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FREE CHECKLIST for 1st. Timers
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Dear First Timers,
This is a checklist for those Eurailing through Europe and staying in hostels.
Most Americans overpack!
NOTE: This list is just a rough draft.
Subject to personal opinions/preference, budget, etc.

If you take everything on this list,
YOU HAVE PACKED TOO MUCH CRAP!

If you take everything on this list,
YOU HAVE PACKED TOO MUCH CRAP!

If you take everything on this list,
YOU HAVE PACKED TOO MUCH CRAP!

Trust me! You will see travelers that have 40 – 50 pounds of crap on their back for 2 weeks of travel. You will be laughing at them! Don’t be one of them or we will laugh at you!

Your pack should NOT weigh over 25 pounds for summer travel
if staying in hostels and hotels!
GO LIGHTPACK for 7 – 10 Days –
Mix and match your outfits.
Do laundry when needed!
Ask yourself if it is worth lugging around for 1,2 or 3 months and only use it once or twice or just buy it there if needed!

Passport. Plan ahead, takes 6 – 8 weeks!
Visas, if needed. (Verify well in advance).
Credit Card.*
ATM Card.*
Traveler’s Checks.* Too Expensive.
Do NOT bring U.S. cash. Wait till you land in Europe and get cash from ATM machine at airport. ATM machines are everywhere!
(hide PIN numbers in fake address labels -in case you forget them
NOTE: a 4 digit pin number required)
**Call your bank and ask for information on using your Credit Card and ATM card in Europe. Get a phone number (on back) that you can call collect in case card is lost or stolen or stopped working.
CIRRUS, PLUS & VISA is everywhere throughout Europe.
Ask your bank about services charges and currency conversion fees on your Credit Card & ATM. Also NON-BANK ATM WITHDRAWL FEES.
Make copies of account numbers and important phone numbers and leave with your parents and a best friend.
Money belt or Neck pouch with zippers.
Calculator – credit card size.(Optional)
Currency Cheet Sheets "travelers cheat sheets" at www.oanda.com Makes for easy conversion so you don’t get ripped off.

Airline Ticket. GO Ticketless with confirmation code to avoid high fees if you lost the air ticket.
Bus or Train Pass.
International Student I.D.(optional)
H.I. Hostel Card.(optional)
Trip/Medical Insurance details & phone numbers.
Guide book, maps, hostel list, hot tips, etc.
Check out www.accessamerica.co… and www.travelguard.com

Journal, glue stick, tape, small scissors.
(place in ziploc bag)
Address book or computer labels for postcards.
Notepad and pens. (pens go in a ziploc bag in case they leak)

Backpack /Travel luggage.
Daypack (carry it with you at all times)
Rain jacket (for rainy or cool days in the Alps)
Umbrella (small & collapsible).99cents at .99 cent stores.

Wristwatch.
Alarm clock – travel size.
Camera & plenty of film or memory cards. Place film canisters in a large ziploc freezer bag for protection.
NEW Fresh battery for camera.
Small flashlight with new batteries.
Sunglasses (2 very CHEAP pairs)
Pocket Knife – may wait till Europe and get one engraved with your name and year on it in Switzerland.
BATHING SUIT
Sweater or thermal top or light sweatshirt.
Shirts
Pants & belt. (2 max) Dockers or kacky pair.
*(Jeans are heavy and take long time to dry out but they also don’t show dirt after a week of wear)
Skirt / dress
Shorts walking & sleeping shorts.
Underwear (6-10)
Socks (6-10)
Shoes – casual/needed for dancing, churches & museums.
NO high heels or Hooker boots. Be pratical.
Shoes – tennis – You may walk up to 10 miles per day.
Break new shoes in before the trip.
Sandals – for shower, cheap .99 cents at Rite-Aid or drug stores.
(use caution when wearing sandals in showers, floors are very slippery!! One fall can ruin your whole vacation!

Toiletries Kit.
You do NOT need everything on this list.
You do NOT need everything on this list.
You do NOT need everything on this list.

