Don't overload yourself with these--they do sell soap, feminine hygiene
products etc. in Europe. Click on the toiletries link to see what I
brought with me on my trip.
You can buy a toiletry bag, use a PVC mesh bag, or use a couple of sturdy Hefty-Zip Lock bags for a short trip.
Eagle Creek Travel Towel
(Medium 35" x 15½"
$17.50, Extra Large
55" x 29” $33).
For $31 you can get an XL towel with a case
(this is the brand I use). Made
of high performance micro-fiber, these lightweight towels wick away moisture for
extra fast drying. For those with long hair, a
hair towel is
great--I use mine at home and when I travel. A travel towel is
definitely worth the money. A stinky, wet/damp towel in your backpack is not
something you want to experience.
You can buy a cotton/poly travel sheet
for about $40 or a Silk DreamSack
for $62-$72. The
advantage of buying a
is that is weighs less, takes up less
space, feels very nice, and offer greater protection against bed bugs. I spent the money to buy a silk one, but a
cotton/poly one will work just fine. (Hostel FAQ
to find out about sleep sheets.)
& FILM Of
course your won't need film if you bring a digital camera, but you will
have to bring an
adaptor plug set and/or
a voltage converter
if your camera needs to be recharged regularly. Check to see if your
camera needs this.
KIT Make one
with things frequently needed from your medicine cabinet--don't forget
tweezers or fingernail clippers. I usually put my first aid kit in a heavy
duty plastic zip-lock bag or a
PVC mesh bag.
can buy a cheap one or make your own with several colors of thread wrapped
around a piece of cardboard, a couple of needles, a needle threader, an
extra button, and a couple of safety pins.
ARMY KNIFE or
(you can only bring this if you plan to check your luggage). Make sure your
knife or tool includes scissors and a corkscrew, since those are both
really helpful while traveling. Check here for what is
permitted in carry-on luggage:
Keep your money, credit cards, and passport close to you at all times. Money
belts fasten around your waist underneath your clothes. I usually wear
mine with the pouch in back because that is more comfortable for me. Everyday
money and coins can be kept in your pocket in a
small wallet or
coin purse (this is the kind I carry). If you get robbed, you'll only lose
that easily accessible cash. There are also pouches you can wear around your neck
or from your belt.
Many larger travel backpacks come with a small daypack. If
yours doesn't come with one or you would like to bring another small bag
with you, get a small school backpack, tote bag, or camera bag
to store your every day essentials.
LUGGAGE LOCKS Combination or key locks for
backpack zippers prevents people from snooping through your bag when you are in
a dorm room without a locker.
A larger padlock or cable lock
is needed to fit hostel lockers or
for securing your backpack on trains or in hostels.
Great for when you do laundry in the sink.
The Flexo-line holds up to 12 lb of wet clothes, thanks to its
surgical-quality, natural latex rubber tubing which is woven in THREE
braids (not the usual two).
Essential for when you are washing your socks and underwear in the
sink. Very cheap and takes up very little packing space.
Wash your socks, underwear, and other clothes in the sink with just
the right amount of detergent.
Everyone needs a guide book to help plan their trip
and for everyday information while traveling. A phrase book can come in
handy when you need to communicate with local people in country you are
If you don't want to miss your flight home or an early
morning train, make sure you bring along a travel alarm clock. A word of warning: Don't play the "snooze" game with
your alarm or fellow dorm mates will be forced to kill you for disturbing their
Use a combination of ATM card (widely available in Europe), credit card
(Visa or MasterCard), and
travelers checks. I only bring along a few travelers checks
for backup because it is much
easier just to use my ATM card. Please make sure the PIN for your
ATM card is only 4 digits AND notify your bank/credit card company that
you will be using your ATM/credit card abroad.
Passport, driver's license,
etc. Remember to make several photocopies of your passport. Leave one copy at
home and hide the two other copies in different places in you luggage. You can
also scan your passport and store the photo in your on-line e-mail account.
If you are concerned about protecting your passport from RFID, consider getting a
that blocks Radio Frequency
I thought these were optional when I went, but I ended up having to buy a
pair while abroad. Save yourself the time, money, and squinting by
bringing a pair with you.