So many of you are making plans to go overseas this summer. Can I be the first to say that I'm extremely jealous?
I don't feel like an expert on much of anything, but if there's one thing I know much about, it's traveling. I've done it for years, and now I will give you advice on how to do it the right way.
Here are some travel essentials for European travels:
1.Before you leave the house to even head to the airport, snag one of these beauties to organize your essentials: passport, visas (if necessary), cash, cards, and IDs. Now pay attention, because this is the most important part: bury that thing DEEP inside a bag or zip-able pocket where you can access it easily, but no one else can. Also, have copies of these documents along with some emergency cash in another bag or location, just in case.
2. Get a weekender. Use it as a carry-on, as a purse, and as a travel bag throughout the city. They're usually light but carry way more than you'd realize without looking bulky and ridiculous. Interior pockets with zippers are worth the extra money, I promise. See #1.
3 and 4. This one's for all you memory keepers. Take a journal.Leather-bound journals hold up really well and only look better as they wear, in my opinion. I also like them because they aren't spiral bound, because the spirals get all wonky and hard to use. I like that they generally wrap the pages completely so the edges of the pages don't crinkle or bend. Stick an envelope in there as well to hold all of your train ticket stubs and smaller souvenirs. You'll thank me for this. I really want one of these leather envelopes for this purpose.
5. Cosmetic bags that are waterproof are excellent. You should put anything that could possibly leak in zip-locs anyway, but why not have a little extra protection? This has saved my butt in the past, so I'm paying it forward. Also, you shouldn't need more cosmetics than will fit in a smaller bag like this one. You're on vacation, for Pete's sake.
6. Have a scarf in your bag that you carry at all times. Chances are you'll want to poke your head into a cathedral or a church for some reason while you're in Western Europe, because they're gorgeous, but most of these religious buildings require women to have their shoulders covered. If you're wearing a sundress or a tank top, the people at the front will physically prevent you from entering, so have this for draping purposes just in case.
7. In Europe it rains! Then it's sunny. Then it rains. So have an umbrella that folds up into a tiny little wrap that you can keep in your purse. Also have a large ziploc bag to put it in so it doesn't get everything in your bag damp.