After years of traveling around Europe, we’ve crafted the perfect Europe packing list. It’s not a big deal if you’re struggling with what to pack for your first trip to Europe. Before our travels abroad we spent months debating what to pack for a trip to Europe.
Everyone’s been there before a trip and we often get asked by readers what should be on their packing list for Europe.
What’s great about this Europe packing list is that it’s a good base packing list for two weeks in Europe, as well as a fantastic Europe packing list for winter, spring, fall, and summer! The idea is to break down the essential items for your trip and give you an idea of what you should carry in your suitcase or backpack.
The Ultimate Europe Packing List
Europe Packing List Essentials
1. Comfortable Shoes
Hitting the sidewalk and letting the city unfurl around you is one of the best ways to get familiar with a city in Europe. A comfortable pair of shoes for both men and women are essential when packing your bag for Europe. However, I wouldn’t recommend packing those terrible clunky hiking shoes or athletic shoes many tourists like to bring. You’ll stand out like a sore thumb in Europe.
Europeans are not opposed to sneakers just trainers outside of the gym, so opting for a pair of casual Vans is great. These old school skate shoes have a great look to them that will keep your feet comfortable and look great with a pair of jeans or chinos.
Considering most of the cities in Europe are 100% walking cities be prepared to spend a lot of time in them.
Make sure to protect your eyes from the sun since you’ll likely spend a lot of time outside. There are a lot of options for sunglasses and everyone should own at least a pair. It’s best to make sure they do have UV protection for the health of your eyes. Italians are big into their name brand sunglasses so wearing a pair helps you blend in with the locals.
We made our first investment in quality polarized sunglasses with a pair of SMITH Optics Lowdown 2. Truthfully, not everyone needs to invest $150 in a pair of sunglasses; however, we love ours and will never buy cheap ones again.
3. T-Shirt or V Neck
A classic tee will never go out of style. We suggest sticking with solid colors like black, white, or grey. There’s also the option of a v neck for a more stylish look, but it all depends on personal preference.
Cameron prefers the grey as it’s super easy to stain the white ones. T-shirts are cheap and we like order new pack before each trip as old shirts look slobbish.
4. Flannel shirt
Flannel shirts are great mid layers for both men and women. They provide warmth and go well with vests. I wouldn’t say a flannel is “city stylish,” but they are definitely fantastic if you are out on an adventure in the mountains.
5. Wool Sweater
A sweater can make a great travel outfit. They’re comfortable, stylish, and warm. It doesn’t matter the season either as most of Northern Europe is temperate and remains cool year round. This means comfortable day time temperatures during the day and chilly evenings in the summer.
I have a number of sweaters, but my favorites are from organic materials like wool or Alpaca. It’s even become my favorite travel souvenir and I treasure my Scottish wool and Peruvian Alpaca sweaters.
Traveling to pick up a sweater may not be the most practical thing, however, you can still find a great sweater at home. I love this recycled one from Patagonia, one of our favorite outdoor brands.
6. Down Jacket
This is an essential travel item that everyone should throw in their bag. One of the best packable down jackets is one of the most versatile travel items on the market.
When layered it can handle cold winter weather, but it’s also light enough to be worn on a cool evening. It’s a lifesaver for that impromptu trip to Iceland or the Faroe Islands. It’s great for summer in Europe too as the Alps and Nordic countries are still very cool in the summer so having a warm jacket is always appreciated.
7.) Rain Jacket
No matter the season a rain jacket is always essential for traveling to Europe (and the rest of the world). We both have rain jackets made by Kathmandu. They are lightweight, durable, packable, waterproof, and windproof.
There are many outdoor activities in Europe that require some activewear to enjoy. So, when you’re wondering what to wear in Europe consider packing at least one active outfit. Not to mention it’s great to stay in shape while traveling.
Tasha’s favorite brand of activewear is Alala. Alala makes top quality yoga pants, sports bras, and comfortable tops. *Use the code TWP15 at Alala for an exclusive 15% discount.
