Take the guesswork out of putting together the perfect Europe summer packing list for your next trip.
Packing for a trip can be quite a stressful experience, but the truth is that spending a summer in Europe shouldn’t be hindered by your packing woes!
In general, we recommend that you pack light, and versatile items that can be layered, dressed up, or dressed down.
To make this simple, we’ve outlined some of of our best advice, tips and recommendations for packing efficiently.
Don’t leave home without your Lonely Planet Europe (Travel Guide)
Practical Europe Summer Packing List
Table of Contents
The Luggage Debate
Before packing anything, you should carefully consider what kind of luggage to bring on your trip.
While most travelers are partial to wheeled suitcases, rolling bags can be impractical in destinations that have cobblestone or crowded train platforms.
In these destinations, you may consider a well-fitted backpack that will allow for hands-free movement and easier mobility through congested streets and stairways.
Truth be told, we’ve done it all during our travels in Europe. There really is no best answer, it will all come down to preference and style.
- Pacsafe Venturesafe 65L GII Anti-Theft Travel Pack
- Deuter Aircontact 65+10 Hiking Backpack
- Eagle Creek Deviate Travel Pack 60L
Looking for a good backpack? Best Travel Backpack Buying Guide
- Pacsafe Toursafe AT25 Anti-Theft Wheeled Luggage
- Eagle Creek Gear Warrior 29 Inch Luggage
- Deuter Helion Wheeled Travel Bag
- Pacsafe Toursafe EXP21 Anti-Theft Wheeled Carry-On
We are huge fans of packing cubes! This is an item every traveler must-have when packing for summer travel in Europe. They allow you to keep everything in your bag organized and more easily accessible.
Plus they’re better than plastic bags because you don’t have to suck the air out of them every time you zip them back up and you can re-use them.
They’re handy for both wheeled luggage and backpacks (especially vertical packs that you have to dig through to find items).
I personally like to have one for underclothes, one for shirts, one for pants, one for electronics, and one for accessories, but you can order them in whatever way makes the most sense to you.
The most popular brands are Eagle Creek and eBags. Eagle Creek and eBags packing cubes come with great carrying handles that work for carrying or hanging up your packing cubes. Not all packing cubes are the same.
Try to buy quality so they last, the cheap ones out there on the market have zippers break and the fabric tears. Packing cubes also come in all different sizes, colors, and pieces, below are the packing cubes we recommend:
- eBags Packing Cubes – 4pc Classic Plus Set
- eBags Medium Packing Cubes – 3pc Set
- eBags Packing Cubes – 4pc Small/Med Set
- eBags Packing Cubes – 6pc Value Set
- eBags Large Packing Cubes – 3pc Set
Hanging Toiletry Bag? Yes or No
Most people don’t take advantage of these little miracles. This is an item every traveler must have when packing for summer travel in Europe, don’t be that person with toiletries in a plastic bag.
Hanging toiletry bags are great in general but are particularly good for Europe because their bathrooms tend to be small and don’t give you a whole lot of maneuvering space.
You can store all of your toiletries and keep them easily accessible with a hanging toiletry bag. Choose one with multiple compartments and pockets, and you will wonder how you ever lived without it.
This little item has saved me so many of times, a toothpaste cap comes off, a cologne bottle breaks, or when shampoo leaks, it all has been contained because of my toiletry bag.
They come in all different shapes and sizes check out all of the different kinds below:
- Compact Hanging Toiletry Bag, Personal Organizer for Men & Women | Rugged & Water Resistant with Mesh Pockets & Sturdy Hook for Business or Leisure Travel
- ColorMixs® Hanging Toiletry Cosmetics Travel Bag Cosmetic Carry Case for Woman Man Travel
- Travelmall Cosmetic Pouch Toiletry Bags Travel Business Handbag Waterproof Compact Hanging Personal Care
- Premium Toiletry Bag By Freegrace – Extra Large Travel Essentials Organizer – Durable Hanging Hook – For Men & Women – Perfect For Accessories, Cosmetics, Personal Items, Shampoo
Clothing – Europe Summer Packing List
Pack as light and as low maintenance as you can. Luckily, summer in Europe is pretty warm so your clothes should be fairly lightweight. Bring items that are versatile and can be worn with multiple outfits.
Don’t bring an item that you can only wear one way – it will be a waste of valuable space. Also, don’t forget to bring clothes that will color coordinate.