Many items you can purchase over there when needed.
(**You have to carry it all)
PACK LIGHT!
PACK LIGHT!
PACK LIGHT!
Personal medication – enough to last entire trip!
Alchol wipes – in case of cuts or scrapes.
Antacid – carry a few tablets.
Antibiotic ointment
Aspirin / Motrin
Band-aids – carry just a few.
Birth control pills / condoms – if needed.
Chapstick or lip balm.
Comb and/or hairbrush.
Contact lenses & solution. (extra set ?)
Decongestant- Prone to headaches on planes? Take one before takeoff.
Dental Floss –
Deodorant – Take a stick – NO aerosol cans!
Desenex or Micatin – for athletes foot.
Disposable tissue packets.
Drugs – Prescription Drugs ? Keep in original containers with legible prescriptions.
Shampoo – place in ziploc bag.
Hair conditioner – If you have to use it, bring it!
Imodium – excellent for diarrhea.
Moleskin – prevent blisters which ruins trip.
Nasal Spray – Great for hay fever victims.
Sanitary products – Tampons and/or minipads, bring plenty.
Sleeping pills – great for the flight over.
Soap – Liquid soap/body wash is the best.
Suntan lotion – waterproof SPF of 15 or more!
Towel – Bring one for hostels & beaches.
Cut an old towel in half for more room in pack
Toothbrush & Toothpaste.
Travel size / emergency sewing kit.
Wet Ones/baby wipes (unscented) great to freshen up after train rides or after a visit to the restroom. Also great for washing stinky feet before sleeping in a couchette on trains. The other 5 travelers will be very happy.
Washcloth – scrub sponge
If you must have one – bring it!
*Plastic grocery bags are great for packing
clothes separately and for a dirty close bag.
*Extra ziploc/FREEZER BAGS in assorted sizes are great for separating currencies, leaking bottles, keeping paper dry, etc.

You can add many optional items depending on how you travel!
If you forgot something, buy it over in Europe.

Please add any suggestions or comments!

You may print copies and give them to friends.
Have a great trip!

FREE checklist provided by www.GoBuzzs.com
25 Day European Adventure Tours via the trains!
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why no aerosol cans??

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quote:Most Americans overpack!

not to start a tangent on your helpful thread but why would you be so country-specific when referring to overpackering? Don’t get me wrong, I’m an American and I overpacked the first time but I was just curious…

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I heartily agree with the advice to contact lens wearers to either bring a spare pair or your glasses! I had a lens tear halfway through a trip, and thankfully my fiance had two spare pairs, and his prescription is reasonably close to mine!!! (I’m totally BLIND without them, don’t know why I’d been so cocky about NEVER bringing spares or glasses!) Nothing would ruin a trip like not being able to see anything…. 8-0

Edited by – Lori-Ann on Apr 03 2002 17:27:47

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BlueJay
I am from America and I can’t speak for those travelers from other countries. I run tours for students and have met hundreds of American travelers in Europe. Since we come from a very materialistic society, we Americans, in my opinion, OVERPACK.
I always tell everyone as you can see by my posts, pack light, 7 – 10 days worth of clothes and do your laundry when needed. Everyone has a different comfort level and fashion requirements. Most packs should weigh under 25 pounds if you are staying in hostels. I have seen many carry backpacks and suitcases that weigh up to 80 pounds. You learned by your experience and now you know how to pack better and lighter. This board is to help the new travelers from making the same mistakes WE did. Hopefully they will learn from our mistakes, if not, they will learn through the school of hard knocks!

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Back to the top for the first timers!

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Hey Packer…Do you actually bring ALL this stuff.

How about this for size…

One pair of pants/zipoff to shorts
3-4 shirts
3-4 boxers
3-4 pairs socks
fleece
light shell
sneakers
tevas
small thin towel
Camera and film
daypack
pocket knife
toiletries, toothbrush and paste, deodorant, soap, asprin
Little crap…few feet of duct tape, some thin rope, sunglasses
one credit card, one atm, some cash, one id, passport, plane tix
guidebook
All in a 2500cu in pack.
And off I go.

