HOW TO EUROPE
The Complete Travelers Handbook
Internet edition. By John Bermont.
Photos by the author except as noted.
A page from
with photographer and author
If you are flying out of Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, Netherlands you might want
to pick up some last minute consumable souvenirs at one of the dozens of duty free shops in the airport.
Dutch chocolates are delicious and make great gifts.
Then again, you can gamble your money away at the airport casino.
The emptor must caveat.
With higher taxes built into the price of everything and per capita income about the same
as in America, you just won't find many bargains in the western countries of Europe. In the east
you can still find good deals. In both areas you will see many unusual items, designs, materials,
and fashions not found at home.
Duty Free Shops
Travelers are immediately confronted with airport duty free shops when they enter the secure
departure zone of international airports. Prices of goods in these shops may be duty free, but
there are few bargains. If you are considering a major purchase, say a camera or electronic device,
plan far ahead. Write to the duty free shop, care of your European gateway city airport
(home-bound), and request a price list at least two months in advance. Compare prices with those
for the same items in your local shops or through mail order. There is also duty free shopping
on most planes and on board major ferries crossing international borders.
The only bargains I have seen in duty free shops are on alcoholic beverages and tobacco
products, though this depends on the duty free shop and on the country. A pretty good rule would
be that one should not enter any of the Scandinavian countries without carrying the maximum of
duty free booze, if you enjoy drinking. The same is not necessarily true for Holland where the
retail price of most spirits is less than the price in America, except for American products.
On board some ferries, bottles look like fifths and pints, but the exact
quantity is not shown on the bottle. Except in the major airports, don't expect
very good selections. The same limited number of brands show up in most
duty free shops. One lesson I have learned is do not buy brands you are not
familiar with, unless you can afford to experiment. Don't even buy new
products from known brand names. I have tasted disasters. I think that some distillers
dispose of their rubbish in duty free shops.
All goods bought in duty free shops are subject to duty, if any, when
you land at your destination. The duty saved is the duty of the country where you bought the
item. Shopping is allowed in duty free shops only if you are departing. Arriving passengers can't
even buy a candy bar until they pass the customs inspectors.
During the German occupation of the Netherlands, 1940-45, the Nazi authorities ordered the citizens
to turn in all their Dutch silver and gold coins. Jewelry was exempted. Therefore, according to the jeweler
I bought this from, some of the clever Dutchies made jewelry
out of their money!! Here is a string of 21 silver dimes from 1943. Look for similar items in antiek jewelry stores.
[armband.jpg. Photo by Paula.]
This bookstore window display in Kraków, Poland is crammed with Harry Potter editions. I guess that
somebody likes pigeon guano all over the sidewalk, or they have a cat who will be feasting on
one of these plump squabs for dinner. Ksiazka is Polish for book.
High prices for stuff made in Brazil or Hong Kong can be found in the eighty thousand
souvenir shops swarming around the tourist centers. These places are stocked with junque, but do
have some useful items like Heineken T-shirts and various hats.
Consumer protection legislation is not as thorough in Europe as in America. Trinkets that
appear to be of local origin may be imports from Pakistan and available at home in your
dollar store for half the price. Items are identified with country of origin only when they want
you to know. In Greece and the eastern European countries most of the craft work is locally
made. Street markets with no overhead are the best places to shop.
When shopping for trinkets, offer a price lower than that marked. Sometimes a
shopkeeper will accommodate you. If you like an item but you think it costs too much, say so.
That is the easy indirect way to get some negotiations started.
This is an amazing store in Vilnius, Lithuainia. I bought a heart shaped amber charm for Stephanie in here.
Some guide books on Europe boast of the great buys available at the Paris Flea Market and the
Amsterdam Flea Market. Those were the old days. These places are now among the biggest
rip-offs. Most of the customers are tourists. For bargains, go where the local folks shop.
