Chapter 6 Part 1 of
PACK LIGHT FIELD TEST
The Rule of Pack Light, Very Personal
How much you pack for your trip will have a greater influence on your enjoyment of traveling in Europe than any other factor.
Pack light. This is something that is easy to explain but difficult to execute. It takes practice to pack light for a trip to Europe. Because it is a big trip and maybe your first trip out of the country your gut feeling is that you have to pack "everything," maybe two of "everything" just in case. Packing is one department where the gut feeling is wrong. Use the other side of your brain. Analyze your basic needs, pack them up, and take this test.
Be skeptical of advice from travel "gurus" and pulp travel writers for the major media who have an obsession with dictating what you should bring with you to Europe. I laugh when I read their admonitions to pack light and in the next paragraph instruct travelers to pack 4 pairs of everything. Did they ever have to carry all that stuff? Do they know that there actually are washing machines in Europe? Europe also has clothing stores so if there is something you really need, or that you just frivously want to buy, you can do it easily. Correction, well, it's not always easy dealing with store clerks. A shopping trip may be one of the things you remember, for better or for worse.
Pack everything you are bringing, put on your hat and coat, open your umbrella, (raining or not), check the time, and walk one mile away from home with the whole load. Then, pretending you are trying to catch a train, run or walk home. If you can make the round trip comfortably within 45 minutes you have packed light. It is best if your test course includes a short, steep hill or several flights of stairs, upwards on the return leg.
If you are of the metric persuasion that would be one kilometer in 28 minutes. If you do not know metric see chapter 27, Europe's Metric System: Travel with Grams, Meters, Liters, and Celsius, because you are gong to need it.
Make sure that all of your traveling companions can pass the Pack Light Field Test. If not, old friends may become lifetime enemies.
A rundown on your clothing list was given in the prior chapter 5, What To Wear in Europe: Travel Clothes for All Occasions. That is only about 2/3 of your pack. Your suitcase must also be a miniature bathroom closet, laundry room, drugstore, tool box, photo gear headquarters, office supply, and library of guide books, maps, and dictionaries. This is all in addition to your clothes. Good luck!
Luggage for Europe
For details about what kind of luggage to use see chapter 7, Luggage for Europe: Let It Roll.
This page served as a introduction to packing light, with a simple user's manual. Actually, it was just a few paragraphs. Some writers are able to assemble a WHOLE BOOK on the subject of packing light. I have have a couple of those books. Mon Dieu!
For more specific packing details please continue to part 2 of this chapter, Personal Care Items: Your Toothbrush and Hair Blower. There is more of course. Most of it is in your bathroom or on your dresser right now. But before you throw everything in your bag look over this essay to see if you really want to do that.
Part 3 of my packing suggestions covers the traditional stuff you need on the road. See Travel Supplies: Pack a Bunch of Small Stuff.
Lastly, part 4 discusses the vaulable things you will be bringing with you. This includes your passport, camera, and other ID and valuables. The key message, which bears repeating, is do not put these things in any luggage, back pack, day bag, or purse. Carry them on your person. See Packing Valuables: Not in Your Luggage..
If you want to skip over all the verbiage in this chapter and go straight to a quick check-off packing list then see The Finale, Last Call: Travel Prep and Pack Lists for Europe. Come back here later to see why you need vinegar and vodka, but you can pick up those items on your way.
KEY REFERENCE TABLE
There are approximately a quarter million words on this web site. I wrote them all. You don't need to read every one. Here is a table with the most important stuff. If you are going to Europe for the first time I suggest that you read at least these chapters. I regularly get emails from people who went to Europe before they discovered my web site, and wished that it was the other way around.
