Getting Ready to Travel
What to Pack
What to wear? What to pack? Have no fear, our travel experts are here to give you our best tips and advice.
A good rule of thumb is to lay out everything you think you need, then put half of it back in your closet. Seriously.
Most ACIS trips do not include porterage, so as you pack, remember that you’ll be carrying your suitcase through airports and hotels, and up and down stairs. We strongly suggest you only bring carry-on. If you don’t check it, they can’t lose it.
- Make sure you look at the weather online before you go, don’t pack based on averages. Weather can change. www.accuweather.com
- Pack layers, and you’ll be set no matter the temperature.
- Clothes can be worn more than once—less is more!
- Don’t bring new shoes. You will be walking a lot, and comfort is key.
- Bring a small umbrella and/or raincoat. You’ll be out rain or shine. Plus, if you bring it, you’re practically guaranteed sunny skies.
- Bring a device that works as an alarm clock, so you don’t need to depend on the hotel front desk for a wake-up call.
- Be sure you have a watch or phone, so you’ll know the time when you’re out and about.
- Never pack medication, important documents or electronics in your check-in bag. If it is important, carry it with you!
- If you check a bag, be sure to bring at least one extra set of clothes and any other can’t-live-without items in your carry-on, just in case.
- Pack smart. Roll your clothes so you can fit more, and utilize all your space by stuffing socks into shoes. YouTube has loads of packing tutorials to help you out.
- If you are bringing anything that plugs in (like your phone charger), be sure to also bring an adapter. See a list of which countries use which type of plugs here.
- Cathedral Etiquette – Visitors wearing shorts or skirts above the knee, tank tops or sleeveless shirts may not be allowed into cathedrals. If it is warm, women may want to pack a light skirt and scarf to slip on over shorts and around the shoulders.
How to Bring It
On your flights and on the bus, you are allowed one suitcase and one carry-on bag. Touring coaches have luggage compartments based on the assumption of one suitcase per person, and local safety laws prevent suitcases from being put in the bus aisle. Your carry-on bag needs to be small enough to fit under a bus seat. One suitcase and one smaller bag/backpack is the way to go.
Choose a lightweight suitcase, preferably one with wheels. Please be mindful that airlines have specific weight limits and other luggage restrictions. Airlines also require that each article of luggage have at least one tag with your name and address information on it.* Before you leave, make a list of the total contents of your suitcase. If your luggage is lost, the list will help you file any insurance claims.
Please note that most train services we use no longer offer luggage space other than that immediately around your seat and in the overhead compartment. If you are traveling on a day train as part of your ACIS itinerary, you will be required to store your luggage in the compartment above your seat for the duration of the journey. If you are traveling on an overnight train as part of your ACIS itinerary, you will be required to store your luggage within your sleeping compartment.
*Due to increased airline security, locked luggage is not permitted. When traveling by bus or train, locks may be used.
Electric Appliances & Current
In most of Europe (and Argentina), electric current is 220 volts, not 110 as in the U.S. or Costa Rica. Buy a hairdryer or razor adaptable to 220 volts, as most travel appliances are. You should purchase voltage adapters, dual voltage hairdryers and other travel accessories prior to departure.
Lost or Stolen Luggage
Except for when it’s checked in with the airline, your luggage is your responsibility and should never be left unattended. If you lose your luggage on the flight, you must file a claim at the airline’s lost-luggage office before leaving the customs hall of the airport. If your luggage is stolen, you must file a police report to be covered by the Ultimate-Plus or Ultimate Protection Plan.
Want even more tips?
The ACIS Blog is here to help! From confessions of an over-packer to our tour managers top tips, we have all the information you’ll need and more.