River cruise lines offer many packing suggestions for your river cruise vacation in Europe--pack light, bring casual, color coordinated clothes and comfortable shoes etc. But, here are some packing suggestions you may not have thought of.
Outlet Adaptors and Power Strip
Most of the riverboats provide 110V and 220V outlets but the plug sockets require an adaptor. This is especially critical if you bookend your river cruise with a hotel stay. We always recommend dual-voltage appliances and devices to prevent damage.
Comfortable shoes are a must. But, you will probably be walking much more than at home. And, the streets are often uneven cobblestones. Blisters can spoil even the best walking tour.
A few local phrases and courtesy expressions come in handy as you explore the villages and hamlets along the river. A translation app is most useful. Many of the river cruise lines have developed apps for their itineraries that include restaurant , entertainment and sightseeing suggestions to make the most of your independent time.
International credit cards, especially those that do not charge a foreign transaction fee, work well in major cities. But, smaller shops often refuse to accept them. Local currency, most often Euros, in small bills is useful especially upon arrival and (this surprises our clients) for the restrooms in town.
Swimwear, Gym Wear
Many of the new riverboats have pools and hot tubs, some are indoors. A refreshing dip after a morning of touring is a popular activity. Fitness centers and morning stretch and yoga classes are offered on several river cruise lines.
Wrinkle-Release Spray, Spot Remover Pen, Travel Laundry Sheets
Packing light means wearing clothes more than once. Keep them fresh with these handy items.
Binoculars and Flashlight
There is always something to see from the top open-air deck and binoculars bring the charming sights along the way close. At times, you'll be returning to the ship after dark. A small, pocket-size flashlight can guide the way when paths are not well lighted.
Windbreaker, Rain Poncho, Collapsible Umbrella
The river cruise lines have umbrellas to use on excursions. But, if it's not raining when you set out in the morning, a windbreaker with a hood, a foldable rain poncho, or a mini collapsible umbrella can save you from getting soaked in a pop-up shower.
It surprises many of our clients that passports need to be valid for six months after your travel. You can be denied boarding on your flight if your passport expires before that date. Visas may also be required to enter a country. It is the passengers responsibility to meet the entry requirements. Take along a color copy of the picture page in the passport in case of a lost or stolen book.
The daily agenda is full of information. A highlighter calls attention to activities that interest you.
If you are considering a river cruise, please feel free to send me an email or call me so we can discuss your vacation plans in detail.
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Scooter Tessari, MCC, owns The Cruise Center, Inc. in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and operates the website Tasteful Journeys devoted to enrichment vacations with a culinary accent and featuring cruises, tours, and custom designed vacation packages.