Getting ready for a European vacation? No matter what countries you plan to visit or what time of year you are traveling, taking the time to pack your bags smartly and sensibly can make a massive difference in the outcome of your vacation overall. This guide covers all the basics, from ideal travel clothes to comfortable walking shoes to accessories and strategies for getting it all in one bag.
Packing for a transatlantic trek can be overwhelming. Both overpacking and underpacking come with various problems while traveling. The key is to find balance. Investing in travel cubes is a great way to get organized and minimize the risk of over- or underpacking.
These ingenious little cubes fit neatly into your suitcase or even your backpack and help keep items such as shoes, clean clothing, dirty clothing, toiletries, and more, separated and easily accessible. By minimizing mess, you also reduce stress.
An important thing to remember when traveling internationally is that electrical outlets vary globally. You may want to consider investing in an adaptor to ensure that you can safely charge your electronics or use any hand-held appliances such as your blow-dryer or curling iron.
Other tech accessories you may want to consider are tile Bluetooth trackers for your wallet or purse in case they are lost or stolen, a portable cell phone charger, and a pair of noise-canceling headphones for your potentially noisy travel time on planes and trains. These gadgets are also relatively compact and easily fit into your bag or backpack.
For most trips requiring multiple forms of transportation, especially to European countries, we recommend minimizing what you bring. You may look at pictures of Instagram influencers wearing stiletto heels on the romantic cobblestone streets of Prague and feel the need to pack something equally stylish. Still, realistically you will go out for dinner in those high heels once, take them off during your walk back to your hotel and wind up lugging them around in your suitcase for two weeks.
We recommend packing one or two pairs of shoes. Make sure you have at least one pair of comfortable walking or hiking shoes and one pair of nicer shoes that are also reasonably comfortable to walk in, such as Chelsea boots or ballet flats. Equally crucial as shoe choice is wearing the right socks. Merino wool is an excellent choice for traveling any time of year. This material is sweat-wicking, bacteria-resistant, and quick-drying.
We love the idea of creating a sleek and smart capsule wardrobe for your trip to Europe. A capsule wardrobe is a few essential items you can re-wear in multiple ways. This cuts down on the overall amount of clothing you must pack while ensuring you don’t wear the same outfit every day.
An example of a packable capsule wardrobe would be: two or three shirts, ideally made from a quick-drying material that you could wash in a sink if necessary, two pairs of pants (usually one pair of jeans and one pair of slacks), one skirt, a sweater, and your classic stand-by favorite, a little black dress. Also, consider how many pairs of socks, underwear, base layers, etc, you may need and whether or not you will have access to laundry services.
When packing light or using capsule wardrobe principles, you can lean into your accessories to mix up your outfits daily. A few simple pieces such as a fashion scarf, a packable hat, and a pair of sunglasses can not only elevate your outfit but also provide much-needed sun-protection while exploring.
In addition to these pieces, we also recommend a cross-body bag for daily use. This style is stylish and the safest way to carry essential items such as your passport and money while traveling.
Europe is a massive continent with wildly variable conditions depending on each country’s climate, weather, and seasons. What you pack will vary depending on these factors, but most European countries have patterns of quickly changeable weather, so it is always a good idea to bring some outerwear. A lightweight, packable raincoat or waterproof jacket is an excellent option for this purpose.
What you pack will vary based on the time of year, the climates you plan on visiting and your personal needs. However, if you follow these basic guidelines, you are sure to be fully prepared and ready to enjoy the sights without being overburdened with stuff.