Summer in Europe: packing survival guide
I was recently contacted by a TravelLiveLearn.com reader who is excited to be touring Europe this summer with our fab mates from Expat Explore. As it’s her first time on tour in Europe in the summer, she was keen to know what she should take, and she was confused by the plethora of information available on the Internet. Being that this seemed like a valid travel query, I’ve decided to post my answer and suggestions here for anyone else lucky enough to be touring through Europe in 2013 (bliss!).
Summer tour packing tips:
- High heels are not required. You definitely do need flip flops, comfortable walking shoes (there’s LOTS of walking which is fine, but you need comfy, supportive shoes that aren’t too worn), and one other pair of casual type shoes that will double for if you go out or want to wear something different to dinner – I’d suggest an easy-going, pretty pair of wedges or mid heels – an ‘all rounder’ kind of shoe. Regarding clothes and shoes, you will find that you wear the same things over and over, and a lot of the items you pack ‘just in case’ (eg. high heels, a pretty shirt that you don’t wear often, a new skirt…), you won’t wear at all. It will be hot, so think of what you feel most comfortable in when you’re at home in summer – that’s what you end up wearing all the time!
- Regarding medications, obviously if you have a particular condition (eg. asthma), be prepared. Perhaps buy a packet of travel sickness tablets in case you get motion sickness from the coach or plane. If you’re in any way unsure if you get sick while travelling, get some to have on hand – always better to be prepared, and these are generally sold over the counter in pharmacies. I would always also bring a packet of paracetamol, non-drowsy antihistamines (eg. Zyrtec or cheaper generic brand), a pack of Nurofen (Ibuprofen), and not that we needed it, but I always carry something for diarrhea. Ladies, if you tend towards urinary tract problems, it’s probably a good idea to take Ural sachets (or similar), just in case. I’d also suggest taking a multivitamin with you (or Berocca), to keep your immune system up to speed. They’re exciting but long days.
- You will also need a good sun cream (for face and body) – essential! – and perhaps insect repellent is a good idea too.
- Prescription medicinals – Chat to your doctor in advance regarding any potential issues with health, anxiety, sleeping or illness, and make sure any prescription medication is properly labelled.
- Pack light! Start a list before you go that only includes what you would wear in the summer you’re used to. Leave room in your bags, because you’ll want to stock up on food and alcohol at supermarkets along the way – trust me, this is the cheapest and most efficient way, especially if you’ve already invested a fortune in your trip already for example, if you’ve had to fork out for an airfare from the other side of the world to get to Europe/UK in the first place.
- Another reason to pack light – it’s cheap enough to buy various season-appropriate clothes on the road, and let’s face it, you’ll be going shopping anyway (it’s half the fun)! Pack your comfiest shorts/skirts/tshirts – this is what you’ll live in. I am not a shorts person, but I think 90% of days on the road I lived in a denim skirt, t-shirt or singlet, hat, walking shoes and socks. All the other rubbish I had in my bag was just annoying to carry around! Also you won’t need jeans I don’t think – it’s too hot at that time of year, and they’re heavy. Pack a light cardigan or long-sleeved shirt, but remember, you can layer with singlets and t-shirts if it’s at all chilly anywhere (which I doubt it will be).
Enjoy the summer! If you have other packing tips for travelling Europe please do share, either in the comments below, or find us at Facebook.com/TravelLiveLearn or Tweet @sarahblinco.
If you’re considering a trip with Expat Explore, read about our first-hand experience HERE (we had a blast!).