I recently cruised the exquisite Rhine River with friends, and in the next month have a group of vibrant Boomers heading down the Danube. I’ve pulled from my own experiences to put together some tips for making your packing process quick and easy.
- Think casual, elegant and comfort. You’ll be exploring different European cities and the River Cruise lines cater to different levels of fitness, a fair amount of walking is required. Remember that a lot of European cities still have cobblestone streets so pack comfortable walking shoes. Hint: Because looking the part is a beautiful thing, choose walking shoes that can never been described by these words - white, sneaker, American. Oh, and while you’re skipping over those sneakers, do not pack in a baseball cap for travel in Europe. I love y’all but just don’t do it. My favourite walking shoes are by Noat (www.naot.com), excellent support and a great choice.
- Check airline restrictions with regards to luggage size and then – if you need to - update your suitcases to the four wheeler spinner type because trying to drag luggage over cobbled streets can be uggggggggggly.
- Carry a pashmina with you to use as a blanket on the plane, or toss over your shoulders in the evenings when – even in the summer – there’s normally quite a cool breeze on deck.
- For the gents, a collared shirt together with casual trousers (no shorts or yoga type pants) and optional sports jacket for the evenings is perfect.
- Before a trip I decide on a basic color (black, beige or brown) and then I accessorize with complimentary colored scarves and jewellery. I carry one handbag in the basic colour chosen and then spruce it up with a range of different, luxurious tassels by Mel Boteri (www.melboteri.com). Elegant and understated.*Packing cubes will eliminate what tends to happen to the inside of a suitcase after a couple of days – especially if you’re sharing a case! Separate your undergarments, shirts, sweaters etc. to stay organized.
- A lightweight rain poncho or small fold-up umbrella that will fit easily into a handbag or backpack is always a good idea.
- Instead of a carry on I take this very neat and compact anti-theft backpack (www.pacsafe.com). It holds a ton of stuff and will fit snuggly under your seat on the plane. I typically pack the following into my backpack: medications, passport, credit cards, iPad, phone, portable charger, adapters, camera, batteries and memory cards, pashmina and reading glasses.
Happy, safe and memorable travels ~ Your Jet Sail Explore Team