Packing for a trip through Europe is different to packing for a regular vacation. You want to be practical while not forsaking all sense of style. That’s where I went a little wrong on my first trip.
One of the mistakes I made was I focussed too much on practical clothing and forgot I would also want to dress up every now and again while on the road. Of course it’s important to pack for the climate and activities you’ll be doing, but equally you want to include some feel good essentials as well.
Another mistake I made was not investing in technology suitable for my travels. I was so focussed on saving as much as possible that I decided not to buy a new laptop or camera. Instead I lugged my very bulky and heavy laptop around, which was difficult to get in and out of my backpack at airport security and got quite damaged from being so hard to handle.
Now having travelled many times solo, as a couple and on group tours around Europe in the last couple of years, I have a pretty good grasp on how to pack to enjoy the Euro-trip of my dreams. Hopefully this will help you too!
Packing Essentials For The Ultimate Euro-Trip
Clothing & Apparel
If it’s your first trip to Europe you might not be so familiar with European fashion and even if you plan to travel on a budget, there will be times when you’ll need something nice to wear out at night. Europeans appreciate good style and put care and effort into what they wear. Of course designer labels are not required, but when new friends invite you clubbing in Zurich or to the Opera in Vienna you will want to have something ready. Include a few items like;
- Versatile Black Boots / Summer Shoes
- Nice Dress / Shirt
- Classy Blazer / Coat
- Hair & Make-up Basics
As always with technology, consider your individual needs when deciding whether to invest in equipment for your travels. Not everyone needs a laptop or fancy camera. Think about what type of media you want to record and what activities you’ll be doing, then decide what the best technology is to support that. If you are going to take a laptop I strongly suggest something durable and lightweight. Having just acquired my first Apple Macbook I cannot believe I wrangled a 17inch brick around Europe for three months! On my packing now is;
- Lightweight Laptop
- Quality Camera
- Smart Phone
- Rechargeable Battery Pack
- Headphones (Earbuds)
- Back Up Storage Device
See also my 7 Best European Travel Apps.
Carry On Luggage
Europe is famous for super low air fares and to make the most of these you’ll want to buy the basic ticket option which is usually just a seat plus carry-on luggage. Not only is it cheaper to travel carry-on only, but it’s quicker and easier too as you can move straight from the plane to your destination, without having to wait at the baggage carousel and it’s much easier for navigating the cobble-paved cities. I always prefer to travel with;
- Carry-On Suitcase / Backpack
- Smaller Cross Body Bag / Backpack