Before You Leave Checklist

Every American going to Europe basically has to start from scratch with what they use as personal items and how they use them. That’s because everything electric in Europe will explode using simple American plugs, and everything organic will need to be highly scrutinized by airport security.

Don’t Fret! A lot of Americans have figured this craziness out! Check out this list to get you started with what you might need before you leave for Europe.

  1. Power Adapter – Never buy a plug adapter. They’re not going to protect your items. To avoid total catastrophic failure, skip the disappointments and get a surge protector that handles universal plugs. These are more expensive, but hey, so is everything else about traveling.
  2. Cell Phone – Go ahead and just order a new cell phone from a European provider that is in the counties where you are going. Your domestic cell phone provider is not going to listen to reason and jailbreak your phone. That is a more expensive decision, but hey, so is everything else about traveling.
  3. Credit Card – Better sign up for at least two more new credit cards. You’re going to max these out quickly in Europe. Everything has a foreign fee associated with it, and even if you think you’re sticking to your budget, bankers will claim the exchange rate does not benefit the U.S. Dollar that day. It’s better to just expect this and forget about credit limits for your trips. It’s an expensive decision, but hey, everything else is about traveling.
  4. Passport safe – Some Americans go to Europe with their passports secured in necklace pouches underneath their shirts, but these are the same people getting pick-pocketed. Pick-Pockets expect Americans to hide their passports under their clothes against their chest, so they use David Blaine-style tricks and slight of hand to steal these pouches. In fact, David Blaine demonstrates these methods in almost all of his specials. So just buy a safe, it’s heavier and more expensive, but hey, that’s just like everything else about traveling.
  5. Will – Get a will, Europe is not the most wack place in the world, but it’s pretty wack.
  6. Travel Insurance – Don’t insure your bags, insure yourself. You may get injured or kidnapped. Travel insurance can help pay for these things. Your bags are going to be stolen no matter if they are insured or not, and the time it takes you to have travel insurance companies pay for stolen bags is not worth the cost of purchasing bag insurance.


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