If you’re planning on doing a hike in the Alps make sure to get a good hiking backpack. For men, it’s time to ditch the baggy basketball shorts and opt for a shorter cut running short (not an 80’s cut). Cameron loves the running shorts made by New Balance with a lining designed for cool runs.
As for the running shoes, we’re fans of Brooks and Mizunos and have put in hundreds of miles in both shoes.
Jeans go with anything, and despite the notion, they are “American” casual the right pair is attractive. I see jeans everywhere I travel as well, and it’s definitely not just Americans wearing them. You’ll find plenty of Europeans in well-cut jeans, but nothing baggy or ripped.
We stick with the classic look in jeans. That means fitted jeans that are a dark color. No fades, light blues, or rips!
Western Eurpoeans are much more stylish than North Americans who prefer casual clothes in publich. A pair of chinos works on both sexes. It’s a classic look that when combined with a sweater, dress shirt, tee shirt, or blouse. When combined with a pair of jeans you’ll be able to mix and match your wardrobe to be appropriate for a multitude of environments.
The color also depends on the region in places like the British Isles (Ireland, Scotland, England) stick with darker colors like brown, grey, and even black. The more stylish Nordic countries are open to pops of color like a deep red, green, or even blue. Then you have Southern Mediterranean countries like Southern Spain or Italy where a pair of pastel chinos like pink, yellow, or periwinkle are right at home, you can even go white.
11. Hiking Pants
Of course, it all depends on the season and what you’re up, but if you’re traveling in the summer or have plans to go trekking in one of Europe’s many mountain ranges pack a pair of hiking pants. Lightweight pants that are made from synthetic material are tremendous to have in your pack. There are many kinds that work as a more casual pant and will be just as comfortable on the city streets as the mountains.
12.) Leather Boots
These are great all year round as you can never go wrong with a pair of leather boots. Women can wear them with a pair of chinos and a blouse while men can pair them with just about anything from jeans, chinos, and even a suit.
With the right pair of boots, you’ll be ready to climb the Alps, stroll through The Louvre, or eat to your heart’s content in Italy.
I’m a leather boot fiend and love a classic boot. For an affordable option check out Clark’s or Timberland for leather boots. However, if you want quality and boots to last a lifetime check out Chippewa, Danner, or Red Wings boots all manufactured by hand in the United States.
13.) ExOfficio Underwear
These underwear are well known for their Quick-drying, lightweight, and odor resistant technology.
What’s great about these are they can be washed in a bathroom sink at night only to dry by morning the next day, so feasibly you could travel with only one or two pairs of underwear. Full disclosure we still travel around with several pairs of regular cotton undies, but having a pair of these for dirty clothes emergencies comes in handy.
14.) Wool Socks
We’ve learned to love our feet with a good pair of socks. You will want to keep your feet nice and dry while you walk around. Most importantly wool socks stay fresh for several days as they have natural antimicrobial properties.
We travel with a couple pairs of the Darn Tough Merino socks and our feet have never felt cold or wet. As a bonus, they’re produced in Vermont!
15.) Backpack or Suitcase
Whether you’re backpacking around Europe, skiing in the Alps, or traveling for business you will be need something to keep some form of luggage. I travel with the Osprey Farpoint and love it for its durability and ability to zip up the straps when flying.
Cameron has converted to a stylish duffel bag and hasn’t looked back since.
Men’s Packing List for Europe
16.) Dress Shirt
I’d look pretty ridiculous wearing a T-shirt or a flannel out to a nice meal in Europe. Men should pack at least one or two dress shirts for a trip to Europe. I like to stick with a classic color like blue or white that will never go out of style.
I recently ordered a new selection of shirts and ties from the Tie Bar and so far I’ve loved my clothes. All stylish, nice quality, and affordable. Plus their online website makes it easy to order a new wardrobe with suggestions for what matches and inspirations for outfits.
