This Opinion article is part of a Narcity Media series. The views expressed are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.

This week I'm headed out to do what you've all seen many times on your Instagram feed — a girls Europe trip.

My excitement has been brewing for weeks, and so has my packing stress. Preparing for this three-week-long Europe trip involved packing skills that I am not naturally blessed with, so I've done my due diligence to make sure I have everything I need.

In the past, I've made the mistake of travelling abroad wildly unprepared — which often turns what should be a relaxing vacation into a series of stressful events.

I have learned my lessons though and now I have some wisdom to impart so you don't have to make the same mistakes.

My suitcase this time around is just below the maximum weight requirements that Air Canada permits (because I've been stung by their hefty fine one too many times) and I'm prepared to take on Europe with (hopefully) a whole lot less stress.

Check this list, and then check it again, because trust me when I say it could save you from some big headaches on your next international trip.

A copy of your passport

Carrying around a copy of your passport might seem extra, but it's one of those things that could save you in the unlikely event that you need it. If you find yourself in the situation that is most travellers' nightmare — a lost passport — then you'll want to still have some proof of identity.

Before you leave home, scan and print copies of your IDs and keep versions on your phone, too. This could come in handy when you're trying to get a new one while abroad and it'll ensure you're never left completely without identification.

The U.S. government actually recommends making two copies of all your travel documents, "in case of emergency."

"Leave one copy with a trusted friend or relative at home and carry the other separately from your original documents. To help prevent theft, do not carry your passport in your back pocket, and keep it separate from your money," the U.S. Department of State website suggests.

A back-up credit card

Luckily I've travelled mostly with friends so I've always had people to cover for me in a pinch, but I have been stuck without money a few times.

If you travel with just one credit card there's a chance it might not be accepted at every store and restaurant, especially in small towns. So, you'll want to have multiple credit card options and cash as a backup.

A fanny pack

Luckily fanny packs are no longer just for the older generation travelling around Europe with visible sunscreen and a camera hung around their necks. Fanny packs are fashionable now, and remain tried-and-true when it comes to being the most convenient travel bag.

You can keep them close to your chest with all of your valuables tucked away, so you don't risk losing anything or leaving stuff behind.

Fanny packs are also just super convenient to keep your passports in while going through the airport, because they make everything so easily accessible. And no one wants to be that person holding up the line at the gate because they're rummaging through their massive purse trying to find their passport.

A sleeping mask and earplugs

I never go away without my trusty sleeping kit, and I usually get to enjoy my eight hours every night because of it. When you go to hotels or even Airbnbs, you usually don't know what the area is going to be like. I've been smack dab in nightlife areas which can be fun, but also annoyingly loud.

You might also just have loud neighbours in an apartment or some bright lights outside of your window. Either way, there's nothing worse than trying to fall asleep and getting woken up, especially if you have a big day of exploring ahead of you.

Bringing along a sleeping mask and some earplugs covers all your bases, and comes in particularly handy when you're trying to sleep off the jet lag.

A portable phone charger

If you're like me, travelling within Europe probably means budget airlines.

While it's awesome to get $50 flights to a different country, they often lack the same amenities as bigger airlines – like plugs.

Whether it's to charge your phone on a flight, or if you forgot to pack the right plug converter, a wireless charger can be a lifesaver.

When you're travelling you need your phone even more for things like Google Maps, looking up translations, accessing your boarding pass, or in case of an emergency, so it's better to be safe than sorry.

A pair of wire headphones

I love my Airpods as much as the next person, but they have their downfalls and the charging is one of them. As we've covered already — it's not always easy to charge up your devices while travelling.

I've learned the hard way just how much it sucks to have your AirPods die while you're at the airport trying to kill time by binging whatever the latest Netflix reality dating show is. If you can't bear to not immediately see The Ultimatum finale, then you'll probably end up dropping money on overpriced wire headphones from an airport store that you'll never use again.

Now I make sure to bring my old pair of wire earbuds while going away. It also saves me from having to use the not-so-great airline ones when I want to watch an in-flight movie.

A universal travel adapter

If you're jumping around between different countries in Europe, you might run into a tricky charging situation. Plug sockets can vary between counties, so a universal adapter will cover all of your bases.

If you don't have a universal one then make sure to look up what plug sockets the countries you're visiting have so that you can get the right ones ahead of time.

Before jetting off to your next destination check your bag and remember to take these things — and you might be able to avoid a sticky situation!

2023-09-15T13:06:27Z dg43tfdfdgfd