My guides are slanted towards where to find a place to wash your underwear and where to find internet access. Why? Because I am not smart enough to write a real guide and you don’t want to smell like some of your fellow travelers do you? As for the internet it’s always nice to have email so you can brag to all your friends about what a great time you are having. Or you can do stuff like email your previous hotel and ask if you left your car keys there. Nope never done that. Never!
Stuff I would bring on any trip. Chances are it’s a lot more than you would. So here’s my list and the reasons behind the extra stuff.
TP: No explanation really needed but it sure sucks to run out after eating some exotic food. Really nice if you have the soft stuff from home too. You’ll know I am a sensitive guy and so is my derriere.
Flashlight: When your wife tries one of those power converters for her hair dryer and blows out the power in the entire hotel it’s nice to be able to find your way down the dark halls and stairs to the front desk to ask why the power went out. Also cool for night walks on the beach.
GPS Device – Sucks when you rent a car and have no map or you have a map and it sucks. Lots of curves and confusing streets. While not a necessity it will save you time driving and finding places like a recommended restaurants. I like most of the products TomTom offers.
Water Bottle – Nalgene hard plastic type. Great to reduce your large spring water bottle or just fill from the local tap if you trust it.
Laptop – If you Non-Rev “Fly for free” because you are lucky enough to work for one of America’s great airlines a laptop is really helpful when you are trying to find a way home or make last minute hotel reservations from the gate as you are assigned a seat.
Sharpie – Maybe you want to label some stuff. Maybe your travel partners head after too much drinking.
Dr. Feelgood Kit: Pack your small amounts of your favorite medicine. Pain relievers, Imodium AD, vitamins, cold medicin, etc. Some of this stuff can’t be purchase without a prescription abroad.
Stuff Not to Worry About: Shampoo, soap, toothpaste, sun screen. Believe it or not at least in Europe, Canada, and Mexico they have stores similar to what we have in the US. You might even be able to purchase some of your favorite brands. So you are worried about having some larger than what is allowed to carry-on in the US just buy it when you get to your destination. We have even packed some of the wrong type of clothes because the weather changed. Well that just give you a chance to purchase your favorite “Hey I was here” t-shirt.
Chances are if you stay more than a week you will have to do laundry. This really applies to those that non-rev and have to wear nice clothes to get on board the planes. Here is my typical “spring” packing list for Europe:
1 – Light breathable rain jacket. I prefer what REI sells with zippers under the arm for breathing room
1 – Fleece vest or light jacket. Vest if preferred because it easily fits under the jacket
1 – Hat or baseball cap
2 – Pairs of jeans
2 – Long sleeve shirts
2 – Pairs of shorts
1 – pair of sleeping shorts or workout shorts
2 – white undershirts (wearing one on flights)
2 – Collared short sleeve shirts (wearing one on flights)
4 – T-shirts
1 – Pair dress slacks or “Dockers” (wearing on flight)
2 – Pairs of shoes one walking/hiking type add flip flops or something similar if you can fit it
6 – Pairs of underwear
6 – Pairs of socks
1 – Small umbrella