The Only Europe Packing List You Need (For Any Season!)

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To save you time and stress from this task, we’ve compiled this ultimate Europe packing list. We’ve covered everything, from how to choose your luggage type for Europe to the best travel accessories. 

Not only will you find a broad information about essential items that you need to pack for any trip, but you will also find season-specific recommendations. These are based on more than 15 visits to Europe. 

We have traveled to multiple countries across Europe in all 4 seasons, so we have a pretty wide grasp on what you will need to have the best trip possible. 

Don’t leave home without: Lonely Planet Europe (Travel Guide)


The Ultimate Europe Packing List


How to Decide What to Bring:

  • What will the weather be like: First, figure out what season it is you are visiting during. Europe is vast and depending on the time of year you may experience weather temperatures you are not used to. For example, Spring may be tank top and shorts weather in Spain, but Spring in Norway will most likely allow you to still see snow on the ground.
  • What type of activities will you be doing: Is your European adventure going to include city sightseeing, beaches, hiking or camping? Or maybe you are after a mix of the above activities, whatever the case, mapping out a general plan will help to make sure you pack appropriately for your adventure.
  • How long am I staying: Are you planning to bring soap and do some “sink” laundry? Or maybe you want to bring a wide variety of items to minimize the amount of laundry you would have to do. Either way, decide ahead of time so you can bring the necessary items with you for doing your own laundry or maybe so you can budget for hotel laundry service. 

Best Travel Accessories for Europe


Ultimate Europe Packing List

Europe Power Adapter

The first step, know what countries in Europe you are traveling to and do your research on which adapters you’ll need. Europe is on a different outlet style than the USA, Mexico & Canada.

So you will need an adapter to charge your devices. Plan to buy a few different ones to have options for multiple outlets. This is a Europe packing list essential.              

 Our Top Recommended Power Adapters:

Headphones

Any type of headphone is a great addition to your packing list. We personally like the over the ear headphones as opposed to earbuds as I feel you can wear them longer without ear irritation.

Many headphones now days offer noise-canceling properties to help you check out of your surroundings and relax.

Download hours of music, podcasts and even Netflix shows on your phone and you’ll be able to easily pass those long travel days.

 Our Top Recommended Headphones:

Camera 

When setting off on a European adventure you will definitely need a great camera to capture your photos.

Nowadays, several phone cameras are up to the task of capturing great images and are really handy since you will undoubtedly have your phone nearby at all times.

However, it is nice to have a separate camera for capturing truly unique shots with the added benefit of not using your phone’s battery (in case you need it) and multiple memory storage cards.

A personal favorite of ours is the Sony RX100VA as it is a great point and shoot camera that will fit in your pockets for easy accessibility.  

 Our Top Recommended Cameras:

Ultimate Europe Packing List

Portable Charger

Finding yourself in a situation where you need your device but it is dead and there is no power outlet on site. Having a portable charger can relinquish those worries.

Portable power banks are about the size of your hand and can easily be carried along in your day pack. Buy one with at least 10,000mAh which will be able to charge your device multiple times throughout the day if needed.

 Our Top Recommended Portable Chargers:

Passport and Travel Document Holder

Need a designated place for your passport and travel documents so you know where they are at all times? A travel document holder is a perfect solution.

Not only do they hold your important documents, but they can also hold money, credit cards and any other important items you may be carrying.

To add more peace of mind, search for RFID certified holders. That way you can throughout your day and know no one can scan your documents or steal information.

Our Top Recommended Passport & Document Holders:

Travel Towel

It is a good idea to pack your own quick-drying towel for your adventures throughout Europe. They are super handy and usually pack down into a small hand size bag.

We recommend buying a microfiber towel since they dry quickly and are not as bulky as a regular house or beach towels. There are multiple sizes and colors available as well.

 Our Top Recommended Travel Towel:

Ultimate Europe Packing List

Sunglasses

No matter where your European adventure brings you, it will most likely involve plenty of time spent outside in the sun. In order to protect your eyes, you should always wear a good pair of sunglasses.

