Traveling to Europe This Summer? Top 10 Things You’ll Need to Pack Before You Go

So you think you’re ready for your trip to Europe, huh? Guess again. Until you’ve packed, re-packed, and whittled down your belongings to only the essentials, you won’t realize that you’re missing the most essential elements.
Below we’ve listed (in descending order) the most important things that most families traveling to Europe forget to bring. Read on to find out what you’re missing from your luggage.
10. Sunscreen
Whether you’ll be on the sunny beaches of Spain or the rainy moors of Scotland, you can easily ruin your trip in a matter of hours if you don’t protect yourself from the elements. Remember, the sun’s UV rays can still burn your skin through the clouds, and direct sunlight can even burn your skin through some types of clothing. So don’t take the risk!
9. Speedos
Hey, you’ll be in Europe. Do as the Europeans do!
8. Language Dictionary
These days, you rarely have to learn much of the European languages unless you plan on spending time away from tourist destinations or major cities. And even if you’re in Paris or Berlin, you still may run into lots of signs and informational boards written in other languages, like Chinese or Japanese. Still, a dictionary allows you to quickly communicate, and that can be a life saver.
7. Pouches for Travel Documents
If you lose your passport (or it gets stolen) while traveling abroad, call the U.S. Bureau of Consular Affairs office as soon as possible. This link will take you to the department’s website, which is full of information about how to protect your identity, your documents and yourself while spending time traveling in Europe.
Keep such information with you in organized pouches as you travel; you never know when you may need help out of a jam.
6. A Small Bag
Packing another bag in your luggage seems extraneous, but having that small purse, fanny pack, or backpack during your daily trips into the city gives you somewhere to keep your guidebook, camera, and other small items and souvenirs. You’ll have free hands, plenty of storage space, and an extra accessory for your outfit.
5. GPS
When you take your family to Europe, be sure to pre-load maps onto your GPS device. It will load faster and give you better control over where you’re headed. Plus, you can also pre-load destinations and sights you want to check out while you’re there.
4. Flashlight
This is one of those things you’ll wish you had if you didn’t bring it, but probably won’t need if you do. Still, if you’re traveling to the European countryside or to Eastern Europe, you may want to consider bringing a small flashlight in case you’re in an area where consistent electricity is hard to come by.
3. Universal Power Adapters
The biggest shock you’ll get in Europe literally deals with the electric plug in the walls of your hotel or hostel. Europe uses different standardized electrical receptors than we do in the U.S. That means your laptop or Kindle won’t charge unless you grab an adapter pack. These packs include virtually all of the plugs you’ll need wherever in the world you are, so keep them in a safe place or risk being caught without the next two items on our list.
2. Digital Camera
When you’re taking pictures in Europe, your iPhone just won’t cut it. Spend a few hundred bucks and get a real digital camera that lets you zoom in, record video and tag your images with GPS coordinates. They even make cameras now that automatically upload pictures to Facebook, as long as you’re within reach of a WiFi hotspot. And with our number one item, you will be.
1. Global Mobile MiFi Hotspot
For around $14.95 a day, you and your family can have unlimited access to the Internet no matter where you go. This MiFi hotspot is specifically designated to work in the country (or countries) you’ll be visiting so you’re never stuck without the web. Connect to Facebook, Twitter, your email accounts, and even your secure business servers on the go.
This pocket-sized hotspot is battery powered, provides a signal for up to five simultaneous devices, and covers an area with a 30-foot radius. Best of all, there are no overage charges like there are with your cell phone company. Access your foreign language support apps, travel documentation and even upload your family’s best pictures so your family and friends can join in on your adventure. 

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