Packing List for Women

Packing List for WomenFor many years, Rick Steve’s has included his packing list in his budget European travel skills book, Europe through the Back Door. Women wrote and said his list didn’t consider their travel needs.

ETBD Tour Diva Joan Robinson teaches one of our most popular travel classes, “Packing Light 101.” She has created this packing list for women.


1 pair of walking/comfortable shoes

2-4 pairs of shorts/capris/skorts

1 pair of sandals (weather permitting)

5 pairs of socks (cotton blend)

1 rainproof jacket

2 pairs of pants (one dressy, one casual), 1 belt

1 swimsuit (packed in a plastic bag)

5 pairs of underwear (silk, lace, or micro-fiber dries quickest)

1 extra bra

4-6 shirts (long/short-sleeved, various colors)

1-2 light cardigans for layering

1-2 skirts (wrinkle-resistant)

2 dresses (optional)

1 hat

Scarves (to wear with clothing or hat)

2 vests (optional)

1 pair of pajamas (or long shirt to get you to the bathroom down the hall if necessary)


Body soap/puff (washcloth); most European hotels do not supply washcloths





Vaseline (for feet)

Razor (non-electric)/shaving cream or soap

Sunscreen, insect repellent

Prescription drugs (in original container with your name and your doctor’s name, write down generic name)

First aid kit/moleskin/blister kit

Feminine hygiene products


Nail clippers/file/tweezers

Spare glasses and/or prescription, mini-eyeglass repair kit, or contact lenses and supplies

Hand sanitizer


OTC remedies (whatever works for you): Pepto, decongestants, etc.

Clothesline, sink stopper, soap

Baby powder (dry shampoo for hair)

Money and Security

Money belt: Passport, plane ticket, debit card, credit cards, traveler’s checks, railpass, driver’s license (if you’re renting a car)

Security: Bury copies of your passport, plane ticket, and prescriptions in the bottom of your luggage

Necessities for Hosteling

  • Pack towel
  • Sleep sheet

Packing Essentials

  • Pack light, wash frequently, buy it if you need it.
  • Your pack should weigh about 20% of your body weight, preferably no more than 20 pounds.
  • Limit yourself to one carry-on size bag: 9″ x 21″ x 13″.
  • A week before your trip, pack your bag with everything you think you want to take, and carry it around for a day. Is it comfortable Too heavy Better to know now than later!

Tips of Vacations Planning

Vacations PlannedThe summer is right around the corner, and thousands of Americans are planning vacations and trips. Traveling on a budget can be tricky, but it is not impossible. The key is to plan ahead, and try to the make the most out of what you have. Contact your credit card company beforehand to find out what kind of deals they have to offer. Many have rebate programs for travel expenses. If you are using a rental car, find out if your insurance covers you in case of an accident. You can save quite a bit by forgoing the car rental insurance policy.

The following is a list of tips and tricks to make your summer vacation the best ever.

1.Get a good deal on a hotel. Unless you are staying with friends or family, you will probably be in the market for a good hotel room. Normally, you can spend your entire budget on hotels and motels. I suggest trying a site like You can name your own price, and get some really great deals on rooms and car rentals.

2.Plan your trip out beforehand. Spend some time mapping out your trip, highlighting areas that you plan to visit. There will most likely be a few pit stops along the way. Planning ahead will help ensure that you have enough money to cover all of your activities. Don’t forget to factor in souvenirs and snacks.

3.Keep the kids entertained! Traveling with young ones can be a challenge. You want to have plenty of activities and toys to keep them occupied. Try looking at for some great coupons for toys and travel gear. Don’t forget books and magazines as well. The trip will go faster, and you won’t have to field as many “are we there yet?” cries.

4.Don’t forget the tunes. Stock up on your families favorite CDs and tapes. Include a few titles for each family member to help keep the peace. Try a discount music store, or look for a coupon on an e-coupon site.

5.Be easy on the gas pedal. If you are driving, you may be concerned about the high gas prices. You can save a significant amount of your gas budget by planning ahead. Make sure that your tires are properly inflated, and that your car is in good working order. Staying at a constant speed will also help you save on your gas bill.

