6 Essentials for Europe Travel — Your guide to planning a European trip, including what to pack, what to leave at home, and what should never leave your sight.
Guess who’s back. Back again. Em-ly’s back. Tell a friend.
Whew! I am just jam packing these Frenchy french posts in this week ain’t I?! One and done is the way I look at it. And by one I mean ONE. WHOLE. WEEK. Dedicated to all things travel/croissant/french related.
And it’s Thursday so that means VTPBlog for the win!
Seeing this was my first trip overseas, I didn’t really know what to expect as far as traveling went.
Did I pack enough? Too much?
Do I have to show them my driver’s license AND my passport?
Do I have my passport?
Will the plane ride be all in French? What about the movies?
Will an accordion playing, beret wearing Frenchman greet me with a baguette upon arrival?
Do I have my passport?
But there were some things that I’m glad I remembered or knew for flying overseas, and also some things I wish I remembered. Like a rain jacket. Or a chapstick that wasn’t on it’s last leg. So if you are planning a trip across the
border pond, here are 6 helpful tips to remember before you go.
1. Outlet Adapter
One must have is an outlet adapter. Plugs and outlets are different over yonder, so even if you could fit your phone charger into the plug, you’d most likely blow a fuse in half a second. I bought this one here since I thought all of my electronics has a usb cord. Until I realized the tablet I brought didn’t. Luckily I found a converter for about 9 euros over there, but save yourself the hassle and make sure you buy an adapter that fits all your electronics. I bought this one from Amazon and love it!
2. Credit Card/Debit Card
Credit card? You got it! Before you think you have to take out all this cash, get it exchanged, and carry around a wad of euros like you’re heading for the Moulin Rouge, don’t bother. Most places take credit cards just like here in the US, and they have plenty of ATMs as well. The only thing is to make sure you have a Visa or a credit card with the little square chip built into it.
Since my credit card didn’t have this I just stuck to taking out money from the ATM. BE SURE to alert your bank of your travel dates! The last thing you want is for your cards to be frozen while in another country and no easy way to call them. I did this about a month in advance just to be sure. You will also most likely have to pay the conversion fee when taking out money since 1 euro is equivalent to about $1.40 US, or at least this was the rate when I traveled which could go up or down depending on the day/temperature/way the wind blows.
Not like foreign exchange student translator. More like an app, such as google translate or if pen and paper are more your style, a good French-English dictionary is handy to have. I can understand French for the most part, but there are some words that would come up repeatedly that I had no idea what they meant. Like jamais. I knew I heard it before, but I would have NEVER guessed it meant never. Jamais.
Also, trying to say something when your not that fluent in French is all the more easier with a little help. Even if it is just a few words, people can usually understand what you are trying to get at. As long as you’re trying to talk the talk, most people are helpful and nice about it.
I know, this should be a no brainer. If you’re leaving the country I’d hope you know you need this by now. What I didn’t know if HOW OFTEN I would need it. Especially when you have a connecting flight. We transferred in Dublin, and had to go through a security check even though we never left the terminal. So as soon as you land until you leave the airport have your passport handy. Then make sure it’s in a safe and secure place. I think I checked to make sure I had it still every day I was there.
And just because I like making fun of myself I thought I’d share my passport picture. I was 17, and the lady told me NOT TO SMILE. You can tell how hard this was for me as. How does this make me look less like a criminal?
5. Packing your bag
Pajammies, sweater, jeans….okay again I think you should know how to pack your bag, and if you’re like me you make a list..or two just to make sure you remember. What I’m talking about is when you go to bring home all those souvenirs.
You are allowed to bring one bottle of alcohol (ahem, wine) in your checked in bag without having to declare it. Any more and you’ll have to declare and pay for it. And make sure you wrap that sucker good. Wine taste much better when it is not soaked into your suitcase and dirty clothes.
It’s also helpful to know how much your bag weighs before you get to the check-in desk. Of course they use the metric system over there, but the max weight is 25 kilos, or about 55 lbs. I got a a luggage scale for Christmas and used it before I left. You think I brought it with me? There’s a reason this made it to the list..
And the most important for last..Peanut Butter. Bring. Your. Own.
It’s pretty much non existent in France. Granted they have 5 shelves full of Nutella in every shape and form. I managed to find a jar of Skippy.
And make sure you add it to your checked in luggage. Last time I checked, peanut butter was a food, but TSA seems to think other wise and will probably yank it out of your
cold dead hands carry-on. That’s a risk I am not willing to take.
There. Now you are ready to travel off to Paris where you can have your Nutella and PB too.
Make it a great day!
What’s one thing you would add to the list?
Have you ever had any bad travel experiences?
**Disclaimer: This post is on behalf of Vermont Peanut Butter Company. I did not receive any compensation other than a discount on VTPB products. All thoughts and opinions are my own.**