Europe at any season always sounds like a good idea. From the first glance of La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona to rolling Italian countryside, the appeal of this continent is often the first stop on an international itinerary. However Europe novices can get caught up in the magic and mystery of the anticipated adventure and fail to pack many key items that make the trip easier. Look smarter and feel it too by tossing in your bag a few of these European essentials.
Coin Purse: Most wallets with their small slots for coinage will simply not do in Europe. Often, you will have 20 Euros in coinage and not even know it for that loose change is hiding at the bottom of your bag. Every European packing list must include a coin purse to keep that costly chunk of change in order.
Pumice Stone: Most cities in Europe are made for walking. If you see yourself strolling down ancient cobblestone streets as though you are walking on air, you will quickly find plenty of dirt, grim and blisters attacking your feet and altering that dream. On my many visits to Europe, I finally became wise to this problem of not being able to get my feet clean and rub off dead skin. A pumice stone (photo) is an easy item to throw into your toiletry bag. After a day spent wandering through Florence or strolling Parisian streets, your feet will thank you for the good scrub.
Shawl/Scarf: Don’t be that guy or girl who tries to waltz into a church in Europe wearing nothing but a tank top and shorts. You will quickly be shooed out of the house of worship. The scantily clad are not welcome at these pearly gates. A shawl or scarf can save you this embarrassment. Shoulders can be covered up easily so that you don’t miss out on seeing some spectacular frescoes and ornate altars.
Money Belts and Zippered Bags: Safety is an issue no matter where you go in the world. Your purse can be stolen from your own backyard, but as a tourist in Europe, you will find yourself in many small, crowded spaces. Pickpockets prey on jam-packed metro cars and down distracting thoroughfares in European cities. Come prepared with your pickpocket plan of action. If you feel a money belt is the right course of action, so be it. If you don’t want to have your wallet buried underneath your clothes, just be sure to only cart around a purse with a zippered closure or invest in a slash-proof bag.
Anti-Bacterial Liquid/Baby Wipes: Most first timers to Europe pack in the classic cities of London, Paris and Rome to their itinerary. Going city to city, train station to train station, the griminess of Europe will start to become apparent. As you will be using many different means of transportation and tackling varies degrees of humidity, it is a good idea to have antibacterial liquid on hand along with baby wipes. Both can make you feel cleaner without having to head back to the hotel to shower.