Check list of things to bring:
Passport - If you forget it, they will not let you on the plane. Also make a scanned copy, save it on your computer & make a print out of it & keep it somewhere other where you keep your passport.
European plug adapter - you do not really need a transformer. Most power supplies have dual voltage, but double check, look on the power supply and it should say something like: 100-120V - 200-240V. 50Hz-60Hz. If it says this you are OK. If it says 100-120 v 60Hz you will need to bring a transformer. Even a lot of hair dryers have a switch to go from 110 to 220 volts.
For your travel comfort:
1) An inflatable neck pillow for your trans Atlantic flight.
2) If you want to sleep, an eyeshade, buy a good one as the ones you get from the airline are not great.
3) Earplugs - Home Depot has good ones for a dollar or two.
4) A heavy coat - 2 reasons: #1) Como at night might get into the 40's at night and #2) International law requires a cold temperature inside planes to hold down the spread of influenza. It is normally about 60 degrees, not bad for an hour, but for a 9+/- hour flight, you will be cold.
5) I take off my boots & put on heavy wool socks then use shearling slippers.
6) A scarf to tie around your neck to keep warm on flights.
7) Snack food like granola bars or jerky. In coach, most airlines do not overfeed you.
8) If you want to call home, set up a Skype account on your laptop and another one on the computer you want to call at home. Skype is totally free when you call Skype to Skype. You can even use your webcams to see each other.
9) If you have a friend that has some Euros, it would not be a bad idea to buy some, like €100-€200 to have in your pocket. You can also exchange some Dollars at the airport and most hotels will exchange some, but at very poor exchange rates. Also a lot of USA banks will have Euros you can buy. Before Europe converted to one currency, it was a nightmare changing dollars. You had to go to a major city and find the one or 2 big banks who would sell you Francs, Lire, Pounds, Shillings etc. Now due to the Euro is is easy to find Euros even in the small banks.
But really you can pay for most things with a credit card except for some taxis and bars/restaurants. In Italy, not all taxi drivers accept credit cards, so be sure to say where you want to go & point to your credit card at the same time.
You will get your best exchange rates using credit cards. BUT!!! Most credit card companies will charge you an extra 3% "Foreign Exchange Rate", so be sure check to see if your credit card companies are going to screw you on this. I have a Capitol One credit card expressly for this reason, also all American Express Credit Cards do not have these junk fees. Call your credit card companies and ask and confirm that I am telling you the truth. Sometimes the credit card companies will change T&C with no warning.
To help you at the seminar:
Flash card reader
Mouse & pad
Just in case: An external hard drive.
Cameras, lenses & maybe a tripod.
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