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Packing for Your European Vacation

Packing for Your European Vacation

Packing for Your European Vacation

Like many, when I first started planning my trip to Europe, I was imagining all of the cute outfits I would pack, pinning every European Fashion Board that I could find on Pinterest. We were traveling to Switzerland & France, two areas which are known to be fashionable, and I did not want to stick out as a tourist. As I began shoving every item from my closet into my over-sized suitcase, I quickly began to realize that all of my items simply were not going to fit. Bearing this in mind, naturally, I began stowing my items in my husband’s suitcase, hoping that he somehow would not notice the items I had casually slipped in there.

Once we arrived in Switzerland, I immediately began to regret my packing decisions. After taking a bus, a train, and walking for a decent amount of time, we finally made it to our hotel. Not only was lugging all of our items daunting, but we also managed to break a wheel off of a suitcase in the process, making it that much harder to navigate around Geneva. I immediately realized that when packing for Europe, less is more. Not only from a navigation standpoint, but some European hotels often do not have elevators, or large areas to stow luggage in your room, like we are used to in the U.S. Not only had I begun realizing that I had packed a little too much, but I also realized that I hadn’t quite packed the right things.

Adapters

european adapter
 
While I had known that I had to bring an adapter to charge my phone in Europe, I had failed to realize that different countries may utilize different outlets. Apparently, we had packed an adapter for France but had failed to realize that we needed a different adapter for Switzerland. After buying two adapters, we finally realized our mistake and bought the correct adapter – third time’s the charm, right?

Beauty & Health Products

hair dryer
 
In an effort to save some space in my suitcase, I had planned to purchase any small beauty items I may need in Switzerland. I would highly recommend packing any beauty/health items you may need, as the prices in Switzerland are considerably higher than that in the U.S. Bearing this in mind, I would double check that you packed everything on your list, just to ensure there is nothing you forgot! In regards to hair appliances, as with adapters, I would recommend researching to see if the items you are packing will work where you are visiting. Some U.S. appliances, such as hair dryers or straighteners, have a higher voltage then used overseas, requiring a converter for usage in other countries.

Clothing

rain coat for ireland travel
 
Regardless of what time of year it may be, or what country you are visiting, I have learned that it is always a good idea to pack some rain gear when traveling to Europe. Even though we had visited during the winter months, we still got caught in the rain during our trip. A hat, umbrella, or rain jacket is never a bad idea!

Currency

European money exchange
 
My husband and I had decided to not take out any local currency, as the currency differs from Switzerland (Francs) and France (Euros). I would definitely recommend a small amount of local currency, just to be prepared. While all of the stores & restaurants we had visited had taken credit cards, we ran into some instances in wish we had some physical money. In some areas throughout Europe, it is common for you to pay to utilize public bathrooms. While we were able to find some that were free to use, having a few Francs or Euros on hand, would have been a bit of a time saver.

Bearing this in mind, while packing for your first European vacation remember – less is more, and you will be all set. If you're in need of more travel tools, Celtic Tours is here to help!