I am a strong believer of “less is more” and that is no different when it comes to packing for a European vacation that involves temperatures of 15 degrees (Celsius) all the way up to 30 degrees – that is quite the range to prepare for, but none the less it’s very doable in one suitcase sharing with your husband, yes sharing. I guess you don’t have to share but I honestly don’t like pulling a suitcase over cobblestone so I rather he just struggled with that 😂
Full Disclosure: This blog post will probably not be super helpful if you are a guy. A lot of the same rules apply but you probably don’t have to bring a dress and make up, but I don’t judge, you do you.
I know picking out clothing before going to the fashion Mecca of the world is probably a tough job and it probably helps that I don’t really know what’s in style (despite owning a store that sells clothing), but my simple advice: Don’t over think it. Pick items that are versatile and can be used for multiple outfits without looking like the same outfit.
1-2 Jeans (Being a Jeans & T-Shirt girl, I opted for two pairs)
2 Leggings or other Pants
3 Shorts (Make sure you have a mixture of casual and dressy)
1 Dress – If you’re going to some warmer places Id probably opt for a few more as they can keep you cool
2 Bathing Suits (If you’re not going to beach spots, you could probably just opt for one)
3-5 Tops (Mixture of casual and dressy)
Note: This is what I bring no matter how long I’m going; whether it’s five days or five weeks, I also pack the same amount and do laundry while on the road.
Fanny Pack – Don’t laugh, you’ll thank me for this one if you’re travelling to one of the many countries in Europe that are famous for pit pocketing.
Backpack – I personally opt for a stylish one over a “school” bag just because you wanna look good in Europe, right? This bag can also be your carry on for flights.
Scrunchies – Because scrunchies are life, right?
Scarf – Depending on the time of year you are going, either a Winter scarf to keep you warm or a Summer scarf to change up another outfit.
Shampoo & Conditioner
Tooth Brush & Tooth Paste
Skin Products – Bring Minis of what you usually use at home; you don’t want your skin going through a shock because you’ve switched products while you’re away. I personally use the K’Pure Naturals line and most of the products come in miniature sizes.
Clay Mask – This may seem like a luxury item that you’d keep at home but if you’re hitting up a few different places with different climates I do highly recommend this as it can help reduce the shock your skin will be experiencing and clean out your pores. My absolute favourite one is from K’Pure and we sell it in my shop, I highly, highly recommend.
Hair Brush & Hair Accessories – Don’t forget some bobby pins! Your hair won’t be used to the different climates so you may have some flyaways to deal with.
Aloe Vera Lotion – Everyone probably doesn’t need this one, but I am a burner. Lavender Body Oil is also GREAT for burns!
Lip Ointment – I don’t mean just chapstick, but ointment as your lips will dry out from the different climates and especially if you’re going on a few flights.
European Plugs – Most of Europe uses the same plug (unless you’re going to Ireland and England they have a different one so you may need to bring two sets depending on where you’re going). I got mine from Amazon, way more affordable than somewhere locally. I also want to point out that back in the day you used to need a converter too but most electronics don’t need it as long as they are 110-220 volts or they have a little switch on it. Even my $10 blow dryer had the switch. The converter is usually the expensive part so don’t buy it if you don’t need it.
Laptop & Charger – If you are flying on some budget airlines while you’re over, they do not have screens or any perks. Download some movies to your laptop ahead of time.
Cell Phone & European Sim Card – Your cell phone needs to be unlocked for this to work, but Europe has some very very cheap options for data which you’ll want for Google maps, trust me, you want this. I bought my Sim Card before leaving Canada on Amazon.
Headphones – You’ll need these for the airplane unless you want to buy some overpriced cheap headphones.
Laundry Pods – If you’re staying in an AirBnB they usually have laundry detergent but I like to be prepared just in case so I don’t have to buy an overpriced small container that I’ll only use for one load.
Woolite – I usually make sure that all my accommodations always have laundry but there is always the off chance that the listing was incorrect or it wasn’t working when there, so Woolite is a good option for cleaning your undies in the sink if you need to.
Wrinkle Be Gone Spray – This stuff is a godsend when travelling.
Bandaids – I usually make sure I bring a few of the blister ones too since no matter where you go in Europe you’ll probably do a fair share of walking
Melatonin – So helpful when it comes to getting over jet lag. I also opt for a bit of Magnesium oil on the bottom of my feet too.
Metal Straws – If you’re someone who likes drinking from a straw then I suggest you bring your own as quite a few places in Europe (just like at home) are not offering straws.
Small Lock for backpack
Allergy Pills – If you are someone who gets allergies at home, Id bring a small box just in case. You never know when visiting new places.
Okay, I know that may seem like a lot of items to fit into your 20kg suitcase, but I promise you, I’ve done it a few times and it is possible. Heck, one time I fit it all into a backpack when I went backpacking.