Monday, 29 September 2014

Packing List - 30 days in Europe

My tip for packing is definitely packing light. When you are pushing your luggage through the train stations & towards your hostel, you will definitely be cursing yourself for the tons of things you bring along. I would say your luggage should only be 60%-70% full! So that you can buy new things back.

  1. Luggage choice: 4 wheel luggages are probably one of the best invention
  2. Passport + Printed Itineraries / tickets + Photocopy your identification cards & credit cards & passport + passport photo (can't stress this enough, please print all your itineraries beforehand. Do not "try your luck" by showing e-tickets. Some of the train conductors can be really annoying. Photocopying your important documents is really important, just in case it got lost or stolen)
  3. Sunglasses (a must for me!)
  4. Cards (Credit card, Identification card, Student card - Super important as you get to enjoy heaps of discount)  *Tip: try not to keep this cards in your money wallet, but somewhere safer - i kept mine in my diary that I bring along 
  5. Sunblock + Lip balm + Moisturizer (basically all your facial products)
  6. International Plugs
  7. Portable Charger + Phone Charger + Camera Charger
  8. Scarf (good to have, since the weather can get cold even during Summer)
  9. Wet wipes + Tissues
  10. Medicine + Plaster + Vitamin C Tablets (I always have a habit to bring along a bottle of vit C tablets, they are really good to ensure you are on your health is in tip top condition during your vacation)
  11. Toiletries + Facial Wash + Toiletries Bag (Good to purchase a bag to put all your toiletries so that going to the shower esp in hostels is fast & convenient) 
  12. Towel (*Tip: Small or Medium size towel is best, do not bring the huge ones that you use at home. Not only does it take up space in your luggage, it takes forever to dry in hostel & its really difficult to find a spot to dry it)
  13. Hangers x 2 (1 to use to hang your towel to dry)
  14. Camera + Mobile Phone + Ear Piece 
  15. Plastic Bags x 3 (to put your dirty clothes)
  16. Ipad / Story Book / Diary (something to kill time while you travel between cities, for me my ipad was a lifesaver. I added tons of movies & story book to make the waiting less painful)
  17. Neck Rest + Eye Mask  (highly recommend the Muji neck rest, as it can be use as a bolster & the cover could be washed! The neck rest can get really dirty so washing it is definitely a good idea!)  
  18. Clothes x6 (the number of sets really depend on how long you are staying in each cities & whether the hostels / airbnb you book have washing machine. For example, I stay 3 days in each city, 6 sets of clothes is more than sufficient. 3 sets would be washing once you reach the 2nd destination & 3 sets you can wear on the 2nd city - haha i hope i'm not confusing you. To play it safe I brought 9 sets not a very wise choice I would say) 
  19. Sleeping clothes x2 
  20. Foldable duffel bag (SUPER important! No matter how much you tell yourself you are not going to shop, you will definitely buy heaps of souvenirs & whatnot, filling up your precious luggage space. A foldable duffel bag doesn't weight much & will definitely prevent the hassle of buying extra luggage)
  21. Leather jacket / Trench coat - Basically any jacket that can keep you warm at 10 degree. Even tho I went to Europe during summer it was probably winter in cities like munich & prague. It was 10 degree at one point, and I was so underdress that I had to head to Zara to get a jacket
  22. Slippers + Comfy Shoes (Slippers definitely a must, especially for toilets in hostels. Its gross walking bare foot. Also, bring a comfy shoe that is already in your collection. If you decide to purchase a new one, please try to "break into" it by wearing a week or two before bringing there. I got my Geox shoes maybe a week before the trip but it was still very uncomfortable for the first 10 days & I had heaps of blisters.. not a wise choice trust me!) *Tip: this is really random tip but Birkenstock is only cheap in Germany, anywhere else in Europe it cost a bomb. 
  23. Locks x 2 (1 for your luggage & the other one for the lockers provided in hostels to keep your valuables!)
  24. A small bag (*Tips: Its important you bring a small bag for traveling to put all your important things while visiting attractions.  The lesser number of zip the better - 1 being the best! so that you can keep your hand on it at all times & prevent nasty pickpockets. Also, the bag should be large enough to put your camera. Hide your camera, do not sling it over your neck as it scream I'm tourist! aka attracting pickpockets!)
  25. Long socks (okay, this might seem odd. But its a lifesaver especially on long flights! You will definitely have better sleep without frozen feet)
Thats about all I guess? If I do remember I will add on to the list. 


Sunday, 28 September 2014

How to plan your trip - Europe

It been ages since the last time I blogged. I tell myself that I would blog throughout my entire Europe trip so that I could remember my trip better. But laziness & the lack of wifi, this task of my didn't come true. Instead I kept a physical diary to jot down my memories which would be a better for keepsake in the future.

It took me close to 2 months to plan my first trip to Europe. 30 days journey where I was on my own for 2/3 of it (20days that is !) I got tons of information & sources from all over the internet & took me forever to filter through them. I thought I would like to "return" to the community by blogging of my experiences & tips (where to eat, how to plan your itineraries & accommodation)

First most, I will start with "how to plan your trip"

Well, this part took me ages. I didn't know which cities to visit (yea I know the famous ones like Paris, Milan, Rome & Berlin) but others were pretty foreign in the sense that I didn't really know geographically where they were & etc. Hence, GOOGLE  + map, definitely your best friend when you are planning. Its important to ensure your journey flows, so that you don't have to make long journeys which are waste of time & energy. And just google the "name of the city + attractions" to see what catches your eye then jot down the city.

Also, I used Google Engine for my planning stage as the "drop pins" provide me with better visuals such as, where to book my hostels & how many days I would need to cater to visit the attractions.

The cities that I have decide to travel were:
  1. Milan (2 days)
  2. Venice (2 days - I did wish I had 1 more day)
  3. Florence (3 days - perfect!)
  4. Rome (4 days - WAYYY too many, I think 2 - 3 days is more than sufficient)
  5. Munich (3 days - I did wish I had 1 more day, its a beautiful & relaxing city)
  6. Prague (3 days - perfect!)
  7. Berlin (3 days - WAYYY too little, there are heaps of things to do in Berlin. In my opinion 5 days would be alright)
  8. Amsterdam (2 days - perfect!)
  9. Brussels (3 days - perfect!) 
  10. Paris (5 days - perfect for me!)
So here is a better visual of my journey (well I have started my journey from Rome but air tickets from Singapore to Milan were heaps cheaper) 

Here more choices for you guys

P.S For first timer, I would suggest you skip the "more dangerous" cities. Better to have a good impression of Europe on your first trip so you would want to return again.