17.) Technical Shirt
A technical long sleeve shirt looks great and is typically well constructed. You should look for a nice blend of synthetic materials that allow for quick drying and ventilation in the hot sun. A long sleeve shirt like this allows for greater comfort moving from chilly mornings into hot days. It’s a great travel shirt as it avoid wrinkles, resist stains, and looks better than relaxed tee.
Hanging out in a classic European city like Rome, Paris, or Amsterdam demands a suit. Whether standing at a cafe bar, sipping cocktails in Copenhagen, or sitting down for a fantastic meal in Scotland, or catching a show at the Paris Opera there is no denying it’s best done in a suit. Check out these options from Perry Ellis.
The right watch is the perfect accessory for men. I’m not a fan of big gold or silver watches and find them to be overstated. Opt for something more stylish and modern like this leather and silver watch. As a plus, they’ll match a pair of brown boots lending to more versatility in everyday life. I just picked up this one from Michael Kors and think it’s a perfect blend between casual and formal.
Women’s Packing List For Europe
For those European summers, it’s a tremendous idea to have a comfortable sundress. Not only is it more comfortable, but it’s also cute. Tasha got the Cantine Dress from prAna this year and has loved the sundress.
It has built in support and sturdy straps, so you can be active in this dress. It’s even possible to take easy hikes in the dress, like along the Cinque Terre in Italy.
21.) Tank Tops
A few comfortable tank tops and shirts are always in my bag and they’re perfect for European Summers. I typically pack solid colors so that they can with everything. They’re super functional clothes that can be worn under a blouse or alone with a pair of jeans or capris.
This all depends on the season, but in the spring or summer a pair of capris are perfect for European cities. Women gravitate towards light colors during this time so go with a white or pastel colored capri.
Make sure to pack a nice black dress for nights out. It’s a travel staple and takes up almost no room in your suitcase.
24.) Sun Hat
It gets sunny in Europe, and unless you’re walking around museums you will be outside most of the day. Make sure to protect your face with a nice sun hat.
You’ll need a light top to pair with you capris or jeans. Most women should shy away from graphic tees or short sleeve shirts instead use a light blouse to keep cool during the day. It’s a perfect item to wear in the summer as the right blouse is super cool and comfortable.
26.) Black Flats
A pair of black flats is always great to have in a suitcase. They’re stylish comfortable and they take up minimal space in your luggage. My tip, stay away from heels, many European towns have cobblestone streets and you don’t want to break an ankle trying to look good. Just let the locals impress you with their skills of walking in heels.
27.) Sports Bras
No need for push up bras when you’re active. I always bring a few pairs of sports bras when I’m traveling. It’s easy to forget bringing a sports bra as you might not be headed to the gym, but they’re tremendous for active or hot summer days.
Europeans love their accessories and that does not stop with the handbag. Tasha likes to bring one bag with a little bit of size to make it through the trip. If she’s going out she’ll carry a small clutch.
Why a bigger bag? Well, chances are you will want to buy some souvenirs and stash it somewhere.
29.) A Shawl
There are a lot of churches in Europe, a lot, so a shawl is a great item to have to cover your shoulders when entering a cathedral or church.
What to Pack for Europe in the Summer
We always recommend bringing a travel towel when you’re on the road, Europe is no exception. If you plan on staying in hostels or more budget accommodation you’ll often need your own towel. Also, if you head to the beach or want to take a hike it never hurt to have a towel packed away in your day bag. Consider a towel an essential for your Europe packing list.
The biggest complaint about travel towels is that they often feel nothing like the plush cotton towels we are accustomed to at home and in hotels. However, with the PackTowl you can forget about all of that because they set out to create a towel that mimics its cotton counterparts with the technical features of a travel towel.
Skin cancer is for real! Don’t forget your SPF during the summer. We recommend ordering some online before leaving the house as you will need it underneath the sun.
We highly recommend getting an eco friendly sun cream that does not contain harmful chemicals. They’re mineral based and usually only cost a few dollars more to help protect our oceans.
If you’re not going to swim in the ocean or lakes just go with a reliable name brand. You can learn more about eco-friendly travel products here!
