The Best European Vacation Planning Tips
Planning your first trip to Europe can be both exciting and overwhelming. The interesting culture, scenic beauty and remarkable history of many tourist spots make them not just attractive but as if obligatory to be visited by anyone who goes to the continent.
No matter if you plan to have a long weekend in London, or an entire season traveling around in Euro rail, it’s better to pre-plan on what you need to carry in your bags so that you can make the most out of the journey and avoid unnecessary trouble last minute.
Knowing there are so many fantastic places to see in Europe, you would at least want to cover all the popular destinations that you’ve been hearing about since childhood. This means your trip will involve exposure to varying climates and cultural environments as you venture from country to country in a single round trip.
Either traveling solo or with your entire family can be a great way to destress from the pressures of everyday life. That’s why preparing a checklist and pre-planning your packing is more important than arranging for a tourist guide to accompany you. The more prepared you are, the more comfortable you would be to explore more places and enjoy to the max.
Related article: Your Simple Guide to 12 Zero Waste Travel Tips
Let’s talk about your travel clothing first. Frankly speaking, the climate in Europe is quite unpredictable, and varies widely across countries.
If you take a flight from Dublin to Southern Italy, for instance, you might feel like you just came to a different world. The best way to counter this while preparing your travel clothes is to choose convertible and layered outfits, so that it’s easy to adjust to climatic changes without having to keep on changing your clothes every other hour.
This is where all those DIYs come in handy that teach you more benefits from using less items.
A must-have for women would be those wrap pants that can be tied in different ways to suit different locations you’re at. You can make these into a mini beach skirt by folding and tying around the waist if you’re spending a sunny day at Cala Tonnarella in Sicily, Italy; or put them on as trousers for a comfy dress to wear in a hotel room anywhere.
Men can make use of those round trip convertible jackets that go with windy, sunny or even rainy weathers. If you’re visiting a museum on a rainy day, let’s say, you can pull up the hood when you’re out in the rain. After entering the museum, turn the hood into a collar and remove the sleeves to dry up faster.
Such convertible clothing will save a lot of space for other necessities in your luggage bags. You might want to carry socks, stockings, undergarments, and other items in access, as you never know when you get an impulse to venture to another randomly discovered place.
Remember you’d need to walk a lot in the cobblestone streets that many parts of Europe are famous for. Places like the Shambles in York, Columbia Road in London, and Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert in Brussels might look adorable in pictures, but require significant amount of energy and foot muscle strength to walk through in real.
Make sure you carry comfortable shoes that have plenty of cushion and support for your feet, preferably closed toe shoes that can be worn with socks. High heels and tight boots though might look pretty and tempting, will make your life difficult by tiring your feet too soon.
Instead of using fashionable footwear all the time, you can simply carry a spare pair of fancy sandals to wear to restaurants or hotels. After all, while you care about your comfort, you wouldn’t want to compromise too much on your fashion sense either.
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Some extra travel accessories always make long trips convenient and enjoyable.
- Universal adaptors would be a must to avoid your devices from running out of battery and leaving you disconnected from your favorite social media world.
- Binoculars are great for sightseeing and exploring long paths before reaching a certain spot.
- Non-BPA plastic water bottles will help you to drink water from public taps and public drinking fountains that are commonly available in many European cities.
- Sleep masks and travel pillows can come in handy if you need to rest while in public transport.
- Toiletry kits are always better to keep for emergencies.
- Thin and lightweight blankets will help you prevent catching a cold when you sleep.
- Money belts or pouches are useful for keeping your cash safe and avoiding theft or robbery.
- Headphones can let you enjoy your choice of music anywhere, anytime.
These are the kind of essentials that contribute a lot to having a relaxing and enjoyable journey, but not given much importance by many at the pre-planning phase of a vacation.
Once you have compiled everything you need to carry, the next step is to choose the kind of luggage bags you take. Wheeled bags are the best as they rid you of the burden to literally carry the weight of all your stuff.
For the most part of your travel in Europe, you’ll be able to use the larger bags that you have. So for hand-carry, consider a stylish travel backpack to stuff in all your essentials and leave room for any new shopping you might want to do on the way. If you are a minimalist traveler, you might consider traveling with just your backpack.
The multi-functioning convertible bags available nowadays are good for long round trips to multiple countries like this. They are spacious and your items can be layered up inside in a way that you can choose to take out in any order you like.
If you pack efficiently, you’d be on your way for a healthy, pleasant and rocking journey. Though everybody’s travel checklist will vary according to their personal taste, certain items like those suggested above are good to carry for all personality types.
After all, this is about your dream trip to Europe, and you wouldn’t want to mess it up just because of something that was crucial to you but you forgot to take it with you in the hassle of catching the flight.
What items are on your pre-planning vacation checklists? We would love to hear about them so share your ideas in a comment below.
These tips are very helpful! Definitely don’t want to forget the money pouch!
An add-on tip about the luggage bags… when choosing a wheeled bag, the ones where the wheels spin in all directions are much easier to maneuver than the ones with fixed wheels. And a friend of mind taught me a really handy trick. If you push your luggage bag along in front of you at the airport, rather than pulling it behind you, people will move out of your way, making it easier to move about in busy crowds. She said, “people are scared of your bag, but they’re not scared of YOU!” haha. Give it a try, it works! 😉
I LOVE your tip about pushing the wheeled bag in front of you!! I’m going to try it next month for myself!
I just started planning my first trip to Europe. I had no idea what I was doing till I read your article.
Thank you for useful tips
I’m so glad you found Tiffany’s article useful! She’s great guest writer and her articles are always informative.