Last updated: 05:00 PM ET, Fri February 05 2016

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  • Chris Slesarchik | February 5, 2016 5:00 PM ET

    What to Pack for a Road Trip in Europe

    What to Pack for a Road Trip in Europe

    PHOTO: Hitting the road in Europe is just like in the U.S. -- you just have to pack right. (Courtesy Auto Europe)

    Packing for a road trip in Europe can be extremely tricky, especially if you are flying in and have to fit everything you need into one suitcase and a daypack each. So after making sure you’ve rented the most suitable car for your particular road trip from Auto Europe, here are a few valuable pointers from a seasoned road tripper to help you pack for an unforgettable journey.

    Travel light
    Don’t weigh yourself down! Remember less is always more when planning a road trip. Before swapping your medium sized suitcase for a large one to fit that (unnecessary) extra sweater or pair of shoes, remember that you’ll be hauling it from the boot of your car and into a hotel room every couple of days.

    READ MORE: Insider Tips For Renting a Car In Europe

    Choose a daypack that will comfortably hold the following: lightweight jacket that is windproof and waterproof, camera and/or smart phone, a guidebook/map, water bottle, snacks, small first aid kit and sanitary hand wipes.

    Invest in a money belt or neck wallet to keep your cash, credit/debit cards, international driving license, rental car keys and passports close to your body. Even if you lose everything else, you can continue travelling with these important essentials.

    Always have local currency at hand. Some credit cards are not accepted everywhere, while some markets in Europe don’t accept credit cards at all.

    Maps and addresses

    While getting lost in the countryside can be adventurous, there is nothing more frustrating than spending hours driving in circles on the highways around Paris or Rome. Rent a GPS mapping device along with your rental car if it’s not already included. Smart phone map apps are an added bonus, but not always that reliable.

    SEE MORE: Why Choose Auto Europe?

    Once you book hotels and decide what you want to see, make a list of all addresses and type them into your mapping device at the beginning of each day to avoid frantically searching for and entering them while you could be doing sightseeing. 

    All weather clothing

    Take it from someone who was unpleasantly surprised by frigid temperatures in Austria at the end of June, while nearly succumbing to the heat in Italy only two weeks later: it doesn’t matter if it is summer or winter … temperatures and weather conditions can vary greatly between different European countries and climate zones. Prepare to dress in layers so you can add or remove as needed as you enjoy touring this magical continent.

    Small essentials

    While there are the obvious essentials such as chargers for your electronic devices, have you thought about buying a cigarette lighter to USB adapter to charge your devices while driving? A notepad and pen, as well as a file to keep copies of all your reservations neatly together, are just as important.

    The final touch
    What is a road trip without a custom made music compilation to take you back to the places you visited when listening to it years later? The waltzes of Strauss and the symphonies of Mozart are good choices for Austria, while Eros Ramazzotti does Italy best and Edith Piaf is perfect for France. If you’re into modern music, we have compiled a terrific list of great road trip songs on our blog.

    Packing lists

    No matter how well prepared you are, there is almost always a last minute rush to get everything packed and to arrange for things to be done at home while you are away. Packing lists are invaluable.  To help you out, Auto Europe has already prepared a packing list to download and print.

     So if you find yourself next to a swimming pool without a bathing suit, don’t say you didn’t know. And by the way, in France men are not allowed to swim in trunks in public swimming pools. Whether you like it or not, you’re going to have to show off your body in a Speedo.

    To make sure you’re fully prepared for your next big adventure, check out Auto Europe’s Top 10 Road Trip Tips here.


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Chris Slesarchik Europe by Car

Chris Slesarchik Chris Slesarchik is a member of Auto Europe’s marketing team with a passion for discovering new and exciting places. He has worked as a European car rental reservation specialist for Auto Europe, helping clients host their own adventures exploring the world abroad.
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