32.) Beach Tote
No matter what you will need a beach bag when heading to the beach. This is to throw in anything like towels, a book, a speaker, sunglasses, snacks, and sunscreen. As full-time travelers, we often use our daypacks for trips to the beach since a tote is unnecessary.
However, a classic tote that everyone as they travel well as and can fold flat/lie in your luggage. For family beach goers I recommend a large yet durable beach tote like this one.
Sandals are meant for the beach in Europe, but considering how much gorgeous coastline the Mediterranean as you’ll probably need a pair. A good pair of sandals is great for walking around an Italian seaside town in the Mediterranean.
34.) Bathing Suit
Cliff jumping in Cyprus? Sailing in the Mediterranean? You’ll want some nice beach essentials in your summer packing list for Europe! If you’re heading to the Mediterranean obviously the number one thing you need is a swimsuit! We like to travel with two different swimsuits so that we know we will always have an extra dry one on hand.
One of Tasha’s favorite brands for swimsuits is prAna. prAna makes high-quality swimsuits for active women. Many of their pieces are stylish, yet supportive. So if you’re planning to go surfing, bodyboarding, kitesurfing, or play beach volleyball and want to make sure your ta-tas stay intact these swimsuits are for you.
For men, I would say one to two is a good number of swimsuits to travel to the beach with as well. Cameron loves a good pair of board shorts from Billabong or Dakine. Both make great quality shorts that are lightweight and built for surfing so they stretch and move with the body.
When purchasing board shorts it’s best to stick with darker colors as they hold up longer and to get a shorter cut above the knee. As for material a great blend of polyester and elastane is a solid choice as it’s lightweight and comfortable.
35.) Beach Cover Up
A cover-up is one of those vacation clothes you should always travel with. Not only do they look cute but they will also protect you from the suns harsh rays. Many establishments don’t allow beachgoers to wear just a swimsuit so this is where the cover-up is essential when heading to a restaurant on the coast.
Most of my cover-ups come from Pitusa. Pitusa only uses Peruvian and Indian cotton and employs women from Peru, Bali, and India to make the products. As a fan of fair trade, I love that these are made in ethical work environments.
These Pitusa dresses are also so beautiful they double as a night out dress (but are sheer so wear something underneath). Men, on the other hand, can never go wrong with a classic white t-shirt, plus it shows off your tan.
Europe Packing List in the Winter
It all depends on where you’re traveling, but most of Europe’s cities are very stylish. A peacoat is great for providing warmth and looking great. While we love our down jackets for their warmth and conveinence they aren’t the best looking things in the world and you’d look pretty silly wearing one with a dress or suit.
37.) Warm Fleece
Of course, what you wear all depends on where you are traveling in Europe! Patagonia’s Synchilla Snap T Pullover fleece is the best fleeces for the travel in our opinion. The fleece has a classic relaxed cut that has a timeless look for a walk on the beach or evening bonfire.
It’s a double-sided fleece that provides plenty of warmth while remaining soft and comfortable. They also make a great gift for travelers as they’re a wardrobe staple.
38.) Sorel Boot
These are only necessary if your vacation involves cold weather snow activities. Things like sledding with the family, skiing or snowboarding, snowshoeing, dogsledding, and trekking through the forest are all good reasons to pack a good pair of heavy duty non-slip boots that rise up higher than the ankle as you don’t want a foot full of snow!
We just bought our first pairs of Sorels since we moved to Canada. They are the best boots for a snowy European winter in Finland, Norway, or the Alps. They are expensive, but for that price you’re getting waterproof boots that are rated for -40 weather.
39.) Triple F.A.T. Goose Down Parka
Europe’s climate varies a lot! In the winter months you’ll find easy going weather in Sicily, but head up to Finland or Norway and you’ll freeze your ass off. In mild winter destinations, you will be able to get by with a packable down jacket or a great fleece jacket, as they are warm and lightweight.
