Where is the list of less obvious things? The basics I cannot find in the grocery store? The style of clothing that will fit the lifestyle and culture. And most importantly what simple item will I smack my head and wish I would have brought?
While I do not have a clue what to pack for Ireland, I like to think I have the Swedish winter cased. Traveling to Europe is remarkably easy, pretty much everything you could ever need is available, for a price. If you are a student or budget traveler worried about paying double for things you have at home, or just not sure if your relaxed "ugg boots and yoga pants" look will fit in (you know who you are)... here is a list for you!
Meet Elin Kling, infamous fashion blogger turned clothing designer rocking the Swedish basics. And of course, blonde locks. More of Elin found here.
- Pack your black. I once read dress like you're attending a funeral when traveling Stockholm. Odd. But bang on. In Sweden head-to-toe black is not reserved for funerals, rather, it is the day to day norm. If you are looking to fit in, pack your black. If not, new friends will later admit they assumed you were Australian because of your colorful wardrobe. Come to think of it, this is not such a bad assumption! Ok, pack color...
- Boots, boots, boots. Your feet will freeze. Ugg boots are perfect for snowy days and surprisingly not too casual for Stockholm. Every other day strap on some short black leather boots - the Swedish basic.
- Class it up. Swedes don't wear yoga pants and hoodies to the grocery store. Rather, they are always polished and put together. So if you're looking to blend in, swap your bunny hug for a sweater vest and think 'chic' while packing.
- It is cold. I am not kidding. You are Canadian tough. But you are not immune to winter. Here in Sweden Canada Goose is cool and necessary.
- Skip the umbrella: Don't bother with the umbrella, instead make sure you have waterproof outerwear.
- Bounce sheets. Random, but I could not find them in Stockholm and didn't realize my dependency until without.
- Food: Two words, peanut butter.
- Drugs. The pharmacy, or Apotek, is government regulated. Which, means it is closed almost the entire weekend and most evenings. Not so convenient when a cold hits. Also, you need a prescription for most drugs which are over the counter back home. Bring the essentials: cough medicine, advil, etc.
- Tooth whitener. Again, if this is something you use at home, it doesn't exist in Stockholm.
- An extra bag. I would recommend bringing a small duffel or carry on for two reasons. First Stockholm has style, and whether it be design items or clothing, I can almost guarantee you are going to want to bring souvenirs home and will need the extra room. Second, most budget airlines have ridiculously strict carry on rules (I'm looking at you Ryanair), and you're going to want the smallest and most lightweight suitcase possible for exploring Europe.
Disclaimer: I am a chronic over-packer. I am working on this.