A trip to Europe can be one of the most magical experiences of a lifetime. But packing to visit a foreign country is different that packing for a quick trip to grandma’s. It’s important to consider the baggage rules of the airline you are traveling, customs of the countries you are traveling to and how you plan to get around once you’re there. If you are planning to take trains and buses to travel on the continent, you’ll want a suitcase that fits in small spaces and moves easily. Travel consultant Tawanna Browne Smith has a list of tips and tricks to take the stress out of packing for your European vacation.

Cr: Tawanna Browne Smith

Tawanna Browne Smith
Travel Consultant

Tawannna Browne Smith is a writer, consultant and marketing specialist located in the Washington area. A former intelligence analyst, Browne Smith left the intelligence field to globe trot around the world. She is the founder and editor-in-chief of the blog Mom’s Guide To Travel and the author of “Mom’s Guide To Saving Money on Family Travel.” Tawanna has contributed to articles at TravelChannel, Trip Advisor, 10Best USA Today, Examiner and Family Vacation Critic. 

Use A Packing List 

Make a list of everything you’ll need, for every family member traveling. Making a list will keep you from forgetting to pack things you need, and keep you from over packing. Make a list for each bag and include everything from clothing to medications. Make things easy by using a packing list app on your phone, or just go old school with pen and paper.

Roll Your clothes

This packing technique is popular with members of the military and is an efficient way to utilize space in your luggage. Rolling instead of folding allows you to maximize dead space by fitting things into every little nook and cranny. You can even roll smaller items like socks and accessories and then place them into shoes or other items with space inside.

Pack Layers

The best way to keep comfortable while traveling is to dress in layers. Start with a short sleeved t-shirt, followed by a long sleeved shirt and topped off with a light jacket. Clothing that can be used for layering also tends to be less bulky and will not take up as much space in a suitcase. Layers also work great for kids, keeping Mom from carrying around a bunch of heavy jackets.

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Use Packing Cubes

Packing cubes are flexible, reusable luggage pieces that can be found at luggage retailers and organizing stores. Use them to organize clothing items for multiple people in one suitcase or to separate clothing for different climates. Take one out and place it in a carryon bag to avoid extra weight charges. They also work great for storing and separating dirty clothes you accumulate along the way. 

Bring Medicine With You

This goes without saying for prescription meds, but you should also take into consideration any over-the-counter medicines you might need. Finding these drugs in a foreign country can be difficult and expensive. Visit the travel size section of your local drugstore and pick up smaller versions of anything you think might need.

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Christa Emmer is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in broadcast journalism. She has experience as a news writer, editor and producer in television news. Follow her on twitter @ChristaEmmer. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.