Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Travel Tip: What to pack?

For most people, packing is the most difficult part. The solution for many is to just pack as much as you possibly can into your suitcase and backpack, but as a colleague explains it: "You'll be thanking me later when you don't break your back from having to carry everything on your own. Don't do it!" Her advice: "Pack as lightly as you can. The best way to get it all to fit nicely into your suitcase is to fold it nicely and then roll it tightly. It can all fit into your bag like a puzzle." Keep in mind, however, that many cathedrals have a dress code and will not allow you to walk in if you are wearing tank tops or shorts. A scarf is a good solution to this code. And shorts should always go to your knees (both for Ladies and Gents). Incantato also plans a farewell dinner for the tour groups, so bring something comfortable and dressy. Here are a few things that we think are essential to have to be comfortable with what the weather brings and with the weight of your bag - remember, we allow only one checked bag per person and a small carry-on such as a bag pack or small duffel. Yes Ladies, you may have a small purse in addition, gents a camera case is fine too, but again, you will be the one carrying it all from the bus to the hotel and vice versa, so better test if you can move all your travel belongings without needing to make two trips or help from someone else. A sample packing list (just a suggestion!) 

  • Rain jacket, maybe with fleece insert 
  • Umbrella 
  • An adapter plug/converter (if bringing electronic devices) 
  • Camera and batteries or charger with adapter 
  • At least two pair of jeans/pants, ladies may want to bring a couple skirts or   dresses too 
  • a sweater or two 
  • Plenty of shirts, including a polo or two and at least two dress shirts (Europeans dress much more formal than Americans) 
  • Plenty of undergarments and socks for daily changes 
  • A watch, make-up and jewelry if applicable (carry on any valuables) 
  • Choir music and attire 
  • Don't forget shoes, we recommend a maximum of three pairs (tennis shoes,     good everyday shoes, dress shoes). Bring nice concert shoes, but make sure that you will be able to walk long distances in them. Europeans do not wear flip flops other than to the pool or at the beach. 
  • Put all liquids that are in your carry-on into a zip-lock bag. And remember the 311 rules: 
  • All scissors, fingernail clippers, etc. are better packed in your check-in luggage along with liquids over 3 ounzes. Bring enough contact lense solution and prescription medication that you may need for the whole duration of the trip. If you forget anything there are plenty of shops where you can by shampoo, toothpaste, etc.
  • carry emergency phone numbers in your wallet
  • and last but not least, but very important: your passport! It is always a good idea to make copies of your passport and leave one at home and carry the other one with you separately from the original. 

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