A regular topic of conversation at Creative Travel Connections is: THE PACKING LIST. What to pack and what not to pack. How to pack when only taking a carry-on for a two-week trip, and the packing conversation goes on. We geek-out about packing cubes and we love our “spinner” suitcases – you know, the kind with four wheels. For all the travelers out there, over packers, and new travelers alike, we’re here to lend some support.
Depending on where you’re traveling to your packing list will vary. What style of clothing, types of shoes, converters for electronics, etc. you bring can differ across continents and even neighboring countries.
We’ve compiled a packing list for Europe. While this is not a comprehensive list for all seasons, it will help you pack for a European summer vacation.
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- Comfortable Walking Shoes. Keep in mind that the sidewalks in some European cities can be uneven (e.g., Sidewalks in Greece are often uneven and made of marble, making them slippery when it rains.)
- Handbag. We recommend a cross body bag for women and men, and suggest going for comfort versus style. Our favorite brand is Travelon, as it offers comfort, style and anti-theft features.
- Clothing. European dress is modern/trendy. For the summer months wear breathable cotton clothing for travel. Be sure to pack a couple long sleeve options or a wrap for cooler nights. It is strongly recommended that you not wear anything that will make you stand out as a tourist (e.g., no fanny-packs, etc.) – this is to defuse the attention of pick-pockets that exist in any major city around the world.
- Personal Care Items. Hair care, toothbrush/paste, feminine products, etc. You likely will not find things like your brand of tampon in Europe so be sure to pack enough if you will need them.
- Sunscreen and Sunglasses
- Bathing Suit
- Sanitizer and Kleenex Packs. Public toilets may not have toilet paper or soap. Therefore, we recommend carrying Kleenex and hand sanitizer with you for this reason.
- Medication. While you’ll have access to pharmacies, bring any medication you think you might need with you from home.
Travel Documents and Money
- Passport and visa, if required
- Travel insurance card or information and any other insurance cards you require
- Your emergency contact phone numbers on a piece of paper, in case your phone is lost
- Debit Card. You’ll get the best exchange rate if you take cash out of an ATM upon arrival. We recommended not traveling to your destination with a significant amount of your own currency.
Other Items You May Want
- Reading materials, books, etc.
- Beach Bag
- Travel Pillow
- Travel Towel
- If you’re bringing any electronics (e.g. iPad, Kindle, phone, etc.), you will need an electrical plug adapter if the country you’re visiting has different voltage than your home country. Make sure you have the correct adapter – not all European countries are the same. (Note: Adapters typically blow up hair dryers therefore it is recommended that you don’t bring a hair dryer, but instead use the one provided at the hotel.)
Don’t Forget Before Leaving Home
- Make sure your passport is valid for 6 months from the date of arrival
- Print 2 color copies of your passport (the page w/ photo and passport number). Leave 1 copy with your emergency contact at home; and take 1 copy with to have with you. Leave your copy in a safe in your hotel room.
- Call your bank or credit card company the week before you leave to let them know when and where you’re traveling. Ask them to note your account so that they know it’s you accessing your funds.
Packing doesn’t have to be a dreaded task. Learn some tips to make it easier and gain more enjoyment out of your travels.
If you have additions to our packing list, leave a comment below.