There are scores of outdoor markets in Europe where the greenbacks are not grabbed so
readily as in Paris and Amsterdam. Inquire at tourist offices. Look for small markets which are not
so institutionalized. Permanent, roll-away, or knockdown structures occupy most of the acreage
in the overpriced markets, while the cheaper markets feature merchandise displayed on old boxes
or lying on the ground. For a real out of this world shopping experience go to Amsterdam on Queen's Day.
See my photo tour at Queen's Day.
On Queen's Day in Holland people lay their junque out to sell. Here is a sale on a sidewalk
Flea markets are popular in Germany but are usually held at intermittent
times, say every month or so at certain locations, usually a parking lot near a large shopping area
or open grassy fields and usually on a Sunday. If you are out on a Sunday drive look for signs along the road.
These German Flohmarkts usually have a large number of vendors from
Poland selling all manner of goods, some of which look like throw-outs from the Russian army.
I liberated a Russian Army officer's hat and an East German Army helmet on a trip through the
eastern part of Germany. Those are good for Halloween costumes.
When buying items
at flea markets, start negotiating way below the asking price. Even though the vendor sees you as
a rich American tourist, there's no need to throw money at him. If something catches your fancy
buy it now because you'll never see it again.
If you are a serious seeker of cheap curiosities the best place to start is by buying one of the
Travel Keys books by Peter B. Manston. His encyclopedic pocket size
Manston's Flea Markets, Antique Fairs, and Auctions of Germany will get you started.
This is out of print but used editions are available on Amazon.com. Peter has similar books on Britain,
France, and Italy.
Second Hand and Antique Shops
I love to prowl through second hand shops. I can't recall any Salvation Army or Goodwill stores in
Europe but there are commercial stores selling second hand stuff. They are amazingly cheap. If you are
moving to Europe for a few years second hand shops would be a good place to get your tableware and pots and pans.
Antique shops are more expensive and are a good source for jewelry and dust collectors.
Oh boy! -- an open air market in Varna, Bulgaria. You can find
almost any household item in these markets, plus some unusual foods and homemade booze.
I would be careful with the homemade hootch.
There are a few
places which still have the classical fellow who comes up to you on the street with an armload of
wrist watches up his sleeve. If you buy a famous brand name from one of these vendors, it's
certainly a forgery. If it keeps running long enough for you to take it home with you, U. S.
Customs can confiscate it.
In Lisbon, I was approached at least once a day by chaps trying to sell me a "gold ring."
Each ring looked identical, and each probably would have given me a case of green finger.
In eastern Europe there are a large number of street vendors who have set up tables in
town squares or on busy boulevards. Books are the most common items of merchandise in Kiev
and some other cities. In Budapest, one street used to be lined with women selling embroidered
cloths. It looked like a human clothesline and disappeared quickly when a policeman appeared. I
bought two books of beautiful Russian stamps from an enterprising fellow in the main square of
Warsaw and some brass inlaid wooden boxes from another. At first it seemed rather blasphemous
to be dealing in such a beautiful place but I couldn't pass up those bargains. Distilled spirits are
another common item. I bought a half liter of Stolichnaya vodka for a dollar from one vendor in
Bulgaria. The same bottle in a store in L'viv, Ukraine cost me 25¢.
The Shakespeare & Co. bookstore is a landmark in Paris, France. I lived a few blocks away and
often found myself prowling around in here.
Postcards, Posters, Wall Calendars
You'll find a great variety of postcards: art reproductions, photos of cathedrals, nudes, and
watercolors of 19th century street scenes. Prices of similar cards can vary considerably from shop
to shop. The best prices can usually be found on the side streets and in open-air markets. Many
cafes in Holland have a rack of free postcards, though they may not be to your taste.
Museums always have shops which sell reproductions, books, and miscellaneous mememtos. Get a mailing tube
to protect your stuff as you travel.
