The Joy and Reward of PLANNING AHEAD

  • Successful trips are so much more than visiting the right places.  Your safety, comfort and enjoyment can depend upon how well you prepare and whether you travel light–both in weight and in spirit. 

  • Begin far in advance of a trip to plan what you’ll take along, and enjoy the anticipation of designing a wardrobe, wearing-in a new pair of shoes, and reading about the places you will visit. 

  • Keep a list to guide you as you pack  Include a final copy of it in your purse in case your luggage is misplaced and leave another copy of it at home along with photocopies of your important documents and credit cards. 



  • I plan my wardrobe with comfort as the most important consideration with style next. 

  • Coordinate your packing around two main colors and accessorize with costume jewelry, shawls and scarves.

  • Other regions may be more casual, but people do tend to dress up in capital cities.  Jeans and white athletic shoes aren’t really suitable in London or Paris unless you’re a college-age backpacker. Instead of shorts, pack slacks or cropped mid-calf length pants or a cotton skirt.

  • Pack some dressy blouses or a shawl for evenings out or for special occasions.

  • Shoes are critically important.  Trips often involve walking outside through historic sites, up and down hills and on ancient marble that can be dusty and slippery even when not wet.  Walking on cobblestones, marble floors and standing in museums puts a strain on your legs, feet and back. Your favorite pain reliever, taken at the beginning of a long day, can help.

  • Buy your shoes well ahead of the trip and wear them often. Bring plenty of socks and warm tights for cooler climates.  Wear one pair of shoes on the plane and pack another lightweight pair of walking shoes. 



  • LABEL YOUR LUGGAGE INSIDE AND OUT and include a copy of your itinerary inside your purse with your passport.  I know of a woman who packed her itinerary in her luggage, her flight was delayed,  the bag and itinerary were lost and when she eventually arrived at her foreign destination, she had no idea where to go or how to call the leaders.  She turned around and went home.  (This was NOT a Pathway Tour)

  • If you can fit everything into one carry-on bag and your "personal item" you will avoid lost luggage and waiting in baggage claim.  But you will have to be well-organized.  On most trips the major complaint is keeping up with "stuff."  You can always buy something you really need. 

  • Check with your airline directly to determine how many suitcases you will be permitted to check free of charge AND the weight limit per bag.  To avoid excess baggage charges, check with ALL airlines on your route including any within the country.

  • I keep my passport, ticket, itinerary, money and credit cards in a small wallet/purse on a strap that fits inside my backpack. I take it out on the plane and carry it with me to the restroom during the flight.  Many museums make you check large purses or backpacks so you can take this small bag out and check the larger bags. A folding shopping bag is useful too.

  • CARRY-ON ESSENTIALS and COMFORT ITEMS are included in the Checklist you will receive after registration.

  • CURRENT CARRY ON REGULATIONS:  Check the following website for the most up-to-date regulations:     



  •  Most electrical appliances like laptops, cellphones, hot rollers, hair dryers are dual voltage and require only adapters, not converters.  The most reliable type is an All-in-One Adapter Plug -useful for various countries and can be purchased at Wal Mart or Target. 

  • A dual-voltage immersion water heater, tea bags, and a plastic mug are great for morning and afternoon breaks.


  • Check with your mobile phone provider to determine if your phone will work within your destination country, the extra charges you will incur and all access codes before leaving home. 

  • Bring along a backup prepaid calling card.


NICE TO HAVE ALONG: If you share a room, contact your roommate to avoid duplication. 

Flashlight, corkscrew, pens and a journal, alarm clock, washcloths or sturdy disposable towelettes, hand cleaner (Purel) in a small bottle.  Zip loc bags are great for dirty or wet clothes, picnics, and for small items you collect.  You can wash out clothes and hang in the shower. Bring disposable plastic hangers or clothesline and detergent.  Most hotels have hairdryers. 


Can airplane travel make you sick? On planes it is more than the recycled air:  Germs can live for up to a week on armrests, tray tables and anything else you touch on the plane. Swipe a disinfectant wipe over your tray table and armrests; and before eating or touching your faces, wash your hands or use a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.

Missing out on sleep makes you 4 times more likely to catch a cold. Stay rested!

  • Months before a trip outside the US consult the CDC website at

  • Most of the other travel health websites refer to the information provided by CDC so it is a good place to start. 

  • For trips to most of Europe you will not need any special immunizations, but it is your responsibility to check this along with your medical coverage abroad

  • Remember to pack non-prescription drugs including an antihistamine, pain reliever, laxative, anti-diarrheal, cold medication, cough drops, along with a simple first aid kit. Pack these and all prescription drugs in their original containers in your carry-on luggage.




  • Check the weather reports for the month of travel and plan your wardrobe and accessories accordingly. 

  • In most cases layering your clothes is the best way to deal with temperature changes.

  • Raincoats or jackets with removable lining and hoods work well for all kinds of weather.  Umbrellas are convenient, but can easily be damaged in high winds.

  • Bring a sweater or shawl for cool evenings and to wear on the plane

  • In cold weather a pair of gloves, hat and scarf are essential and take up only a small space in your suitcse. 

  • In hot climates bring along a sunhat, sunscreen and mosquito repellent.