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mom31257
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Both my kids will be flying on trips next year, and both haven't flown before. I have only flown a couple of times here in the US a very long time ago

 

My dd will be flying to Italy for a 3 week tour with her college. Ds will be flying to Alaska on a mission trip. I know both trips will give us more info closer to time, but I'm wondering if I could give them any Christmas gifts that might help. 

 

What do they need in terms of luggage and such for the flights? Are special bags required or make traveling easier? 

 

What should dd have in terms of clothes/shoes/etc.? She's going in May if anyone knows the weather then. She already has her passport. 

 

Does anyone know the weather in Alaska in early June? 

 

Any travel advice is very welcomed! 

 

 

 

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Asking the weather in Alaska in June is like asking “What’s the weather in the US in June� Alaska is 2200 miles across one way and 1500 the other.

 

Where is he going? In Anchorage, June is usually our most lovely month. 60-70F during the day, a little bit of rain maybe, long days of sunshine. In Southeast, June is rainy (but so is every other month). Up north, June is anywhere from 40-70F, with lots of clouds and some rain. Out West, you can count on mild temps in June, but storms do blow in off the ocean with wind and rain. And.... there are places where snow is not out of the question.

 

If he is headed somewhere rural on his mission and they don’t tell him what luggage to use, an Adventure Duffle from Landsend would be an awesome Christmas gift. You can roll them like a suitcase in airports or sling them on your back like a back pack in more rural areas. Actually, that bag might be good for the Europe trip too - I love having a bag that doesn’t get stuck on cobblestones.

 

Other good travel gifts- nice packable pair of headphones that don’t have to be recharged to work. If you get blue tooth, get the ones that will also work on a wire when the bluetooth runs out. Power pack for recharging phones and a couple of extra charging cables. A small daypack that rolls up small and can be stored when you don’t need it.

 

And for Alaska in June? A good rain coat.

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Asking the weather in Alaska in June is like asking “What’s the weather in the US in June� Alaska is 2200 miles across one way and 1500 the other.

 

Where is he going? In Anchorage, June is usually our most lovely month. 60-70F during the day, a little bit of rain maybe, long days of sunshine. In Southeast, June is rainy (but so is every other month). Up north, June is anywhere from 40-70F, with lots of clouds and some rain. Out West, you can count on mild temps in June, but storms do blow in off the ocean with wind and rain. And.... there are places where snow is not out of the question.

 

If he is headed somewhere rural on his mission and they don’t tell him what luggage to use, an Adventure Duffle from Landsend would be an awesome Christmas gift. You can roll them like a suitcase in airports or sling them on your back like a back pack in more rural areas. Actually, that bag might be good for the Europe trip too - I love having a bag that doesn’t get stuck on cobblestones.

 

Other good travel gifts- nice packable pair of headphones that don’t have to be recharged to work. If you get blue tooth, get the ones that will also work on a wire when the bluetooth runs out. Power pack for recharging phones and a couple of extra charging cables. A small daypack that rolls up small and can be stored when you don’t need it.

 

And for Alaska in June? A good rain coat.

 

Anchorage. I'm sorry I didn't make that clear! 

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The weather in Anchorage in June can vary considerably, and attire he needs will depend on what activities are planned. Having layers available is a good idea. A fleece jacket, raincoat, a couple of pairs of wool socks, and may be a fleece or knit hat would probably cover any cold issues that might come up. Hiking boots would be useful if they head up a mountain. It could be quite warm too, and with the very direct sun and lack of air conditioning here, 80 can feel uncomfortable (I grew up in the Deep South and do know hot. It's not like that here ever, but uncomfortable can happen. :-) ) So shorts and t shirts might be needed too. He might want some type of sandal, like Keens, or running shoes. He can easily get mosquito repellent up here, and I wouldn't bother with any sort of mosquito netting apparel.

 

Editing to add that non-cotton clothing is the standard for wilderness activities here. He is fine with jeans and such in the city and for casual hiking, but think about the sort of fabric involved if other activities are planned, especially near cold water (and all the water is cold here.)

 

Oh, it would be super useful to have a small day pack that he could use for hiking. He could use it as his carry on on the plane.

Edited by GoodGrief
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Will they have access to doing laundry? 

If so pack light. 

 

We always do.  We just did 3 weeks in Europe and each kid had a small sized school backpack, which was less than half full.  

It is so much better to travel light. 

We made sure we had access to do laundry every 3 days or so by staying in Airbnbs some of the time

 

 

I think it matters what they are doing on the trip too? 

Is the one going to AK doing outdoorsy things? 

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A good Christmas gift for your "heading to Italy" student would be a power adapter...

 

Beyond that, truthfully, I'd be waiting for more info about what they are supposed to bring.  When my guys did overseas mission trips, their actual luggage was provided for them and they had a list of what to pack.

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They sell Backpacks with padded protection for Laptops. If taking a Laptop, that would be nice. Especially if it fits within the carry on dimensions of the airlines involved.