Pack Light and be HAPPY!
Mike

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Mike,
NO, I don’t even bring half the stuff on the list and as I stated that if you bring everything you have too much.
Many people can’t live without many different outfits.
The more we travel the more the list should shrink, but we are creatures of habit. I tried to cover the majority and let people decide their own comfort level. You are the exception to the rule. GREAT JOB, Enjoy your travels!

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back up

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The reply of a skeptic:

You don’t need to take (but can buy, here, if you do need):

Journal, glue stick, tape, small scissors.
(place in ziploc bag)
Address book or computer labels for postcards.
Notepad and pens. (pens go in a ziploc bag)
Umbrella (small & collapsible)
Hostel Sheet
plenty of film.
NEW Fresh battery for camera.
Small flashlight with new batteries.
pocket knife
exstra sun glasses
Antibiotic ointment
Aspirin / Motrin
Band-aids – carry just a few.
condoms – if needed.
Chapstick or lip balm.
Decongestant- Prone to headaches on planes? Take one before takeoff.
Dental Floss –
Deodorant – Take a stick – NO aerosol cans!
Desenex or Micatin – for athletes foot.
Disposable tissue packets…unless at the time, you are..
Shampoo – place in ziploc bag.
Hair conditioner – If you have to use it, bring it!
Imodium – excellent for diarrhea.
Moleskin – prevent blisters which ruins trip.
Nasal Spray – Great for hay fever victims.
Sanitary products – Tampons and/or minipads, bring plenty.
Sleeping pills – great for the flight over.
Soap – Liquid soap/body wash is the best.
Suntan lotion – waterproof SPF of 15 or more!
Travel size / emergency sewing kit.
Wet Ones/baby wipes
Washcloth – scrub sponge
*Plastic grocery bags
*Extra ziploc/FREEZER BAGS

If you need this stuff, buy it here and leave it here.

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I agree with frihed89 on most of those items—it’s not like there aren’t drug store in Europe. But I’d never leave home without soap, deoderant, shampoo, chapstick, and my pocket knife. Why stress about finding a place to buy soap right away so you can shower on your first night/morning of travel? Those things really don’t take up too much room. Also, I’ve always heard that camera film is more expensive in Europe than in the States, although I’m not sure if that’s true.

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I’m with strass – of course there are shops in Europe, but why have to worry about going shopping for these particular basics? And I’d add immodium and at least one pack of tampons to the list – two things that when you need them, you need them NOW.

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In general I can say that film is as expensive in the Netherlands as it is in California (although I thought it wasn’t when I bought it in Cali ).

btw, if you are going to buy your film in souvenir shops in Amsterdamd then yes, it will be more expensive.

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OK, you’re right. My travel kit has in it:
bar of soap stolen from hotel
throw away razor
tooth brush
small tube tooth paste
and yes…small bottle of deoderant…but Europeans don’t mind smells.

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quote:
and yes…small bottle of deoderant…but Europeans don’t mind smells.
I thought that was only valid for Parisians

My travel kit looks pretty similar (although I tend to forget my toothbrush quite often so now I own 8 of them ). I’ll buy anything else when I need it.

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1 pair of pants is a little too light. The first list had jeans, everyone knows jeans are the travel devil.

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Depends on the destination and the time of year.

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coming from poland, yes, i’ll tell ya, film is dreadfully expensive in europe

vikkiSmile

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the biggest problem i’ve had of late in convincing my boyfriend he does not need half the stuff he wants to take in his pack. after a short trip interstate with the backpacks he is starting to get my meaning!

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To The Top

Leaving on June 15….getting ready to pack!!

Edited by – ncmickey on Jun 08 2002 18:25:43

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Why is this list ‘free’? do we have to pay for other packing lists?

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HI, k, just make this quick. my pack is 30-35 pounds, however, I will be doing mostly camping in Europe and I am moving to the UK for a long while, so it is necessary for me to bring sufficient amount of clothing. So take into consideration my situation, and let me know whether this is a good weight… also, wanting to know what the maximum weight for airlines is? .I heard its like 80-100 pounds, let me know. i’m leaving tommorow…

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Why are jeans the travel devil? (that is a bad thing, right? the devil is bad, right?) I have only jeans I think! I was going to wear one and take one.