When it comes to sunglasses you will find a lot of options, but always make sure you have a pair with UV protection. If you can, also opt for a pair that are polarized as well.

Polarized sunglasses reduce the glare from the sun for a clearer view. However, just because they are polarized does not mean they offer UV protection, so always double-check. 

Find a pair that fit well. They shouldn’t pinch your nose, put pressure on your temples or fall off when you look down. 

 Our Top Recommended Sunglasses:

Sleeping Essentials

If your Europe travels will find you staying in the ever-popular hostel, you may want to consider some earplugs and an eye mask to help you sleep through the comings and goings of guests in your shared room.

They are also a good idea for travel days on trains and airplanes to help you get some rest. A sleeping mask and earplugs can be the difference between good sleep and no sleep at all.

 Our Top Recommended Sleeping Essentials:

Travel Pillow

A travel pillow can be your saving grace. It is the difference between a semi-decent rest during transportation and a sore kinked neck.

There are several different options from “high end” memory foam to self-inflatable for space-saving. Any pillow at all will come in handy. I’ve even used mine on camping trips and in hotels if the pillows are super flat.

 Our Top Recommended Travel Pillows:

Ultimate Europe Packing List

Medications

I cannot stress enough the importance of bringing along a little medication kit for yourself. You never know when a cold, headache or stomach ache will strike.

You don’t have to bring a huge kit, as you can get them in Europe as well. But the convenience of knowing they are with you will reduce the stress of having to find them in an unfamiliar location when/if you need them.

Our Top Recommended Medication kits:

Travel Water Bottles

You never know when you’ll find the next place to get water. Make sure you fill up before you leave your hostel, hotel, or Airbnb to prevent running into that problem.

Not to mention it’s cost-effective and you are helping the environment in the process.

Our Top Recommended Travel Water Bottles:

Travel Lock

Most hostels and transportation on trains do not provide lockable storage. Bring your own lock to use so you have peace of mind knowing your items are safe.

 Our Top Recommended Travel Locks:

Headlamp or Small Flashlight

A headlamp or flashlight should be an absolute must if your adventures will include hiking or camping while in Europe. You never know when it will come in handy and it’s best to be over-prepared than underprepared.

In addition to being of great use for outdoor activities, you can also utilize a flashlight or headlamp for maneuvering around your hostel during late night or early morning or using it for reading your guidebooks at night.

Our Top Recommended Headlamps/Flashlights:

Ultimate Europe Packing List

Small Zip-Lock Bags

Bringing along some zip-lock bags can prove very handy. They are a great place to store toiletries when going through airport security, or to use if something is leaking.

Not to mention they are lightweight and take up no space in your luggage.

Our Top Recommended Storage Bags:

Multi-Purpose Laundry/Body Soap

Kill two birds with one stone. Even though you are traveling, those life chores never stop, including laundry.

Most places offer laundry soap for a fee, but if you get stuck needing to wash your clothes and have no access to facilities or they don’t offer soap, at least you have the tools to wash your clothes if need be.

Our Top Recommended Laundry/Body Soaps:

Guidebook

It never hurts to have a guidebook. I find they offer invaluable knowledge and small tidbits of information about a place that you couldn’t find elsewhere.

Not to mention, if your phone dies or you can’t get cell service a travel guidebook can be your saving grace.

If you plan on visiting many countries in Europe purchasing a Europe guidebook will be best to carry with instead of purchasing a guidebook for each country.

Our Top Recommended Europe Guidebooks:


Best Luggage for Travel in Europe


Ultimate Europe Packing List

Backpack

Europe is very backpack friendly and the ideal way to explore. Deciding on the length of travel and your activities will help you determine what size bag you will need.

You can find travel backpacks in many sizes ranging from personal size to checked luggage size.

Below are a few of our favorite carry-on size backpacks.

Our Top Recommended Travel Backpacks:

Roller Bag

Between cobbled streets and getting on and off transit, roller bags may be more trouble than they are worth.

However, if your adventures have you staying in a destination for a longer period of time between transit days, they are a good choice.

Not to mention, you won’t have to carry it on your back.