If you are planning to buy posters on the street, maybe buy a mailing tube at an office
supply store. Tubes are usually not available at poster stores or from the dealers along
the Seine River in Paris. Tubes can be crushed in the mail.
One defense is to pack them as full as possible before mailing them home.
Wall calendars available in book stores and office supply stores make good souvenirs, and gifts. You can find well
illustrated calendars featuring art, architecture, old lithographs, and other images. My
beautiful 1992 Moscow calendar is still hanging on the wall 20 years later, right next
to my 1994 Prague calendar.
The City Galerie enclosed shopping center in Aschaffenburg has 50 specialty
shops, four department stores, and plenty of covered parking. Most stores in Germany
close at 2pm on Saturday, except once a month, so get up and shop early.
The Blarney Castle souvenir shop outside Cork, Ireland features plenty of Waterford crystal and
various products emblassoned with Guinness, amongst many other items. Ireland has changed its name,
according to me. It is now Guinness Island.
A visit to a major city isn't complete without a shopping trip through the major department
stores and downtown specialty shops. Here you'll find the culture of modern civilization,
descendants of the crude tools and pottery you went to see in the museums. Even if you're not
buying, go and take a look.
For instance, visit the Kaufhof in Munich, the Galeries Lafayette and Printemps in Paris,
the NK and Åhléns in Stockholm, Harrods in London, de Bijenkorf in Amsterdam, and
El Corte Inglés in Madrid to name a few. Other major cities in each country have branch
stores of the same name. Some of
everything can be seen in these major department stores, and they often have a supermarket in the
basement and a good cheap restaurant on the top floor with a view of the city. My favorite department store
is BHV (the "bay hash vay") on rue de Rivoli across from the Hôtel de
Ville in Paris. The basement is a fascinating hardware store. Handyman types will find an
incredible assortment here, and in other hardware stores throughout Europe.
Crowds gather outside the El Corte Inglés department
store in Madrid, Spain for the annual "Cortylandia"
window display. Christmas shopping in Europe is just as
maddening as it is at home. [2314-MadridElCorte.jpg]
You can almost always find a clerk in
the big department stores who speaks English.
In some stores, clerks wear name badges with
miniature flags of the nations whose language
they speak. Don't look for the American flag
though. Look for the British Union Jack.
Browse through clothing stores,
sporting goods stores, bookstores, and
furniture stores for unusual and useful items that suit your fancy and are not found in the United
The beautiful Galleries Lafayette department
store in Paris, France is an experience not to miss. Have fun! Like many department stores
throughout Europe there are several restaurants and cafes, one with a
bird's eye view of the north side of Paris. This is the interior Christmas display. The exterior was
The Stockmann department store in Tallinn, Estonia is well stocked. I had a great breakfast of
herring, salmon, and salad in the Stockmann cafe. Buffet items are weighed at the register and
sold by the amount you take. It's a bargain.
The foreign exchange office in this store gives good rates.
Note that in stores and hotels and
office buildings all over Europe, the "first floor" is what
we call the second floor. Don't stand there
confused when you walk in asking for gloves
and are directed up to the first floor. The floor
at ground level has various names, depending
on the country. Many large department stores
have one or two floors below ground level.
This is usually the bargain basement and/or a
The large and specialty stores will ship
purchases home so you don't have to carry
them. When they do this the VAT, value added tax,
which is already included in the posted price
can be refunded to you, but a shipping charge is added which approximates the amount of the tax.
Getting your VAT returned is not a work of joy. See chapter 24,
Shipping Your Treasures Home from Europe.
Potten & Pannen (Pots & Pans) in Prague is open on Monday from noon to 6 pm, Tuesday through Friday
from 9 am to 6 pm, Saturday from 9 am to 4 pm, and closed on Sunday. The Czech Republic
is famous for its beautiful cut stemware. We brought home some champagne glasses.
