Nothing beats touring Europe over the summer and nothing would be worse if you didn’t leave prepared. In addition to different power outlets and driving on the opposite side of the road, there are cultural differences and safety issues to be aware about. Two years ago, I went to Paris, Amsterdam, Luxembourg, Cologne and Brussels and this July I’m going to Paris, Rome, Florence and Venice. I won’t say I’m a genius when it comes to packing and prepping for overseas vacations, but here are a few things to bear in mind:
- Cultural differences may leave you in culture shock so it might be a good idea to look up some commonly practiced traditions/mannerisms of the country you’ll be visiting. For example, air kisses are common in France so if you visit friends there or are invited into someone’s home, don’t be surprised if they give you air kisses
- Be sure you pack enough underwear and other necessities like shampoo, toothbrushes, and a pair of glasses if you wear contact lenses
- Tag your luggage with something noticeable so that you’ll be able to identify your bag and not take anyone else’s.
- Know what the weather will be when you get there. I know that Paris isn’t very hot in the summer and it wouldn’t be helpful if all you brought were tank tops and shorts. A jacket is always helpful to bring along.
- Bring a little book of handy phrases so you’ll know how to ask where the bathrooms are.
- Know what number to call for the police in case you’re in trouble
- Bring a camera! Show all your friends what an awesome time you had when you get back
With these in mind, you’ll be well prepared for your overseas adventures, and these can also apply to any overseas destinations as well!