Trip Start Mar 02, 2011
Trip End Apr 26, 2011

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Where I stayed
My Apartment

Flag of United States  , Georgia
Monday, February 28, 2011

7 Days Till Departure!

Flight 1 Departure
 – Mon Mar 7 2011 Delta  
Flight 132 
Departs: 4:30p John F Kennedy Intl (JFK) 
Arrives: 9:30a Eleftherios V. (ATH) 
Boeing 767 (Wide-body Jet)  | 10h 00m  | 4927 miles

Flight 2 Return – Wed Apr 13 2011 Delta  
Flight 95 
Departs: 11:20a  Barcelona (BCN) 
Arrives: 1:59p John F Kennedy Intl (JFK) 
Airbus A330-300 (Wide-body Jet)  | 8h 39m  | 3820 miles 

Luckily, I only have to pack the things I need for the next two months.  All my furniture, appliances, electronics, etc. are going to be taken care of the movers later this week. But picking out the items to bring to Europe has taken just as much planning, if not more, as it would take to move my entire apartment! I have a Jansport 2600 cubic inch (~45L) backpack I'm using as my primary pack.  It requires one exercise to restraint when deciding what to bring.  If there is a universal word of advice that is consistent from travel site to travel site, it is: PACK LIGHT!  My goal is to be highly mobile and any extra weight or bulk will inhibit that.  Below is list of what I'm bringing to Europe, and all that already fills my pack up two-thirds the way.  



Generally, this is the list of items I'm packing for Europe:
  • Daypack & Camelbak water reservoir  
  • Clothes - about enough for five days
    • Marmot Multi-component jacket
    • Quick dry pants (2)
    • Formal pants (1)
    • Shorts (1)
    • Board shorts (1)
    • Microfleece (1)
    • Long sleeved shirt (2) 
    • Short sleeved shirt (4)
    • Socks (5) 
    • Underwear (5)
    • PJs
    • Hat
    • Rainbow sandals
    • Adidas Walking shoes with Superfeet arch support insert
Note: to compact clothes, roll them (also helps prevent wrinkles), and place in heavy duty Ziploc bag (freezer style). Then squeeze all the air out of the Ziploc. Bring extra Ziplocs in case you tear a hole in one on the trip.
  • Electronics
    • Canon Rebel EOS Digital SLR + 15-50mm lens + case
    • Canon Powershot point and shoot 
    • iPod Touch & charger
    • Headphones
    • Electronic travel adapter
  • Toiletries (miniature travel size for everything)
    • Shampoo/conditioner
    • Toothpaste
    • Facewash
    • Floss
    • Mouthwash
    • Sunscreen
    • Razor
    • Deodorant
    • Cologne
    • Hair product
    • Shaving cream
    • Nailclippers
    • Handiwipes
    • Dramamine (motion sickness)
    • General medications 
  • Concealed money & passport pouch
  • MSR Trek Camping towel (quick dry/high volume)
  • LED light
  • Sunglasses
  • Euro Sunglasses 
  • Playing cards
  • Duct tape
  • Earplugs (5)
  • Laundry detergent and sink plug (for handwashing in sink)
  • American souvenirs - to trade with other international travelers
  • Compass
  • Micro-umbrella
  • First aid kit
  • Combination locks (2)
  • Carabiner (4)
  • Zip ties
  • Stretch cords (5)
  • Journal and pen
  • Harper Collins Language Survival Guide Greece  
Items that did not make the cut, but was tempted to bring or buy
  • Laptop - I went back and forth on this, but it's generally agreed that this is far from necessary, especially in Europe where internet cafes are plentiful
  • Digital SLR 50-300 mm lens -  switching between lenses becomes a nuisance after awhile and I usually just end up using the shorter aperture lens anyway
  • GSM dual/quad band enabled cell phone - much cheaper to just use a calling card
  • Tripod - wanted to bring one to get really good pictures but unnecessary and too bulky
  • Travel iron - I ALWAYS iron my clothes and even though most of my clothes are anti-wrinkle, I can't help but want to bring one!
  • Books - adds volume way to quickly
  • More clothes
I guess the moral of the story is, the more stuff you bring, the less stuff you get to bring back. Pack light and leave behinds things you can get along the way.  The more stuff you bring, the more you will stand out and be a potential target. For those of you planning a similar backpacking trip in the near future, I highly recommend the website  In addition to their extensive packing suggestion list, the website was very helpful to me in preparing for the trip as a whole.

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