Grocery shopping can range from modern supermarkets to shop
hopping for bread, meat, dairy products, and fresh produce in a half dozen
provincial-type shops and open-air markets. There are some advantages to
the provincial way of life, but you can eat up a whole morning just buying
a sack of groceries. Goods, especially bread, are usually fresher at the
individual shops. But open hours are limited and the quantity of goods is limited. Shop early.
Enclosed shopping malls are becoming more common in Europe. These usually include a super
market and/or various specialty food shops. Super markets are springing up everywhere and the
days of the small shops might be numbered.
A typical Holland fish shop in Haarlem, Netherlands. I just love raw herring, known to the Dutch as haring.
You'll notice some differences as you shop. For example, fresh produce may be selected
for you by the shopkeeper, or by an attendant in large supermarkets. You can't always paw over
the fruits and vegetables to get an unblemished, perfectly ripe item. In some stores milk and eggs
are often left out at room temperature, not kept in refrigerated cases. Room temperature in many
stores is often quite cold. The Dutch dairy products shops are a treat. Each cheese can be tasted
before you buy. One of my favorites is boeren kaas, "farmer's cheese."
In the basement supermarket of a large
Stockholm, Sweden department store, take
a number for service at the meat, fish, or
cheese counters, or help yourself to
packaged products just like home. Notice that the woman in the foreground has brought her own rolling
shopping bag. This is fairly common in Europe.
Bring your kid when you
go to a German meat counter and
the toddler will be given a small
piece of sausage or a hot dog. Yes,
they are fully cooked so you can
eat them "raw." Stephanie had a free lunch on many of our shopping trips.
In the eastern countries,
the situation is different. I've seen
scores of people standing in
stores in some cities waiting for whatever they can get at government controlled prices.
Meanwhile at the farmers market, all sorts of meats and vegetables are for sale at free market
At the indoor farmer's market meat is left out on butcher block
tables for your selection in Kyiv (Kiev), Ukraine.
The butcher shops are hardly different from the meat counters in some grocery stores and delicatessens at
home. Meat is left open and unwrapped in glass cases, sometimes refrigerated. Point to the item
you want, or try to pronounce it. Same goes for the fish shops, though the fish is always on ice.
If you are in Paris stop at Place Maubert, on Boulevard Saint Germain a couple of blocks
east of Boulevard St. Michel. There is a group of shops where you can buy almost anything —
cheeses, meat, fish, wine, flowers, etc. Twice a week there is a farmer's market in the square.
I lived a couple of blocks away and was a regular customer. The President of France,
François Mitterrand, lived in the neighborhood on rue de Bièvre, with a couple of policemen standing
at ease at each end. France doesn't have a "white house" giving free room and board to the reigning culprit-in-charge.
One problem with all these butcher and baker shops is the waiting lines, or mobs. When
you walk in, look around and note the people who are present. Keep your eye over both
shoulders checking out new arrivals to make sure that no one makes an end run to the counter.
During busy shopping hours, there may be ten customers for each shopkeeper. Keep inching
forward or you could be in there all afternoon. If there's a large mob in a store, look around for
the "take-a-number" dispenser. These are becoming more common.
You wanted to buy a dozen eggs? Sorry, they come in cartons of ten in Holland.
Usually in Europe you must bag your own
groceries, in your own bag. If you didn't bring a bag, the
store will usually sell you a sturdy plastic one for the
equivalent of about 25¢. It can carry about 15 bottles of beer. Then you have a panic job of
bagging your groceries before those of the next customer come shooting down the ramp. Don't
expect consideration, much less a smile, from the cashier.
A small market like this one in San Sebastian, Spain can offer all the provisions you
need for the next couple of days. In a nearby wine shop I saw Nivara D.O. crianza for €2,59
(about $3.60) per bottle. That's mighty fine drinking for a mighty fine price.
