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What to wear? How many pairs of shoes? What to take on the plane?


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)

A dress

Blazer (to go with the dress)

Two sweaters

Two-three pairs of slacks (khaki or black); lightweight and tolerant of wrinkles

Four shirts

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)

Airborne tablets

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



ATM card

Money belt

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)

Credit cards

Plane tickets

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


Water bottle

Balance bars or other snacks

Inflatable neck pillow (a must for sleeping)

Eye shades (ditto)




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