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 love our “spinner” suitcases. For all the travelers out there, over-packers and new travelers alike, we’re here with tips.
Depending on where you’re traveling, 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.
This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on the link and make a purchase, we may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.
Essentials to Pack
Comfortable Walking Shoes. Keep in mind that the sidewalks in some European cities can be uneven. For example, 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, which offers comfort, style, and anti-theft features.
Clothing. European styles are modern/trendy. For the summer months, wear breathable cotton clothing for travel. Be sure to pack a couple of 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. This will help defuse the attention of pick-pockets that exist in any major city around the world.
Packing Cubes. You can fit many more clothes in your suitcase using packing cubes. Rolling your clothes also creates more space and reduces wrinkles.
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 need them. And while you’ll find sunscreen and general care products in Europe, bringing them along saves a trip to the store.
Accessories. Bring your favorite accessories, like sunglasses and a hat. And we also recommend packing a plug adapter.
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
Pack your passport and ensure it’s valid for six months, or you won’t be allowed in another country. Also, check to see if you’re required to get a visa for the country you plan to visit.
Print two color copies of your passport – the page with your photo and passport number. Leave one copy with your emergency contact at home, and take one copy with you. Leave your copy in a safe in your hotel room, so you’ll have it in case your real passport is stolen or misplaced.
Travel insurance is highly recommended for international travel. Bring a hard copy of your travel insurance card just in case you can’t access it online during your trip. We also recommend carrying a piece of paper with emergency contact numbers in case your phone is lost.
Bring your debit card. You get the best exchange rate if you take cash out of an ATM upon arrival at your destination. It’s not recommended to travel with a significant amount of cash on your person. 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 they know it’s you accessing your funds, and you won’t get a fraud alert.
Other Items to Bring Along
Depending on your destination and preferences, you may also want to bring reading materials and a journal. If you’re going to be near a waterway, take a swimsuit and a beach bag.
Travel pillows are nice to have along for air travel and in your hotel. We also recommend a fast-drying, microfiber travel towel.
Packing doesn’t have to be a dreaded task. Check out our packing 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!