Eurotrip: Gear I Brought

I did a lot of research before my  backpacking trip last summer. Reading travel blogs and product descriptions and hotel reviews was so much fun for me, I honestly think I miss it just as much as the trip itself. Some of this stuff is obvious, while some items are more of a luxury or non-necessity. packing cubes Packing cubes I bought this set of three long packing cubes to organize my clothing. I had underwear, bras, socks and pajamas in one, tops and scarves in another, and skirts, dresses and pants in the last. Because my pack had just one main compartment, these helped me retain my sanity whilst trying to locate specific items. Laundry bag I brought the small drawstring canvas bag that came with my Toms as my laundry bag. I used it to keep clothes that were definitely dirty away from clothes that still had a few more wears in them. It gets surprisingly difficult to differentiate between clean and dirty when you cram it all in one rucksack. accessories Plug adaptor This is one of the obvious ones. They have these things for around $6 at Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Target, etc but I just got mine on Amazon. Packable tote bag We have like ten of these just floating around my house. Again, inexpensive, takes up hardly any room in my bag, and even had a carabiner to clip onto the daisy chain on my backpack's exterior. I used this to carry groceries back to the hostel, to bring Champaign and baguettes to watch the Champaign lights in Paris, and to carry my souvenirs home at the end of the trip. Pill holder + melatonin I get a lot of headaches so this was filled with half ibuprofen and half melatonin. I found this chocolatey melatonin at target after some serious searching. I used it to sleep on the plane to Dublin but after that I was honestly so tired every night that I fell asleep immediately. Utensil multi-tool This was an impulse buy at Sports Authority but it was cheap, took up almost no space in my bag, and actually came in pretty handy when we got takeaway Indian food in London and realized back at the hostel that we didn't have utensils.   Combination locks For hostel lockers and even for long train journeys if I wanted to take a nap. I am terrible at remembering numbers so I kept the combination in my travel journal that was typically in my purse strapped across my body or in my bunk under my pillow. IMG_1407Cocoon travel sheet Sleep sack This might be considered a bit of a princess item but for me it was a necessity. I'm fussy about sheets even in a 4 star hotel, so forget about sleeping on a hostel bed with nothing to separate me from someone else's dead skin cells. This is essentially a sleeping bag made of thin sheet fabric that is open on one side. It has a fold at the top to put the hostel pillow in or stuff with clothing and comes in a little stuff sack to keep it compressed. I can't imagine traveling without this. travel wallet IMG_1397 Travel wallet Again, not totally necessary but I liked having it. Mine is from j crew and has my initials embossed on the front. I liked knowing exactly where my passport was and having pockets designated for specific things like airline or train tickets, currency, and cards. It even has a spot to put a pen so I didn't have to fish around my purse. currency organizer Currency Organizer I had this thing from my first ever trip abroad- it was a gift from my grandmother who was a flight attendant for about a million years.  I really enjoyed being able to separate my British Pounds from my Euros and my Euros from my Czech Koruna. My wallet has 3 large zip compartments on the main piece, which are great for paper money, and then a smaller coin purse that I could detach from the zipper to take out each day.   sleep mask and neck pillow Eye mask + ear plugs Didn't use these because I'm weird about sleeping around other people who are not also asleep. On long train journeys I just listened to music on my phone and slept fine that way. I include these on the list because I think they do help a lot of people and I will probably pack them next time just because they are so small and could still come in handy. Inflatable neck pillow I take this on every plane ride I've been on since I received it back in 2007. Mine is from Brookstone and comes with a nice soft flannel-y cover. You gotta have a neck pillow because is there really anything worse than falling asleep sitting up and jerking awake every 3 minutes because your head keeps flopping forward? I'm an advocate for the inflatable variety because they fold flat and you can adjust their firmness to your own preference. Plus, I just think the squishy foam ones look so lame hanging from tourist's backs. Lay-n-Go toiletries bag I needed a new toiletry bag and decided to give this one a shot. It held all my junk no problem and I definitely like the lay-flat feature for when I want to see what's inside. The only thing I would change is to have a hook at one end so I could hang it in the shower stall. There's nothing cute about hostel showers and I did not enjoy having to put my shampoo and conditioner and soap on the nasty floor because the shower had no shelves. I hope that gave you some things to think about for your next adventure! If you're curious as to what else came to Europe with me, you can check out my clothing list here or my makeup list here. xx Meghan

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