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Jeans are hot (though I guess that doesn’t matter if you travel in the fall/winter), they’re bulky (take up a lot of room), and they take a long time to dry.

Plus side: they’re sturdy and don’t show stains much.

Maybe take one pair of jeans and one pair of khakis or gray pants or something?

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quote:

Why are jeans the travel devil? (that is a bad thing, right? the devil is bad, right?) I have only jeans I think! I was going to wear one and take one.

I heard that from a lot of people before travelling, but decided to ignore them and take my jeans anyway. And I was glad I did. I wear jeans all the time at home, and would have REALLY missed them on the trip. They’re comfy, go anywhere, and don’t show dirt easily so you won’t have to worry about washing them too often.

But I’d recommend taking only one pair. They ARE bulky, which is their main disadvantage, and there’s really no need for a second pair. Instead, opt for track pants or something that will be lightweight and quick-drying, like zip-off pants, as your second pair.

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i use this list every time i leave, so UP!

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Hey everyone!

I will soon be travelling abroad in order to be an au pair. Does this list pertain to us too? Or are we entitled to another bag of clothes, belongings, etc.? Especially since most au pair positions last a year.

Krystal
avich_Godcares@hotmail.com or torahrose@yahoo.com

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It applies to you to some extent. On your main trip out then you can take a bag as big as you like, and let your new family sort out transporting it. The list is useful to you for trips you make when you are there, when you take holidays and explore Europe on your time off.

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This is a summer list. What about winter???
Thermal underwear, bulkier stuff…

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Winter List:
It all depends on what countries you will be visiting.
Drop shorts, sandals, summer clothes.
Add WATERPROOF RAIN JACKET & UMBRELLA!
Drop light weight pants and bring jeans. They will cut out more wind.
Thermals are a must – Do NOT purchase cotton thermals, they absorb water and are useless when wet.
For cheap thermals, check Target, under $10.00 man made fibers.
Layer up with long sleeve shirts, fleece vest or jacket.
Wear a HAT, over 75% of body heat is lost through your head and neck area.
Light weight wind proof gloves are great for walking the streets.
Look up weather stats on the web to see what the average high and lows are for each city that you will visit.

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Shouldn’t this guys name read ‘pecker’ ????

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Thanks for all the input!
1st. Timers – Please checkout my 27+ day European Summer Tours.
Our 2003 schedule is up. We stay in only a few very clean hostels and many 2 and 3 star hotels directly in the center of the cities.
Action packed fun and no worries!
www.GoBuzzs.com

Edited by – Packer on Feb 03 2003 00:19:02

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I don’t think commercial advertisement belongs here. Especially when advertising a tour group in a packing forum.

Alex

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Yes but just take a look at all the fine looking ladies going on his trips,good thing to know…

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BUMP

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bump to the top

Edited by – Packer on Apr 11 2003 20:19:18

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back to the top

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Hey,

Quick question, this list does not include a sleeping bag. I’ve read lots of posts on whether one is necessary or not, but nothing conclusive as of yet. So once and for all is a sleeping bag necessary for hostel travel in June-July-August? Presumably it will be warm for the majority of the time, but some nights get cold. Lastly, if a sleeping bag is not necessary what is the alternative? ie. do hostels provide blankets?

Slainte,

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Nope, a sleeping bag is not necessary if you’re planning on staying in hostels. In fact, many hostels won’t let you use one. You CAN take a sleep sheet (either buy one or make one by folding and sewing a sheet down the bottom and halfway up one side). But it’s strictly optional – most hostels provide bedding, and those that don’t usually have it available to rent cheaply. IMHO it’s worth the extra euro or two on occasion to rent sheets, and save all the space in your bag.

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Ok, after reading all these posts, I realized that perhaps my 4600 cu in., 75 liter Eagle Creek backpack is a bit too big for a one month trip….What is the max backpack size I should shoot for, for a one month trip?

