as a calculator and alarm clock.
                                                        
Gloves. Bought carpenter’s gloves in homeworld. Ditched them at the first opportunity and bought new ones.
                                                        
Umbrella.  

Journal and pen
  
Toiletries. Shampoo, soap, deodorant. 
Facial Stuff. sunblock, facial sunblock, lipbalm 
Other accessories:Finger nail clippers, tweezers

You will survive without your whole make-up kikay kit. I only brought a the bare essentials (foundation & blush) and I didn’t use them.


Essentials in a hostel:
Locks for the locker

Clothesline/rope. I’ve read plenty of travel lists containing these. The clothesline will be used if you want to hang your stuff inside the room. I didn’t use mine though and I just conceded to hanging my stuff...on the chair, the headboard, etc.

Inflatable neck pillow.
Eyeshade. Very important.
Ear plugs. Very important. Your mp3 player will also suffice.
Small flashlight or headlamp.
Small amount of duct tape. Real plenty of uses for this. But I didn’t use it.                         

Some hostels have a laundry machine that charge a minimal fee.  In a hostel where I did laundry, the washing costs 3 euros and drying costs another 3 euros.


Packing tips:
  • TRY to pack light. Really try. I really tried. But I am just a pack-rat.
  • Don’t but clothes here to use there. Buy there. Some would think it is expensive when you convert those EUR price tags to PHP. I only bought clothes below 20 euros =which is approximately Php 1,200. These are decent clothes. And it is really nice to shop in their shop. Then again, this is a girl talking. :P
  • You do not need your make-up stash. I got by with my facial sunblock just fine.
  • Bring heels if you can walk in them for hours and hours. If you are gonna use new shoes, make sure to break that pair before your travel. 
  • If you are traveling alone, it is crucial to have almost everything and not forget anything. No one else will be there you lend you something. Of course, befriending a fellow traveler is an option. 

3 comments:

  1. where did you book your rail tickets online?

    ReplyDelete
  2. I used the websites of DbBahn (Amsterdam to Cologne) and Trenitalia (for intra-Europe trains).

    ReplyDelete
  3. Your tips about Rail Tickets Online Bookings is really good... thanks...

    ReplyDelete

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