Once is not custom, I went this summer to adventure with a simple backpack and the bare minimum. Following the advice of the famous American traveler Rick Steves, I limited myself to a backpack and a shoulder bag. Maximum: 12 kilos to carry. Nothing in the hold, while cabin.
So I left with clothes without logo, sober color, so as not to look like a tourist. So let your We The North T-shirt at home. Indeed, there are the tourists and travelers, I think part of the 2 the group, like you dear reader: it’s a question of approach and behavior, I assure you this is a different experience and so much more rewarding.
In addition to the bare minimum in terms of clothing, I had a compact camera with me. Yes compact. Frankly, what’s the point of having a huge professional camera with a zoom lens that can see the dust on the moon when you’re traveling and taking pictures for your personal pleasure?
Just in terms of weight and volume, the compact device is the ideal solution. And again, I took one-third of my photos with one of my phones. Landscapes, monuments, architecture, video: the compact device. Posters, unusual objects, funny labels, failed translations: an iPhone. It’s fast, and the files are not huge, enough for social media.
If your Canadian phone is locked, leave it in airplane mode with Wi-Fi enabled. If you have not resold your old phone, unlock it before leaving. Once at your destination, find a data chip that you can charge at will. The ideal for me was a Vodafone chip for all of Europe. Moreover, there is no more extra cost for roaming across Europe, besides Switzerland and Ukraine.
Why a mobile phone? It’s not just for social networks! To calculate the exchange rate with Google: “HUF 10,000 to CAD” will give you the value of Hungarian Florists in Canadian dollars. Your phone is first and foremost your geographical map: you will look less touristy than with a folded paper world map that takes flight at the slightest gust of wind.
Your phone will also be your translator with Google Translate. Bonus: Google’s translation software can also translate photos. Does a plate challenge you? Take a picture and let Google translate from Czech to French in a few moments. Your smartphone is also restaurant tips and makes sure the Budapest Tram 49 is going in the right direction.
About smartphones, I strongly advise against using these famous sticks “selfie”, or egobots. Why? Because it is perfectly detestable, it will make you a pinout, not a traveler! Google Translate, to install on your phone, translates even photos. It’s up to you, then, to guess what that means …
If you want to live your journey day after day on social networks, have an iPad or other tablet and an SD card reader. A computer would be much too bulky and valuable to lug around, just a tablet.
Of course, get all the cables, power supplies and adapters you need before your trip. For Central Europe, the classic European plug adapter will suffice. In your main backpack, layout a 2 e bag to store the camera and necessary every day: sunscreen or at least a stick to your nose, a charger you load every night to power your phone notebook and USB cables.
Currency! Make sure you always have money on you. Mrs. Pipi will not have the money for a 50 euro note. Yes, Mrs. Pipi controls the pissotières of Europe and it is very good: the places are clean and maintained. Go to McDonald’s, do you tell me? Yes, that’s right, there is a MacDonald in every tourist center in Europe, but this chain of junk food does not like to be the toilet of the tourist world without a counterpart.
You will be faced with two options: a toilet code on your Royale receipt with cheese (Have you seen Pulp Fiction ?) Or a coin-operated tourniquet that will provide you with a receipt that you can then deduct from your order. So do not be surprised that in some MacDo you will be harassed by the homeless to have the code of the toilet that is on your receipt!
A good backpack with compartments.
Portfolio in front
Your wallet? The front pocket. Never behind, it’s too tempting for pickpockets, universal craft and extra. As for the contents of your wallet: leave all your useless cards at home. What will you do with a Canadian Tire Card in Sweden? Payment cards, insurance cards, ID. Yes, a photo ID issued by a credible government is very important because your passport will leave it in a safe place.
Passport at your fingertips
Did you take a picture of all your ID, your passport before you left? Put these data in a safe place, write the number of these documents cryptically in an Evernote file for example, or an email that you have sent … without naming the file “my passport”, you never know! Always have your passport handy when you move from one country to another: do not put it at the back of the pack. You may be asked to board a river shuttle between Bratislava and Vienna or when the flying police from Estonia board a bus from Riga.