November 24, 2011

Hello Europe and Packing Tips Part 1







One rainy May afternoon, my grandmother casually asked me if I wanted to go to Europe with her. Not knowing it would push through, I gamely said "yes". We didn't think about the trip for the next two months or so until one day I was asked by my parents to fill up some forms for my UK visa. I was not really paying attention to it since I was too busy with my new work. We were supposed to go with some relatives but some backed out. We also had to move the trip from October to November since we were waiting for my aunt's visa which was eventually denied even though she has traveled to more Asian countries than I did. A tip if you're planning to go to Europe: don't buy tickets or book anything until you get your visas. We had to move our flight three times, switching from Qatar Airways to KLM back to Qatar Airways. 

Anyway, that's our route up there.  Quite tiring but it was worth it. 
Qatar Airways and Doha International Airport
Had a really pleasant flight since it was a 5 star airline. Really good service.

I just love that it's touch screen. I've had something like this in Air New Zealand or Qantas but I don't remember them being touch screen.  I wasn't able to sleep because of the movie selection and oh oh oh they had The Big Bang Theory!! How awesome is that?

Anyway, one of the most stressful and fun part of traveling is packing. Here are my top 5 tips on packing if you're going on a group tour.

1. INVEST in a good, sturdy bag/luggage. Never buy cheap ones. If you plan on traveling a lot, your luggage will most likely be thrown around a hundred times. You have to protect your belongings and valuables and your first line of defense is a good luggage. I know a lot of people who bought bad luggage bags and ended up with stolen/lost items and big problems at the airport with their panties on the floor. Not cool.
This is our handy Samsonite. It's been to more countries than I did for a couple of years.

2. PACK LIGHT. If you're going on a tour or basically anywhere, you will always be on the go and would literally live out of your suitcase. Believe me, no one wants to look as if they brought their whole house.  It's inconvenient and luggage weight restrictions vary from airlines to countries.  Always check whether you have the right luggage weight and size before traveling. I only brought this Samsonite luggage and my Topshop satchel. I'm glad I did since I was able to have more room for things I shopped like a new bag, chocolates, clothes etc.

3. PACK LIGHT: EDIT. It's very tempting to use the cold weather in Europe as an excuse to bring more clothes and to be fashionable and I tried. I really did but hell no. The first thing  I learned when traveling is 'WAG MAGMAGANDA'. Comfort should be your priority. Those chicks in Lookbook in European countries can afford to look awesome cos they live there. But when you're traveling in a group where you have to wake up at 5am or 6am in the morning, follow your tour guide across a whole town, check in your baggage at airports and seaports, it is ridiculous to wear heels. If you're from a sunny country like the Philippines and cannot handle sub zero degrees then don't wear (just) stockings because they make your legs look thinner and longer.  If you think you'd want different jackets for different days then go ahead. As long as you could fit them in your luggage then go. But if you're like me who could only fit two super thick and heavy wool jackets then fashion be damned.

Note: If you're traveling with your boyfriend and he's willing to carry everything for you then you're in luck. :)
I wanted to bring all of them. Leather jackets, military jackets, tweed jacket, several knit ones but no, ALL of them had to be cut from the list and I'm so glad I did. No matter how much I would layer, these jackets will not protect me from zero degrees weather.  I had to be realistic.  They would not fit in my luggage because they're heavy and thick and I still had electronics to bring and pasalubongs to take home.
4. Zip lock bags. They're a must especially if you want to pass through airport security and still bring your moisturizers and make-up in your carry-on bags. I also used them to separate some jewelry, medicine etc. Really handy.  

5. Make A List. To ensure you have everything in order, always write down the things you need. You will be staying in different hotels and if you are a slob who would unpack everything in each stop, then you really need a list to organize your thoughts and know which is which and where are they located. 

Categories in my list include:

a. clothes (jackets, shoes, cardigans, undies, socks, leggings and tanks for layering etc.)

b. toiletries (toothpaste, toothbrush, facial wash, toner, cotton, make-up remover, soap, shampoo, napkin, moisturizers and a whole looot more. Note: some hotels in Europe do not have toothpaste for some reason)

c. electronics (DSLR, digicam, laptop, videocam, Ipod and their chargers etc. Note: UK and the rest of Europe have different plug holes so I brought a universal/global plug adapter)

d. make-up (mostly tinted moisturizers, lip balms etc.)

e. medicine (mostly medicine for my stomach, colds, pain etc.)

Hope this was helpful. This is gonna be the start of my Euro trip series in my blog. 
x
Millie


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Listening to : Sweet Disposition by Temper Trap
              <3: Europe
               =(: I easily get cold

2 comments:

  1. I love Europe, ha ha. Vienna is my pick out of the lot. And I love Qatar Airways too. My Manila - Amsterdam ride felt like forever. Hi Millie, nice blog!

    - Migy

    ReplyDelete
  2. hey Migy.. yeah, Europe is beautiful. Thanks!! :)

    ReplyDelete

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