An Online Primer for Budget Exploration
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WHAT TO PACK
Light makes right. For clothing, the rule of thumb is to lay out the bare minimum of clothes you'll need, and take half that amount (and twice as much money as you planned). If you carry a lot of luggage, remember you are going to be dragging it in and out of trains, buses, etc. the whole time you are there. I generally take a week's worth of clothing, so that I am not doing laundry every second day. On the other hand, the aforementioned friend's father who took only a fanny pack had two sets of clothing, and washed the day's set out each night in the hotel.
Don't take a favorite article of clothing unless it is very durable, since it can easily get ruined, lost or stolen. Certainly it will get well-worn. Think about colors, too, because light and white articles show travel grime more readily.
Dress in lightweight layers. I like T-shirts, cotton/flannel shirts and a hooded sweat jacket for summer travel. I just add on or peel off layers as the weather changes. Thick wool sweaters are lovely and comfortable but they are also bulky and weigh a ton. I take a nice pair of jeans (durable but heavy) and a sturdy pair of shorts with multiple, deep pockets. Pack along some old clothes if you are going to look for outdoors work. You may also want to pack very lightly and pick up several items while in Europe. The C&A department store chain has cheap clothing.
Things to remember: film is expensive in most of Europe so bring a supply (processing there may also be different than here, so be sure to ask). A couple of good pens are handy; keep your address book in a special place. (I have friends who take a few sets of address labels, which can be quickly peeled and pasted onto postcards for easy mailings.) A sewing kit (very useful). A lighter. Film containers of laundry soap. Ziplock bags. Rubber bands. Hand soap and toothbrush holders. A drawstring bag. Three garbage bags for clothing storage. Superglue. A medical kit with tweezers, ointment, a few bandages, etc. Hostelers will need a bed sheet. A book or two (swap with fellow travelers when you finish). Family and personal photos (to share with Europeans you meet). Several extra passport-sized photos are handy: you may need them for visas (outside of western Europe).
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