As a forgetful yet anxious packer, these are some essentials I bring on weekend trips:
Remember that your US driver's license means nothing to Italian law enforcement officers, so bring your passport with you everywhere. You could be stopped and questioned for identification at any time when traveling, so keep it with you at all times. I’d also suggest getting a passport holder. I bought one on Amazon to keep my credit cards, cash, passport, and an AirTag all together while traveling.
2. Portable Charger and Phone Battery
Honestly, I should pay more attention to my own advice, because I constantly forget mine! This is quite useful because traveling, taking photos, navigating, and the heat will quickly drain your phone's battery. Make sure your portable charger is fully charged to avoid a dead phone! I've also discovered that if your phone turns off, is powered off, or dies, you must enter your Italian SIM pin again in order for your cellular service to operate. So, make sure to write this number down or take a picture of it!
3. Travel Adapters
I made the mistake of just bringing my three-prong Italian adapter to different countries such as France. Never, ever again! Except for Italy, every European country uses two-prong adapters, which you should always have on hand for overnight trips!
Never, ever leave home without your headphones. As someone who is constantly listening to music, I would strongly advise packing AirPods or overhead headphones for the bus/train/plane travel. It will help with sleeping, passing the time, and keeping you from being bored out of your mind.
5. Wine Opener
If wine is your preferred beverage, as it is mine, you should definitely bring a wine opener. My friends and I made the rookie mistake of not carrying one and had to settle for a twist-off bottle of wine in France... which was not very good. Bring a bottle opener if you're a beer drinker, but why beer?
6. Travel Backpack
Everything is going to be packed in a bag/suitcase, but a travel backpack is the best option. You don't want to drag your luggage down the rocky streets, nor do you want to bring too much. Having a travel backpack helps you to pack light and keep it with you at all times. I was gifted two 'Baboon to the Moon' backpacks that are the ideal size. One of them is the mini, which can hold 1-3 days' worth of clothing and can be used as a personal item when flying. The other is small, which can hold 3-5 days of clothing and serves as a carry-on for traveling.
7. Purse or Small Bag
Don’t forget to bring a purse or crossbody bag! You won't want to bring your backpack to dinner or the club, so bring your cute, small day bag! Packing essentials in your purse is also a wonderful method to save space and keep things handy while traveling.
8. Camera, Sketchpad, Journal or Book
Lastly, bring some type of creative outlet while traveling for my artists, readers, and introverts. I enjoy photographing scenery and people in different cities, as well as journaling and reading before bedtime to unwind. Although you can't fit all of these in your bag, bringing something to do in your downtime is quite useful and relaxing.
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I am a Gender Studies student at Skidmore College :) I'm a graphic designer for Lunchbox, a lovely school magazine incorporating fashion, art, and writing. I also love to bullet journal, listen to music, take photos, create art, and dance!