Bring items that will go with multiple items and accessories – usually, this means neutrals. That being said, here’s our recommendation:
- 3-4 shirts (mixture of casual and dressy)
- Light cardigan or jacket
- 1-2 dresses
- 3 T-shirts
- 2 tank tops
- 1 pair of shorts (should be material that can be worn multiple times: jeans, cargo, etc)
- 1 pair of Capris
- 1-2 skirts
- 1 pair of comfortable jeans
- 1 bathing suit
- 3-4 pairs of underwear (get breathable material)
- 1-2 bras
- 4 pairs of socks
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Pair of flats
- Rain Jacket
How do you wash clothes while traveling? Your Guide For Doing Laundry While Traveling
- 3-4 button-up shirts (can be casual or dressy)
- 3-4 T-shirts
- 1 Lightweight sweaters (Nice for cooler evenings, can dress up a button-down shirt)
- 1 pair of dark jeans
- 1 pair of long shorts (Try to avoid Khaki shorts – it will be a neon sign that you’re American)
- 1 pair of lightweight trousers
- 1 bathing suit
- 3-4 pairs of underwear
- 4 pairs of socks
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Rain Jacket
You may get tired of wearing the same clothes all the time, so bring a few accessories that match multiple items of clothing that can change up otherwise stagnant outfits.
Items like scarves, hats, and sunglasses are good options. If you’re going to bring jewelry, make sure it’s nothing too expensive or flashy.
- Toothbrush with Steripod clamp
- Travel toothpaste
- Travel soap/shampoo/conditioner
- Contact lens solution/case/ glasses (+ extra pair of lenses)
- SPF 15 Chapstick
- Small loofah
- Travel brush
- Hair serum (if you have uncontrollable hair like I do)
- Light Days (for girls, these keep your underwear smelling fresh for much longer!)
- Travel pack of wet wipes
- Travel pack of tissues
- Condoms (no one wants a surprise souvenir)
- Basic 1st aid kit – Band Aids, prescription drugs, pain medicine, motion sickness pills, Pepto Bismol tablets, hand sanitizer
- Camera – Check out the camera gear we carry!
- Smart Phone
- E-reader or Tablet
- Universal Adapter – Make SURE you have a universal adapter for the many plugs found in European cities.
- Power Cord – This will make charging more than one item easy. Most rooms only have one outlet.
- Portable Battery – When you use your phone/tablet for Google maps, translations, booking tours, booking restaurants, and guides of things to do in the city, your battery can deplete pretty quickly. Make sure you’re in airplane mode and power efficiency mode, but also bring a small portable battery just in case.
- Daypack: Get a compressible daypack that can fold small but be unfurled for daily sightseeing. We love Pacsafes because they are 100% theft-proof. Looking for a good day pack? Check out our Best Travel Daypack Travel Guide.
- Earplugs/Eye Mask: I personally cannot sleep without an eye mask but both are great items to have on your trip, especially if you’re staying in hostels or in party cities when surroundings can be loud and unpredictable. Plus they’re great to have on a plane or train.
- Travel sleep sheet: Ok, no matter what accommodation you’ve chosen, whether it be a hotel, Airbnb, boutique hotel, or hostel, you can never be quite sure about the cleanliness of things. Sleep sheets are a great way to give you peace of mind. I would especially recommend these for hostel goers.
- 1-2 travel locks to use in hostels : 1 adjustable travel lock (for cabinets or large bag lockers) – Make sure your stuff is secure.
- Water bottle: It’s always important to stay hydrated. They make reusable water bottles now that can fold up when empty and are great if you need to save space. Europe offers water fountains everywhere. When we spend the summer in Europe we would just fill up our Lifestraw water bottles.
- Travel sink stopper/Travel laundry detergent: This is a must-have item when you’re washing your underwear and makes it an easy task that can be performed in any available sinks.
- Money Belt: There are still many stories out there of theft and pick-pocketing in Europe, so I always like to bring an invisible money belt that can easily blend under my clothing. I usually choose one to match my skin color and one that is flexible so it shapes my body. Keep the majority of your cash, a major credit card, and your passport in here so that in case your wallet gets stolen, you have the most important things stowed away safely. Pacsafe Coversafe V100 Anti-Theft RFID Blocking Waist Wallet, Black
- Wallet or Purse: Best Travel Handbags
Have experience putting together a Europe summer packing list? Let us know your tips and advice in the comments below.
More on Europe:
- Train Travel in Europe: Ultimate Eurail Pass Guide
- Ultimate Europe Packing List (For All Seasons!)
- 15 Best Cities in Europe to Visit
- 10 Cheapest Places to Travel in Europe
- When is the Best Time to Visit Europe?
- Travel Insurance for Europe Vacation: Do I Need It?
- Best Places to Fly a Drone in Europe