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If you're going to Europe (or anywhere for that matter) for more than a week, plan to do laundry. If you're traveling by train, it's not practical to lug a huge suitcase along.
I bring a rolling carryon suitcase, a carry-on bag/backpack for reading materials, and my purse. I pack very few sets of clothing and make sure that everything goes together so I can mix and match.
I highly recommend that you lock your suitcase; my cell phone was stolen out of a friend's suitcase on his way here from Europe. Locking your suitcase also prevents it from inadvertently coming open in transit.
It's a good idea to carry one change of clothing with you on the plane if you're going to check your luggage in the event that your luggage gets lost on the way to its destination.
Make copies of all your documents (plane tix, rail tix, credit cards, travelers checques, etc.) and give to someone else in your party and to someone at home just in case.
In my checked luggage:
Europe is more formal than California, so I typically do not bring either jeans nor running shoes (unless I'm planning to work out). My typical packing will include:
3 pairs of walking shoes - it's important to pack shoes that are both comfortable and can be used on dressy occasions. You'll be doing a lot of walking. Thick soles are a must. (I wear my bulkiest pair of shoes on the plane)
Blazer (to go with the dress)
Two-three pairs of slacks (khaki or black); lightweight and tolerant of wrinkles
Shorts (if it's summer)
Tshirts and tights to sleep in
Workout clothing (one or two pair) + running shoes/orthotics/HR monitor
5 pair underwear
4-7 pair socks
Several scarves and pins (to spice up the dress)
Feminine hygiene products (if you need 'em)
Clothes pins/clothes line/inflatable hangers/laundry detergent
Small sewing kit
Small first-aid kit
Little packets of kleenex to take with you during the day (toilet paper is not always to be found in public restrooms... be prepared!)
Balance bars or other snacks you can't find overseas
Phone converters for each country, RJ-11 cable
Voltage converters (if I'm using any appliances that don't have them built in)
Voltage adapter plugs
Travel books for countries I'm visiting
Maps for countries I'm visiting
Language books (phrase book, grammar book, dictionary)
Put a copy of passport in each piece of luggage in case your luggage gets lost
To take on the plane:
One change of clothes.
Raincoat or wool overcoat (depending on the season)
Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss (2 kinds)
Any regular medications I need to take
Sudafed or other decongestant
Ibuprofen or other antiinflammatory
Melatonin (already partitioned into .5 mg pieces)
No Jet Lag tablets
Laptop, AC adapter, dongle, CD drive
CD Player, noise-cancelling headphones, CDs
Digital camera, PCMCIA flash adapter, batteries, extra flash cards
Extra AA batteries, AAA batteries
Sony Clié + Clié charger
International calling card + list of local toll-free dialin #s (you can get this from MCI, AT&T, or whomever your long distance carrier is)
Eurrail passes/train tickets (if purchased in the US)
Itineraries/confirmations for hotels/apts/etc.
$100-$200 US $$ (I get money in the local currency from the ATM once I arrive)
Any foreign currency I have left over from previous trips
One travel book + map for 1st destination
Balance bars or other snacks
Inflatable neck pillow (a must for sleeping)
Eye shades (ditto)