My Go-To Packing List for European Travel

I travelled all over Europe, and this has helped me get much better at packing. Honestly, after al these road trips and plane trips, varying from city breaks to month-long trips, I now have a pretty clear go-to packing list for my European travels. 

I travelled all over Europe, and this has helped me get much better at packing. Honestly, after al these road trips and plane trips, varying from city breaks to month-long trips, I now have a pretty clear go-to packing list for my European travels. 

So, what is my default go-to packing list for European travels? 

How to define your packing list

Well… I first need to define certain aspects of my trip before choosing one of my packing lists. Yes, I have a couple, and it mostly depends on these aspects: 

  • Destination (city, mountain/nature, beach)
  • Season (winter, summer or shoulder season) 
  • The purpose of my trip (any specific activities I will do)

Most of my trips are more than just reaching a new destination or completing a travel bucket list. 

As a naturally curious person, I tend to find cool things to do in a place and from there, I start to plan my trip. 

However, in 2023, my goal was to finally finish visiting all European countries. So, my focus was more on the destination than any specific activity. 

With that being said, I will give you my default packing lists for all these situations. 

Note that you might need to add a few things extra to your packing list if you’re staying longer, but I don’t really think you need it since you can also buy almost everything you need at your destination. 

If you’re not from Europe, I get that you’ll probably need to combine some of these lists since you will combine the types of activities and destinations. But try not over to do it. My recommendation is to always look for things that can be used for multiple situations. 

European city travel packing list 

One of the most common things to do in Europe is to go on a city break. 

So, if you are planning on travelling to Europe and visiting mostly cities, this is what you should pack.

  • Essential Clothing
    • Versatile layers: Lightweight shirts, cardigans, and pullovers that are easy to mix and match.
    • Underwear and other personal items. 
    • One pair of jeans
    • Comfortable walking shoes: City exploration often means a lot of walking.
    • Sandals for summer or shoulder season. 
    • One semi-formal outfit: For dining out or experiencing the local nightlife.
    • A lightweight rain jacket: Weather can be unpredictable.
    • If visiting in the shoulder season, you’ll need a jacket. 
    • If visiting in winter, you need a winter jacket and comfortable boots/winter shoes for walking. The type of jacket depends on your destination (temperatures vary a lot, even during winter). Check weather forecasts or check the usual temperature or last year’s temperature to get an idea. For instance, I visited Rome in December, and it was almost T-shirt weather. But if you go to London or Stockholm, it will be cold. 
    • Fast dry towel. 
    • Sunglasses
    • Cap
    • Scarf, even in summer. It’s useful for airplane, which usually gets cold. 
  • Technology
    • Universal adapter: Essential for keeping devices charged.
    • As a digital nomad, my list of technology stuff is quite large: laptop, camera, chargers, cables to charge all my devices, drone, batteries, SD cards 
    • Power bank: For charging your devices on the go.
    • Travel app recommendations: Google Maps, Google Translate. 
  • Personal Items
    • Reusable water bottle (most countries have drinkable tap water)
    • A small backpack or crossbody bag: For carrying essentials while exploring.
    • Personal hygiene items: This depends on you. I either try to purchase Travel-sized toiletries or get some of those small travel containers and pour some of my products (shampoo, face cleanser, face creams, serums etc). Add a  facial mask, just in case.
    • Electric toothbrush or a normal one for a lighter backpack (shorter trips)
    • Vitamins and supplements 
  • Travel Documents
    • Copies of important documents: Passports, travel insurance, and any visas required.
    • Offline maps or guidebooks: I like to save offline the Google Map of my destination. 
  • Snacks and Convenience
    • Portable snacks: Granola bars, trail mix, or local treats for when hunger strikes. I don’t focus much on these, but try to get a few for a travel time. 
    • Collapsible reusable bag: For impromptu shopping or carrying extra items. Only when going on road trips. 
  • Cultural Considerations
    • Small gifts or trinkets from your home country: For hosts or new friends you might make along the way. Only if I have extra space in my luggage and I’m staying in a place for a month or so. 

Europe mountain/nature travel packing list

This list is mostly the same as the city list, but the one big difference is the mountain equipment. 

I try to research any possible activities before the trip to try to understand everything that I might need. So, let’s say this trip involves some hiking, renting a car, and long walks. 

I will only talk about the clothing items because the rest of the list is the same. 

Essential Clothing

  • T-shirts
  • Thin layer (technical shirts)
  • Thick layer (medium jacket, windproof if possible)
  • Jacket for cold evenings
  • Raincoat if going to rainy destinations (North of Europe)
  • Waterproof hiking boots, preferably ankle-high
  • Sports socks (no cotton)
  • Leggings 
  • Windproof and waterproof pants 
  • Hat
  • Mittens 
  • Scarf

Since all trips are unique, you will have to think about your activities and study the weather forecast to be able to determine what you’ll need. 

But in my experience, this list is a pretty good place to start with your packing list for your Europe trip. 

Iulia Vasile

Iulia is a travel expert, blogger, engineer, freelance copywriter, and a curiosity-driven personality. She sees travel as the ultimate tool for self-improvement and personal growth, and that's the main topic of her blog,

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