While we were in Germany we took a few days trips that were just my husband and I. It was a great re-connection as a couple and we got to experience museums and other places that would have been difficult with the children. One of our favorite things to do as soon as we got into a new city was to link up with a local tour group that offers city tours.
Sight seeing for a day and not having easy access to all of your travel belongings means packing your day bag efficiently and keeping it light. Here's a list of things that I made sure to keep handy throughout our travels:
Shoes are quite obviously going to be your best or worst friend. I made the mistake of wearing my very adorable, normally comfortable, flats on a whole day of walking. It only took a few hours for blisters and sores to start up and it really slowed us down. My best shoes were my sneakers that coincidentally had coordinating laces to my jacket!
For those of us who made the mistake of wearing the wrong shoes - keep a few squares of moleskin in your bag. Moleskin attaches itself to your skin easily and creates a great barrier to prevent any further irritation.
Another mistake that I realized too late - even though I got a lovely pedicure the week before, my toenails were a little too long for the hours and miles of walking that we did. My toes were so sore! Keep a toenail clipper in your bag in case you find yourself needing to trim up.
This addition to my bag would have caused me to blush uncontrollably had someone mentioned this to me as being a reality of mommyhood a few years ago. Did you know that 1 out of 3 women experience LBL, or "light bladder leakage," usually associated with childbirth? I can tell ya - this became a serious reality after my second child. I quickly realized that even though I was doing my pelvic floor exercises things are different now and that's ok. But that doesn't mean that I have to limit myself in fear of embarrassment! So I keep a couple panty liners in my bag for those long travel days - because walking up stairs or laughing at a hilarious joke from the tour guide shouldn't cause hesitation on whether I should do it or not. Poise panty liners are thinner and stay 3X drier than other liners and don't feel uncomfortable or show. Whether you are worried about light leaks or heavier accidents, Poise has a product for you. The Maximum Pads are 40% more absorbent than Poise Moderate Pads, for more protection when you need it.
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We learned that German businesses prefer to accept payment in cash, which is the opposite of the norm in the US. We had to get over the hump of being uncomfortable with keeping more than €20 cash on us, but in all honesty we never had any reason to regret it. In fact, at the end of our stay at a hotel we were told that their credit card machine was out of order and that we would need to pay with cash for our 2 night stay. Most Americans do not keep several hundred dollars in cash on them, so this was a very interesting situation to traverse!
A scarf is great to keep around all through out the year. During the winter it can help keep your face and neck warm and in the summer it can help shade your face as well. If you're like me - I dress with purpose when I travel. My good jeans, good shoes, layered shirts and my handy Columbia jacket. It's not terribly stylish but it protects me from the elements. When we go inside for lunch in a cafe or later for dinner it's nice to have a bit of pop in a scarf that can help dress you up a little bit from the outdoors.
I always keep a pair of gloves in the pockets of my jacket, I *hate* cold, chapped hands. Smart phone friendly gloves are pretty affordable these days too! Keep a packet of tissues in there too.
Chapstick is my best friend. Nothing ruins my day worse than chapped lips because it very quickly leads to cold sores. As I prepare myself for the day I slide my favorite chapstick into my pocket, so that it's always on me. These days I've been discovering the world of lip color so I've started keeping a tube of lipstick on hand as well! It's another way to class yourself up from the outdoors when you go indoors.
I personally think city maps are a little ostentatious and a big beacon for I'M A TOURIST, but they truly do come in handy. Just keep it tucked away when you're not using it ;) At the end of our city tours I would pull it out and ask our tour guide to circle a few areas of interest or to direct us to the closest bier hall.
On the topic of ostentatious big red flags for being a tourist and sometimes just plain embarrassing, you gotta do it - get a selfie stick. My friend bought one for me before we left and my husband VOWED that he would not appear in a photo taken by a cell phone on a stick. Well folks - here's a couple examples where not only did he break this vow but he also found it to be of good use to get some cool angles on cars at the BMW Museum in Munich. But do please practice proper selfie stick ettiquette. Consider those around you, don't walk down the stairs using it and don't take selfies in places where selfies just aren't appropriate - as my tour guide for Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial said - "If I see you taking selfies here, I take that stick from you and send you on the bus home." I'm only exaggerating a little bit. Or am I?
Finally, where will all of this stuff go? An aunt once told me that on the topic of cars and purses - no matter what size you have you will always fill it. I find this to be enormously true. But consider downsizing your day bag and opting for a messenger style strap. It's harder to tear off of you, which can be a problem in touristy areas.
There you have it! Packing for a day of sight seeing can be as complicated or as easy as you want it to be. What would you add?
Disclosure: All opinions are my own. This giveaway is funded by The Pierogie Mama and is not associated with any other entity, including but not limited to Sam's Club, Poise, Facebook, Google, Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest. Please see giveaway for full rules and eligibility.