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European Travel Skills: Packing Light

2068 ratings | 374781 views
More European travel tips: http://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips Packing light is essential for happy, hassle-free travel. Choose your luggage carefully — a carry-on sized convertible backpack/suitcase is the best bet for most travelers. As you pack, carefully scrutinize each item to see if it justifies hauling it around. The payoff is sweet mobility, freedom and a better trip. At http://www.ricksteves.com, you'll find money-saving travel tips, small-group tours, guidebooks, TV shows, radio programs, podcasts, and more on this destination.
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Text Comments (114)
One of my friend told me about European electric adapter it's different from our India.
YouTube University (1 month ago)
Great Video
sang chang (2 months ago)
Don't i need transformer besides adapter in Europe? years ago, in Swizterland when I plugged my hair blow dryer into the outlet using only adapter, blew off my hair dryer with smoke .
Offensive Username (3 months ago)
Rick Steves is a sociopath who loves to expose other people's mistake on video. He just films them without asking for permission, despite being forbidden by law in most European countries.
Michelle Acojedo (4 months ago)
Man I wish I were white
Marjan393 (4 months ago)
it's you're talking about Europe like it's one country. And most of the stuff you need for travel you can buy anywhere. When I travel I bring old cloths that's gives me an good excuse to buy new stuff. Now I see that this video is from 2013 a lot has changed in 5 years.
Rafik Aldo (5 months ago)
thank you Sir
Bob Fotoples (6 months ago)
Is the bag shown the Convertible Carry-on bag or the Classic Back Door bag?
TheArgos12 (4 months ago)
Convertable carry on.
not till recently I started paying attention to light packing..Rick knows
Brotha Liphted (6 months ago)
I've used adapters that had every single style of prong while I was in the army. They are useful tools.
DD- 563 (6 months ago)
Robert Rosenberg : Why would you say something so ignorant ? Everyone in America uses toothpaste and everyone I've associated with in Europe also uses toothpaste or tooth powder
Emily Froelich (7 months ago)
Snarky Rick is my favorite. "If you can't find it here, perhaps you should ask yourself how 4 million Europeans get by without it" 😂😂
Pranx (1 month ago)
400 million
Melissa Canales (7 months ago)
Very interesting and thanks for the info 😎
Billy D Baker (8 months ago)
Great stuff and always such good, practical advice from Rick Steves.
Ferry Anolin (8 months ago)
Great video!
Traveling light is great when the taste is perfect.
Udani Karunarathna (9 months ago)
Thank its very important
Selmer Reference54 (10 months ago)
"Pack for the best scenario" is the best advice. Americans also use too many stuff, this makes traveling light becomes very difficult.
Live2sculpt (10 months ago)
"Shorts". Ah yes.... Shorts in Europe.
Ernest Kovach (11 months ago)
Folks, folks, small is beautiful, lighter IS better.
Sharon Nelson (1 year ago)
When I travel I bring old clothes so I can leave clothes behind after wearing them, so I can bring gifts home.
BriansRadioReviews (1 year ago)
Does Rick seriously read his own books?
Michael Bruchas (1 year ago)
I have a green bag backpack from Rick’s shop. It has been to Europe twice - but with neighbors! Not me!
Anthony Kernich (1 year ago)
I'm going for 7 weeks. Whatever I pack into my bag for leaving my home country is what I'll have for that whole time. I only really intend on taking camera equipment, 2 sets of clothes, toiletries and an emergency set of clothes.
Gamer WC2013 (1 year ago)
Hi, For a 30 days Europe trip, staying at hostels and visiting more than 3 European countries. Packing the essentials in a medium 4 wheeled luggage means packing light ? . I think.. i need extra space for things I’ll buy. It’s allowed to bring epilator, scissor & nail clipper in a carry-on? . Thanks!
Mr Green (1 year ago)
I’m in love with your videos Sir
ker der (1 year ago)
Hehehe yes & no... First there r 2 kinds of tourists the ones who wants to check all in a week & ones who wants to enjoy where they r. Remember Rick is on assignment that his job u on vacation make it memorable enjoy try to stay in fewer places possible but enjoy ur stay. Than pack ur suitcase with more & enjoy days & evenings out specially when u travel with companion. Im like Rick checking all in few hours or days than coming home have memories of none only pics thats the reason I do things like that. So if u not on assignment job pls stay in one place & enjoy its ur vacation not a job. Most people leaving in this places for whole their lives don't even know all, don't think u can in few days.. Hehehe take ur time vacation is to enjoy not hassle to find a store with tooth paste or towels... & btw in downtown big cities in Europe is not that easy.. Hehehe I like Rick but he is American on shoe string
Isiuwa Omorefe (1 year ago)
Rick we can’t pack light as ladies.
