what to bring

The bottom line for any trip abroad: PACK LIGHT. Keep in mind that travelers are responsible for toting their luggage around airports and hotels in each city, so it’s best to only pack essentials - ideally in one carry-on sized suitcase (22”x14”x10”) and one carry-on bag.

 

We will be  real sticklers about not checking luggage under the plane. It usually takes long enough at customs, that waiting for the luggage at baggage claim is not an issue. HOWEVER, if a bag gets lost, it may never catch up to us as we travel from city to city. Use this packing list as a guide.

REMEMBER: TSA has pretty strict guidelines on what you can carry on and what you can’t. Since we won’t be checking luggage, make sure you’re aware of these rules

Clothing and Accessories

Above all else, when in doubt, comfort should rule the day. Trust us on this. 

  • Comfortable walking shoes - 2 pairs, in case one gets wet. (We will be walking - A LOT - We strongly recommend leaving sandals and/or other fashionable yet marginally comfortable shoes at home. Packing space will be at a premium, anyway.)

  • Socks

  • Underwear

  • Shirts - short & long sleeved

  • shorts/pants/jeans

  • Pajamas

  • Bathing suit

  • Small umbrella

  • Sunglasses

  • Watch (You may want one. Your phone’s battery may be unreliable and we probably won’t have a lot of opportunities to charge during the day)

  • Light jacket

  • Laundry detergent - travel size-for sink

  • Some kind of bag or system for separating dirty clothes from clean.

It should be feasible to pack for twelve days in only two carry-ons. Do the best you can. There will be opportunities to do some laundry at a few of the hotels. Washing socks and underwear in the sink is also a travelers hack 😎. However, Mo's packed for 2 whole weeks in one carry-on, and his clothes are bigger than anyone else’s. 😝 So, you should be O.K. 

 

Don’t forget. You may want to leave a little space in your luggage for souvenirs.

Toiletries

  • Toothpaste & toothbrush

  • Shampoo/conditioner

  • soap/scrubbie

  • Deodorant (PLEASE) 😷

  • Hairbrush/comb

  • Razor/shaving cream or electric razor

  • Makeup (But remember…comfort. By the 3rd or 4th day, you’ll just wanna start jumping out of bed to grab breakfast and go.)

  • Hair iron (see ↑)

  • Sunscreen

  • Spare set of contact lenses/glasses (if applicable)

Money

  • ATM card (call the bank to tell them the card will be used overseas, so they don’t block it due to a fraud red flag)

  • Personal credit card (call the credit card company to tell them the card will be used overseas, so they don’t block it due to a fraud red flag)

  • A small amount of cash converted to the currencies of the countries you are visiting (AAA can do this, cheaply - $10 fee if converting less than $200. Make sure you order from them a couple weeks before the trip. There also will be ATM’s throughout the cities we visit - expect to pay convenience fees.) Most, if not all places we visit will likely accept cards, but luck favors the prepared.

  • Pouch for storing money and passport under clothing (available at travel stores and at AAA)

  • Any other cards you might use for funds (AAA has a travel credit card that parents can recharge at AAA)

Documents

  • Passport (remember to photocopy the picture page - 2 copies - one to take on tour, one to leave at home. Your group leader will be carrying your copies)

  • Copy of any prescriptions (customs officials may want to verify that a container’s contents match its label, so all medication should be carried in its original container)

Electronics

  • Phone

  • Phone charger

  • Portable battery charger

  • Voltage adaptor/converter

  • Alarm clock (if no phone - Some hotels may not have one in the room.)

  • Camera, if not using phone, w/ memory card and charger/batteries

  • Headphones/earbuds

  • Travel power strip/surge protector

Carry-on Bag

Your EF backpack, which you will receive some time in late March, is a perfect carry-on bag.

  • Passport

  • Airline ticket

  • Contact lens case/glasses and glasses case

  • Medication - prescription and over the counter

  • Any valuables

  • Book/Magazines

Miscellaneous/Optional

  • List of important phone numbers (in case phone fails) and addresses to send postcards

  • Neck pillow for planes/busses/train

  • Small water bottle

First Aid

Most group leaders will bring a small first aid kit containing bandages & antibiotic cream or spray. We are not able to dispense any medication (even over the counter) without explicit parent permission.

Cell Phones

Make sure you check with your service provider about what is available for international travel, and/or advice on how to use your device overseas. Most plans have options for international roaming that are free, or at least not oppressively expensive. If you do not opt in to one of them, and your phone is set to roam, however, your costs could potentially be very high.