We’ve got a big trip to Europe on the horizon that we’re getting pretty pumped about. We have been looking forward to this trip since our last trip 10 months ago! Can’t believe we’re already in the packing stage now! Our annual international vacation is almost here! We try to go abroad at least once a year, and so far so good! This year is taking us to Eastern Europe with Contiki Tours.
Click to enlarge. Blue Dots are where I’ve been, Pink Dots are what’s next!
Our most recent international trips together:
2010 – Egypt; Dubai
2009 – Russia & The Baltic; Iceland
2008 – Italy
I was so excited to come home from work today to see that Irving’s already begun pulling out all the travel gear and piling it up in the corner. It made me giddy! I don’t really like packing, but I love oogling over travel gadgets. I thought I’d share some of my favorite essentials.
Anyone who has ever slept on a train or in a hostel knows how important these are. We each have a set and they have been lifesavers. We’re always the envy our tour when we are able to cozy up without getting the heebie jeebies at night. They fold up really small and stash in the bottom of your luggage. We don’t travel without these now.
Adapters and Converters
We have a collection of plugs for all over the world. The little ones on the right are for Europe and can charge cameras and phones. The big guy on the left is big enough to charge our laptop. Check your devices before you leave to make sure you have the right ones.
I know these sound kind of nerdy, but they’re essential. Mine is on the right and goes around my neck under my shirt. It will hold my passport, money and credit cards. Irving’s on the right hooks to his belt and goes under his waist band. We LOVE Eagle Creek products. These have a dri-fit back to them so they won’t chafe or rub on your skin even in the heat. They’re super light weight and pretty indiscreet.
Just tiny TSA compliant locks for your luggage. We’re not so worried about the airlines as much as leaving them in hotel lobbies and train stations. Sometimes we’ll check our luggage and it just gives us a little peace of mind that no one is snooping. It’s not a fail-proof method, but it’s a deterrent and we’ve been lucky so far.
We also travel with a copy of each other’s keys in case one gets locked inside. (This happened to me once in Spain! Some guy came with a hack saw to cut my lock off for me when I locked my keys inside my bag!)
Sleep Mask and Ear Plugs
I use my mask and ear plugs on the plane, busses, trains and even hotels. It can pretty much guarantee a good night’s rest. Some airlines provide them for you, but I bring my own just in case.
Goes without saying, but label your stuff. Checked and carryon bags should have your info on it just in case.
We don’t travel WITH this, but we use it before we go. Most airlines and tour companies have strict weight restrictions so using one of these handy scales at home can help prevent an unpacking frenzy at the airport.
Duh. We also carry a copy of each other’s too in case on of us loses it. An embassy can reissue a passport in a pinch, but having a copy of it will expedite the process.
Just ONE book. Not seven. We do lots of research before we leave. We love knowing about the history, culture and art in the places we visit.
But when it’s time to jetset, we only bring ONE book. And that one book almost always is a DK Eyewitness guide. We LOVE their books. Great pictures, maps and city highlights.
Eagle Creek Pack-It System
Ok, so this isn’t a necessity to some, but it is the way we travel. We LOVE using these travel folders, pouches and cases. Everything from clothes, toiletries and chargers gets packed in it’s own case. It makes it easy to find things when you’re in a rush in the morning. It keeps everything organized and together. An organized traveler is a happy traveler! (Full Disclosure: I learned everything I know about organized travel from my husband. He is the KING of suitcase packing. <3)
We’ve got tons of different shapes and sizes so everything has a place.
I swear this post isn’t sponsored by Eagle Creek (but it should be! We love their stuff!)
Speaking of Organized travel…
I bought Irving these packing lists for Christmas, it’s got almost everything you can imagine and it makes packing a breeze.
Don’t leave home without it!
For a few more ideas on what to bring, here’s a post a wrote a few months back.
I plan to post about clothing packing later. Stay tuned.
Have any tips of your own? Or questions about packing for a 17 day trip for a later post?