The continent of Europe is a diverse place. With so many countries that you can drive or take the train through, it’s the perfect destination to experience different cultures, people, and places. But you’ve got to be prepared: there’ll be changes in weather, different accommodation situations, and various activities you’ll need to be ready for. Whatever you want to accomplish on your Euro-trip, here are just a few things you should make sure you pack for your adventure.
Small keychain flashlight: If you ever find yourself in a dark spot, be it checking on your car engine in the middle of a pitch-black Hungarian backroad (especially when your phone is low on battery), or fumbling your way to a toilet in a dark hostel in Dubrovnik, you’ll realize how important it is to carry one on you at all times during your travels.
Collapsible umbrella: Thinking about strolling through the historic streets of Paris? Crawling through pubs in London? Well, there’s always a chance of a light drizzle, so a small collapsible umbrella tucked away in your backpack will definitely come in handy in keeping your clothes dry.
High-quality wool socks: While being a bit pricey, they do last longer, keep odors from developing, and air dry way faster than cotton or synthetic materials (you can wash them off in a sink and they’ll only take about 6-8 hours to dry). Pack lightweight ones for a Portuguese summer and heavy-weight ones for a frigid Finnish winter.
A light sweater: Perfect for when the weather is cooler and another way to add more European chique to your outfit. They can also help adhere to the strict dress codes (no shoulder showing for ladies) required to enter places like St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Plus, they’re also great for packing delicate breakable souvenirs on your trip back.
Eye mask and ear plugs: Whether it’s the noisy midnight revelers right outside your hotel window in Madrid, or the guy who can’t stop snoring on that flight to Stockholm, ear plugs can give you some quiet when it matters the most. Don’t forget to pack in an eye mask as well, just in case you decide to visit Norway during the summer midnight sun period – you’ll need to block out the light and tell your body to go to sleep…even at 2 a.m.!
Digital luggage scale: Bought too many gifts and souvenirs in Berlin and want to avoid paying for overweight luggage? This nifty little device can save the day … and of course, money. Wunderbar!
A hanging toiletry bag: These are super useful when you’re in a small, minimalist European bathroom where sink space may be limited.
Scarves: Want to blend in with the locals when out and about in Milan? Europeans like their fashionable scarves and taking along a few colorful pieces would help when evenings get a bit chilly. Plus, they can come in handy if you ever need to wrap up breakable souvenirs and gifts on your way back home.
Shades: There’s nothing shady about it – your sunglasses will be a lifesaver in protecting you from the harsh glare and will be super helpful if you plan on driving around the continent.
Ziploc bags: Great for storing toiletries that might leak during travel or even for storing snacks, Ziploc bags in various sizes are an absolute essential. They’re also great for when you want to take home a little soil, pebbles, or some rocks as souvenirs from your travels. Plus, if you’re thinking of a mineral-rich dip at a geothermal bathing site when in Iceland, remember to put any silver you wear in a Ziploc for safe keeping – the minerals will discolor silver!
Appropriate shoes: If you thinking of prancing through Prague or waltzing through Vienna, then choose light comfy shoes. If you’re planning on hiking through the Scottish Highlands, then choose some lightweight boots that are waterproof and that have been worn-in on long hikes beforehand.
Power adapters: Make sure you get the right one for the countries you wish to visit – the UK and Ireland may have different plug points than other European countries. Getting a universal adaptor is the safest way to go to make sure that your phone and laptops have enough juice on your trip.
Clothing appropriate for outdoor activities: If you’re more of the outdoorsy type and cycling or hiking through the Alps sounds like more your thing, then make sure to take the appropriate gear you’ll need. For example, avid cyclists need to remember to take their own bicycle shorts and gloves, while hikers will need their boots, backpacks, and if required, a trekking pole or hiking staff.
Europe holds so many surprises around every corner, so be prepared – pack wisely and enjoy!
Do you have any tips for packing for Europe? Let us know in the comments below!