Some think that the hardest thing when we travel is the moment when we prepare our baggage. Lots of people list all the items some weeks before the journey and fulfill the tasks one by one. I used to “travel app myself”. But I have not already been doing it so often as I consider myself a very experienced tourist & adventurer who knows what to take and where to put it in the suitcase. And here are my humble travel pieces of advice when you plan a trip to some of the cities and islands of Europe.
The first and most important items that should be packed before a planned trip are the travel documents (Identity Card, International Passport, Visa(s), etc.) as well as other documents such as airplane tickets, credit/debit cards, insurances and health insurance cards, driving licenses, etc. Then don’t forget to obtain local currency and even some Euros in advance. It is useful for paying in cash for small items, gifts & food.
For sure, you will take some high-tech devices and appliances with you like a digital camera, mobile phone, laptop and tablet and you will need to charge them during your vacation. Normally, European electrical outlet adapter for the European socket is needed for small appliances that run on 220V. But please, have in mind that the main voltage in the United Kingdom, Cyprus and Malta, for instance, is specified at 230V. They operate on their own unique 3 pronged outlets. So, bring one if your trip includes these countries.
In the next place, medical supplies are not needed during the stay in big cities and on islands. It is possible to buy local brands. On the other hand, hospitals in big cities and Health Centres in islands’ capitals can be contacted in case of any health problems. Principally, at some drug’s stores and pharmacies advice for minor health problems could be obtained as well. However, all prescription medications for allergies and other diseases of certain brands are a must-bring no matter there are plenty of drug’s stores all over the city. Some countries don’t do international shipment of medication that much.
What else? Ear Plugs … Ear Plugs might be of help to light sleepers because big cities, especially to the South and in the peak seasons, are too noisy. There are people on the streets in the early morning hours largely due to the fact that city’s nightlife starts and finishes late for locals and tourists alike. Let us take a few examples. Party places are Bairro Alto, Baixa, Belém, Chiado, Parque das Nações in Lisbon, whole Barcelona and Athens. Unlike them the nightlife of Paris and London ends early, at about 2 am, principally.
Hmmm …. To have a travel umbrella and a plastic poncho never hurts. They may come in handy in the “rainy and wet season”. As far as Paris is concerned, the weather might be a little bit unpredictable and short showers are common all through the year. As to London, rain is able to come on in an instant. That’s why a travel umbrella in the handbag is a must during all seasons.
Don’t forget a pair of dark sunglasses, sunscreen, after-sun cream, scarves and a hat. They should be always in hand no matter it comes to a walk around the city, doing shopping or sunbathing on the closely located sandy beach. The sun of Southern countries like Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece, Cyprus, is very heavy, especially in summer months.
Last but not least, a good, comfortable and trendy handbag and a purse for all necessary belongings and documents is a must. Is it necessary to mention that they must always be held in front because of the numerous pickpockets everywhere, especially in tourist spots and on the metro?
If you have already packed all of the above mentioned things, you should think over what clothes you should take with you on your vacation. So, stop for a while and think about … what you will wear … what the place is … what the weather is at the place where you going. Then decide what clothes to take with you. Of course, clothes which also have to be alla moda and comfy. 😉