Our Top Recommended Roller Bags:

Packing Cubes

Compatible for backpacks and roller bags, packing cubes will help keep you organized throughout your travels and will save you space.

They also provide travelers with an excellent way of compartmentalizing their travel items while still keeping them accessible. Cubes also ensure that you’ll be packing to the right dimensions of your suitcase or bag.

We enjoy the simplicity of being able to pull out one cube for something we need and can easily repack all the cubes without having to repack a pile of clothes.

Our Top Recommended Packing Cubes:

Ultimate Europe Packing List

Day Pack

Whether you are backpacking or bringing a roller bag, carrying a personal day bag is a must!

You most definitely will not be walking through the streets all the time with your luggage. Try to opt for something comfortable and easy to carry.

Some weather-proofing is also a plus for rainy days.

 Our Top Recommended Day Packs:

Mesh Dirty Laundry Bag

Not only is a mesh laundry bag a great place to keep all your dirty clothes, but it will also make washing them simpler.

If you are taking your clothes to a laundromat, throw the whole bag in the wash to prevent you from losing any items.

Our Top Recommended Laundry Bags:


Clothing for Spring & Summer Europe Travel


Ultimate Europe Packing List

Lightweight Clothing

Packing tops for a summer trip in Europe is a fine balance between looking good and being comfortable. As unflattering as it may be during those summer months you can expect to be sweaty.

Having 2-3 T-shirts allows you to swap before anything starts to smell. Tank tops are also fantastic options as they are perfect for those summer months and you can explore feeling a little cooler than if in a t-shirt.

Also, consider bringing some lightweight shawls or cardigans for those cooler summer nights.

Our Top Recommended Women’s Tops:

Our Top Recommended Men’s Tops:

Ultimate Europe Packing List

Rain Jacket

It may be summer, but the chance of rain is still very real. How disappointing would it be if you had to cancel your plans because you didn’t have appropriate attire?

Also, don’t let luggage space stop you from leaving your rain jacket behind. There are many rain jackets that can stuff down to pocket size.

Even a plastic poncho will do. It’s lightweight, small, waterproof and can be an adventure saver.

Our Top Recommended Women’s Tops:

Our Top Recommended Men’s Tops:

Ultimate Europe Packing List

Active-wear

During your trip to Europe be prepared to walk everywhere. Active-wear is comfortable and lightweight, making a day of exploring a breeze. They are also great options for travel days.

Choose items that are modest enough to wear into churches and basilicas if needed. You never know when you may stumble upon something and you never want your wardrobe to prevent you from exploring it.

Our Top Recommended Women’s Active-wear:

Our Top Recommended Men’s Active-wear:

Ultimate Europe Packing List

Jeans

Jeans are versatile which makes them a Europe packing clothing essential. It doesn’t take much to mix and match tops and shoes to create a different look each day.

On those cooler days or evenings out, jeans are a great choice. Just don’t pack too many as they are heavy and take much longer to dry after a wash than other pant choices.

Our Top Recommended Women’s Jeans:

Our Top Recommended Men’s Jeans:

Comfortable Shoes

Walking is the way to explore Europe. You can expect to be on your feet from dawn till dusk and having a comfortable pair of shoes goes a long way.

Packing a good pair of sneakers or a comfy pair of shoes could make or break how long you spend exploring each day. So don’t skimp when it comes to taking care of your feet!

Be sure to wear them in before your adventure if you buy new to avoid sore feet and blisters.

Our Top Recommended Women’s Shoes:

Our Top Recommended Men’s Shoes:

Socks

Wool wool wool! Trust us, your feet will appreciate it. Wool socks will whisk away the sweat during those hot summer days, but will also keep your feet warm during cooler times.

Cotton can trap moisture, which can cause your foot to sweat and slide around in your shoes. This could eventually lead to nasty blisters. No one wants blisters during their vacation.

Our Top Recommended Women’s Socks:

Our Top Recommended Men’s Socks:

Ultimate Europe Packing List

Bathing Suit/Board Shorts

Always bring a bathing suit. They are small, compact, and virtually weightless making it an easy item to pack.

