There isn’t anything comfortable or energizing about traveling long distances in planes, trains, or automobiles. Spending hours and days and crossing time zones in a cramped seat while your over-processed airline food or gas station candy settles at the bottom of your stomach is a recipe for restlessness. There are a few items that can relieve some of the nightmares of traveling, however, and believe me – they are worth the investment!
For any travel:
1. E-reader – If you are a reader of books or magazines, there is nothing worse than having to haul around a backpack full of heavy books that hogs valuable trunk or carry-on space. Reading material is a must for the hours upon hours spent doing nothing but sitting during travel, but there is a much easier, lighter, and smaller way to bring your library along with you. Up until my most recent trip from Michigan to Taiwan, I was that girl who had a carry-on full of heavy books. But this time, I just packed up my little iPad Mini, stocked with some books downloaded to the Kindle app, and found myself with a whole new world of extra room in my carry-on! It truly is a lifesaver. It is a bit of an investment, but I’ll doubt you’ll regret it. Many e-readers also allow web browsing and have thousands of apps to keep you entertained, as well. Read More
One thing to remember about traveling throughout Europe is that they have just about everything you could ever need available in stores open 5-6 days a week. Except peanut butter. Europeans still use hairdryers and tooth brushes. In fact, they have hair dryers with European double prong plugs! This gets rid of the headache of trying to remember where your adapter is. In addition to toiletries, remember that when both academic semesters start (Spring and Fall), they usually correspond to some great sale seasons throughout Europe (either post-Christmas or end of summer sales). Consider packing half the clothes you think you’ll need, and use that as an excuse to pick up some sweet European styles. I’ll list some guidelines below to get you off to a good start, but if you’re able to take a deep breath, and internalize that anything you forget can always be picked up later during your trip, packing for a semester abroad or long backpacking trip is a lot less stressful. Read More