As is typical throughout Europe, this drugstore in Tallinn, Estonia has its open hours posted on the front door,
and has the names and addresses of other drugstores in case this one is closed. In most cities
there is a rotating shift of drugstores open or available around the clock. The neon green cross
is the standard sign of drugstores. This one also displays the age-old symbol of the medical profession,
the caduceus, a winged staff enveloped by two snakes.
Items purchased outside the United States
are not covered by warranties issued by American
manufacturers or distributors of those products.
And there is a small chance that foreign purchased
products do not meet United States safety
standards. They may even be inferior goods with
forged brand labels from our "friends" in China.
On the other hand, manufacturers and
stores in Europe can bend over backwards to
make the customer happy. I bought a used bicycle
in Holland from a bike dealer. About six months later, the crank hub broke off. The frame was
completely ruined. I went to the bike shop and was told to bring the bike in and the manufacturer
would repair it. I did and they did, except that they gave me a completely new frame and
reassembled the bike. Cost? Nada. That's the Sparta bicycle company in Holland for you, the kind
of company you wish there were more of. I never heard of any other firm which would completely
rebuild a broken item for free. And mine was years old when I bought it second hand. That was
the third bike that I bought in Holland.
Although almost everything costs more in Europe, there are a few items to be had at a
lower price than at home.
Elizabeth's favorite souvenir of the places
she visits is a locally painted ceramic plate to
hang on the wall. Here she is in the amazing Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey
negotiating a new find. Of course
she also bought a carpet and that nice
leather backpack. A gang of brazen
gypsies nearly had their hands in her
backpack as we walked on a busy
boulevard in Istanbul. I couldn't believe it as
Elizabeth suddenly started swinging at
these girls without warning. I
didn't know what had transpired. The
gypsies didn't succeed in getting anything,
and they jumped into a waiting car and
were off before I could get a good picture.
One of my favorite souvenirs is another few dozen Dutch tulip bulbs, now planted around in the yard.
Make sure that the bulbs you buy have this certificate attached or the U.S. Department of Agriculture
will confiscate them as you pass through Customs on your return.
Where To Buy
Prices are normally lower in the country of origin, and lower yet in the city where made or
at the factory itself. One notable example of this is Swedish table crystal and decorative handmade
glass articles. These are sold at about one-fourth of the American retail price at factory
showrooms. The major brands are Boda, Kosta, and Orrefors, which are also the names of the
towns in southern Sweden where the glass is made. A number of other towns between Vaxjo and
Kalmar are also in this business. The items on sale are seconds, but are hardly distinguishable from
those on display in fashionable American stores.
Cut glass is also a specialty in the Czech Republic and the prices are very good, even on
major boulevards in Praha (Prague). Other glass items are also well priced. I bought a couple of
glass laboratory condensers for a couple dollars each in a side-street shop. Eastern and
southern Europe have more bargains because the price of nearly everything is lower in those areas.
Not only are the prices lower but the selection is much greater for Swiss watches and
Swiss army knives when you shop in Switzerland. Stephanie and I got knives for ourselves and
for gifts in Geneva. Elizabeth bought a watch on our trip south from Germany. It's a no-brainer.
Beer coasters from around Europe are my always souvenirs. They are free. I have
hundreds of them.
There are a few "free" souvenirs. One item that I indulge in is the paper coasters used in
bars and cafes throughout Europe. Each carries the emblem of the house brew. There is usually a
stack of them within easy reach on the bar or on the table. Or take the wet one under your own
glass. If you're a label saver, ask your waiter to steam the label off your dinner wine bottle.
Usually he will accommodate you. If he balks take the bottle back to your hotel room and do it yourself.
Matches are also a nice free souvenir when you find them.
Most matches in Europe, even book matches, are wooden.