 

The European traveler will need a different cable, to connect the charger for a GSM cell phone to an AC outlet. Or, if what that person has now is one piece (cable is integrated with the charger which plugs into the AC outlet) then buy a new AC Charger for it in Europe. The outlets in Europe (unlike those in Colombia) will probably NOT be the same as the outlets in the USA.  The same goes for the AC Adapter for a Laptop. DO NOT take a CDMA technology phone to Europe. Only usable as a paperweight there.  Have an Unlocked (and preferably Unbranded) GSM technology phone with lots of bands and buy a Prepaid SIM card from a major provider after arrival, in a supermarket or somewhere. They are sold everywhere.

 

The traveler should register on the web site of the U.S. Embassy in the destination country on their web site. In this case Italy. Look for the ACS (American Services Section) to do that.  Do that before arrival, so they know where your traveler will be...

 

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The mission trip ds will be on involves serving in neighborhood parks, so that will be outdoor but not out in the wilderness. They will serve lunch and have activities for the kids and will be hosting park parties in the evenings. I think they will have one day of sight seeing, so that may include hiking.

 

DD's trip is an art and humanities tour of Italy. She isn't an art major, but there were enough spots for non-majors. She has an iPhone 6, so I'll have to look up the info on phones. I'm not familiar with GSM technology. 

 

 

 

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<snip>

 

DD's trip is an art and humanities tour of Italy. She isn't an art major, but there were enough spots for non-majors. She has an iPhone 6, so I'll have to look up the info on phones. I'm not familiar with GSM technology. 

 

If it has a SIM card for the cell provider she uses it is a GSM phone.  If it does not have a SIM card it is a CDMA phone and it is worthless in Europe and most of the world outside the USA.  If it has a slot for SIM card(s) and if it is Unlocked, it will probably work on the network of a provider in Italy.  She will need an AC Charger with the correct plug to work on the voltage and with the outlets in Italy, which I assume will not be the same as those in the USA or here in Colombia.  

 

If you are on Verizon (which is migrating from CDMA to GSM) or Sprint or one other provider in the USA, it may be a CDMA phone. AT&T, T-Mobile, etc., use GSM technology.  

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My oldest did her first international travel (by herself) this summer-- she flew from Texas to Rome, Italy and then on to Germany.

She had a backpack and a small carry on.  She would have been fine with the carry on alone but she has a HUGE camera (she is a photographer).

She was there in August-- and brought layers (short sleeves and light sweater).

 

We (DH, youngest dd and I) traveled to the UK in June.  We each had a small carry on and plenty of extra room in each.

 

This power adapter set was AWESOME-- we used it and oldest used it too. 

 

Small TSA luggage locks are also a good idea-- keep all zippers locked especially in Italy... we prefer combination locks and usually get ours at Target in the luggage section or on Amazon.

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I agree pack light, and make sure to get a suitcase for carry on at least that's got the four way roller wheels. SO nice. And even your son will need some sort of "man purse" to carry on the plane to put things Iike water bottles, magazines, etc. into. A backpack or whatever. My dh always wants to put everything into his carry on suitcase but then it's a real pain to get to stuff during the flight. I convinced him to take a tote bag with him on a trip he took without me because he wouldn't have me and my big purse and he said several times how it was a lifesaver. You know it was really necessary if a man thanked me for making him carry a bag. He felt a bit old for a backpack but your son should be fine with it. Oh also maybe a nice gift would be a good water bottle if they don't already have one. Buying beverages adds up quickly, especially in Italy. You don't get free water easily everywhere like you do in the US.

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One fun gift we appreciated was a set of distinctive luggage tags that allowed us to easily spot our luggage in the airports.

 

A laptop-friendly carry-on would be good if they don't already have one.  And I agree with the power converter.

 

Other than that, I don't think anything special is needed.  Maybe a light jacket for layering.

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<snip> 

 

Small TSA luggage locks are also a good idea-- keep all zippers locked especially in Italy... we prefer combination locks and usually get ours at Target in the luggage section or on Amazon.

 

Locking might deter the honest folks.   We turned in the rental car early and had quite awhile to wait for our flight from Orlando to Bogota last year.  A man who was on his break was sitting near where we were (the Avianca Ticket Counter hadn't opened yet).  He showed us a video on his phone about how thieves can open and close a Zipper on a bag, with a ballpoint pen.  I'm sure you can find videos like that on YouTube.  In less time than it took me to type this response, someone could have opened a bag with a zipper, removed contents, and closed the zipper. It only takes 1 or 2 seconds...

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Anchorage in June:

 

1. Mosquito repellant

2. Great walking shoes

3. Lots of thin layers of clothing.

4. Clothes that can get wet and dry fast.

5. Carry on size luggage, cheap. WalMart has some good ones if he will not travel much. I like things that roll so I do not have to carry as much. But, if he is going to be rural, wheels may not be helpful. Two small carry on duffels might be better. Do not get luggage that is two big to carry on. Many US flights to Alaska have more than one layover giving more opportunity for lost luggage.

