(based on experience)
Since embarking on my great European summer adventure in 2015, I experienced many learning curves and have come up with a list of tips for future reference. Some of them are silly, others a touch more serious, but all helpful, handy and important. I hope this helps you with your next adventure!
- Pack a small hand towel – the amount of times I needed one of these while I sweated my ass off walking around scorching European cities with very little refuge from the sun, oh man.
- Have deodorant in your daypack – clearly in relation to tip number one. One application of deo can only go so far when it has to compete with a busy tourist schedule and 40-degree days!
- Bring packets of washing detergent – clothes get filthy at a ridiculously fast pace and you may not always be staying at a hostel with laundry facilities. Hand washing and using your bunk bed as a clothesline may be your only option! Especially if you’re down to your last pair of undies!
- Always have cash ready and keep them in separate places – this is all for ‘just in-case’ situations. It’s common sense that you shouldn’t walk around with huge amounts of cash with you so store some in your locker in your hostel, put it in your bra, or your shoe – just not all in your wallet. Maybe your hostel only accepts cash so be sure to check that too (it happened).
- Have a spare lock – I have a habit of losing things and more often than not, I’ll find myself 1 (or 2) locks short when I’m about to check out of a hostel. So take it from me, always have a spare and always keep it in the same spot. They come in handy when your room has lockers.
- Bring a good travel book (or 2) – I stupidly forgot my books at home before I set off for this trip and ended up buying a book at a bus station somewhere in Germany (which had a small selection of English books). There will be bus delays, train delays, flight delays and layovers. Free wifi is only offered in some places and only lasts for so long. Even upload books onto your phone if that’s your thing.
- Carry your phone charger in your handbag/daypack – some days your phone will die at an unbelievably rapid speed.
- Pack a travel sheet/slip – main reason: bed bugs (yes, I did get bed bugs). Also, some hostels charge for a bed sheet so you may find yourself just a tad chill at night. They’re light, versatile and take up little to no space compared to a sleeping bag!
- Have access to insect repellent at all times – mosquitoes everywhere. Even when you think you’re safe.. you’re not. Ever.
- Avoid white clothes – no matter what you do, they WILL stain. From food, from sweat, from sunscreen (damn you, sunscreen!). Neutral colours and patterns are the way to go guys. You’ll get to a point where you don’t care about clashing outfits. Practicality all the way.