Everyone has their ideas on what is important when traveling, in my opinion these are essentials when traveling by yourself in Europe or anywhere for that matter.
- Your smartphone is your best friend while traveling around. Lose the big bulky camera if you are looking for quick and lightweight travel. If you aren’t trying to spend money and you have a huge suitcase and are staying in nice hotels everywhere you go bring a tripod, separate lenses, and the whole shabang. But let’s be real, if that is your case you probably aren’t readying this. Your phone is your camera, your tool for moving funds, your tour guide, and your map. You need to find out what trains to take and where to grab them and what time they leave. That is all available on google maps!
- External battery charger!
- I used the Mophie Powerstation XL external Battery Pack. This thing will literally save your life. The outlet situation int most of Europe is an absolute shitshow compared to what we have in the US. I spent 2 days on the road sleeping on trains at night and I searched for outlets for hours. Having this battery pack kept me from getting lost in the middle of Italy when I got off at the wrong stop at 3 AM and my phone was dead. Charge it every chance you get. You won’t regret it. Especially if you don’t have access to a plug adapter which brings me to the next point.
- Travel Adaptor
- For some reason that makes little to no sense, whoever was in charge of deciding what plugs to use across the world thought it would be hilarious to have a different plug and voltage in every single country. Somehow, we can all agree on using the same way to track and tell time, but when it comes to electricity we are all insane. Not only are the plugs only two holes or completely different fit than what we have in the US, the voltage is way higher and can fry many of your electrical devices. Grab an adapter and thank me later. Power Adapter . You can have just regular plug adapters, but the voltage adaption is the most important part when charging your devices multiple times. If you have a laptop check the batter power back for the settings in the back: 100 – 240 V setting means it takes care of the conversion and you should be fine. But you still need the plug adapter
- A good VPN – private internet access.
- This might be a surprise to a lot of you and you may not even know what it is. Basically, everywhere you connect to the internet you are provided an automatic IP address that is like a mailing address to your device. In some countries this will limit your ability to view things on the internet such as certain Netflix shows or HBO now. Using a VPN will hide your actual IP address and assign you one that pretends you are located somewhere else in the world. I used this to be able to access HBO now and watch Game of Thrones in English. What a great use right? The other benefit is security. You will probably be using public free Wifi connections all over the place. The internet in Europe is actually way better than here and there is free Wi-Fi everywhere. Just ask people. But, remember to use a VPN for your own protection!
- Here is a quick rapid-fire list of things to remember:
- Bring a quick dry travel towel. Just do it. Don’t complain.
- Don’t tip anyone. Unless it is clearly obvious they want and deserve a tip, DO NOT TIP. It is not customary to tip at restaurants or bars in most of Europe. I left 5 bucks in cash at the first restaurant I went to and the waitress called her boss over and asked what to do and they both looked at me like I was an absolute idiot.
- Try not to wear flashy, American brand clothing. Wearing your colorful Nikes, and your college emblem and name on a shirt will make you stand out like a sore thumb. Especially if you are in a sketchy place, try not to look like an American just to avoid the risk.
These are some of my important items and tips. What did I miss? Let me know in the comments and be sure to subscribe to my Email Newsletter to receive weekly updates.
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