Subject: Packing Essentials
Good question! As far as the practical goes - I always take a large oblong or square scarf. It can dress up an outfit, serve as headcover when going into Cathedrals or little chapels that require it, and it serves as my climate controller. I even take one in the summer since some more touristy areas can freeze you with air conditioning (like sweater shops in Ireland).

As for the personal, I always take a my journal. In the past I have purchased a special journal notebook for my trips, though on the last one I took my regular journal and I liked that better. It is small enough that I can comfortable carry it with me on day trips. In addition to being my daily diary it is also a sketchpad, postcard holder, and as Callie suggested, a place to note train schedules and write to do lists, phone numbers, etc.

I personally have not done this, but on my last trip abroad I travelled with someone who had a small fold-up photo frame set that had pictures of her family. It easily slipped into her purse and gave a personal touch to her hotel room.

Erina in Reston, VA