Monday, April 12, 2010

things to reconsider...

... thinking I could actually get everything I plan to take to Europe in one back pack. I even pack eye liner when I go camping. Sigh.


Margaret in Minnesota said...

Who doesn't pack eye liner when they go camping? It's as essential as matches, in my opinion.

Andrea said...

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE dont make the same mistake I did and take everything you think you need! The old adage is true: take half as much clothes and twice as much money!

Here is what you do: pack as though you are leaving, then take your backpack for a nice mile-long hike. Then, still wearing it, climb 3 flights of stairs. If by the end of that you are dying then you know its too much. Most metro stations in Italy do not have elevators!! BTW, the Ottaviano stop which is nearest to the Vatican has NO elevator!!!

Seriously. Do it. I am not kidding.

kired said...

I suppose it depends on the size of the backpack. If you really need a heavy backpack, consider getting a luggage cart. Please don't overload that adorable heart of yours.

The Crescat said...

I know. I am worried that over exertion might put me in some foreign hospital. I am going to pace myself.

nazareth priest said...

I learned to "KISS" (keep it simple stupid) when I had to go monthly from CT to WI via airplane.
I learned to pack light; otherwise, I'd die before I got to the other end.
Eyeliner...well, I don't have to deal with that (really!)...I had enough crap to lug along with me and even that got lighter as the months rolled on.
Live and learn:<)!

John (Ad Orientem) said...

Do take...
1. Clothes for the environment. Probably no more than 4 or 5 changes of clothes with a back up supply of clean socks and undergarments. One set of clothes should be suitable for semi-formal dress (Sunday Mass or dinner in a really nice ristorante with the Pope's secretary what's his name...). The rest should be casual and comfortable.
2. SENSIBLE SHOES. You will be doing more walking than you thought possible unless Italy has changed a lot since I was there.
3. A photo-copy of your passport and drivers license. This should kept some place SAFE when you are abroad. If your hotel has a safe that should be locked there along with any other valuables you won't be carrying around with you.
4. A supply of any medications you may need while overseas.
5. A digital camera with the largest memory card you can get for it.
6. An emergency supply of cash or near equivalent. I suggest Travelers Checks. These should be kept locked up when not needed.
7. The phone number of the US Embassy which you should have on you at all times.

Do NOT carry more cash with you then you are likely to need for the day. Do NOT carry more than one credit/debit card with you. Keep your reserve cards and cash locked in the hotel safe at all times. NEVER leave any valuables including your luggage unattended at any time for any reason. Do not wear expensive jewelry. In fact I would leave anything in that category at home. Limit the things you carry that could be stolen in a snatch and run. Don't carry your cash in your purse or any other obvious place. Disburse it in different places and keep enough cash in one of your shoes to cover a cab ride back to the hotel in case something bad happens. Don't flash money. Beware of pick pockets especially in the vicinity of the tourist attractions. The cute Gypsy kids are almost without exception highly skilled thieves. If they mob you begging for charity grab one of them and box his or her ears. That usually will scatter them.

Be aware of your surroundings. Don't walk in unlit places and if you get lost flag down a cab. On which note...

BE DAMNED CAREFUL WITH TRAFFIC! Italians are among the worst drivers in Europe. Seriously. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO DRIVE ANYWHERE.

Buy a FODOR's or comparable travel guide for Italy.

And have a great trip.

Christ is risen!