Spencer Stanley (1 year ago)
Packing light is the key! I always cut down my load every trip.
Semi Ku (1 year ago)
I am planning 2 week travel. It is a helpful advice.
Karl Ahlf (1 year ago)
Rick is right to pack light when traveling to Europe. The only heavy things that Rick & his film crew bring to Europe, are the camera & sound equipment to make an episode of Rick's tv show.
jagdeep singh wahi (1 year ago)
I am from India and I am looking your all video.. very nice I am going second time Europe ..
Global Adventurer (1 year ago)
Before my first ever extended European trip some years ago, I read just about every book Rick Steves made. I still use his advice even today. Thank you Mr. Steves!
PennyTravelTV (1 year ago)
Not gonna lie, when I was younger I would make fun of this guy, but now he's Godsend. Sorry Steve!
mike wood (6 months ago)
i think his personality is great, but apparently a lot of people think it's polyannaish
Lyricaldove (1 year ago)
Some helpful ideas, but I would not bring paper books. I have an iPad mini and download ebooks. It's been a few years since I took a paper book to read when I travel. You can download guidebooks as well as novels.......
Purple Ash (1 year ago)
It's always a good idea to bring at least one magazine or one paperback in case your tablet or phone goes dead. You'll still have something to read.
Zydxuzys Mvufz6e (2 years ago)
this helps a lot thank u
strongyang (2 years ago)
Cool video! I'm going to pack my backpack under 20lbs for my winter trip to Western and Northern Europe for 18 days.
Michael Soucek (2 years ago)
This guy is pretty chill do
MK (2 years ago)
this is such great advice. ive learned all this the hard way on my current trip. i took a towel, forgetting i can buy one for a few pounds or euros if i need to. i brought several books i haven't read or written in. i needed cough drops and they were easy to find and i think even cheaper than America. I'll definitely pack better next time!
Carlos Saraiva (2 years ago)
This is great advise even for somebody who is traveling within europe as well. I'm very new to the travel abroad thing myself. I visited Stockholm for 8 days last summer and to this day i'm not sure if a packed too much or not. Some of the things that felt were too much in the end helped me, because the weather was worse that i expected (it was a freak weather happening that took even the swedes by surprise). But it can be a hassle to travel with a big baggage. Mine has four wheels so it's far more practical and still, hardly the ideal way to be a mobile tourist. I guess you can pack a bit more heavily if you have longer stays in each location and as a single man, you want to dress a bit smarter when going for the nightlife.
Zach Weinberger (2 years ago)
packing 4 t shirts 2 shirts 3 pairs of pants 4 pairs of socks 4 pairs of underwear and the other stuff. very light
Zach Weinberger (2 years ago)
+Zach Weinberger then a couple pairs of lulu lemon shorts and shoes ill wear on plane and another pair
Nader Ameeruddin (2 years ago)
The underwearless tour!
Anna Stuttard (3 years ago)
Great tips - thanks! I just wanted to say that in some countries you can use shorts as a swimming costume, but in France you are not allowed in the pool unless you have the tight, body-hugging type trunks. We found this out the hard way when my parents came to visit and my dad was only allowed in as a spectator because his trunks were not the right kind.
lgerback34 (3 years ago)
Great video. Thank you for the information.
Alan W Chase (3 years ago)
Great advice,most travel is by rail and believe me you have to get on trains quickly and stow your luggage in an overhead bin.So less is more.
Robert Rosenberg (4 years ago)
I love the bit where you have to persuade your (presumably American) audience that Europeans use toothpaste.  It reminds me of a time when I was working in New York and a guy I worked with who was about to go travelling in Europe asked me "Do they have pizza in Europe?"
Romy Fleurs (4 years ago)
Thank you Rick! Very helpful tips!
roshan dangwar (4 years ago)
Very good tips. These rules apply almost everywhere, in general. We, Indians, tend to travel heavy, so lot's of good lessons here. Thanks.
EC_MCG (4 years ago)
I am studying abroad in Italy for about 5 months, but I expect to travel a lot while I am there and after my program ends. I have loved researching different videos on how to pack light :)
Peppy_23 (4 years ago)
hmmm what about for women?! lol it's not the same!