I do not take towels from
hotels, but I do liberate ash trays
from restaurants. I ask for the
glass and ceramic ones but I just
pocket the plastic ones. At one of
my favorite restaurants in
Amsterdam, the Luden, I asked the waitress
for one of their nice glass ashtrays. She
went to the kitchen to check on it
and came back with a comment
that they are running low on them
and couldn't let me have it. Later,
the maître d' came by as I was admiring the candle holder. I wasn't going to ask, but she told me
that I couldn't have it, and then she volunteered the ashtray! Thanks. On my way out our waitress said
that she was sorry that I could not take the ashtray. I smiled. The restaurant Luden has been my favorite
in Amsterdam for years — good food, ambience, service, and prices. Sorry, but you probably
won't find any ashtrays in there any more. Holland is 100% smoke free, except for the "coffee
shops," a euphemistic term for stores selling mary jane. After dinner I visit the Hoppe brown bar, a short walk south.
It's the best meeting place in Amsterdam, for centuries. For the best lunch step over to the Café
Actually indoor smoking is now prohibited almost everywhere in Europe
so the supply of ashtrays has diminished considerably. They are still plentiful at outdoor cafes.
The souvenir shop at Rosslyn Chapel, Edinburgh, Scotland features the books you would expect.
Some items for sale overseas are prohibited from
entry to the United States, or require a permit for entry. A few examples are: firearms, fruits,
plants, meats, uncured cheeses, drug paraphernalia, and a long list of other items. Violations can
be expensive and embarrassing.
All goods from some countries are prohibited. Cuban cigars are sold throughout Europe
but you cannot bring them home because of an Executive Order signed by President John F. Kennedy
way back in 1962. That was after he stocked up his humidor with thousands of Cuban cigars.
Beautiful and expensive Iranian carpets are sold in Istanbul but
are not admitted to the USA because of Executive Order No. 12613 signed by President
Ronald Reagan in 1987. Iran has been a PITA for decades.
WMF stores are located throughout Germany. You can spend some time
shopping for kitchen ware here. They have
thousands of things that you never knew you needed. These are German goods
so you know they are not cheap. Other
manufacturers also have their own retail shops.
Forgery of trade marks is a serious
problem for producers of high fashion wear, tennis shoes, entertainment goods,
computer software, and other overpriced items.
When you return home, US Customs will confiscate any forged or copied item. Then they
might fit you with a sparkling set of bracelets and provide a free trip to their slammer.
Customs in Europe:
Know the Rules When Crossing Borders will introduce
you to regulations of the US Customs Service in addition to European customs.
While it was still communist, Elizabeth
and I visited Budapest for a week. We did the city tour, bought some souvenirs, and splurged for
dinner a couple of times. At lunch in one restaurant we admired the espresso cups. They included a
small "hat" to place over the cup to keep the java hot. Elizabeth asked where she could buy
these and after some discussion between the waitress and the manager, he offered to sell them to
We bought a set of six, but before leaving the restaurant a rather portly gentleman
appeared from the kitchen. He was the owner and had come out to look around. We didn't know
it at the time we made the deal but it seemed that the manager had sold something that was not
his to sell. He already had our money, and we had most of the coffee set in our day bags. But, Elizabeth
had rejected one cup due to a defect and she wanted a good one. We waited some 20 minutes for
a good cup to appear. Finally, from a nook near the stairs, the manager signaled us to leave and
discreetly put the last cup in my conveniently unzipped day bag as we walked past him out of
sight of the owner. I guess it could have been jail time for all of us if we had blinked.
All beer, booze, and wine sold in Sweden is sold by the government monopoly Systembolaget. This can be a problem for
congruent connoisseurs of fine spirits traveling on a budget. The Systembolaget operates on the premise that
every drinker is also a millionaire. Therefore, bring your beverages from the duty free shop on the ferry
like every self-respecting tax-dodging Swede. Then you won't have to search all over Stockholm for one of these
stores with restricted hours and astronomical prices.
In Holland you can buy beer and wine in every grocery store. This is the beer display in a small market
in Haarlem, Netherlands. If you had a bushel of wheat you could make bread. You could also make beer.
After giving this momentous question two seconds of thought I decide that I am thirsty. Beer is food.