|Budget, Money||cost of travel, cash, credit cards, ATM cards, pickpockets||
|Electriciy||220 volts, 50 Hz, converters, power strips, plug adapters, gizmo battery chargers||
|Packing List, Clothes, Luggage||Pack Light Field Test, layers, travelers supplies, luggage||
Packing List: 06
|Official I.D., Safety, Insurance||passport, visas, driver's license, international driving permit, student I.D. card, business cards||
Driver's License: 18
|Tickets||airline ticket or boarding pass, hotel confirmation, rail pass, car rental reservation||
Hotel reservation: 14
Rail ticket/pass: 17.1
Car reservation: 18.1
|Prime Travel Data||Native name, capital city, postal codes, telephone codes, languages, electrical voltage, holidays (dual language), embassy, consulates, USA embassy, guide books, maps, history.||Prime Travel Data|
NOTE TO READERS
I welcome questions and comments. If you have any concerns about your trip to Europe that have not been covered well enough in this section please do not hesitate to write and ask. When you write please include relevant details.
I do not open attachments. Please include all of your data in the body of your email. I will reply in a day or two.
My email address is email@example.com.
Sometimes email gets lost or squashed by my spam filter. If you have not heard back from me within three days please write again. I answer all. Your privacy is protected. Your email address and contents of your email are secure and confidential, at least as far as I can reasonably achieve. I do not release anything. However, as you know private, commercial, and soverign hackers are busy night and day peeking into everything. The USA NSA and the Chinese Army are hacking your internet and telephone communications 24/7. What fun. Not.
Do not forget to smell the hyacinths. Scroll through the Table of Contents of How To Europe: The Complete Travelers Handbook below and read all 30 chapters, FREE on line. Good deal!
For a check-off punchlist of everything go to The Finale, Last Call: Prep and Pack Lists for Europe.
If you know of someone else who would appreciate reading this web page please send the URL link to him or her. To easily do that, click your "File" tab in the tool bar and scroll down to "Send" or "Send Link." Your friend will thank you, and I thank you. And don't forget to bookmark or favorite this site on your broswer.
For my latest brain dumps on life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness see my occasional musings on facebook, twitter, and google+. If you sign up on one of those "social networks" you can add your own two cents or two dollars worth, and "like" me or whatever.
The links in this pink field take you directly to a page at Amazon.com. The Amazon page details the item, and in most cases includes candid and critical comments from others who have bought the item.
Amazon pays my site a small commission when you click and order an item, if you put it in your shopping cart within 24 hours based on the cookie they set on your computer. If you don't want to make a quick decision just put it in your shopping cart, think it over, and come back later. The revenue covers the cost of maintaing this web site and keeps it free to users.
You benefit when buying here because Amazon has:
You win we win.
Thanks for your support!!
Have a good trip in life,
Note: Italicized notations by the author.
© 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2002, 2001 James J. Broad
All rights reserved. Tous droits réservés.
This is copyrighted material. Do not reproduce, copy, plagiarize, store, modify, extract,
transmit, or purloin any part of this publication in any nation in any form or by any means
or for any purpose whatsoever without permission in writing.
You may link the URL http://www.enjoy-europe.com/hte/chap06/packing.htm freely. Please do. When you link please send the URL for your linking page and a crosslink will be installed in one of the categories of the TRAVELERS YELLOW PAGES to your site if it has significant content for travelers in Europe.
You may print one copy of this chapter for your personal use. To order the complete book with all of the captioned photographs see the next section below.
If you want to copy any of this material to your web site, book, article,
speech, or term paper please ask first. Note that plagiarism includes
paraphrasing text and even copying ideas, unless you give credit to the
originator. Everything on this page is original. Students, professors,
journalists, writers, and politicians are outed almost every day, caught
stealing the works of others and then lying as they present it as their
own work. They make excuses when caught. Then they are thrown out of school
or fired. The politician runs for Vice President when the people forget
that a gross case of plagiarism forced him to drop out of the 1988 Presidential
race. How about it Joe Biden? At least one other travel writer has plagiarized
heavily from my work, claiming and getting credit for writing a few dozen books
every year. Some of his books have included my work for years on end, without
credit. For honorable people, permissions are freely granted so you do not need
to steal and lie. Just say where you found the information and ideas.
For permissions contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.