First things first. You have to make sure you have all the necessary documents with you. Consider making a file with all your original documents and one with copies, just in case you lose something. Your file must have:
- Passport – get a passport cover or put your passport in a zipper bag to prevent damage;
- Driver’s license – especially if you are planning to drive;
- Another form of ID – such as a government-issued national ID or similar;
- Student card – if you are a student you can get many discounts and deals. Try getting the International Student Identity Card (ISIC) which is recognized in around 130 countries;
- Debit and credit cards – make sure you have these with you, but also bring some cash. It is better to use cash because you will save on the international fees that banks will charge you. Convert the cash to Euros as that is the official currency of Germany;
- Flight tickets and accommodation confirmations – just in case you are asked to show them when you check in.
Germany is a safe country, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take any precautions. You can pack a few items that will make you and your belongings safer. This includes:
- A neck or belt wallet. This will make your documents safer than if you were to put your wallet in your pocket. A belt wallet might look old-fashioned but it makes it difficult for someone to steal your things. A neck wallet, on the other hand, is more convenient and you can tuck it under your shirt so no one sees it.
- Theft-proof backpack. You will most definitely need a backpack to put your things while you are out sightseeing, so why not invest in a bag that will make it more difficult for someone to open and steal from you. Theft-proof backpacks have hidden zippers so they will keep you safer.
- Luggage lock. You can get a luggage lock to put on your suitcase of travel backpack and ensure your things are safe. The disadvantage of this is that if airport security needs to check your bag, they will break the lock because they won’t know the code to open it.
Germans are simple but fashionable people. So if you want to blend in, try sticking to a few comfortable but interesting clothing choices. General tips, try to avoid clothes that you’re only going to wear once. Plan your outfits beforehand. Don’t just bring a bunch of clothes and then try to figure out your outfits after you arrive in Germany. You will save a lot of time and effort if you already know what you will wear. Finally, bring layers. Even if it is summer and warm, the weather in Germany changes abruptly and often so it is always best to have layers available so you can avoid rain and wind.
- Tops. Depending on how long you're planning to stay in Germany, try to bring around 3-4 t-shirts in different colors. Besides t-shirts, you can bring 2 to 3 blouses and shirts if you are a woman. Bring a cardigan, sweater, and lightweight jacket. The weather is unpredictable and you don’t want to be freezing while you are out sightseeing in beautiful Germany.
- Bottoms. Bring a pair of jeans and shorts or a skirt if you're traveling during summer. If you're traveling during fall or winter, bring warmer clothing such as wool leggings or long underwear.
- Loungewear and underwear. For days when you go back to your hotel or hostel and just want to be comfortable, you can also pack loungewear. This could be a simple pair of leggings and t-shirt or sweatshirt. Additionally, make sure you bring comfortable and breathable underwear. Since they can be easily washed, you don’t need to bring too many. You can bring around 5 pairs and then wash them in the sink to use the next day once you run out. Pick your underwear with lightweight material that dries easily.
- Shoes. A good pair of tennis shoes or boots will be perfect for your strolls during the day, while sandals and other types of shoes could be worn during the night. Try not to pack new shoes as they might make your feet hurt until they are broken in. Also, don’t forget a pair of cheap flip-flops for those suspicious showers in hostels if you are staying in one.
- Accessories and Bags. That includes backpack for during the day to put all your things and a small crossbody bag for your nights out, a scarf for colder weather, and sunglasses.
Everyone has become connected through their electronic devices and travelers rush to post their pictures and experiences online. That’s why bringing your devices is important, not only to tell your family and friends that your trip went well but to also capture your Germany trip. Bring the following electronics with you to make your experience better:
- Smartphone. If you are looking for a local SIM-card, you can get one from a German phone shop, just make sure to bring a form of ID. Most shops will accept a passport as a valid document for visitors. It's hard to use public WiFi in Germany, so buying a SIM-card is recommended.
- Laptop – If you need to do more complex work, you can bring a laptop. It will take space and is heavy, but works well for people who are freelancers or who are used to having a laptop around them for all their needs.
- E-reader – This is great for those days when you want to take it easy and enjoy Germany with a good book. You can also put guidebooks and maps in there to avoid packing them in your already overflowing luggage.
- Digital camera – The device is a must-have for all those who love photography. Germany has beautiful sites which can be captured by good cameras. You can choose to get a small one or if you are a professional photographer, the more complex cameras can do wonders.
- Electric plug adapters – shall you need those.
Finally, besides the clothing and the documents, you will probably need some self-care toiletries. It is best if you pack your basics, rather than bring an extensive number of toiletries. You can buy almost anything from a German supermarket or pharmacy so you don’t need to make your luggage very heavy.
A few things you can bring are:
- Toothbrush and a small tube of toothpaste;
- Hair products if you are sure you won’t find them in German shops;
- Prescription medicine;
- A few painkillers just in case you need them and the shops are closed.