Baggage Size and Weight Restrictions
Keep in mind that you must carry your own luggage into and out of our hotels unless you tip hotel staff to do it for you. We suggest a maximum of two pieces of luggage, one piece no larger than 62 inches (length plus width plus height), and the other piece no larger than 50 inches (length plus width plus height). We suggest that you pack the smaller suitcase with your clothes and toiletries, and then pack it inside the larger suitcase – as you accumulate souvenirs along the way, you will have an empty suitcase in which to pack them. Contact your airline for their baggage size and weight limitations to avoid incurring excess baggage charges.
Choose the Right Luggage
Good quality, soft-sided luggage is lightweight, durable, washable, and absorbs shock better than hard-sided luggage. It is also a little more forgiving if you over-pack it! Look for durable, waterproof nylon with a high-density weave, strong double zippers, comfortable handles, and wheels.
What to Bring
Take it from a seasoned, European traveler – the most important rule of packing is TRAVEL LIGHT! People tend to pack far more than they really need or even use. If you have to think twice about it, don't bring it. I can't tell you how many of my Puppentourists, who didn't believe this before the tour, told me at the end of the tour that they hadn't used half of what they had brought with them. I take everything I need in one, carry-on bag, including a collapsible bag in which to carry home the souvenirs I purchase along the way. As a consequence, I have no concerns about checked luggage getting lost on the way to my destination, which could ruin the first few days of my trip.
Pack separates that coordinate with other items in your wardrobe. Choose two or three colors that work well together, and take clothes only in those colors so everything will work well together. Choose wrinkle-resistant fabrics – cotton/polyester blends, knits, jersey, lightweight wools, gaberdine, and washable silks, are all good choices. If you're not sure about a fabric, crush a handful for a minute and then let go of it. If it's full of tiny wrinkles, leave it at home. Choose durable clothes that can be hand-washed. Plan to dress in layers if the weather turns unexpedtedly cool. Look for versatile items that can serve more than one purpose. Comfortable walking shoes are a must! Make sure you've broken in your walking shoes before you leave home.
If you plan to bring an electric hair-dryer or other electrical devices, buy travel-sized, dual-voltage models and Continental-type socket adapters, with two round prongs. Adaptors are available at most luggage shops and at Radio Shack. We do not recommend devices that require a converter in addition to the socket adapters – even if you get it right, chances are you'll cause a power outage in the hotel. If you can find battery-powered appliances, make sure they run on AA batteries, which are readily available.
Use sample-sized toiletries whenever possible, or put your toiletries into small leak-proof containers. You should leave some room in them, then squeeze the air out before you put the lid on. This will keep the contents from leaking out in flight. Pack these in a waterproof bag. If need-be, you can always pick up additional toiletries in Europe.
If you need a washcloth to feel clean, bring your own – they are not always standard issue in hotels. A few plastic, zip-lock bags will always come in handy. Bring an extra pair of eyeglasses, or contact lenses and lens solution – it's expensive in Europe. If you have a health problem that requires a prescription drug, pack enough to last the duration of the trip and then some, in the event you experience a flight delay. Always carry prescription drugs in their original packaging to avoid problems with customs officials. Checked luggage can go astray, so pack prescriptions in your carry-on.
How to Pack
When packing your clothes, you don't want to neatly fold them individually as you would in a dresser. If you do, they will crease when compressed. Rolling works well with pants, skirts, and sports shirts. Lay the item face down, fold back the sleeves and then roll from the bottom up. Take two or more garments – slacks, for example – and lay half of one pair on top of the other. Fold the one on the bottom over the pair on the top. Then take the other and fold it on the top. This gives each pair some cushion where you've folded it so it's less likely to crease or wrinkle in the folds.
Securing your Luggage
Since "9/11", inspectors have the authority to look at the contents of your luggage and will break locks open, so don't bother with locks. Using a luggage strap provides a degree of security, is easily opened and replaced (usually) by TSA personnel, and assists you in identifying your luggage at baggage pickup. Luggage is not insured unless you have purchased travel insurance that includes this coverage. Puppentour assumes no responsibility for lost or stolen personal effects.
Put your name, home address, and phone number inside your luggage. Prior to departure, you will be supplied with two, special Puppentour luggage tags. These must be attached to the outside of your luggage.
Packing List (suggested)
- Adapters, electrical
- Airline ticket
- Alarm clock
- Camera (digital)
- Cash (native currency and euro)
- Debit/Credit card(s)
- Document copies
- Itineraries, flight/tour
- Laundry soap
- Money belt
- Bras (2)
- Jacket, light
- Panties (4-6)
- Shirts/Blouses (2-4)
- Shoes (walking)
- Skirt (2) & Slip
- Slacks (2)
- Socks/Stockings (4-6)
- Accessories (scarf, belt, etc.)
- Packing tape
- Ziplock bags