- The pack light challenge: Americans almost always bring TOO MUCH STUFF!
- The webmaster generally restricts himself to one large suitcase for clothes and one backpack for maps, reference books, etc.
- Pack smartly: Select clothes that can be matched easily; Put toiletries in little bottles, etc.; Reduce weight and space with electronic versions of books and research materials.
- Electronic versions of reference materials can also reduce weight and mass.
- Travelers can also purchase soap, shampoo, etc. in France.
Packing—What not to Forget
- Phone and laptop
- Money, travelers checks, credit cards
- Maps, reference books, research
- Camera and video equipment
- A Wash Cloth: Europeans travel with their own washcloths. Hotels do not supply them.
Laundry, Hygiene and Space
- Don’t bring a new shirt and pants for each day: To minimize luggage, travelers should plan to wear the same day-time clothes for two to three days when they’re out stomping the battlefields. Then, bring a nicer outfit or two for dinners at the hotel or nights on the town. (See below.)
- Showers are generally “petit” compared to American showers; as are the complimentary soap and shampoo portions in the hotel rooms.
Outer Wear and Clothing
- Consult the weather section below before considering outer wear.
- Except, perhaps, for the summer months, a combination of a long-sleeve shirt, a heavy wool sweater, and a good waterproof jacket is the most practical. In Northern France, the weather can range from sunny and beautiful to bone-chilling cold and damp.
- A good pair of hiking boots is recommended for the hearty battlefield stomper. Travelers who aren’t so adventuresome are probably fine with a good pair of walking shoes.
- Again, it is a good idea to bring one pair of nice shoes for dinners and nights on the town and one pair of hiking boots or walking shoes for walking the battlefields.
- Jeans are the preferred pants for those who really want to get off the beaten path. Khakis are probably fine for the less adventuresome.
- A compact umbrella is always a good bet, because it can rain every day.
- Finally, a waterproof case for maps and research notes is a smart choice.
- Northern Europe is COOLER and DAMPER than most of the U.S.; as shown in the chart below. Also, the weather can change frequently, especially during the spring months.
- As a general rule travelers prepared for cold, damp weather will be prepared for the worst and will still be able to enjoy the warm sunny days too.
|Month||Avg. Low||Avg. High||Days w/o Rain|
Source: Rick Steve’s Europe Through the Back Door, 2001