Essential Travel Items: Packing List for Europe (+ printable checklist)

packing list for Europe!

Packing… often rather a lot of effort. Therefore I have pulled together my go-to packing list for Europe!

After years of travelling around Europe from country to country I’ve pulled together my ultimate packing list for Europe (with printable checklist for your own travels). I love the process of packing, but it can be a hard slog, especially if you’re off on a trip which is longer than usual. I have spent weeks pulling together a suitcase before, and often start packing way ahead of my trips. (I have also created a Packing List for Europe which is printable for you!)

The list below is an example of a Europe packing list based around a trip consisting of two weeks of travel, to around five countries. Of course, packing list will change as per the seasons and it’s important to bear this in mind when pulling together your items for the trip. The idea is to break down the essential items for your trip and give you an idea of what you should carry in your suitcase or backpack for example. Here is my ultimate packing list for Europe!



Backpack or Suitcase

Whether you’re backpacking around Europe, skiing in the Alps, or traveling for business you will be need something to keep some form of luggage. I often travel with hand luggage only, as it makes for a quick exit when I arrive in a country – however if you are off on a trip that lasts more than a few days I’d recommend buying a light-weight mid-size suitcase with wheels, or a flexible backpack. I have tried many suitcases and backpacks over the years and I am yet to decide on my favourite. I have tried Eastpak, Osprey, Caribee, Mountain Warehouse and many more. I use my Eastpak suitcase the most, and love how light it is and flexible.



Bathing Suit

If you’re heading off to Europe over the summer you’ll going to want to take your swimming costume. Whether you are paddleboarding in Greece, cliff jumping in Cyprus or sailing in the Mediterranean – you’ll want to pack some beach essentials in your packing list for Europe. Even if it’s not summertime in Europe it never hurts to have a swimsuit in your suitcase. I travel with two one piece swimsuits, one active costume and one nicer one for the beach.

Rain Jacket

No matter the season a rain jacket is always an essential for travelling to Europe (and the rest of the world). I have a rain jacket by FatFace which I take with me everywhere and it’s yellow!

A formal outfit

Even if you plan on roughing it, you never know when you might get invited out for drinks at a nice bar or to a family event. I would suggest bringing a more formal outfit such as a black dress for the ladies and a shirt and chinos for the men. Most Europeans are pretty stylish, especially in the cities so make sure you’ve got one outfit that’s more formal.

Active Wear

I love to travel in active wear so end up bringing a kit with me anyway, but even if you don’t I would bring a pair of leggings and sports bra for those more adventurous activities on your travels through Europe. They’re also useful if you plan to go hiking or skiing for example and remember to also bring a good pair of trainers and /or hiking boots.


Scarves are great for fall and winter in Europe, and they can also act as a blanket too for long bus journeys or when it gets colder in the winter months. A versatile item with many uses!


Lightweight jumpers are nice for dressing up or down with other items. They can be worn with jeans and trainers for a day exploring, or added on top of a dress with boots for a more formal look. They are also vital if you are travelling to somewhere where the evenings get cooler or for cool nights.


Bring lots – but bring basics! I always travel with a black, white and grey plan tee, as well as a slogan tee for added personality. They go with everything and you can also wear then with jeans, skirts, under dresses and with shirts.


I am a black jeans lover. I own around 10 pairs of black jeans and one pair of blue jeans. But that’s okay, because the black jeans go with everything and again, can be dressed up or down for various situations. You can wear jeans for months without washing them and they still won’t stink. Plus, jeans are a staple in every European’s wardrobe – styled with a Breton tee and you look like a local.



Walking Shoes

When you’re packing for Europe know that a good pair of comfortable walking shoes is important for getting around European cities. I usually go for a sporty trainer for city explorations and then a hiking boot for the more adventurous days. My favourite hiking boots are from Merrell.


I take my Converse EVERYWHERE with me! And a good pair of Vans will last a long time. Personal preference!



Travel Adaptor

You will definitely need an adaptor for your electronics on your packing list for Europe. We always keep one handy in our carry-on bags, that way we can charge electronics on arrival or at the airport. Oh and TOP TIP – take an extension lead as it’s a great way to charge more items all at once with only one adapter!