Thanks

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Punkiez, Which E.C. bag did you purchase. Most of my past clients have used the Switchback Plus (on wheels)4,250c.i./70 liters or the World Journey "Women’s Fit" at 4,600c.i./75 liters or Continental at 4,250c.i./70 liters . Be sure that the belt fits on top of your hip bone and that you can get it tight enough. All the weight will rest on your hip and none on your shoulders. I just had a female client purchase a bag that was too large and the belt could not tighten any more since it was for men only or females with larger hips. Hopefully the salesman showed you all the cool gadgets and that you can clip your daypack to your shoulderstraps on your chest on some models. Pack the heaviest items at the bottom (shoes, pants)and never wear your pack on a subway. Please take off your backpack prior to boarding and place it between your legs so you won’t knock people over in the crowded cars as you turn around. Also never wear your daypack on crowded subways, trains or tourist sites. You will be distracted and they will empty your daypack. If you lock the zippers, thet can use a knife or razor to get in. Hopefull you will have extra space in your pack after packing for any shopping you may do. Contact me if need more advice.

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Thanks for the advice Packer……I actually ended up buying the Continental Eagle Creek unisex pack, 3 900 cu. in…….Hopefully it will fit Smile
Anyway, about the daypack, i was kinda wary about wearing it around, but the only alternative I have are purses, shoulder bags which seem worse….Should I just carry the daypack in front of me at all times? (I will look really weird and paranoid, but I guess better that than having stuff stolen)?? Any suggestions on alternative ways of wearing the daypack?

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Punkiez, Your Welcome!
My Eagle Creek pack is 7 years old and I don’t have the new clips for the day pack. I never let go of the day pack at any time. I just wear it over one shoulder and hold the bag in the front of me while I am wearing my big pack. While sightseeing, I wear the day pack as normal, but take it off or swing it around in crowded areas and subways. When I reach the hotel or hostel, I dump at all the non-essential junk and place it in my main bag or locker and only carry what I need for the day. (water, snacks, camera, film, pen and paper or journal, city info, tourist info, map, etc. and depending on the weather a rain jacket or umbrella, sun screen) This lightens your load for your daily sightseeing. You will see many backpackers like yourself with the daypacks. Have an awesome trip!

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Back to the top!
HAPPY TRAVELS!

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anyone ever bring an electric razor? i’m thinking i would benefit from being able to shave in a pinch, but maybe its a bit excessive… and maybe add extra weight/space to my pack///

any thoughts?

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No way would I drag around an electric razor. Your pack will probably be full enough with other essentials, especially when even a decent good non-elec razor will do the trick. When do you really need to shave "in a pinch" anyway?

www.fliptophead.com

nfg315
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i could never imagine myself without my electric razor, i will certainly be bringing with me, it doesnt take up more space than a razor/shaving cream and it works 10x better, its faster, cleaner, and can recharge via an outlet adapter. if i absolutely need to, i can purchase a razor/cream in europe, but the electric will be my primary…haha i dont think i even remember how to shave with a razor

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tertia
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As an alternative to jeans, could I bring a pair of lighweight corduroy pants? I want at least one pair of comfy, semi-nice looking pants that aren’t my zip offs. I’ve been told jeans are the devil, so I promise not to bring them… but would my cords be a step better than those?

So far my clothing list for 7 weeks is:

zip-offs
1 pair lightweight shorts
1 pair light capris
corduroy pants
sarong
long-sleeve base layer
fleeze vest
rain jacket with hood
3 tank tops
1 or 2 t-shirts
1 button up nice-ish shirt
walking shoes
flip flops
swim suit

That sound about adequate?

katty
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Why are jeans such a bad thing to take? i dont understand – they dont take up that much room….im going to europe in summer so curious as to why most ppl are saying no jeans?

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quote:
Why are jeans such a bad thing to take? i dont understand – they dont take up that much room….im going to europe in summer so curious as to why most ppl are saying no jeans?

they are just a bit heavy, bulky, and take forever to dry. It’s not a big deal if you take them, it is just something that contributes to a heavier pack. I have traveled several times with jeans, it’s no problem. You can always just wear them the day you are on the move then you won’t need to carry them in your bag.