Sarah Lozinski is a student, a traveller, and a writer. When she’s not sharing her educational travel experiences on our blog, you’ll find her playing Settlers of Catan, or buried in the New York Times. Probably both. This week, Sarah shares some of the mistakes she and her friends have made packing for school trips to Europe over the years. Let her lessons learned be your advantage gained!
1. Bringing Brand New Shoes
I remember when a bunch of my friends bought Birkenstocks right before we left for a class trip to Italy, forgetting the fact that these shoes hadn’t been broken in yet. Cities like Paris, Barcelona, and Rome consist of cobblestone streets, which do not take kindly to the feet but especially to feet wearing brand new shoes. Blisters galore.
2. Packing Clothes You Never Wear
You’re going on a school trip to Europe, it’s exciting! With all the buzz surrounding European street style, you’re going to want to look your best - but if you don’t wear it at home, you won’t wear it on your trip. Save yourself the extra weight in your bag and only pack the clothes you wear on the regular (they’re nice enough, I promise).
3. Too Many Toiletries
As tempting as it is to bring an extra two litres of shampoo (with the cost of these items being much higher overseas), if you don’t go through that much shampoo in a week at home you definitely won't be going through that much on the road. Trust. And don’t forget: if you’re only bringing carryon luggage, make sure your liquid toiletries respect your airline’s restrictions, otherwise you’ll be forced to dump them all at security. Nobody likes that walk of shame.
4. You Forget Shower Shoes (this is a thing)
A school trip to Europe with Jumpstreet Tours includes private bathrooms for your entire group, but there’s still a good chance you’ll be using public showers – at the beaches in Greece or Spain, for example. They will probably be clean, but you will not regret investing in some cheap flip flops (I buy mine at Joe Fresh) to literally cover your tracks. They’re also great for getting around hotels with strict ‘no bare feet’ policies (spoiler alert: they ALL have that policy). Besides, nobody likes dirty feet!
5. It is NOT always sunny in Philadelphia (or in, um, Europe)
Speaking of spoiler alerts, it might rain. At least once while you’re there. But that’s ok! Rainy Paris nights are beautiful. So please, please, please pack a rain jacket - preferably one that can be rolled up and slipped into your backpack, or kept on the motorcoach during your day trips. The day may start off sunny, but the last thing you want is to be caught in a shower and subsequently spend the rest of your day drenched.