Packing for any holiday can be a nightmare. You never know what to take. Should you be packing that pair of shoes in case you go somewhere fancy or should you save the space? If you are visiting Europe for the first time, you may not know what you can get there and if you can easily buy anything that you leave at home. Over the years, I have whittled down what I pack for traveling in Europe through experience, but you do not have to wait for this as there is an essential packing guide that you can use.
Select the right suitcase for your European Adventure
The Clothing To Pack
When packing, the hardest decisions usually center on clothing because you never quite know what you should take. There are certain items of clothing that you know you need to take enough of like socks and underwear, but how many t-shirts should you take and do you need a jacket?
The weather during your travels is important when you decide on what to pack, but the country you are going to will also impact the clothing you need. If you are going to Europe in summer, the Mediterranean countries will be hotter than the Scandinavian countries. Summer in Italy can be very hot and you will need t-shirts and short, but if you are heading to Denmark the summer will be cooler and you will want to pack trousers as well.
Packing shoes needs to be done correctly because they take up a lot of space and you might not need them. You should only take one pair of shoes when you travel unless you know that you are going to need dress shoes. Taking dress shoes because you think you might go somewhere fancy is something to avoid because you generally end up taking a pair of shoes that you never use. If you are travel in the summer, you should take a pair of sandals as well as trainers because you are going to use them.
If you do not want to stand out as a tourist while in Europe, you need to be careful with the type of shoes you take. The white sneakers that you love (I got a pair of these by Anne Fontaine) will make you stand out as a tourist in Europe. These are not the shoes that Europeans generally wear, but if you do not mind being identified as a tourist you can wear them.
If you are visiting Europe in winter, you need to come prepared. You need to have a jacket that can withstand the cold, but also needs to be windproof. Packing layers is often the best way to go because you will always be warm enough, but will not overheat.
Do You Need To Pack Toiletries?
You might be surprised with the number of space toiletries take up, not to mention the weight they add to your luggage. The truth is that you do not need to actually pack all of your toiletries. You will be able to buy anything you need when you arrive and if you are staying in a hotel they will provide toiletries for you.
The only toiletries you need to bring with you will be your toothbrush. If you have any special toiletries, you should also bring these with you. I have found that supermarkets across Europe have toiletries that are just as good or better than what I can get back home. In Italy, I was able to get Argon Oil body wash for a fraction of the price I would pay at home.
Taking Travel Accessories
There are a number of travel accessories you need to have when visiting Europe. These accessories will ensure that you are safe and that you have everything that you need. The first accessory you need is a daypack.
A daypack is a small backpack that you can use when exploring the cities. I find them to be easier on the shoulders than a sling bag, but I have friends who would rather use a satchel. This is all personal preference, but you do need to have an additional bag that you use when you are out and about.
Earplugs and an eye mask should also be packed. Depending on where you are going and where you are staying, you could have noise in the night. Not all accommodation will be soundproof and there are a lot of European cities that have noise throughout the night. Ear plugs will help you get a good night's sleep which you need to have the energy to see all of the sites. Eye masks will help you block out the light when you are staying in the city center.
A money belt is another travel accessory that you need to have. Unfortunately, many cities in Europe have a problem with pickpockets. A money belt will help you avoid pickpockets and will keep your money and important documents safe. There are a lot of different styles that you can get and I have one that looks like a normal belt.
Packing Your Electronics
I would not be able to cope without my electronics when I travel and I know a lot of other people are the same. If you are going to pack your electronics you need to know what you should be taking. If you have a digital camera, you need to take extra memory cards and an extra battery. While you can buy a memory card in Europe, you may have one at home that you can use instead.
If you have a tablet and a laptop, you should leave your laptop at home. The only time you should bring the laptop is when you need to work while you are traveling in Europe. Your tablet will take less space and weigh less while providing you with everything you need when you are on holiday.
One essential electronic item that you should never forget when traveling to Europe is a travel adaptor. Travel adaptors are going to be expensive if you have to quickly pick one up at the airport. I arrived in Rome without a travel adaptor and had to search through Termini station to find one which cost a lot more than one from Amazon at home.
When it comes to your phone, you have to be careful. Not all phones will work in Europe and you need to check that you have international roaming. If you are traveling from the United States, you have to check if you have an international phone as the technology used in the US is different to Europe. If you can't take your own phone with you, you can easily buy a pay as you go phone at the airport or any major train stations. You can also get European sim cards just about anywhere and they will work in all EU countries as roaming has been eradicated.
Taking A First Aid Kit
So, a first aid kit is something that most people don't think about when they pack unless they are going to be camping. A first aid kit is something you should always pack because you never know when you will need it and you generally need it when you can't find a pharmacy or when all the pharmacies are closed.
If you have prescription medication, you need to take it in the bottle or box that it comes in. There are many European countries that check your medication when you go through immigration. You also need to ensure you have enough medication for your whole trip because getting medication in Europe can be a problem. Having a prescription from your doctor will not help you because it is from a foreign country and the pharmacy will not have to honor it. Even if they do, you could have issues because the medication goes by different names in different countries.
Your first aid kit should also include some pain medication. In Europe, you have to go to the pharmacy to get pain killers, unless you are in the UK where this is sold in the supermarket. I wanted to get some pain killers in Germany and you have to go to the Apotheke or pharmacy where you have to ask the staff for the pain killers as it is not out where you can pick it up.
You should also include some band-aids in your first aid kit. While you can get band-aids from the pharmacy in Europe, do you really want to wait until you have pain from blisters before you can do anything? Having band-aids on hand will also make any cuts you have better faster.
Packing for your trip to Europe does not have to take a lot of time or consideration. All you need is enough clothing for the days you are on the continent and all of the electronics that you want. You will be able to get most of the other items you might want to have when you get to your destination.