Mary Harvey (3 months ago)
Bring half as much stuff and twice as much money.
H FS (1 year ago)
TooLazy65 What applies to guys also applies to ladies.
suhas chou (2 years ago)
TooLazy65 haHa
TooLazy65 (3 years ago)
+panamena23 There is a packing light Rick Steves video for women, and it really isn't that much different. The only real thing that is left out here is bras lol
dalva m ferreira (4 years ago)
Thank you!
Beverly FitzGerald (4 years ago)
A few days ago, I returned my new, 2 piece soft-side luggage to the store & bought Rick Steves' rolling carry-on and super-lightweight shoulder bag. The carryon only weighs 6.5 lbs. My goal is to keep the packed weight to less than 20 lbs. After all these years, no more heavy bags :)
MARJORIE WILLIAMS (6 months ago)
Rick Steve’s travel
ersterhernd (4 years ago)
This video gave us great info for our first trip to Europe.  We followed it and had an easy time getting around for three weeks.  One pointer if visiting Switzerland, the two prong Euro Plugs shown in this vid didn't fit the Swiss outlets. There's a specific version required for that country, it has smaller round prongs on it.
msmusik2 (4 years ago)
quick tip for girls!! I read that you need a converter and adapter for heat appliances like straighteners ect. But then I read that sometimes converters dont work, so I think its a safe bet to get dual voltage straighteners, maybe get a mini one since their less expensive and you'd probably only need it for the trip your taking
BornToBunk (4 years ago)
We enjoyed your clip!
Hilda Roberts (4 years ago)
Excelente Rick, I like that convertible backpack.
Denise Van Rinsvelt (4 years ago)
Thanks for the review!
Paul Davis (4 years ago)
Traveling and packing light is a great skill to have, especially if hotels, porters and private transportation are out of the question. Why go through the hassle of checking in and possibly losing your baggage during your travels?
Global Adventurer (1 year ago)
Paul Davis You're absolutely right. That's why I always maintain control of backpack when taking taxis. I never hand it over to the driver to store in the trunk.
ccwm1992survey (4 years ago)
what bag is rick using  at 0:28? 
Rick Steves' Europe (4 years ago)
That's the Rick Steves Convertible Carry-On, available at http://www.ricksteves.com/shop
ImaginaryJeremy (4 years ago)
I'm traveling through Europe currently and filming it all for my channel and had such a hard time packing light. I'm sure I'll be learning the hard way along my trip now! Definitely good advice.
BriannasPlanet (4 years ago)
When I went to Europe, I packed everything in a small school backpack and that's it. And I went for three weeks. TRUST ME, you don't need to pack everything. You will be so happy packing lights and you won't struggle carrying everything along. Once you get to your hotel, just hand wash your clothes and dry them. It works great and this is coming from a woman! Only bring the bare necessities!!!!
H FS (1 year ago)
BriannasPlanet Great advice. I fuly agree with you.
Amy Von Rosenherz (4 years ago)
b .allison (5 years ago)
What kind of shoes is he wearing? Brand and model wise?
Drew Ford (4 years ago)
Hotels Etc (5 years ago)
It is very important to pack light not only for easy travel but to keep away thieves. You not only want to protect yourself, but enjoy yourself. 
Jeff Young (5 years ago)
Rick thats an amazing backpack/small suitcase which brand is it !
Rick Steves' Europe (4 years ago)
That's the Rick Steves Convertible Carry-On, available at http://www.ricksteves.com/shop
IanPolerCP (5 years ago)
Is it possible to watch "Rick Steves' Europe" in Europe or is it only available in the US?
Marina Pizarro (5 years ago)
Hi Rick I loved the tips you gave, because they are important details that often forgotten, like the adapters. When I visited Buenos Aires, I just remembered the adapter when I was at the Hotel, and my cellphone with low battery. Thanks for your tips, they are very important for us.
annagilda1 (5 years ago)
It always makes me smile when I see people from outside Europe, trying to board a Ryanair flight with a huge carry on bag and then they are surprised at getting charged, packing light for Europe or anywhere for that matter makes life so much easier.
jorgecornet (5 years ago)
rick we enjoy all of your videos, books and tips...i always wonder why when you taste some type of food you only put the tip of it in your mouth as if you're being careful of really getting a taste for the item.
bokeflo (5 years ago)
I thought I was packing pretty light but now I'm going to aim to pack Rick Steves Light. Great Tips.
ajl1239 (5 years ago)
'Don't pack for the worst case scenario, pack for the best case scenario!' -Great advice, Rick!
