So you’re planning the ultimate summer in Europe. There are flights to book, friends to meet and an epic coach tour to take you to all of the places you’ve dreamed about. You’re already thinking about standing atop the Acropolis in Athens, or gazing over Paris from the Sacre Coeur in Montmartre.
It’s important to know though, that coach touring around Europe is an art form. The bag you choose to take is critical – a suitcase with wheels can cause more pain than the benefit of precious space it gives you. Whereas a backpack might be heavy, but keeps your hands free and makes walking up 100 steps in Positano to your hotel achievable. The number and type of clothes you pack is a fine balance too. Will you really wear those heels? Probably not. Do you need those extra pair of undies? I’d say so. Then there is the art of the day pack.
One thing is gospel when travelling around Europe – you walk pretty much everywhere, so carrying too much in your day pack is simply not an option. That said, there are certain items you’ll be thankful you kept in there. So take it from those who have been there and done that more times than most. I’d suggest having a medium sized hand bag that you can sling over your shoulder (ladies) and a small backpack that can be kept on the coach when you’re wandering around a city. Then on days you’ll be hiking or travelling further and need to take lunch, the backpack will be your best friend. Here’s what should and shouldn’t go in your day pack for coach touring around The Continent.
Camera – Or your smart phone, obviously.
Selfie-stick – Not really essential when there are hoards of people around most of Europe’s popular landmarks, but definitely comes in handy.
Hand sanitizer – It’s not always easy to find soap, so this will be your lifesaver
Tissues – not all public toilets have toilet paper so keeping a stash is always handy.
Sunscreen and lip balm
Headphones – and music. There will be times on the long days driving between cities you’ll definitely need some tunes to tune out your fellow travellers.
Book – Books are heavy - leave them on the bus if you can.
Raincoat – As a general rule you probably won’t need this. That said, keep an eye on the weather as if there’s a day or two of rain, a small one that folds up tiny but can also serve as an extra layer when you’re a wee bit chilly will be a lifesaver.
Laptop – While you might want it to upload photos or keep in touch with people back home, you do not need to be carting this around as you walk the streets of Rome or Vienna.
Baby wipes – I thought a little pack of these would be super handy, but with water and hand sanitizer, you don’t really need them.
Water bottle – it’s not always easy to find places to fill your water bottle, however there are plenty of places to buy bottled water. So it’s generally easier to buy water than cart an empty bottle around in your bag.
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