TYPES OF BAGS:
Main Bag: You will all be given a rolling duffel bag for your Europe trip.
Travel Bag: It is suggested that you also bring a travel bag (such as a back pack or larger shoulder bag) for quick access when on plane and trains.
Day Bags: Fanny packs are convenient for boys, but so are deep pockets on shorts. Girls should have cross body purses for daily use.
Night purse: Girls should have a small cross body purse that never needs to be set down for dance clubs.
Purchases: BE ECO FRIENDLY, carry a small lightweight cloth shopping bag instead of carrying 10 plastic bags when making purchases. They can fold up into your pocket until needed. Then all of your souvenirs are together and you save the earth just a little bit more!
Packing your duffel bag is going to be the main focus for your pre-departure responsibilities.
You will be given a list at the next meeting June 7th of important items to pack, but this is a little blog about how to pack for 3 weeks!
Firstly, you will be in each city 3 days. You will be able to wash clothes in your third city, Amsterdam. It is best to think about packing 3 daytime outfits and 3 night time outfits ONLY because THAT IS ALL YOU NEED. You have to really get past the idea that you want to have 21 daytime outfits and 20 nighttime outfits. There is just no room for this type of closet on a whirlwind Euro trip.
Using the 3 outfit idea should be your goal, and if the 3 tops and 3 bottoms can be mixed and matched you will have 9 options, for the first 9 days, then wash and have the same 9 outfits for the second half of the trip. ALSO, you WILL be buying souvenirs, and it would be beneficial to buy t-shirts or clothes that you can wear on the trip, to add to your 3 outfits, so remember to leave room in the suitcase for purchases.
You should have 9 undergarments, wash them in Amsterdam then use them for the second 9 days. Socks are stinky so bring a ziplocked plastic bag to put used socks in until you wash them.
Boys: tennis shoes get stinky and you need to let them air out, so two or three pairs are best.
Girls: sandals don’t take up much room, but 3 pairs should be your max because you will want 1 or 2 heels for going out as well, which take up room.
EVERYONE should pack flip flops as they should be worn in the showers, and on trains.
A pair of traveling socks are nice and comfy on planes and trains.
BOYS: DO NOT wear your stinky tennis shoes onto the night train, as they smell up the couchette rooms quickly. SO GROSS. You should keep all tennis shoes in plastic bags to separate dirty shoes and smells from clothes.
Everyone should put undergarments in a ziplock bag to keep them organized in duffel bag, then bring a dirty laundry bag to keep dirty clothes in.
All clothes, after being worn, should be hung up for the night to air out before stuffing back into duffel bag, especially since you will be wearing it again. Bring ONE coat hanger for hanging. (I also use window knobs and door knobs as well).
We all know to roll our clothes for creating the best room in bags, but i find putting like clothes, or outfits, in plastic bags helps me to keep organized.
BATH SUPPLIES are a pain. They leak and you need to be able to leave them in the bathroom. When sharing a European sized bathroom with 4 people it really is best to share products. This is why we create room mates who share the rooms for the duration of the trip. If the same 4 girls share a room the whole trip, it is a much easier trip to share bath items. The four girls should meet up prior to Europe and decide on the products you plan to share.
Example: If there are 4 different travel shampoos, conditioners, gels, creams, lotions etc in the bathroom it is a MESS of over 16 bottles laying around.
However, if one person carries the large Shampoo bottle, one carries the Conditioner, one carries the blow dryer, one carries the lotion and toothpaste. It keeps the bathroom manageable and it lightens everyone’s duffel bags. PLEASE follow these directions as it allows you to learn to share, and get ready for roommates in college.
It is also a possibility to have a “shower bag” that can be carried between cities in a smaller tote which can be brought straight to the bathroom, and each roommate take turns carrying this tote bag between cities on the train, then when arriving in room, set the tote in the bathroom.
Personally, each girl should carry one makeup bag and one smaller shower bag with toothbrush, razor and smaller personal items.
I have never needed a bath towel, but I bring a quick drying one, as I use the hotels towel to dry my body, and mine for my hair. I keep my bath towel in a bag during travel.
As we will be walking in a group from train station to hotel, we will be using the wheels on the duffel bags to walk through the city, on cobblestone. There are NO elevators really in Europe, so the wheels will be going up and down stairs and over lots of bumps. Please be very aware that each bounce of each stair hurts the handle of the duffel bag and be cautious with treating the bag as if it is gold, as it is carrying all of your personal items. I’ve seen kids throw their bags down the stairs, as it seems easier, but they do break. It is prefered you carry your bags, rather than bounce them, down stairs.
Plan on buying a beach towel in Barcelona, for Bar and Ibiza. Plan on one sweater or hoodie to wear during travel for warmth on trains, as train blankets aren’t guaranteed.
Girls will be sharing clothes, so plan to be respectful of others items.
PLEASE do not overpack. DO NOT pack an item you might just wear once. It’s not worth it. Plan to wear everything twice, at least! Plan on the weather being hot and humid!
REMEMBER: Please talk with roommates as it is ridiculous to bring 4 hair dryers to each room.
Cameras and Computers: BRING the camera as you will be taking the most amazing pictures of your life. MAKE SURE there is a lock you can put on your suitcase. You can hang the key on your id tag necklace, otherwise get a numbered lock. Computers, not so much. You will have access to my mac air and you will have access to computers at all hotels and its fun to go to internet cafes in Europe. It costs about 1 euro an hour. Do NOT bring computers.
Phones are a must, but if you choose not to you may use mine whenever you need to.Try to upload all apps prior to going. ALSO, make sure you know your phone plan prior to going so you don’t answer every text, as it is about 25 cents to read each one.
iPods: it’s nice to have them for the train rides as they are 2-5 hour trips, yet, please leave them in your suitcase at the hotel and enjoy your European soundtrack of life!
OH, bring a small spritz spray bottle and fill it with water. It is the BEST way to iron out wrinkles!