Let's start with the easy stuff: Toothbrush, toothpaste, hair brush, hair elastics, make up. I suggest not taking your hair straightener with you and just go to the local drug store and buy one there that way you do not end up frying your straightener and leaving you without one during your week away. (speaking from experience).
Next step is choosing the right size of luggage to take, You do not want it to be too small that you can't fit enough clothes in nor do you want to be too big that you are oversize for the airlines/tour. This is where researching comes in handy. Which airline do you plan on flying with? Every airline has a restriction, luggage size not just for weight issues for the plane but also for their staff that have to load and unload from the plane. Here is what I did, i went on the airline's website and found the measurements of what their restrictions were and then i went to a luggage store with a tape measure and started measuring different luggage's until i found the one i liked and the one that was big enough to hold all my belongings.
Now this is just for you to initially pack because of course you will be shopping, if not daily.
There is a lot of walking involved and just simply changing your shoes daily can make you walk longer even though your feet may be sore. Having different shoes I have found helps. When i was walking ALL OVER Central London, my feet were killing me but because I changed my shoes and did not wear the same shoes back to back, my feet felt relaxed enough to keep on walking the next day ALL OVER central London.
Expect to go out every night on a Contiki. Now you do not have to but there will be some people on your tour that will. And what I mean by Formal is club wear, just exactly what you would wear to the bar.
You never know what the weather will be like where ever in the world you are traveling to, it could be the hottest place in the middle of summer and all of a sudden you get a freak rainstorm making the days chilly. So just in case pack those bottoms and sweaters! Tip: Do not wear Jeans in Los Angeles during the months of July and August
Non clothing items to pack:
Especially if you carry your cell phone, Ipod with you, you will need those European plugs. A cell phone isn't just good for texting, calling with an international Sim card of course but cell phone cameras make excellent cameras. My Blackberry Camera takes wonders of pictures - some of my better pictures were taken on my blackberry than my camera it self.
Might want a book to read during the Coach ride between destinations, or a phrasebook so you can practice phrases between destinations - quiz one another on the coach. Whatever passes the time right?
Or you might fill up that void with writing in your travel journal so you do not forget what you did last night in, oh say Amsterdam or London, etc. Writing it down right away will keep the memories alive!
what are some your must haves when traveling? Feel free to share them and Leave a reply below...