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Consider to buy it there

There have been a few questions lately about packing electrical appliances or other unusual products that might not work to bring from home (hairdryer, walking poles, etc). Or where you buy in Europe. If you can't live without it consider to buy it on amazon website for that country. For example for France. And have delivered to your hotel or to a "locker" to pick up. We did in a small town in France for a few things for a rental house last summer and it worked great. You can translate the page to english browse for products and purchase. Another alternative is to shop on line at a store such as BHV (the French version of Sears department store) or Monoprix or whatever is the local equivalent and order to pick up there (find the "curbside pickup" or equivalent as delivery option). Many stores established those in the pandemic and continue to offer the service.

Posted by
6854 posts

That’s a great idea, Laurie, I may do that for some trekking poles. I’m trying to decide whether to bring my relatively inexpensive poles and check them, or just wait and buy some in Scotland. This is another option.

Posted by
16743 posts

I have ordered from Amazon for delivery in Europe several times. On our most recent trip to Italy, my husband lost his wrist brace that he wears at night, and we could not find a suitable one at the pharmacies in the small towns were were visiting. So I ordered one on and had it delivered to the hotel where we would be 2 days later. I notified the hotel by email and it was waiting for us when we checked in.

I would be cautious about having things delivered to an apartment, though. The apartments we rented this last trip, in Lecce, Bari, Bologna, and Venice, all had a locked outer door into the building or courtyard from the street. And then another locked door into the area where the apartment was, in some cases. I don’t know how Amazon delivery works in such places.

Posted by
427 posts

We had a rental house and so did not have deliveries there. But we used the amazon "locker" system. In the USA these are stand alone locations or sometimes in another brick and mortar store like Kohls or Wholefoods. In our little town in France it was just a small dress shop that appeared to do a booming amazon business in that packages waiting for pick up were stashed in every nook and cranny in the store and the shop keeper had a book she looked it up in to figure out where she stashed it. The things we wanted were pretty ordinary and sometimes shopping can be its own fun adventure but we had other guests with us and it was easier to plan ahead, get exactly what we wanted and not spend more time tracking it down.

Posted by
7404 posts

That’s a great idea, Laurie! I brought a new pair of comfortable walking sandals on a domestic work trip, only to find out that they were not going to be good for walking some miles after work. (I was planning to bring them later on a trip to Europe.). Fortunately, I could order a pair of Keens on Amazon, delivered to the hotel, so I could get back to a very comfortable blister-free Summer walk in the evening.

I hadn’t thought about that delivery option for Europe.

Posted by
18575 posts

The Amazon idea is excellent, but also consider the opportunity to shop like a local and sort of participate in the local economy. I spend a lot of time each year in one particular country and one of the most eye-opening events is always the "necessities" shopping trips.

Posted by
427 posts

I am the first to recommend a local grocery store, housewares store or hardware store for browsing, buying souvenirs and getting a sense of local life. But sometimes there is something pretty specific you need (or want) and online shopping fits the bill better.

Posted by
27 posts

When I bought toothpaste in Germany, Norway, and Iceland, I found the flavor to not be mint-y enough. It'd always be a subdued mint flavor. After those experiences I just bring on my own travel-sized instead of buying it while in Europe. Not sure if it's a Europe thing or just those 3 countries where I bought toothpaste.

Posted by
15580 posts

I have ordered from Amazon in Europe and I have also shopped locally.

Except for Pepto Bismol, and Naproxem Sodium (Alleve), I have been able to find pretty much what need. Sometimes is close but not perfect and other times it's more expensive than at home. But I enjoy going into local stores and seeing what's for sale.

Sometimes it's an adventure. Like trying to find non-minty dental floss in Switzerland. Or unscented stick deodorant almost anywhere in Europe, or thinking I'm buying a small container of milk in Reykjavik only to find out it was actually buttermilk. (I have since relied onthe camera on my phone and Google Translate to let me know exactly what I'm buying.) Good luck trying to find small 10 ml containers of milk that don't need refrigeration. Easy in the UK, Ireland, Italy and Switzerland but it will get you strange looks in Denmark.

If you do need something, and you are staying in a hotel, just ask at reception for what you need. They will probably know where to get it.

One last thing....sometimes you will find an item on European Amazon sites that is not available in the U..S. My current international USB chargers are small, lightweight and could only be found on Amazon UK. Yet it fits US, UK and Europe style plugs.

Posted by
1999 posts

it's easier just to buy it in the city you are at. Unless you are staying for a while, Amazon often changes its delivery date. I would hate to be that person that orders something and it comes a day after you check out. Then you have to rely on the hotel and the delivery service to send it to your new location.

I can see a lot of problems. Just buy it in town.

Posted by
2267 posts

I’ve taken to flying out with minimal or no toothpaste or deodorant, and stocking up (hoarding?) my preferred European brands.