First of all, let's talk luggage allowance and get most of the numbers out of the way.
International flights generally allow one piece per passenger which can weigh no more than 50lbs, or exceed a total of 62 inches in height, width, and length. We advise that you don't pack your back up to its bursting point but instead allow room for items that you will inevitably be returning with. Try NOT to over-pack, if TSA goes through your bag and cannot close it, some things may not make it on the flight with you (imagine running into someone wearing a t-shirt you've been missing...)
If your bag is starting to resemble a stuffed sausage, you may want to re-think your choices.
You are also allowed two carry-on pieces. Cabin baggage must not exceed 45 inches or weigh more than 13lbs. Keep in mind that you will be the one hauling it in and out of the overhead bin, and lugging it around multiple airports.
If you end up with heavier luggage than planned, or even with a second piece to be checked in, prepare to pay those associated extra charges. If you are flying to more than one destination within Europe, please note that allowances will vary, and are usually less. The allowances change from time to time, so be sure to double check the rules before you fly.
Bits & Pieces
- Any liquids and/or toiletries in a carry-on bag must be no larger than 3oz each and placed in a clear quart sized bag. (Please note that you will most likely go through security multiple times within one airport, be prepared to toss that water.)
- Locking your bag is a no-no unless you're using a TSA approved lock, they will not hesitate to break off something that they cannot open.
- Umbrellas - You may need one, you may not. We suggest buying a cheap one when you arrive so you can leave it behind you when you head home. It may not even last long if the wind is unforgiving. Many cute souvenir shops even charge less for umbrellas WHEN it's raining as a show of good faith.
Rolling your clothes DOES help.
Putting socks inside shoes is a great space saver.
Pack a change of clothes in your carry-on in the event of lost luggage or a spill during turbulence.
Keep valuables and medication WITH you. Don't take unnecessary risks with your belongings.
If you're not sure about packing it, don't pack it.
Make sure you're able to handle the weight of your carry-on AND your checked luggage - you never know how much walking you'll have to do with them!Take a photo of your luggage in case it gets lost, it will be easier to describe it to personnel.
What You Should Remember To Pack
Travel documents and identification!! (plus copies of the important bits just in case.)
Comfortable and sturdy walking shoes.
Camera with extra batteries & memory.
A lightweight jacket - rainproof.
Chargers and Adaptors!
Something appropriate for a dressier dinner...especially if you're on a group tour.
If you think we've left anything off the list, let us know! Also, if there's anything in particular you'd like us to address as regards to travel tips, leave us a comment.