Packing for Europe can be quite the process. A couple years ago I hopped on a jet plane headed to Prague to visit my baby sister. I was flying alone and on one of the economy airlines, which charges an arm and a leg for luggage.
Thus, I had to trim down my packing list to one single carry on. The goal for our Packing List for Europe…10 outfits in just a single carry on.
Packing List for Europe
As a mom of six who has traveled to Europe a few times, I know how important it is to have a good packing list to make sure that you’re prepared for all of the adventures you’ll have on your trip. Here are some essentials that I recommend including in your Europe packing list.
Packing for 10 days in Europe in only a small carry on. Can you do it? I did and here is how…
Here is what you will need:
- 2 comfy, casual tops
- 1 dress-up-or-down tops
- 3 versatile dresses or jumpsuits
- 2 bottoms of your choice (pants, shorts, etc.)
- 1 “nicer” outfit
- 2 warm layers (preferably lightweight)
- 1 pair of sneakers, one pair of flats, one pair of sandals
- Simple accessories: a package hat, a couple necklaces, and a scarf (I always bring one on the plane in case it gets chilly)
The goal is to find neutral pieces that you can mix and match with almost everything in your suitcase. This allows you to bring less things overall, and it’s so much simpler to plan out your outfits. My personal style is more California Casual, so I already had many pieces in my closet that I could bring.
Don’t feel like you need to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe but investing in a few new pieces that will get plenty of wear long after your travels is a smart idea. Plus it’s always fun to have new things to wear while taking pictures on vacation.
Shop these pieces here
Why I chose these items:
One of the most important things I suggest bringing is a comfortable pair of shoes. I love these Superga sneakers because they can be worn with everything from the most causal looks to a nicer outfit.
Since there are a lot of cobblestone streets in Europe it is a good idea to pack some good walking shoes for your trip to Europe!
A comfortable pair of sandals is so important because you will be trekking a whole lot of miles each day exploring. I love that these sandals are stylish to wear out to a nice place, but my feet don’t hurt after walking in them all day.
More comfortable sandals solutions here:
I keep my accessories really simple if I’m packing light. A packable sunhat that makes it easy to spend less time on your hair and more time adventuring is a must, and I add in some simple necklaces like this one to complete my looks.
Another important thing to bring is a mid-sized bag that is easy to carry, and durable. I love wearing a backpack like this one that feels comfortable and looks cute with all my outfits.
You could also bring along a fanny pack – Not the ones your mom used to wear; the cute trendy ones. This will be a nice safe spot to hold your cash and passport.
Shop more of my favorite travel bags here:
Some shopping tips:
- Sign up for e-mail newsletters from your favorite online stores so you don’t miss their promotions. Also check our weekly sales page for all the most up to date sales from our favorite stores like Madewell and Loft for cute seasonal pieces, Splendid for great basics, and Nordstrom for basically all the rest of your travel needs.
- Shop at sites that have easy returns so if you don’t love it, it’s not a hassle to send it back.
- Don’t be afraid to spend more because you will end up buying less. All these items I am suggesting make great investment pieces for your wardrobe that will get plenty of wear for many seasons.
What To Do Once You’ve Decided on Your Capsule Looks
Pretty awesome right. Like they say, “why re-invent the wheel.” Go a little pin crazy. After you have found your inspiration follow these easy steps:
- Scour your closet- you will be shocked by how much is in there I promise.
- Purchase needed items- head to Nordstrom’s Rack, H&M or Target to pick up any items you still need while on a budget.
- Have a Fashion Show- try on everything. Find as many combinations you can make out of the least amount of pieces.
- Lay everything out- then 24 hours later go through and take out anything you feel you don’t REALLY need. Be really strict with yourself here, less IS more!!!
- Take pictures of your outfits- Save them to an album on your phone so you spend less time getting ready and more time out having fun.
- Then pack.
Don’t Forget These Must-Have Items:
- Portable Charger- Not just any portable charger but specifically this one- the MyCharge Portable Charger Power Bank. I have tested tons of portable chargers throughout my travels and this one is by far my favorite. Not only does it charge incredibly fast (up to 75% faster to be exact), but it also has two charging cables attached so you don’t need to attach any additional cords. And, the MyCharge charges directly in the wall making it so much more effective than any other portable charger I have used. Grab one on Amazon (it’s prime) here.
- Universal Travel Adapter- You will definitely need to bring a travel adaptor to charge all your accessories. This one also converts voltage so you can use your curling iron, electric toothbrush, etc.
- Travel Pillow- It’s a long flight from the States, you want to get some sleep on the plane. Pack a nice travel pillow. Some attach to the outside of your bag like the one I use here.
- Trip Wipes- Really convenient for wiping down any surfaces when your on the go like your tray table and seat on the plane.
- Wrinkle Release Spray or Travel Garment Steamer- In Europe, you are often on the go which means irons are not always handy. Grab a little wrinkle release spray to spritz on your clothes and you will be traveling through Europe wrinkle free. Or if you have pieces that you know get extra wrinkled in your suitcase, bring along this travel steamer.
- Melatonin- Melatonin is a must in my international packing. Getting used to a time change is so much easier when you have a little sleep aid. Melatonin is all natural, so you shouldn’t have any lingering sleep issues after taking it. We love this brand here.
Here is a quick video that talks about my Favorite Packing Hacks:
Using the above methods I successfully packed my entire wardrobe in my carry on suitcase.
If you enjoyed reading about our packing list for Europe, you might also enjoy:
Frequently Asked Questions for Packing List For Europe
How do I not overpack for Europe?
Overpacking for Europe can be tempting, especially if you’re not sure what to expect or if you want to be prepared for any possible scenario. However, lugging around too much stuff can be a real hassle, especially when you’re navigating crowded cities and public transportation.
One way to avoid overpacking is to use packing cubes. These handy little organizers can help you compartmentalize your clothes and keep them tidy, so you can easily see what you have and avoid overpacking.
Is it better to roll or fold clothes when packing?
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to whether it’s better to roll or fold clothes when packing. However, a good rule of thumb is to roll softer, more casual items like short sleeved shirts, tank tops, and shorts, while folding more structured items like dress pants, blouses, and long sleeved shirts.
Ultimately, the best method is the one that works for you and your specific packing needs.
Should you have travel insurance when traveling to Europe?
Yes, it’s always a good idea to have travel insurance when traveling to Europe or any other destination.
Travel insurance can provide you with a range of benefits, including coverage for unexpected medical emergencies, trip cancellations or interruptions, lost or stolen luggage, and more.
Pin for Later: Packing List for Europe – [10 Amazing Outfits] in just one Carry On!
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