I suggest picking one main jacket for your trip to Europe so think about your itinerary. Winter jackets are often heavy and take up a lot of space. As much as you may want to bring a few different winter jackets for options it’s best to settle on just one. Plan to wear the jacket on the plane as a heavy winter coat can easily occupy half your luggage.
A good winter jacket should be waterproof, windproof, warm, and have a hood. A solid shell is important as it’s your first line of defense between you and the cold. You’ll be wearing this winter jacket just about every day so make sure you like it.
If you stick with a neutral color it provides more outfit options. Black goes with anything and everything so whether you’re a boy or a girl it’s a good color option.
For those on an active ski or snowboard trip, bright colors are a little more acceptable, but once you leave the ski resort you will stand out. I sure do in my bright pink and orange jacket and occasionally I wish I had just picked a neutral color like black, white, or grey.
40.) Thermal Layers
Underlayers are what will be the closest to your body. They provide your first stage of warmth and will maintain your body heat. These include long sleeved thermals and underwear.
We’ve tried a few different brands, but have recently settled on Kora for our favorite pairs of thermals. It may be best for us as we need something technical when we snowboard or climb mountains to wick away moisture from our bodies. Kora makes high-performance technical clothing out of quality Yak Wool from the Himalayas. They are high priced but totally worth it as they last for ages!
For base layers we recommend they fit snug are made from a non cotton material like nylon or wool. We’ve had a lot of baselayers, but our favorites are wool based layers from Helly Hansen, Smartwool, Black Diamond, and the yak wool from Kora.
41.) A Scarf
This is a travel staple and a great wardrobe choice for both women and men traveling in Europe. They act as an accessory to your outfit and they’re super comfortable giving you an added layer of warmth.
Again, when it comes to both fashion and comfort, spring in Europe is all about layering. Scarves are especially great for travelers: They can spice up an outfit that you’ve already worn three days in a row and can be thrown into a bag or purse to pull out when the sun sets and the weather gets chilly.
42.) Mittens or Gloves
With such a varied climate you really have to consider your itinerary and time of year. In most of Europe’s major cities, I’d suggest a stylish pair of gloves with e-tips. The e-tips or e-touch is important as you’ll often have to look at your phone when exploring a new city for directions if you get lost.
Mittens are the only way to go if you’re in a frigid environment. They’re superior to gloves as they keep your fingers together and reduce surface space to the cold air. If you have plans for Nordic countries in the winter these are a must!
Europe Packing List Accessories
This one is for the ladies, and I wanted to make note of it for anyone still wondering what to pack for a trip to Europe. If you’re coming from America the makeup in Europe can be expensive in comparison to prices in the States.
My first trip to Europe was almost a year long so I made sure I had enough mascara, eyeliner, and face powder to get me through that year without spending a fortune for my favorite brand.
You’ll need something to stash your photography gear, hand sanitizers, papers, phones, and anything else that you need for a full day out when traveling.
45.) Europe Guidebook
As Lonely Planet Pathfinders who regularly go on assignment for the guidebook company we love to have a physical guidebook when traveling. We spend enough time attached to our phones in everyday life and planning our trips. Once we reach a destination like Europe we put the phone away and pick up a guidebook to help with our trip.
46.) Travel Pillow
We’ve suffered through enough red-eye flights to never forget to pack a travel pillow for international flights. My favorite travel pillow is the Cabeau Evolution Pillow, but we break down more of our favorite travel pillows here.
47.) Water bottle
Traveling with fresh water in hand is important as it is easy to get dehydrated when out. We like to use insulated stainless steel water bottles at because they are well insulated and great for the environment reducing plastic waste.
48.) Packing Cubes
Packing cubes are great for any backpack or suitcase. They keep all of your clothes and toiletries organized. I’ve had these Eagle Creek cubes for three years now and think they were worth the investment to stay organized and create space in my luggage.
49.) Passport Holder
For the women, I suggest traveling with a theft-proof purse that is black and stylish to hold belongings. Cameron has a great passport wallet that holds his passport and credit cards so he never leaves it anywhere.
