International Travel Tips
We strongly advise that you make a copy of your passport, drivers license, insurance cards and any other identification that you might need in case these items are lost. The copies should be left at the hotel or with the tour coordinator. Better yet, photograph or scan these documents and save them to your phone or email them to us for safekeeping. You can even password protect the files for added security.
Most of the places we will visit are quite informal. Comfortable clothing and good walking shoes are a must. It is strongly advised that when you plan your wardrobe you follow the “layer” approach so as to be able to adjust for variable weather conditions. You may wish to bring one nice outfit if you plan a more formal experience during your free time.
Much of the travel between cities and airports is via trains. You will be responsible for transporting your luggage on these excursions. Wheeled suitcases, backpacks and shoulder duffles are the preferred conveyance.
Electricity in the EU and UK is 220 volts rather that 110 volts in the US. The plugs are also different. You will need a converter to recharge your electronic devices. If you bring a lot of electronics, you might want to invest in a decent converter, possibly one with multiple outlets. If you're just charging your phone, you can get by with a European model charger. These are also handy to carry with you in case you need to “juice up” during a stop.
Zip Lock Bags
We've found that the savviest travelers always carry extra zip lock bags, usually a couple of quarts and a couple of gallons, as they come in handy. Some travelers also bring a dozen two-gallon bags to wrap beer bottles prior to packing in shipping containers or luggage. There is nothing worse than a leaky bottle to taint an otherwise perfect trip.
Currency or Credit Card
Your choice. Credit cards are great and offer protection but some credit card company's charge transaction fees when you use them outside the US. These fees can be 2-3% or more so check with your credit card company. Be sure to also call them before you leave the US and let them know your travel plans. Cash is accepted everywhere. You will pay an exchange rate when you convert USD to Euros or Pounds. It is always a good idea to have at least $500 in case of emergency.
Probably the most prevalent crime in Europe. And they are good at it. As in any major city, stay alert and be aware of your surroundings. We suggest keeping money and wallets in your front pocket and purses zipped at all times and carried cross-chest style. More important, keep an eye on your fellow travelers, especially when it comes to backpacks.
Pack an empty nylon tote, the kind that are given away at trade shows. They pack small and come in handy when you find out you have bought more "treasurers" than your suitcase will hold.