Take A Break And Have A Safe Vacation

Take A Break And Have A Safe VacationTraveling for business or pleasure? Follow these tips for a safe trip.

  • Carry minimum luggage.
  • Label each piece of luggage with your name and address.
  • Be sure your luggage can be locked.
  • While waiting, keep your luggage close to you.
  • Hold your purse under your arm. Carry a wallet in an inside coat or front trouser pocket.
  • Don’t look vulnerable or lost. Walk with a purpose and stay alert to what’s happening around you.
  • Leave important non-travel papers, such as your social security and credit cards at home.
  • If traveling to a foreign country, photocopy all documents, including passport, credit cards and tickets, before leaving home and store copies in a hotel safe.
  • Learn the location of hotel exits.
  • Ask the hotel about the safety of the neighborhood and which areas to avoid.
  • Ask the bellman for directions and costs before taking a cab.
  • Use traveler’s checks and credit cards instead of cash whenever possible.

Packing Tips for Women

Packing Tips for WomenIf you’re not going to wear it more than three times, don’t pack it!

Every piece of clothing you bring should complement each other item or have at least two uses (e.g., sandals double as slippers, a scarf as a shoulder wrap).

Shop Selectively:

It’s worth splurging a little to get just the right clothes for your trip for durable, lightweight travel clothes. In general, the color black dresses up easily and can be extremely versatile. You’ll likely do some hand-washing, so test your selections: Wash them, wring them out, hang them to dry, wear them ¡ª and see how badly they wrinkle.


Bring two or three T-shirts (or buy overseas!), one or two short-sleeved blouses, and one or two long-sleeved shirts. Long-sleeved shirts with sleeves that roll up can double as short-sleeved shirts. Look for a wrinkle-camouflaging pattern or blended fabrics that show a minimum of wrinkles. Cotton/poly T-shirt fabric (such as Cool Max) will often dry overnight. Silk also dries quickly and is lightweight.

Pants and Shorts:

Dark-colored pants don’t show dirt or wrinkles. Get a pair with a loose-fitting waistband that accommodates a money belt (and big Italian meals). Try the pants with the zip-off legs that convert to shorts. These are especially functional in Italy, allowing you to cover up inside churches and beat the heat outside.

If you bring shorts, one pair is probably enough, ideal for staying cool in a resort town or your hotel room. Few European women wear shorts. To avoid stares, consider bringing a pair of Capri pants instead.


Some women bring one or two skirts because they’re as cool and breathable as shorts, but dressier. And skirts make life easier than pants when you’re faced with a squat toilet! A lightweight skirt made with a blended fabric will pack compactly. Make sure it has a comfy elastic waistband or drawstring. Joan has designed a smart reversible travel skirt that suits most travelers’ needs. Tilley’s makes expensive but great skirts (and other items) from blended fabric that feels like cotton. Denim or twill trouser skirts go with everything, and can easily be dressed up or down.


Bring one pair of comfortable walking shoes. Mephisto, Ecco, and Rieker look dressier and more European than sneakers but are still comfortable. For a second pair, consider sandals or Tevas in summer, or dark leather flats in winter (can be worn with opaque hose and a skirt to dress up). Before you leave home, walk several miles in any footwear you’ll be taking to be sure they’re broken in.

Socks, Underwear, Pajamas, and Swimsuit:

Cotton/nylon-blend socks dry faster than 100-percent cotton, which loses its softness when air-dried. Sport socks nicely cushion your feet. It’s impossible to look stylish when wearing walking shoes and these little white socks, but comfort’s more important. Try silk, microfiber, or stretch lace underwear, which dry faster than all-cotton, but breathe more than nylon. Bring at least two bras (what if you leave one hanging over your shower rail by accident?). A sports bra can double as a hiking/sunning top. Shorts or lightweight pajama bottoms with a T-shirt will get you modestly to the bathroom down the hall. You don’t need a bikini to try sunbathing topless on European beaches ¡ª local women with one-piece bathing suits just roll down the top.


