Exciting news! I’m going to Europe! :D I have gone once before (3 years ago in May/June), focusing on lower Austria and Germany and a little bit of Italy, but this year we (my family) decided to visit someplace new. Unfortunately, we had a minor fluke with the overflow of animals we have taken in since our last trip until we found a house sitter to take care of them. With the trip back on, we will be flying for 6 and a half hours with two stops before the final leg (7 hours). In the interest of not carrying too much, we each only have one suitcase and backpack each for our three weeks there, but I’m not sure even a whole backpack of entertainment can keep one from screaming on a plane for 13 (roughly) hours.
For those of you who are interested in taking your own trip to Europe in the fall for the first time, I have prepared a list of helpful tips.
- I’m sure everyone knows this as common knowledge, but pack light. Washing machines do exist where you are headed and it doesn’t hurt to wear an outfit multiple times in a row! If you are a girl and want to bring accessories, only bring a few lightweight items that go with everything and you are not afraid to lose because things get stolen.
- Wear walking shoes. Some shoes will seem all right on your feet for an hour but begin to get uncomfortable not long after. Trust me, you will be walking in your shoes ALL DAY and contrary to popular belief, comfort comes before fashion.
- Bring a lot to do in a small space. I know it sounds hard, but is it really? Say you have five books you want to bring, but all those books will take space and make your bag the weight of a bowling ball. Instead, try an e-reader or something similar. If you’re an aspiring artist, bring your sketchbook along with only primary colors, a lot of lead in a mechanical pencil and only one or two cheapo pens instead of a whole arsenal of colors and pens and paper. Alaska Airlines is installing chargers into all of their new planes which makes it easier to bring along downloaded movies and music so you can watch and listen without worrying about your phone battery dying mid-flight. As a final possibility for my list, bring along a pack of cards. Even if you are flying alone, there are so many different card games that you can play with just oneself and anything helps guys. (There are usually movies playing non-stop throughout the whole plane, but it never hurts to be prepared.)
- SLEEP ON THE PLANE! Although this is extremely important advice, I myself have never been able to follow it. So this time, I am going to follow my own advice and if it works, I suggest you do the same. Europe is in a different time zone than America. That means that when you reach there, it will be nighttime back where you started, but still mid-day when you land. Earplugs function beautifully as well. If all of that doesn’t work, take a sleeping pill and forget about the rest. Just remember, it is perfectly normal to feel like a zombie when you reach Europe, even if you slept the entire plane trip. (Also, bring extra socks. It might be different for you but my feet were so cold they hurt both ways)
- Don’t forget the camera. It’s okay to look like a tourist–because that’s what you are! Chances are you will only go once and you want to remember it!
Okay. That’s it for the tips for now. Just in case you want to see what I packed, here are some pictures.
So for clothing I packed fall weather PJs, a swimsuit and cover-up, and flip-flops as seen in picture 1. In picture 2 I packed 5 t-shirts (3 were athletic quick drying material), tennis shoes, 2 pairs of jeans with a belt, shorts, a sweatshirt, and a jacket. Of course I also packed unmentionables and socks for a week and then later I added a rain jacket and thermals.
For essentials and entertainment I packed a brush, comb, hair pins and bands, mini toothpaste and floss, a toothbrush, a hair bandanna, medication, sunglasses, and a small switchblade. For entertainment I brought a sketchbook, my school reading assignment, my art supply case, a paperback, my nook, headphones, a charger, and my nexus (to read my chemistry, update my blog, and listen to audiobooks.) And of course, I couldn’t forget the camera!
If you want virtually to tag along with me and my family, please check my blog daily for posts and pictures of our trip!