6. Travel size containers one can fill for shampoo, etc. you can find those at Walgreens and WalMart.

7. Something to do. A phone, a 3ds, or IPad loaded with some movies or games. We love Nintendo Switch for traveling. Ear buds are a must.

 

Trip to Italy would be the same except no white tennis shoes at all. That signals American tourist.

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My oldest did her first international travel (by herself) this summer-- she flew from Texas to Rome, Italy and then on to Germany.

She had a backpack and a small carry on.  She would have been fine with the carry on alone but she has a HUGE camera (she is a photographer).

She was there in August-- and brought layers (short sleeves and light sweater).

 

We (DH, youngest dd and I) traveled to the UK in June.  We each had a small carry on and plenty of extra room in each.

 

This power adapter set was AWESOME-- we used it and oldest used it too. 

 

Small TSA luggage locks are also a good idea-- keep all zippers locked especially in Italy... we prefer combination locks and usually get ours at Target in the luggage section or on Amazon.

 

Ahh...that is such a great priced adapter, but it says it can't be used in Italy!

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Where in Italy will she be and what time of the year?  Will she be travelling by bus or train any within the country?  Or will she be staying in one location the entire trip?

 

All I know now is that they will stay in hotels, and they will be visiting several cities including Rome, Venice, Florence, and Assisi. I think they will change hotels when they change cities. 

 

The will go mid-May until the first of June. 

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Italy in May- bringing a light jacket or sweater for the evening might be a good idea.   A travel book like a Rick Steves book might be a worthwhile gift. She can look in it and read about the places she's going before she sets out each day. Sometimes the books have info that is really helpful, like where a good restaurant is, how to use public transit, etc.  She will likely have some free time and it would help her decide what she wants to do.   And she can peruse it before she goes!  Also, a simple book of Italian phrases might be fun for her.  Since she'll be there for three weeks it might be nice to know some phrases. 

 

Does she have a lightweight bag she can carry during the day? She won't need much but it's nice to have it secured in a cross body bag or something. I wouldn't use a backpack in the big cities. A small water bottle is nice. Even when there is water available from fountains it's nice to have your own bottle to fill and have available.  

 

Your kids are going to have some awesome adventures!!

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Ahh...that is such a great priced adapter, but it says it can't be used in Italy!

I have found the small plug adapters easier to use and carry with me.  Some of the European plugs are set deep which means some of hte larger adapters will not work (or are heavy and will fall down).  If she is taking any type of three prong plug (such as some computer chargers) make sure the adapter will fit a three prong plug.  The small plug adapters are inexpensive--I would get several extra (they are easy to forget in a hotel plug).

 

I would also consider a recharge pack for a phone in that she may be away from an electrical outlet for long periods of time while she is sightseeing.

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All I know now is that they will stay in hotels, and they will be visiting several cities including Rome, Venice, Florence, and Assisi. I think they will change hotels when they change cities. 

 

The will go mid-May until the first of June. 

Mid-May through June she may experience hot or cool weather (especially in the evenings).  Lightweight items that can be layered are useful.  Also, lightweight items that can be washed in the sink and dry overnight.  A sundress with a lightweight scarf is good if the weather is warm during the day.  The scarf is handy if it cools off in the evening, to protect from the sun during the day, and to provide cover in churches (where bare shoulders often will not be permitted).  Also, remember that many churches will not allow shorts (especially short shorts)--a scarf can even be used as a quick wrap skirt. 

 

A crossbody bag that is large enough to carry a water bottle and other items during a day trip is helpful.

 

 

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Don't buy any kind of suitcase or large carry on bag until you have the specification from the particular airlines about what will be allowed. Be particularly careful of any flight within Europe, as European standards are usually tighter.

Edited by Laura Corin
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Pacsafe has a line of great travel purses and backpacks. They are very secure.

 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/s/ref=is_s_ss_i_0_4?k=pacsafe&sprefix=pacs&crid=1RLYKCZ04LH3M

 

If your kids use a blow dryer, this babyliss travel blow drier is fantastic:

 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B003QKL5YQ/ref=mp_s_a_1_1_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1511738832&sr=8-1&keywords=babyliss+travel+hair+dryer&dpPl=1&dpID=31Hd9CM-ZHL&ref=plSrch

 

It works really well and has a built-in converter so they wouldn't need to bring a separate one.

 

Tom Bihn bags are expensive but very well made. We bought ours 5 years ago and they still look brand new:

 

https://www.tombihn.com/

Edited by lovelearnandlive
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Yes! I'm so excited for them.

 

We are considering dh going on the mission trip with ds simply because it's so far away if something happened.

It is a three hour flight from Seattle, so it takes a bit to get here. However, you would find that Anchorage is much like any suburban town. Hospitals, pizza delivery, Walmart, CVS Pharmacy, McDonalds. We used to live in the Denver suburbs and Anchorage is a lot like Aurora, CO. IMO

 

I like to think it is prettier here than most places and it is a good place to raise kids. June is a beautiful time of year to see Anchorage at its very best with green everywhere and 20 hours of daylight.

Edited by AK_Mom4
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