50.) Ear Plugs
These are small but essential travel necessities for Europe as they can be crucial to your sleep. Whether you’re flying in business class or sleeping in a hostel a good pair of earplugs will help you sleep.
You also never know if you may have noisy neighbors, have a room on the gronud
51.) Hanging Toiletry Bag
It’s always a good idea to keep your toiletries organized and separated from your clothes. So we love always travel with a toilety bag; however, European bathrooms can be cramped and small. If you are limited on counter space a great option is to buy a hanging toiletry bag. This style of bag tends to a have better organization system with a variety of sections for storage than the traditional option.
Electronics To Pack For Europe
52.) Travel Adaptor
You will definitely need an adaptor for your electronics on your packing list for Europe. We always keep one handy in our carry-on bags, that way we can charge electronics on arrival or at the airport.
You’ll need the British “Type G” three prong adaptor for the United Kingdom. However, most of Europe uses the Type C, F, and E adaptor.Check out the one I have which is good for all of Europe.
The exception is if you’re going to Switzerland where you may need the Type J Adapter.
A high-quality camera is an important packing item for Europe if you want some great shots while on your vacation We travel with a bunch of cameras, but the one we universally recommend is the RX 100.
They make a number of models at different price points, but it’s a simple to use point-and-shoot camera that anyone can operate. It also takes superb images with a 20mp resolution and full manual controls.
Camera Gear We Use
- Fuji X-T3 – Main Travel Camera // (on B&H)
- Fuji X Series Lenses
- Sony RX100 V // (on B&H)
- Fuji X-T20 – Backup Camera // (on B&H)
- GoPro Max // (on B&H)
- DJI Mavic 2 Pro Drone // (on B&H)
- Lowe Pro Whistler 450
- Peak Design Camera Sling
- Peak Design Travel Backpack
- Peak Design Clip
- Rode Video Mic – For Vlogging
- For Cinematic Shots: Zhiyun Crane V2
- Peak Designs Travel Tripod
- For Storage: LaCie Rugged 4TB USB-C
- For Editing: Macbook 15″ Pro Retina
54.) Kindle Paperwhite
While I love having a good real book when I travel sometimes it’s just not practical because of the weight. I’ve recently switched to a Kindle Paperwhite which is small and compact, plus it has a backlight for reading at night without a harsh glare.
The Paperwhite version is great as they mimic a real book and you can read them in the sun.
Many of the big tourist sites have self-guided tours. Like the Museums and UNESCO World Heritage Sites, I find it’s always nice to have your own personal earbuds to stick into your ear for these tours. No one wants to stick dirty headphones over their head or use disposable ones that you’ll toss away after, just wasteful.
56.) Laptop and Hard Drive
As a blogger, my laptop is my life. It’s one of the few possessions that I own so of course, I travel around Europe with one. I’m an Apple person so naturally, I have a Macbook Pro to get me around. If you’re in the market I’d suggest reading up on our favorite travel laptops.
We travel with three (yes three) Seagate external hard drives to house all our photos and videos. That may be excessive, but we take a lot of photo and video. Most travelers will just need something simple like a thumb drive for storage.
57.) D-Link Wireless Range Extender
This is helpful for extending the range of the WiFi in your guesthouse, hotel, or hostel. As someone who works online I consider this a travel essential for Europe. You’ll never have to fight for hours with WiFi again!
58.) Portable Charger
I love traveling with a power bank to make sure my phone never dies. The majority of the time I don’t need to use it on long flights as some of the nicer airlines provide entertainment systems with USB ports! We also make sure to find a charging point during layovers, but getting to a new city without your hotel reservations and map can be a major pain in the ass.
You Definitely Need This on Your Europe Packing List
59.) Travel Insurance
We never travel without travel insurance with World Nomads. Natasha is a bit of a worry wart and would rather stay safe than sorry. World Nomads offers incredible flexible and great plans! You never know if the worse could happen while you’re abroad and often your insurance plan at home will not cover medical emergencies abroad. Having the peace of mind that we have good backup plan helps us sleep at night.
