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Packing 101

Here are some of the special things we're bringing along to help our 47 day journey!

We're a little over 3 weeks from lift-off and have been busily making lists and purchasing special items. We both read a lot of travel blogs and guidebooks and although we plan to pack light, we think we have a few special items that will make traveling easier. For instance, I bought myself this cute and functional Baggallini purse for Mother's Day. Love it!

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Naturally, we can't leave home without the basics:
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Passports, International Driving Permit, & guide to our new BMW

Since we're bringing along the 4 and 6 year old daughters, I have been strategically buying little things to pack away for the entire trip. I'm going to hide most of these things in various parts of the luggage. I love shopping for these spoiled girls!
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Even though our car will have GPS, I went ahead and printed maps from www.viamichelin.com. These maps are very detailed and might make the passenger (me, mostly) feel a little bit in control. I think it's important to have GPS back-up! Besides, I really love studying maps.
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My friends joke about my three-ring binder. It is coming together. I have a section for each location with researched attractions and restaurants. I'm not set on following every single thing. I just like to have options available. Tripadvisor has been invaluable for finding current reviews on restaurants and family-friendly attractions.
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We've chosen the following guidebooks to bring along. I know it seems like a lot. I'm probably going to tear apart the Rick Steves Germany book and only take the relevant chapters.
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We'll also bring along a D-Day book to read about the Normandy invasion. I'm a reader so a couple novels and books for work will come along.

A good friend recommended we bring a few Oregon-made items along. If we meet someone particularly friendly and helpful, we can give a small gift of appreciation. I hope to add a few more things to this pile before we leave. You'll also see a small photo album. This contains pictures from Oregon. If people we meet want to see where we are from or we are feeling homesick, we can have a visual reminder.
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This next photo is a few random things that might make life easier. Starbucks Via might fulfill our American coffee need in a pinch! I am looking forward to European espresso and cappuccinos. But in case it's not available.... The collapsible cooler will help with our picnics - which will happen often. We've read that packable grocery bags are handy. The battery-operated votive candles will be makeshift nightlights in case we stay in a place with dark bathrooms. These are mostly for the kids.
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Naturally, electrical adapters are necessary in Europe. The nitrile gloves are all for my DH. He has heard repeatedly that diesel pumps at filling stations can make quite a mess and people often wear gloves when refueling.
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Not pictured will be items like music on MP3 sticks, zip-locs, rubber bands, baby wipes, packable duffel bag (for items we purchase abroad), etc... Despite all that we're bringing, I do hope to purchase some necessities in Europe. For instance, I'm planning to buy shampoo, soap, toothpaste, laundry detergent, and other toiletries while on the road. I think it will be intersting to try some non-American brands.

If you're still reading this boring post, bravo! You are a true friend. I have a feeling that the blog posts when we are actually in Europe will be far more interesting!

Posted by familyineurope 20:50

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