Figuring out what to pack for Europe is a something I have had to do a lot. I’ve spent many summers in Europe so I have plenty of experience packing for Europe over the years. For those of you traveling to Europe this summer and not sure what to wear or what to pack, I have put together the ultimate packing list for Europe in summer.
Packing List for Europe in the Summer
Below is a comprehensive packing list for a trip to Europe this summer.
Europe Packing List Summer – Travel Essentials for Europe
• European Travel Adaptor – European travel adaptor for your electronics
• Camera/photography gear – Europe is very photogenic so don’t forget to bring your camera! If you are traveling alone or as a couple, you might want to to take a selfie stick/portable tripod to take photos of yourself. Don’t forget to bring an extra memory card.
• Scarf – A lightweight scarf will keep you warm on chilly summer nights or places with too much air-conditioning. A scarf is also useful when visiting churches or cathedrals which require women to cover their shoulders.
• Lightweight pants and/or long dress/skirt for women – If you are going to be visiting churches, I recommend women bring at least one pair of light pants or a dress that covers the knees.
• Sunglasses – Most countries in Europe (especially Southern Europe) are very sunny in the summer so sunglasses are a must!
• Reusable water bottle – A reuseable water bottle is a good way to save money on bottled water and also eco-friendly. I use this insulated water bottle because it keeps my water cool for hours.
• Hat – If you are going to spend a lot of time outdoors especially in the middle of the day, don’t forget to bring a hat for sun protection. I recommend Coolibar hats because they have excellent sun protection.
What to Wear in Europe – Clothes and Shoes
Europeans dress a bit nicer than most North Americans so I don’t recommend walking around in sweatpants or sneakers and shorts. I recommend dressing fashionable especially in larger cities so you can try to blend in with the locals.
The temperature in Southern Europe during the summer can get very hot so you will need lightweight clothes. The temperature in Northern Europe is more moderate or even cool and rainy so you will need long sleeve shirts, pants, an umbrella and a jacket or rain jacket. I recommend checking weatherbase.com to look up the average temperature and rainfall to get an idea what the weather will be like when you are visiting.
• Dresses and skirts – Bring at least a 2-3 dresses/skirts. A basic black dress is a must and can be worn from day to night. Maxi dresses are also cute and comfortable for summer.
• Lightweight pants – Men should bring at least 2 pairs of lightweight pants for sightseeing and to wear at restaurants or bars. Women might want to pack a pair of lightweight or linen pants as well. Avoid wearing jeans in the summer in Southern Europe as they will make you feel too hot!
• Shirts/tops – I recommend men bring at least 4 short sleeve shirts. Women can get away with fewer tops if they pack more dresses.
• Sweater – Pack at least 1 long sleeve sweater for chilly summer nights and air-conditioned places.
• Jacket – Bring a light jacket. Some parts of Europe (especially Northern Europe) might be cool in the summer even in the daytime.
• Dressier sandals/cute flats/loafers – Bring a dressier pair of sandals or cute flats that can be worn for dinner or drinks.
• Platform shoes for women – Some places of Europe have cobblestone streets so I recommend women avoid high thin heels. If you need some height, I recommend platform shoes.
• Shorts – Personally I would avoid shorts in Europe unless visiting beach towns or resort areas. If visiting mostly cities, I recommend wearing lightweight pants or skirts instead of shorts.
• Flip-flops – I recommend wearing cute and comfortable sandals when walking around a European city or town but you might want to bring a pair of flip flops to wear at the beach or at hostels and hotels. Havaianas flip flops are my favorite because they have great traction and don’t slip when walking on wet surfaces.
• Underwear, socks and bras – Depending on how long you are visiting Europe and how often you will do laundry, bring at least 5 pairs of underwear, 3 pairs of socks and 2 bras. If you are checking luggage, pack at least 1 of each in your carry on bag in case your checked luggage is lost or delayed. ExOfficio underwear is great for travel because it is breathable, quick-drying fabric and odor-resistant.
Europe Packing List – Other Things to Pack for Europe
• Cash, credit cards, ATM cards (make sure your credit card does not charge a foreign transaction fee)
• Glasses, contacts, contact lens solution
• Medication and prescriptions
• Antibacterial wipes or hand sanitizer
• Electronics (smartphone, computer, tablet, kindle, cords, cameras, memory cards)
• Toothbrush, toothpaste and floss
• Toiletries (makeup, lotion, deodorant, tissues, comb/brush, feminine products, q-tips, razor, shampoo/conditioner/soap)
• Noise cancelling headphones or earplugs and eye mask
• Body wipes to wipe off sweat
• First aid kit (band aids, pain reliever, allergy medicine, anti-nausea medicine, antacid tablets, charcoal tablets)
• Lip balm with UV protection – Don’t forget to protect your lips! Most people apply sunscreen but they overlook sun protection for their lips
• Sunscreen – Don’t forget to bring sunscreen to protect you from the sun. Sunscreen is easy to find in Europe so it is not the end of the world if you forget to pack it.
• Insect repellent
• Travel umbrella and/or rain jacket – Some parts of Europe can be rainy even in the summer
• Bandana – A bandana is so versatile, you can use it to wipe off sweat or use as a scarf or mask
• Beach bag – For carrying your beach essentials if planning some time at the beach or pool.
• Bathing suits/sarong/kaftan – If planning to hit the beach or pool.
• Universal waterproof phone case – Keep smartphones dry with this waterproof case when hanging out at the beach.
• A quick drying travel towel for the beach or if you are staying at a hostel that does not provide towels
• Packing cubes
• Day bag, tote or purse for sightseeing
• TSA approved locks
• Notebook and pen
These are my travel essentials for a summer in Europe. Is there anything else I should add to my Europe packing list?
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