For the ladies, we recommend bringing your favorite bikini and maybe a one-piece if you will be participating in some more active water adventures.

Bringing two suits ensures you will always have a dry one to use.

For men, we recommend two swimsuits as well. Choose a lightweight pair that falls just above the knee that is flexible and will allow for movement.

Our Top Recommended Women’s Bathing Suits:

Our Top Recommended Men’s Bathing Suits:

Sun Dress

It is a must-pack item. Small yet stylish and perfect for Europe summer weather it would hard to argue not to bring it.

Pick something that falls around the knee and remember to always carry a scarf or cover up for exploring holy places.

Our Top Recommended Sun Dresses:

Sandals or Flats

Bringing a great pair of flats and sandals is a must for me. Flats are an awesome transition item to wear with a nicer outfit for dinner and comfy sandals are a foot saver during those hot summer months.

They are smarter choices for your ankles than heels and will take up little to no space in your luggage.

Our Top Recommended Women’s Sandals/Flats:

Our Top Recommended Men’s Sandals/Flats:


Clothing for Fall & Winter Europe Travel


Ultimate Europe Packing List

Thermal Long Sleeve Shirt

Staying warm is about starting at the base and working outward. Having a thick long sleeve thermal layer can be the deciding factor if you stay warm throughout the day or not.

What is also nice about this material is it doesn’t trap foul odors, so it can be worn more than once if left to air out overnight.

Our Top Recommended Women’s Long Sleeve Shirts:

Our Top Recommended Men’s Long Sleeve Shirts:

Thermal Pants 

Like the thermal long sleeve shirt, bottoms are no different and should not be ignored. A thick merino wool base pant can cut away any biting chill that comes your way.

Our Top Recommended Women’s Thermal Pants:

Our Top Recommended Men’s Thermal Pants:

Ultimate Europe Packing List

Comfortable Pants

Put on over top of the thermal pant travel pants are some of the best during winter. As they are made to sustain the elements.

Our Top Recommended Women’s Travel Pants:

Our Top Recommended Men’s Travel Pants:

Fleece Jacket 

Working outward, after your thermal long sleeve comes to the fleece jacket. The fleece acts as an insulation layer for winter weather but is a great jacket in itself for calm Fall days when there isn’t rain or wind. 

Our Top Recommended Women’s Fleece Jackets:

Our Top Recommended Men’s Fleece Jackets:

Ultimate Europe Packing List

Down Jacket

Following the fleece layer is the down jacket. There are two types, real down and synthetic down. A synthetic jacket is more durable against the wet weather but doesn’t pack down quite as small as the real down jacket.

Both are equally warm, it is up to you which you prefer. Try to buy water and wind resistant jacket for extra warmth.

Our Top Recommended Women’s Down Jackets:

Our Top Recommended Men’s Down Jackets:

Warm Hats

Most of your body heat escapes through your head, so there is no reason you shouldn’t bring a warm hat along on your trip.

There are a variety of styles available and all hats pack down relatively small. Find one that is comfortable with wind resistance for extra warmth.

Our Top Recommended Women’s Warm Hats:

Our Top Recommended Men’s Warm Hats:

Ultimate Europe Packing List

Thin Fingerless Gloves

It may be winter but that doesn’t stop anyone from taking photos or using their phones outdoors. Using fingerless gloves or smartphone compatible gloves, keep your hands warm while snapping those fantastic Europe shots.

They will also save you the hassle of constantly removing your gloves to take photos or use your phone. Small and virtually weightless these are an easy item to pack.

Our Top Recommended Women’s Gloves:

Our Top Recommended Men’s Gloves:

Scarves

Not only can scarves add an extra layer of warmth, but they are also a stylish accessory for any outdoor outfit. Scarves are also great for those warm Fall days when you may need a cover-up to enter some holy places.

Our Top Recommended Women’s Scarves:

Our Top Recommended Men’s Scarves:

Warm Socks

There’s nothing like a wool sock to keep your toes warm during the chilliness of Fall and Winter. We like to use Merino wool socks because they wick away sweat and control odor, leaving your feet nice and warm.

