No, I'm not going to tell you how many pairs of socks we're packing or what outfits we've picked out. This is the alternative version of "what's in my bag". The items on this list are things that might not come to mind, but we think they are good items to pack.
Since we start our day with coffee, I'll start our list there. We prefer a good strong cup of pour over coffee in the morning. Europeans tend to drink espresso type coffee. We're covering our bases by bringing along a collapsible coffee filter holder and a coffee measure. I got the filter holder at REI. We didn't have to use the holder in 2019, as the flat had all the gear to make pour over coffee. We're not sure about this year's flat, so we're not taking any chances. We're also bringing along some paper filters, but those are easy to find in the store, so we've just brought enough to get us started.
Next up is electrical power. These days most chargers will run on the higher voltage power used in other parts of the world, but you need plug adapters. We've purchased USB charger units that come with all the various plug adapters needed. Here's a helpful hint. Apple sells an international adapter kit that provides plug adapters that fit right onto all their various chargers, whether for iOS devices or Macs. Finally, I picked up a three-pack of plug adapters that allow you to plug in two devices.
When traveling, it's helpful to have some portable power. For that we're packing a USB battery pack made by Anker, one of my favorite brands. This battery pack will charge an iPhone or iPad several times over. I could also use it to charge my Nikon Z6 camera if necessary.
One item that we will pick up in country is a small power strip. We have one that we bought in Denmark, but we gave that to Anna when she was packing for her study abroad. We've learned that Europeans tend to provide fewer power outlets than we're used to here in the States, or they may not be located in the most convenient location, so having a small power strip is super helpful.
We've learned through experience that there are a few kitchen items that tend to be missing in vacation rental flats. First off are good knives. We especially need a good serrated knife for bread and a sharp pairing knife for fruit and vegetables. This smaller serrated knife will be perfect for travel, plus it is great for slicing tomatoes. Along that line, we're also bringing along a knife sharpener (not pictured). We've found that the knives in these rental flats tend to be pretty dull.
On our last trip, the flat had plenty of salt, but no pepper, so we're bringing our own pepper grinder. We actually bought this pepper mill on that last trip to Paris. Another item that was missing was a kitchen washcloth, so we're bringing one from home. Finally, Priscilla enjoys grapefruit, so she's bringing along a grapefruit knife and spoon.
Here are a few other items we're bringing. First, Europeans tend not to use washcloths in the bathroom, so we bring our own. The mesh bag is for washing clothing that you don't want to get all tangled up. The small digital scale is to weigh our luggage at the end of our trip to make sure we don't exceed the 50 pound limit. I original bought these clips to hang film to dry in my darkroom. I think they will be handy to hang clothing and towels to dry, so I'm bringing several along.
In Europe, everyone brings their own bag or cart when they go shopping. We have shopping bags that stuff into small carrying pouches. That way we've always got a shopping bag with us when we need it. If our flat doesn't have a rolling shopping cart, we will pick one up like we did last time. They're not expensive, so it's not a big deal to leave it behind.
The Vine Shop bag is designed to carry six bottles of wine. Last time we were in Paris I would carry wine bottles in a regular shopping bag. The wine would tend to clank around in the bag, so this time we're bringing a bag specifically designed for carrying wine bottles.
The Only Way To Fly
Finally, there is this cute little carry on cocktail kit that I saw on a list of best things to get a traveler. I thought this would be a fun way to celebrate on our flight over to France.