Buying wine and returning it to the USA is a worthwhile diversion as you travel in Europe.
It is relatively easy to find wine shops
in the major cities which will help you select some good souvenirs and package them for your
return flight. But you can no longer bring open market wine in carry-on luggage, since August 2006.
You must now put your wine in checked luggage, and I do not
guarantee that it will arrive or arrive in one piece. See chapter 6,
A Packing List for Europe for the latest airline
carry-on luggage rules.
Many states in the USA restrict or prohibit entry of alcoholic beverages. Those are the states
with the most churches. Even though Jesus made wine you better be careful that you don't commit
a felony by bringing some ruby liquids into these states. Review chapter 25,
Know the Rules When Crossing Borders
for more information.
We were driving back to Holland from Italy so I stopped in Burgundy
again to taste and buy. This region of France has a
magnet out for me. Stephanie shot this as I
waited for my wine purchase paperwork. A
certificate is issued when you buy en vrac (in
bulk) as I am doing here. When we lived in Germany I would drive from
Aschaffenburg to Beaune and fill the trunk of the
car with over 100 liters of that beautiful ruby liquid from 4 or 5
Dégustation stores or vinyards on a Saturday, and then drive home with the loot. It
is a bargain. You can buy 10 or 20 liter containers from the merchant, or bring
your own. Get free labels, and buy bottles and corks separately if
you want to bottle it and put some away. My corker got plenty of exercise.
Drinking French wine helps you speak French. Oui!!
These are my summer driving clothes in Europe. This photo is probably from 1998 when I
was a young lad of 55. [2310-WinePurchase.jpg. Photo by Stephanie.]
Buying Burgundy Wine.
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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 chapter do not hesitate to write and ask.
My email address is
When you write please include as much detail as possible. There are about 50 countries in Europe.
It will help me answer if you mention the countries and/or cities you plan to visit.
I will reply in a day or two.
Don't forget to scroll through the Table of Contents below. The other 29 chapters of
HOW TO EUROPE
are also available, free to read on line.
For a check-off punchlist of everything go to The Finale,
Packing List and Last Call:
For Travel In Europe.
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Have a good trip in life,
Note: Italicized notations by the author.
Walk on cork for all day comfort.
Birkenstock Bali Sandal
Birkenstock Arizona Sandal
Just as comfortable as tennies but look great. I've gone through several pairs over the years.
Stay trimmed and neat.
Royce Leather Ladies
Travel Kit with Shaver
It rains. Be prepared.
Totes Titanium Auto-Open/Close Umbrella
For leg comfort on the plane.
Arriva Travel-Tec Travel Legwear with Smart Compression Technology
Block the light and noise while flying.
Bucky Shades Sleep Mask
Certainly a better pillow than the corporate issue on the plane.
Bucky Fuzzy Wuzzy U Pillow With Snap & Go
To relax and sleep on the plane.
Organic Valerian Root 515mg - 100 - Capsule
Rolling luggage sure beats lugging a pack on your back.
Delsey Luggage Helium Fusion Light 21 Inches Expandable Carryon
Day luggage for your walkabout.
Travelpro Luggage WalkAbout LITE 4 Deluxe Tote
Here is a convenient travel purse.
Rothco Venturer Travel Portfolio Bag
Keep your stuff organized.
Luggage Packing Cubes
eBags 3pc Set
eBags Small Packing Cubes - 3pc Set
The two gallon size is excellent for packing your clothes, but it is hard to find in Europe.
2 gal. clear plastic bags
ZipLoc by SC Johnson
This carry-on liquids kit meets TSA airline rules.
Eagle Creek Travel Gear Pack-It Custom Travel Bottle Set
Wash in your room basin and save time, trouble, and money.
Woolite Laundry Soap
20 packs, ¼ ounce each
Inflatable clothes hangars help with drip dry clothes washed in your room.