How to Pack for Europe?
It’s important to determine when and where you will be traveling before you decide what to pack in your suitcase. Don’t forget to take into account seasons in Europe and regional climates. For instance, having a thick down jacket in the Mediterranean may be overkill in the winter.
Check the forecast before you pack your suitcase!
Many places in Europe can get hot during the summer, only to turn to freezing temperatures in the winter months. Northern Europe can be a bit milder. I’ll never forget to get cold on the streets of London in the middle of their summer. That’s why I always suggest packing in layers and bringing at least one warm-weather outfit wherever you go.
Europeans are stylish, so no hiking clothes please unless you want to be pegged as a tourist. Somewhere along the line, the idea came about that backpacking in Europe means you’re some adventurer tackling mountains, not cities. Take that into consideration when you are planning for dinner and night dates out. Find clothes that are versatile, comfortable, and look good. My number one clothing packing tip for Europe is to remember that…
Black is always in season!
I would also always pack a few pairs of shoes for any trip to Europe. Good walking shoes are essential, as well as flip-flops if you’re staying in hostels, flats or heels for women, and a pair of loafers or something similar for men. You’ll be walking around cities quite a bit so always take that into consideration.
What Not to Pack for Europe?
Tons of Cash
If I can give you just one packing tip for Europe it would be to chill out on the cash. Travel to Europe with enough cash to get you by for a day or so. We don’t recommend you travel with an excessive amount of cash in your luggage.
ATM’s are prevalent and often give a flat exchange rate. This saves you the liability of walking around with cash. So, forget the stupid travel wallet and carry a normal one in a front pocket.
This shouldn’t need to be said, but please do not wear a fanny pack it’s 2019.
Bright Neon Colors
Before I left for my first trip around the world I colored my hair brown to “blend in.” While I was wanting to blend in I still brought hot pink and lime green shirts to Denmark, Germany, and Holland. Needless to say, I stuck out like a sore thumb. Neutral colors work best.
And don’t color your hair darker, like me!
We touched on this earlier, but it should be noted that athletic clothes are meant for the gym or being active. Walking around in a pair of athletic shorts, tank top, or running shoes is frowned upon by most Europeans.
Don’t get me wrong you can wear what you want when it’s hot out, but you’ll be instantly pegged for being a tourist. Of course, there are exceptions to these rules as we’ve definitely seen 100+ degree weather days in Europe.
When you travel anywhere we suggest leaving valuable jewelry at home. When you do travel with expensive items make sure to save it for special occasions and store in the hotel safe. Sometimes, we store large sums of cash or expensive items in the hotel’s master safe, just ask the front desk. If you want to wear jewelry stick with simple pieces that don’t draw a lot of attention.
For the most part, you’ll find shorts on very few Europeans, as in almost none. That being said attitudes are changing and with global warming I’m sure they’ll warm up to the idea, pun intended. For the most part ditch the shorts unless the heat is truly oppressive.
Boys – please don’t get caught in a baseball hat in Europe, you will 100% be pegged for as an American tourist – and not in a good way. You’ll see some Europeans and maybe Italians in flat bill hats from the American Hip-Hop culture. However, that is by no means the average European.
White Athletic Socks
Europeans do not wear white socks. Try to wear patterns, black socks, or to match your socks to your pants.
Final Summary On What To Pack for Europe
You don’t need to pack everything on this list! Instead, base the packing list off of where you’re headed and what you’ll be doing in Europe.
Of course, there are no hard rules here and packing doesn’t need to be stressful, nor do you need to buy all new stuff. We make suggestions here and I’m sure you’ve got similar items in your closet at home. There are also a lot of duh items missing on this list, like a toothbrush!
My advice is to pack a few wardrobe staples and go easy on the luggage. They’re timeless and with the right selection you can mix and match clothes. This will keep your luggage light while having a multitude of outfits for different occasions. The key is finding items that are versatile and having an idea of the season/climate of your trip.
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