The Fun of Travelling and What to Pack

PassportsAt the end of this month I’m travelling to Europe with my family. We will fly to London, England and then go via rail to France and Germany where my parents live. I’m really looking forward to it, however, one thing I really loathe is packing.

I always pack at the last minute (because I don’t like it) and pack way too much (because I can’t decide what not to take) even though I know that I am always buying things when I’m there. This time we have to pack and unpack several times AND pull our luggage through multiple airports and train stations, so I have made up my mind to pack lightly and this is the list of my must-haves when going away divided into different categories:


  • Undergarments (panties and bras)
  • sleepwear
  • 7 pairs of socks
  • 7 pairs of short-sleeve T-Shirts
  • 3 pairs of tank tops
  • 2 pairs of long-sleeve shirts
  • 2 sweaters
  • 1 outdoor jacket
  • 2 pairs of jeans
  • 1 pair of shorts
  • 2 regular pairs of pants
  • 1 dress
  • 1 blouse
  • 2 swimsuits
  • 1 scarf
  • 1 pair of running shoes
  • 1 pair of sandals
  • 1 pair of dressy shoes
  • 1 pair of flip flops


  • Digital camera
  • Cell phone
  • Laptop
  • Other mobile devices, like E-reader
  • USB flash drive
  • GPS device for driving in Europe
  • Noise-cancelling headphones


  • Passport (make 2 copies and leave 1 set with a friend and
    take 1 with you)
  • Credit cards
  • Foreign currency
  • Printout of airline tickets
  • Rail pass
  • Driver’s licence
  • Confirmation emails from hotels


  • Prescription medication
  • Band Aids (for all your blisters)
  • Antihistamines (helps with jetlag, too)
  • Saline nasal spray
  • Pain reliever
  • Vitamins (these are very expensive in Europe)


  • Sunglasses
  • Umbrella
  • Power Plug adapters
  • Laundry soap/spot remover
  • Packet of tissues
  • Inflatable pillow or neck rest
  • Gifts for family, friends
  • Toiletries (I’ll suggest travel sizes for all your
    products. Everything
    you use here will also be available there)

Things to take care of before leaving

  • Purchase a travel medical package for all the places you will be visiting.
  • Get a roaming package for your cell  phone to avoid huge bills.
  • Order some local currency to take with you (small amounts can only be paid in cash!! Credit cards are accepted in most (not all!) stores in Europe, however, in order to be sure look for signs that say Visa/Mastercard.
  • Tell your credit card company you are travelling oversees so that they don’t get suspicious and freeze your cards (I speak from experience …).
  • Stop your mail and newspaper delivery.
  • Provide dog sitter with the name of your vet and other vital information.
  • Talk to your neighbour about being away and in our case looking after the garden and the pool.
  • Buy books

Last but not least

  • try EVERYTHING on before packing. If it doesn’t fit, don’t bother taking it.
  • Make sure different pants and tops match so you can create different outfits.
  • Pack things that are easy to take care of and can be washed (remember you won’t have the selection of clothes that you have at home).
  • Don’t worry about not speaking the language (except in Paris!). Most people speak English and are happy to help. They love Canadians!
  • Have Fun!!!!!


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