Inflatable Travel & Laundry Hangers Set Of 4 by Whitney Design
Much stronger than duct tape and doesn't leave that gummy residue.
1" x 60 yards
3M Company #8957-1
An RFID blocking wallet protects your passport and credit cards from identity theft in public places.
Travelon RFID Blocking Passport Case
This portable combo door stopper and alarm will give you additional security in your hotel room.
GE 50246 Smart Home
Door Stop Alarm
A bungee cord is very handy for tying your shoulder bag to your roller bag frame.
Crawford-Lehigh 6102 Bungee Stretch Cords Assortment
You will need one or more of these plug adapters to use your electrical devices in Europe. The first
item works just about everywhere on the Continent.
Universal to Continental Europe "Europlug."
4.0 mm prongs. Ungrounded.
This plug adapter does not fit in many outlets of Italy and Switzerland. It is the standard plug in France, Germany,
and northern Europe.
SIMRAN PLUG ADAPTER
Adapts grounded USA plugs to European grounded "Shucko" plug.
4.8 mm prongs
This is a universal plug adapter for the UK and Ireland.
AC Adapter Plug for use in England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland
This series of "3-Pack" Ceptics brand grounded universal plug adapters is handy if you are carrying multiple
gizmos or if you have travel companions who also need a charge.
Britain and Ireland
This 110-250 volt power surge strip has three universal outlets and an American grounded plug
so it needs a plug adapter for the countries you are visiting.
Make sure your gizmos are rated for 110-240 volts.
SM-60 Universal 3 Outlet Power Strip Surge Protector for Worldwide Travel. 110V-250V with Overload Protection.
For charging up to six gizmos at a time use this 250 volt universal
power strip. It comes with a grounded Continental plug.
6 Universal Outlets
220/240 Volt 50/60Hz
If your gizmos charge through a USB port this can keep you going. European cars have the same
12 volt system as American cars.
Scosche Dual USB
Make sure that your electrical appliances are 110-220 dual voltage so they will work in Europe.
These appliances require a plug adapter(s), NOT a converter, for the countries you are visiting.
Vagabond Compact Styler
Conair's Dual-Voltage Ionic Hair Dryer
Conair Flat Iron 2" Ceramic Straightener
Travel Hair Setter
SteamFast SF-717 Home-and-Away Mini Steam Iron (dual voltage)
Braun Series 1 150 Men's Shaver with Automatic Worldwide Voltage Adjustment
For light sleepers here is an international "white noise" machine. Includes a Continental
Marsona TSCi-330 White Noise Travel Sound Conditioner For both USA and International Use
For coffee or tea in your room, without waiting or paying for room service.
Lewis N. Clark Immersion Heater 120/240V
Starbucks makes the best instant coffee I have found, and these little packets cost only 58¢ each
in the 50 unit box. That's a bargain in the USA and an absolute steal anyplace in Europe.
Starbucks VIA Ready Brew Coffee, available in House Blend, Colombia, Italian, and Italian Decaf roasts.
My book will get you started.
HOW TO EUROPE
by John Bermont
The best travel guide to all of Europe.
Europe on a Shoestring
The essential timetable and handbook for rail travelers.
European Rail Timetable
Two excellent maps to help you plan and execute your journey.
Rail Map Europe
Thomas Cook Rail Map
Rail Map of Britain & Ireland
Thomas Cook Rail Map
A comprehensive guide to 3,000 hotels and restaurants in 44 major cities throughout Europe, in English.
Separate books in the Michelin Red series cover individual countries in greater detail. This is a must have
for frequent travelers.
Main Cities of Europe 2013
This will come in very handy very often.
For reading maps and other stuff with fine print.
Bausch and Lomb 2X Folding Lighted Magnifier
A Swiss Army knife is probably the best traveling tool there is, but it must be
in your checked luggage on the plane.
Victorinox Swiss Army Fieldmaster Pocket Knife
Who wrote this?
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