AgingIsABitch (5 years ago)
I walk around with a video camera and a platinum card in my iphone wallet, and only buy food and water...sometimes a bag to carry home some rare books :-p wryyyy.
Philip Meske (5 years ago)
I read a lot of packing advice prior to traveling to Europe last summer (16 days). Instead of one bag, I used a 18" wheelie upright & a slim back-pack. I was able to pack at least 1 week's worth of clothing & 1 pair of light wt. loafers in the wheelie. I used expedition type clothing for daily excursions. Only did laundry 1 time. I convinced my wife and 2 daughters to do the same & we had an easy time of it. A travel back-pack would have worked better in at least 3 of the cities we visited.
Shosho Soso (5 years ago)
I am travelling with my husband and 3 kids so how many bags should i back.?
Hi Rick, This is great and is almost exactly what I take when I travel myself. I can't bear to see so many people struggling with enormous suitcases and too many packages. One on my back and one around my waist or across my body is all I've ever taken, even for up to 12 months. Excellent video thanks. Nicely put together with very clear information. ryandvy1 see the range of super anti-theft packs and luggage at Pacsafe.
H FS (1 year ago)
Inspiring Women Who Travel Granted they are poor people battling with cumbersome luggage. But who is to blame for this. If people think they need everything they take then they are just stubborn and can struggle as far as I am concerned nowadays. Just buy at your destination if you need something. If people are on a strict budget and say cannot buy an extra t shirt or whatever then it is better if they just stay at home.
G Mos (5 years ago)
Excellent advice especially "pack for the BEST scenario" also stressing that you pack the same amount/items for a two week trip as you would for a 3 month trip AND that you only take 1 pair of shoes. I wish more people had the same philosophy. Thank you for your videos. Also love your products and hope to take one of your tours real soon.
Yurrah Al-Hadi (5 years ago)
I agree. I love to travel and cant wait til i can starr. I remember watchinf his shows and globe trekker. I cant remember if he was in that show, but yh.
Yurrah Al-Hadi (5 years ago)
I dont think it really matters. In the us the plug goes either way. Its not like ppl r going to stuff the plug in the same way he held it up, even if its not fitting.
Beth Austin (5 years ago)
Did anyone else from the UK realise he held the adaptor upside down?
ryandvy1 (6 years ago)
With travel backpacks such as the ones you mentioned, what are some tips you could give for making them safe from pickpockets? I had always been warned to not travel with a backpack in Europe...
Designs By Sher (6 years ago)
There is no way I can just bringone pair of shoes!!:)
Joe Hall (7 months ago)
Agree. I need my flip flops, need a comfortable pair for long day walks, a nice pair for the symphony, and my Asics running shoes (avid runner). So yes I'm light everywhere else, but shoes I gotta have.
Santiago Kunzite (6 years ago)
the sad thing is... i love travelling just like rick: doing 5 countries in a month, the thing is that i love shopping and i love taking pictures of me in clothes in different scenearios in countries and it gets SO deppressing to carry all that luggage from one country to another D:
Andrew Wang (6 years ago)
I'm excited that you'll be visiting Indiana University at Bloomington! Just wish tickets were affordable for a student like me.
MSRAVEN (6 years ago)
i leave as much at home as i can,
Gloriana Chacon (6 years ago)
No new information?! This is exactly the same as the old video...
Rick Steves' Europe (6 years ago)
You can find "Rick Steves' Europe" on public television. Check your local listings — try our "airtimes finder" at our website (listed in the description), under the TV tab, to find out where to tune in.
Marilyn Felix (6 years ago)
I saw this for the first time today. When are you usually on tv?
deathbros100 (6 years ago)
Great video
IanPolerCP (6 years ago)
indeed it is. Never the less, I m still happy he is posting them. I wounder where is he now?
OneBagTravel (6 years ago)
Switching out SIM cards only works on phones that are purchased unlocked or have been unlocked by their carrier. If you are still in contract with your cellphone provider, switching SIMs over seas will not work.v
stevemccollum2011 (6 years ago)
Instead of buying a cell phone wouldn't to just as easy to buy a sim card? How much do prepaid cell phone service cost?
OneBagTravel (6 years ago)
Rick your advice on packing light inspired me over the years to preach your word to others. I created a website that has a younger spin on your ideology.
Harbir Brar (6 years ago)
isn't it a old video with new shots?

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