Our Top Recommended Women’s Warm Socks:

Our Top Recommended Men’s Warm Socks:

Waterproof Boots

Sneaker and walking shoes may not cut it during late Fall and Winter in Europe. Wet cold feet are sure to ruin anybody’s day.

Opting for a pair of warm waterproof boots will help ensure your feet stay warm and dry on even the wettest and coldest days of your trip.

Our Top Recommended Women’s Waterproof Boots:

Our Top Recommended Men’s Waterproof Boots:


Toiletries for Europe Travel


Ultimate Europe Packing List

Solid Shampoo/Soap

Solid soaps last longer than liquid, which can save you money in the long run. Also with solid shampoos and soap, you don’t have to worry about TSA agents confiscating your soap because you were over the liquid limit. 

Our Top Recommended Solid Shampoo/Soap:

Peppermint Oil

It comes in small bottles that are TSA approved and fantastic for covering up any odors that occur during traveling. Whether that is people sitting next to you or perhaps you begin to emit a small odor after 36 hours of travel. Peppermint oil can save the day.

Put a small drop under your nose to cover any nasty smells, or apply it like perfume if you don’t want anyone smelling you!

Our Top Recommended Peppermint Oils:

Wet Wipes

Wet wipes are such a handy item to have with you at any time. They are great for giving yourself a little wipe down if it’s been a long travel day or maybe a sweaty day out hiking. This way you are also never caught without toilet paper.

Our Top Recommended Wet Wipes:

Tooth Brush Cover

Bacteria is everywhere. Protecting your toothbrush can protect you from foreign bacteria that could possibly get you sick.

Our Top Recommended Toothbrush Covers

Ultimate Europe Packing List

Sunscreen

One of the great joys of being outside on vacation is basking in the warm glow of the sun. However, like so many of life’s pleasures, it’s best done in moderation.

Always pack sunscreen for your adventures and make sure it’s one you are familiar with. The worst thing is to start applying your sunscreen and you don’t like how it goes on or how it smells.

Also try to find one with zinc oxide as the main ingredient, because zinc oxide provides a physical barrier from the sun in addition to the many chemical barriers all sunscreens contain.

Our Top Recommended Sunscreens:

Travel First Aid Kit

Just like having a small medication kit with you may come in handy so will having a small first aid kit. You never know when you will need a band-aid or medical wrap.

Small injuries happen all the time. Better to be prepared and have what you need, than to need something and not have it.

Our Top Recommended Travel First Aid Kits:

Ultimate Europe Packing List

Not finding what you are looking for? Check out our favorite places to go shopping for travel gear.

  • Shop Columbia – The industry leader in outdoor apparel and products; You can find anything from great jackets, gloves, hats, shirts and travel pants.
  • Shop REI – They offer some of the best outdoor gear around. We love REI since they have a one-year return policy. Love it or hate it no questions, guaranteed.
  • Shop Moosejaw – Has a huge selection of outdoor gear at killer prices.

More on Europe:

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TRAVEL PLANNING RESOURCES

Looking to get started on your trip planning process? Let us help!


Travel Gear & Packing: Check out our packing lists and travel gear guide to ensure you're bringing the right items on your trip.

Book Your Flight: Ready to fly? We use Skyscanner to compare prices and book flights. You should also check out our tips for finding cheap flights.

Find A Car Rental:We use Discover Cars to compare car prices, find deals and book rentals.

Book Your Hotel: Compare prices and book with our custom-built hotel search engine. You should also check out our tips for finding cheap accommodation.

Find Vacation Rentals: Search vacation rentals & apartments on VRBO for the best prices and options.

Protect Your Trip:Don’t forget your travel insurance! Protect your investment and yourself. Read Is Travel Insurance Worth It?

If you need more help planning your trip, be sure to check out our Step by Step Trip Planning Guide where we break down our process for getting the trip planning process right every single time.


About Lina Stock

Lina is an award-winning photographer and writer that has been exploring the world since 2001. She has traveled to 100 countries on all 7 continents. Member: SATW, NATJA, ATTA, ITWA



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