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helpful travel tips

Backpackers Packing Checklist
The following items may or may not apply to your situation. So do not be overwhelmed by this list.

There is a constant battle in the backpackers mind to bring everything they will need and sacrifice comfort in the process. Most likely, you won’t use half of it. Europe is a very progressive place that has everything and anything you can get from home, unless it is your mothers homemade specialty. Pack light! Lay out everything you will need, then cut it in half. Bring the items that will cost too much to buy there and leave the rest for buying. It makes your experience so much more interesting. Enjoy!

before you depart ::

For the most part, you will or should have these items. This is a good strong base to work from.

  • read the travel advisory for your destination
  • general weather & temperature info
  • current passport
  • visa (depends on your country of origin and your length of stay)
  • hostel card (good for discounts)
  • health documentation
  • airline and rail tickets
  • emergency contact information
  • travel insurance
  • traveler's checks (take some for emergencies)
  • currency for country you are arriving in (good to have for when you arrive, you don’t want to exchange money at the airport)
  • ATM check/credit cards (w/a 4 digit pin number)
  • pocket calculator for easy conversion
  • guide books and maps
  • drivers license (used as deposits)
  • photocopies of important documents
  • phone cards (make a cheat sheet for international dialing instructions)

basic essentials ::

The amount of clothing to be packed will depend on how long you are traveling and the climate of your destinations. You can buy soap there to wash clothes on the road which will be very helpful in making your load lighter. Some of these items are not always needed depending where you go

  • travel clothing/footwear (light and loose clothing with good walking shoes are recommended)
  • back pack (make sure to buy a quality pack, otherwise your back will hate you! also keep in mind the seasons)
  • daybag
  • extra straps for bag
  • money belt (very important while traveling for valuables)
  • rain protection
  • brimmed hat
  • insect repellent
  • wrist watch
  • sunglasses
  • camera,extra film
  • camera batteries
  • radiation shield for film
  • scarf/bandanna
  • binoculars
  • locks for your bag (important)
  • bungee cord
  • compass
  • small light
  • light batteries/bulb
  • eating utensil
  • cup
  • matches or lighter
  • mini sewing/repair kit
  • small toilet paper roll (it costs extra in some places)
  • extra batteries for electronic devices
  • travel clothesline & clothespins
  • travel alarm clock
  • small water bottle
  • sleep sack/bedding
  • mesh bag for dirty laundry
  • voltage adapter/converter

entertaining items ::

Be creative in this area. Bring anything small and lightweight that will keep you and others entertained (no you can not bring your sheep) Most people miss music the most when they are on the road for a long time. You can still be very social with the people around you and bring a music player, it can be useful on long rail trips at night when you can’t sleep or when you are walking alone in a beautiful park.

  • ipod/discman (ipod is recommended because you won’t have to bring any cd’s)
  • games/playing cards
  • travel journal (don’t forget a pen)
  • reading materials
  • hackysack
  • jacks
  • language books
  • address book

personal items ::

Miniature everything! This will make your life easy and still very pampered. Even if it is lots of different travel size items. Think small. And don’t forget your prescription medications. You can buy a lot of things over the counter that you can’t buy in the U.S. but be prepared anyhow.

  • small mirror
  • sun block/lip balm
  • shaving cream
  • pack towel/washcloth
  • contact lens cleaner/case or glasses
  • tweezers
  • q-tips
  • ear plugs
  • moisturizer
  • nail clippers
  • hair brush/comb
  • shampoo/conditioner
  • toothbrush/toothpaste
  • razor
  • deodorant
  • dental floss
  • hair ties
  • hair dryer
  • make-up
  • feminine products
  • condoms/birthcontrol (or self control, whichever suits you)
  • medicine kit (anti-nausia, anti-diarrea, antacid, prescription drugs)
  • 1st aid kit with Band-Aids, tape, and antibiotic ointment

Some helpful tips ::

Everyday Bag: In transit it will hold all of the valuables you want to keep close: tickets, mini-camera, reading material and any other personal items to get you through the day.

Passport/Money Carrier: It is absolutely essential to keep your passport and money secure. This is where your money belt comes in handy.

Pocket Knife: Travelers might find the following features a bit difficult to get through customs, but you can buy one when you arrive. It is very helpful to have a basic blade w/a bottle opener, scissors, tweezers and corkscrew.

Electrical Converter/Adapter: This allows you to use your personal appliances abroad. They have a kit you can buy if you are going to many different regions w/ all the adapters.

Travel Organizer: The ultimate in convenience for carrying identification, tickets, trip itineraries, receipts and addresses.

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