Packing smart and traveling safely while abroad.


Traveling abroad brings so much excitement however with the recent news story about the train attack from Amsterdam to Paris – reality strikes a cord of terrifying reality.  Unique situations that you need to address and be aware of come into play before and during your trip.  I wanted to discuss that and packing smart.  That picture above is my husband walking through Charles De Gaulle Airport with our luggage (we both packed for 13 days in that piece of luggage).  No over-packing here.

Let me start with some basic safety ideas.  Passports. You need to keep them on your person at all times.  I don’t trust hotel safes etc.  Every time we travel abroad we use this type of product and wear it under our clothes so it’s safe and out of pickpocket areas like your purse and/or pockets etc.

RFID protected so credit cards and passport information can not be electronically transmitted to thieves trying to obtain/steal this data.
Lewis N. Clark Rfid Neck Stash, Black, One Size81DTfcQGgbL._UX679_

Always make copies of your passports and have someone else traveling with you retain them just in case.  In our case I carried them in my multi-compartment purse by Lululemon which coincidentally the strap holder broke on day 1.  Thank heavens for safety pins.  Other than that the purse was great for travel with many MANY compartments.


Other thing you need… if traveling to most countries in Europe you’ll be needing these (if traveling to the UK you will need different adapters).


And some other items…

These RFID blocking credit card sleeves to protect your credit cards from electronic swiping – which is a huge issue for credit card/identity theft.  You can purchase these here.

These luggage and backpack locks worked great and are TSA approved.

And let’s talk packing.  We went to 4 countries in 13 days.  I wasn’t packing an outfit per day alongside running gear.  So here was my packing list and I did do laundry (washed on thanks to no dryers in our AirBnB’s we rented – typical in Europe.)

2 jackets (one denim/one rain all-purpose) because I knew one of my daughter’s would need a jacket.
1 long sleeve J. Crew denim shirt
2 long sleeve tee shirts (I kept a blue theme making it easier)
2 tank tops
4 pairs of shorts (one got destroyed so 3 pairs remained)
3 running tops
3 running shorts
3 pairs of running socks
My shark socks (runemz I know you’re laughing)
1 dress (navy blue basic from Target)
6 pairs of underwear
2 bras
1 pair of pjs
1 pair of running sneakers
1 pair of Birkenstocks that I wore every single day of touring
I toiletry kit
1 small make-up kit
Two hats (one running/one Burberry bucket hat)
Hair ties
1 laundry bag
Running watch
I wore on the plane both ways (said Birkenstocks/tank/capri leggings)


Packed and ready to go.


Here is the best instruction on how to fold in the most optional way possible.  That was all of my items packed with half of the suitcase ready for my husband’s things.  All packed nicely in one bag for him to wheel throughout Europe.  I also did carry my backpack filled with food.


I did also carry a backpack filled with my Vega Sport running energizer, recovery, Justin’s almond butter packets, pretzel packets, Vega Sport bars and bananas.  Oh and a loaf of gf/df bread for my daughter that I picked up.


I did do laundry and these packets were awesome.

Miscellaneous… you need a portable charger with two teens and two smartphone carrying adults.


Overall thoughts… when you’re in very crowded/touristy areas like museums, theaters, parks, tour buses, trains, subways, tubes etc. be mindful of what is going on around you.  Pick-pocketing is rampant there.  I kept my purse across my body and in front of me at all times.  At restaurants I kept it on my lap versus handing it off the chair.  Don’t draw attention to yourself with super fancy purses that are expensive etc.  Also carry various smaller bills (Euros) for taxi rides when you need it – also for tipping.

Reflecting on what just occurred on the Thalys train – I would definitely keep your seats together.  My kids would spread out if the trains weren’t filled often falling asleep or putting earbuds in and zoning out.  That would not be happening now with that event just occurring.  You need to be vigilant about your safety.  Logic should prevail.  All credit cards are swiped at restaurants at the table – which is safer.  Check with your credit card company to see what the foreign costs are for exchange as they vary greatly.  Most of all…. enjoy your experience and take it all in.  Life is an adventure after all.


Sunday:  rest
Monday: 12 outdoor miles
Tuesday: 8 treadmill miles/strength training
Wednesday: planned rest day


— Knead to Cook

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  1. Robin–I have been meaning to post a note saying I love your blog. You have a unique voice that comes across in your writing. Keep it up!!

  2. I travel to Paris…often. We have our main office in Puteaux. Couple of musts when traveling to another country, make sure you have various denominations. First time I went to Paris and hopped in a cab, I only had €100 and €200 bills. The cab driver would not break it. Didn’t help that I didn’t speak the language and he “conveniently” didn’t understand english. Let’s say I paid triple on that cab fare from the airport to the hotel.

    The other thing is, be mindful of where you place your wallet/money/valuables. I got picked just wondering around the Notre Dame and then a second time on the subway. I didn’t even feel it! I have a special jacket now that I use when I travel to europe that has an inseam pocket with a zipper on my front chest. So far so good =)

  3. Very helpful ideas on what to pack and the different things we need. I would advise everyone to check what adapters is need for the country he is traveling to. Best regards