From London to Istanbul, Europe is vibrant, exciting, thrilling, beautiful and varied. It pays to be prepared, so whether you’re indulging in luxurious apres ski, sunning yourself in the Med, exploring an ancient city or backpacking on shoestring, here are a some tips to follow so you can ensure you’re never caught short when packing for the perfect break.
1. Travel adaptors
We all have tech we couldn’t live without. Make sure your camera, phone, laptop, Kindle or tablet are always fully charged by ensuring you’ve got the right travel adaptor. The UK uses a three-prong, while North and South Europe have different two-pronged plugs. Do your research and make sure you take the right one.
2. Pack more in
The European weather is as unpredictable as its terrain. One minute you’ll be on the beach in Barcelona, then the next wandering around Gaudi’s famed cathedral, so you need to be ready for any occasion. Pack more into your suitcase or backpack by rolling everything up. And although we all love our denim, it’s rigid and heavy – so you could get more in by switching to a cotton or linen alternative.
3. First aid kit
More often than not, trips go without incident but you never know when you’ll need a plaster for a blister, antiseptic for scratches or aloe vera for burns. A little secret is to take Vaseline or Sudocrem, which cover cuts, burns, scratches and rashes, saving loads of space for more exciting things. For more serious health issues, your European Health Insurance Card, entitling you to free healthcare abroad on the continent, is a must. Don’t forget to renew your EHIC before you embark on your travels; cards are valid for up to five years.
Being without lighting in Europe is rare, unless you’re in deep countryside. It still pays to slip a travel torch in your luggage in case you find yourself in a dark corridor, street or dorm room.
5. Canvas bags
These are as invaluable abroad as they are at home. As well as being the perfect way to pack shoes and dirty laundry, they’re also good shopping bags for when you buy those all-important souvenirs – making travel environmentally friendly and stylish.
A pac-a-mac is perfect for the northern European weather. Small and compact, they can be kept in a bag ready for an unexpected downpour while you’re sightseeing. No need for cumbersome umbrellas that block everyone’s view when you can happily walk in the rain, snapping away and getting the most out of your trip regardless of the climate.
7. Travel wash
This tends to be exclusively for backpackers, but adding a travel wash in your bag is a great way of getting out of any mishaps that may happen. If you accidentally spill something on a shirt you wanted to wear or you run out of clean socks, simply put your clothes in the sink, run the hot water and add travel wash.
This is only applicable to travellers who are putting luggage in the hold, as you’re not allowed to carry scissors into the cabin. However, packing foldaway scissors for that stray thread or a stubborn plastic tie holding together your new flip-flops could be a life-saver.
9. Eye mask
After exploring every beach, avenue and slope, you might be ready to catch 40-winks on the plane. Don’t forget to take an eye mask with you, so you can turn out the lights even when the plane can’t.
Of course, the most important thing you can take on holiday is yourself! Have a great time on your trip this summer, wherever you may happen to be going.