Neutral colors (black, beige, navy) look more European than bright colors. If your waterproof jacket doesn’t have a hood, take a mini-umbrella or buy one in Europe. These are easy to find ¡ª vendors often appear with the rain.

Shoulder- and Off-Season Variations:

Silk long johns are great for layering, weigh next to nothing, and dry quickly. Bring gloves and some kind of warm hat for winter. If you’re fair-skinned or prone to sunburn, bring a light, crushable, wide-brimmed hat for sunny days. Wear shoes that are water-resistant or waterproof.


All feminine products (even many of the same brands) are sold throughout Europe, but it’s easier to figure out how many tampons, pads, or panty shields you’ll need and bring them with you rather than having to buy a too-small or too-large box in Europe. If you bring birth control pills (or any timed-dosage prescription), take the time difference into account. If you usually take a pill with breakfast, take it with lunch or dinner in Europe. Remember to carry the pills onto the plane each way to take at your home-dosage time, too.

Accessorize, accessorize:

Scarves give your limited wardrobe just the color it needs. They dress up your outfit, are lightweight and easy to pack, and, if purchased in Europe, make a great souvenir. Some women bring a towel-size scarf (called a pashima) to function as a sweater substitute, scarf, or head wrap, or even a blanket on a train. Sleeveless vests and button-up cardigans can be worn alone or mixed-and-matched with other clothes to give you several different looks as well as layers for cold weather. Most women feel safe wearing engagement/wedding rings while traveling, but leave other valuable or flashy jewelry at home. A few pairs of inexpensive earrings are fun to bring. Remember that your most important accessory is your hidden money belt.

Vacation Planning Tips

vacation-planningPlanning a vacation but haven’t quite worked out the details? Here are five vacation planning tips every new traveler should know.

Start with the “What”, Not the “Where”

Destinations don’t make or break vacations–activities do. No matter how exotic the location, it won’t feel like much of a vacation if you’re not enjoying yourself.

Think of how you want to spend your vacation and make a list of your “must do” recreational activities. Use the list to narrow down your destination and hotel choices based on your recreational needs. You’re more likely to have a great time if everything you want to do is conveniently located.

home work

Do Your Homework

Sites like Expedia and Orbits make it easy to book cheap vacation packages, but these packages don’t necessarily provide you with the best value for your money. There are generally a lot of restrictions on these packages (e.g., travel dates, modifications, cancelations, etc.) and the price is often indicative of the quality of the accommodations.

Take the time to research every aspect of your vacation–not just the price–or you could end up with buyer’s remorse. Ultimately, the best vacation deals are the ones that best meet your needs and expectations in terms of quality, flexibility and price.


Timing is everything

Every destination has peak and off-peak seasons. During peak season, there are many more consumers vying for the same services and accommodations. Due to the increased demand, you’ll have to contend with higher prices, larger crowds, and less attentive staff.

During the off-peak season, these service providers are starving for business. You can save a bundle on your package and you’re practically guaranteed better service.


Plan Ahead

The sooner you start planning your vacation the better. A lot of research goes into planning an amazing vacation, so allow yourself plenty of time.

Also, the further in advance you book your reservations the better the rates and the wider the selection of available flights, rooms/cabins and rental cars. Most reservations systems will accept bookings up to 11 months in advance.

Use a Free Vacation Planning Service

Believe it or not, some travel agents offer free vacation planning services as a way of adding value for their clients. A good travel agent can save you time, money and effort by:

  • Researching the best destination for your interests, budget and travel dates
  • Finding you the lowest prices for flights, hotels, cruises, car rentals and activities
  • Providing you with helpful information about the places you’ll be traveling
  • Offering flexible installment plans for vacation packages

The best part is, these services are provided at absolutely no additional cost to you.


Whether you’re traveling just a few miles or halfway around the world, putting a little thought into your trip can make a huge difference. Figure out what you want to do, the best place and time to do it, then get to work putting things in motion.