What To Pack For a Trip To Europe

I don't know about you, but before any trip I go on, I usually write out a list of all the things I can think of that I need, and then build from there. I tend to be more relaxed about local travel if I know I can pop into a store and pick something up if I forgot it. But Europe, I want to make sure I have majority, if not all that I need. 

I also love to jump on Pinterest or Google and get ideas from others to make sure I'm not forgetting anything obvious or something I might not have thought of. That's why I put together my essentials and what I would recommend to pack for a trip to Europe. 

This was my ninth time visiting a European city which makes me no expert by any means, but sometimes once you've done something a certain amount of times you learn a little bit more about what works and what doesn't. Now, of course this also depends on the time of year you are traveling, and where you are traveling to, but from what I've seen, traveling anywhere between April-October my list has been relatively the same. 

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I think this goes without saying, but, what I will say is, do yourself a favor and get some decent luggage. Long story short, someone had purchased a few luggage pieces for us as a gift (which was really thoughtful) but they weren't necessarily something we would have picked out for ourselves. When you're navigating through airports, cobblestone streets, or just around in general, you need something that has great wheels and is easy to maneuver. We also love luggage that provides great packing options with side pouches and zipper compartments. 

Packing Cubes: 

If you caught my insta stories when we came home from our most recent trip to Barcelone, then you probably saw how much I love using packing cubes. Each of the boys have their own color which makes it so much easier to pack for them and keep everything organized. I am also amazed at how much you can actually fit into each of them.  


I don't travel or go on outings without a trusty backpack. Backpacks have become a necessity for me when traveling and serve as my purse, diaper bag, camera bag, and carrier of all things. Something you need to look out for in most major touristy cities is pickpocketing. Thankfully we've never been witness to this, but I also like to think making things more difficult to get into helps with that.

Reusable Bag: 

Speaking of bags, my Baggu bags have been a lifesaver when we're away. Some European cities do not include plastic bags when you go shopping and you have to pay extra if you need one. Packing one of my ever-easy-fold-up-into-a-tiny-almost-nothing-bag, has made things so much easier. I can throw that right in my backpack and take it when I need something extra. I also use it as a beach bag for when we are visiting areas that have beach access. I really cannot say enough good things about the easy and practicality of these bags.

Comfortable Shoes: 

I think it's common sense to know we should bring comfortable shoes but I know sometimes fashion and style can cloud our judgement. If you caught my most recent post about our family trip to Barcelona you might have noticed my espadrilles that got a lot of use out of them. I probably sound like a broken record over here, because if you're a frequent reader, then you know my love runs strong for my Soludos. They are just so dang comfy, versatile, and worth every penny to me. If you're going during a time where you could wear sandals I would also highly recommend packing sandals that have straps. A lot of cities can have cobblestone streets or uneven walkways in general. 


All of the times I have visited a European city I have needed some sort of layers. I have yet to really experience any type of humidity but it can get really hot in the summers and very iffy in the spring and fall. My tried and true has always been my jean jacket. I feel like you can't go wrong with a denim jacket which usually goes with most outfits. I also like to bring a stylish scarf that I can wear if necessary or if it's not needed I can always make into something to wear on my hair or tie around my waist. 


I'm a hat person in general, so packing one for my trips has turned into a must. They are tricky to pack but if you play your cards right and pack them around things that won't crush them, or just wear it on the plane, then a hat can come in really handy. 


I probably could have grouped packing a hat and bringing your sunnies along into one category because they are hands down my two favorite accessories. Maybe these last two have been a little biased based on my liking, but I kind of feel like, how can you go anywhere without a fun pair of sunglasses

Dry Shampoo:

If you're a guy and reading this this might not apply to you, unless you have some luscious locks that you can use this on, but I always pack a travel size of dry shampoo. The water in other countries is just different and if I'm on vacation I'm usually not carving out a lot of time to do my hair. A little dry shampoo can help during those in-between days.  


I try to disconnect as much as I can when I'm away but no matter what, you're going to need a travel adapter to access your things. If I'm packing a curling iron, phone, or need to charge my camera battery, I need a means to be able to do that. We stayed at two different places when we were in Amsterdam and left our adapter in one of the hotels. We searched around to buy another one and ended up over paying because most places know that it's a touristy thing to purchase. 

I feel like other than that, your list is more of your personal style and what else you think you would need to bring along. There are trips where I feel like I packed so on point and others like I overpacked, and of course I've also had times where I wished I would have brought something else along. I think that I've gotten better with time and now have a good system down that works for us. 

What about you, are you a light packer or do you tend to bring all the things? 

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