- Category: Travel Tips
Less is more
You’ve just arrived at the train station in Florence and realised the hostel you’re booked into is a 2 km walk away. The sun is boiling and you’re feeling delicate from the previous night – this is the moment you’ll wish you hadn’t stuffed so much into your suitcase.
By packing only the things you really need, you’ll have less to carry around, less to worry about and more room at the end of your trip to fill up on souvenirs and gifts to take back home. You’ll also feel less vulnerable and more comfortable getting around by foot with a smaller and lighter bag. Read our space-saving packing tips:
- Use a small bag/case. Whatever the size of your suitcase or backpack, you'll manage to fill it to up with little trouble. By using a small/medium-sized bag you'll be restricted by the amount you can fit in!
- Take multi-purpose items. If you're a bit creative, you'll find some of the things you take have various uses. For example: Dental floss can be used for drying clothes, shampoo doubles up as shower gel and washing detergent, and a sarong also makes a good beach towel.
- Share your stuff. If you're traveling in a group, why not share your things. Swap books with your friends or with other travel buddies you meet on your journey. For girls, take one hair dryer between you and share each other's clothes when you get bored of your own stuff.
- Go electronic. If you expect to be glued to a book for a significant part of your trip, an e-reader is for you – lighter and slimmer than a book, there's no need to lug heavy books around. Store thousands of e-books on one small device.
Don't leave home without...
When you set out on your European trip there are some handy items you can pack to make life easier. Check out our list of things you shouldn't set off without:
The best type is the one you can attach to your forehead as it frees up your hands. You'll find a flashlight useful when you're stumbling back to your dorm late at night and your room mates are fast asleep – they won't appreciate you turning the light on.
When there are no shower facilities available to you, wet wipes will provide a short term solution.
If you're staying in a hostel in Europe, you'll want to secure your stuff – many hostels offer you a locker. In most cases padlocks are not provided, so you'll need your own (sometimes you can hire one for a couple of euros). Combination locks are better as you don't need to keep a key safe.
Necessary if you want to charge any electronic items. The plug types vary in Europe so a 'universal' adaptor is best – in most of Europe a two-pronged plug is standard, but in Great Britain for example, a three-pronged plug is used.
Very useful for when you have to get up for those early morning trains or tours. You might not always be able to rely on the alarm clock on your mobile phone (hostel dorms often have limited plug sockets to charge from) so having a separate alarm clock is a good idea.
Use these resealable bags for all kinds of things: to protect your passport from getting wet or to store toiletries that could leak into your bag.
First aid kit:
You just never know when you or a fellow traveler might become wounded or fall victim to a stomach upset. Include additional items in your First Aid kit that you think might be useful, including an ample supply of band-aid.
Photocopies of important documents:
Take photocopied versions of all your important papers, such as you passport and insurance documents. Store these documents in a plastic folder and pack in a different location to the originals.