for travel to Europe:
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(Tips for Packing for Asia, South America and the Middle East coming soon!)
Important items to pack in your carry-on baggage:
Travel documents provided by your travel agent
Cash or Debit Card to use ATM
Credit Card (bring a back up, just in case!)
Driver’s License - even if you are not planning to drive a car, some tourist sites require a photo ID and you should not utilize your passport for this purpose in case of theft
Medical insurance card and travel insurance policy information
Cell phone and charger
Laptop computer or tablet and charger
Prescription medication – never pack prescription medications in your checked bag, always carry it with you. You must have your prescription information along with it. Some narcotics are illegal outside of the U.S. – check with the state department for more information about your destination.
Valuables - if you are traveling with electronic devices, jewelry, watches, expensive handbags or sunglasses, you will want to carry these with you into the cabin, do not put expensive items in your checked luggage.
“Night 1” essentials - if you have a connecting flight, you may want to include your pjs, toiletries for your night time routine and a change of clothes in your carry-on, just in case your checked bag does not arrive at your destination at the same time as you do!
When packing liquids in your cabin baggage, you’ll need to follow the 3-1-1 rule per TSA.
If you are traveling with young children, refer to TSA’s policies on milk, formula and juice.
Attire for Tours:
COMFORTABLE walking shoes are a must for navigating cobbled streets and walking tours for men, women and children. If you are planning to rent an ATV or Segway, you will be required to wear closed toe shoes.
If you are traveling during the summer within most of Europe, lightweight clothing is essential - think summer attire!
In the winter, your climate may call for anything from a light jacket to a full winter coat - talk to your agent if you need guidance
Dress codes for visiting churches are strictly enforced - if you are visiting the Vatican or other cathedrals, both men and women must be covered to below the knee and tank tops/spaghetti straps are not permitted (no bare shoulders!). You do not have to cover your head but you can use a scarf or wrap to cover your shoulders. Not following this dress code will result in denied entry!
A small travel purse or a cross body bag is recommended - large purses are not always allowed into tourist sites and pickpockets are common! Leave your valuables in the hotel safe and take only the essentials out with you, both during the day and night.
Sunscreen and After-Sun Lotion
Lip Balm with SPF
*No need to bring a pool towel – you can use the hotel provided linens
Other items beyond clothing:
Over the Counter Medications - optional, pain killers, band-aids, stomach pain relievers - these will be expensive when you arrive
Steamer or wrinkle release spray - not all cities permit hotels to provide irons in guest rooms. Pack a small steamer (use with your power adapter!) or a bottle of wrinkle release spray if you don’t want to use the hotel’s pressing service
If you are planning to pack heated hair styling tools like a straightener or curling iron, plan to use them (with your power adapter) on the lowest heat setting. European electrical current is stronger than in the US and it will increase the heat running through your styling tools - no one wants fried hair on vacation!
**Toiletries – most resorts provide shampoo and conditioner, lotion and soap/shower gel
Items you should not pack:
Firearms or weapons - these violate TSA policy and you will not be permitted to board
Marijuana – drugs are illegal in some parts of Europe (even medical marijuana) and you will not be permitted to take it in to your destination
Hairdryer - most hotels will provide a hairdryer. Due to the strength of the electrical current in Europe vs. the US, your hairdryer may not survive the trip!
Your pet – unless you have already cleared this with your agent or it is a service animal and the airline has already been notified