Camera and memory card

If you’re travelling around Europe, you’ll want a really great camera to record your memories. I’ve literally just bought a Canon G7X Mark II and its such a great camera. It’s lightweight, compact and takes amazing photos that are just as good as my bigger DSLR – Nikon 3300D. The Canon G7X also doesn’t scream HEY LOOK AT ME I’M A TOURIST. And remember to get a big memory card for all the photos – I have a 64GB memory card since I take lots of photos and video.

GoPro Hero 5

I take this handy little action camera everywhere with me – every trip I take it’s in my pocket ready to point and shoot! They aren’t cheap but they do provide you with amazing footage, and shoot within seconds so you’ll never miss a moment!

Wireless Range Extender

If you need to be on-the-line like me a lot then I’d recommend getting yourself a wireless range extender for your travels. It is helpful for extending the range of the WiFi in your hotel, or hostel and it means you’ve got your own little link up to the outside world and won’t have to fight for the wifi again.




This one is for the ladies, and I wanted to make note of it for anyone still wondering what to pack for a trip to Europe. I take make up with me everywhere – I don’t take a lot but I do take the essentials. Europe is fairly cheap for buying make up so don’t worry too much about packing enough or running out. I usually pack 1 x Mascara, 1 x Face Powder, 1 x Concealer and 1 x Blusher. That’s usually enough for me and I will then top up if needed.



Guide Book

As a big fan of Marco Polo Travel Guides I am constantly buying their books before a trip and a trip to Europe is no different. They’ve got loads of guide books for countries all over Europe, and they are easy to read, come with local insider tips and have a handy little map at the back for you to pull out and write over. I also use other travel blogs for inspiration for anything the guide book doesn’t provide me with!

Quick dry travel towels

Quick dry travel towels are amazing if you’re staying in hostels during your trip to Europe. After eight years of traveling around the world, and staying in multiple hostels I have learned to never travel without one. They are light and fold up small, and can dry within one hour.

Water Bottle

Save the turtles bro! Always bring your own bottle with you when you travel to Europe – empty it before going through security though! I’ve never had a problem with the water in Europe, and it’s also saving the planet by buying less plastic bottles!

Packing cubes

I travel a lot and therefore I am constantly on the lookout for ways to make travelling less stressful and more enjoyable. I have recently used packing cubes for my trip to Australia and New Zealand and only a few weeks in to the trip the two main cubes had alright ripped or the zip had broken. Then on a recent trip to IKEA I realised they had also started selling their version of a packing cube in their travel and IKEA family range. (They have also started selling suitcases, I am intrigued to see how they match up to higher priced brands.) Read my IKEA packing cubes review here.

Ear Plugs

These are small but essential travel necessities for Europe as they can be crucial to your sleep. Where you’re flying in business class or sleeping in a hostel a good pair of earplugs will help you sleep, as well as a great eye mask – my favourite is from Tempur as it’s completely black out!

What items have I missed?! Let me know in the comments! Hope you get a lot of use out of my Packing List for Europe.



(Simply right click and save, then open in a word document as an image and print)

packing list for Europe!


Airline Cabin Luggage Allowances: Guide to hand baggage sizes and weight restrictions

Save yourself a whole lot of cabin baggage stress and potential additional charges when boarding by checking dimensions and weight restrictions before you travel. I’ve pulled together Europe’s major airlines cabin allowances into one easy to read guide below. And if you’re fed up with waiting for your luggage at the carousel, and want to maximise what you can get in your cabin bag then check out these great top tips for travelling light with your hand luggage.

We’ve all experienced the anxiety of arriving at the airport, worrying about how heavy our bags are and whether they’ll exceed the luggage allowance at check in. Should I really have packed two jackets for a beach holiday? Will they have a hairdryer at the hotel? Will they let me spread the weight between two bags? Sound familiar?



Other posts that may help you:

The Ultimate Guide to the Christmas Markets in Copenhagen

Best Vegan Restaurants in Malmo

10 of the Best places to eat Brunch in London

The Best Weekend Trips in the UK

Log cabins with hot tubs in the UK

Thank you for reading and as always happy adventuring! 

If you’ve enjoyed this post, please share it for me with all your friends and family!

Sophie X