Travel Essentials to Pack for a Trip to Europe

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Packing for Europe in Summer: 9 Essentials You Need To Bring

Traveling to Europe in the summer is so much fun. You’ve great weather, beaches, attractions, food and so much more to enjoy. Despite the high heat and potential crowds, I would never say no to an opportunity to visit anywhere in Europe during the summer.

While traveling is always fun and exciting, the stress of packing can get to me a little bit. With this last trip, I was determined to be a minimalist and pack a carry-on only so we could easily travel betwen countries if needed without the extra baggage fees.

Now, while I do believe that I did achieve this [although husband would say otherwise since I had to put a few tiny overflow belongings in his bag], it wasn’t easy and I did spent probably a month preparing, watching packing videos and learning how to travel lightweight. There are a few items that made this possible and made our overall travels around Europe easier.


Essentials You Need To Pack for Europe [or anywhere, really] :


1. Universal Adapter

You’ll need one of these to use any of your electronics in Europe. Don’t bother bringing your regular hairdryer or steamer, they won’t work. I learned this the hard way. If you love steaming your clothes, as I do, and you rolled your clothing at the recommendation of every long term traveler out there, you’ll need one. Just pick up an expensive steamer when you land.


2. Dry Bag

Who is going to sit on the beach while the other swims has been a years long dilemma for us. Get yourself one of these and you no longer have to leave someone behind to watch over your stuff. I personally get very stressed leaving our stuff on the beach unattended and even when we try to stay close and keep an eye on everything, it’s just not as fun to frolic in water with one eye on the shore every thirty seconds. Enter…dry bag. Bring your stuff with you and keep your necessities dry without worry about your things being scooped up while you aren’t looking. Barcelona is a top pick pocketing destination in Europe and I would not go to any beach without one of these.

3. A Travel camera

I use this camera for videos, photography, everything and I love it. It’s small enough to fit into any bag or purse and takes excellent RAW or JPEG photos. I use a memory card reader to upload the RAW photos to lightroom on my iPad or iPhone to edit while on go. I personally love editing photos and enjoy hours of editing on plane rides home.

4. Sneakers

You’re going to be walking a lot no matter where you go. I assure you this. If you want to be able to freely explore Europe without complaints of your feet hurting, get yourself some stylish, comfy shoes. I recently bought these from Amazon and I LOVE them. They’re super comfy and versatile and pretty cute for sneakers [I’m not a huge sneaker person].


5. laptop bag

I bought this stylish Longchamp inspired bag on Amazon to carry my laptop, Ipad, chargers, etc and I have it in black, super chic. Seriously, I love it.


6. Turkish Towel

These aren’t just for Goop fans, although I’ll admit the first time I ever heard the term “Turkish Towel” was in relation to being one of Gwyneth Paltrow’s favorite items. The ones she liked were a few thousand dollars, but “totally worth it.” This is the one I have, and it’s perfect for the budget conscious traveler. They are super soft, packable thin towels that can be used as beach towels, shower towels, picnic blankets, even a scarf.


7. Travel Umbrella

Depending where you go, you will likely fave at least a few rainy days while traveling Europe. The weather is unpredictable at best, so it’s best to always plan for potential rain and chilly nights. A light sweater or jacket will work just fine and a small, purse sized umbrella will be a lifesaver.


8. Packing Cubes

Packing cubes are my favorite. I discovered them a few months ago in preparation for this trip and I’m not kidding when I say that they were using these in EVERY video I watched. I bought medium-sized cubes and they are perfect. I also recently ordered some in this size for the smaller nooks and crannies so I can fully maximize all my space. I wouldn’t recommend going any bigger than medium if you’re trying to pack light and have limited space to work with.


This is super helpful for those of us that always forget to charge our phone or are too lazy to search for outlets when we need to charge. This will charge up after your phone charges and extend your battery life by sooo many extra hours. I’ve gone two days without plugging my phone in using this, which is a gamechanger for me. I love external batteries as well, but sometimes I forget to charge it and/or bring it with me. Having a built in extra battery that’s attached and essentailly always with you is very helpful when spending long days out and you need to map your way home or find a dinner spot.

I hope this Europe must-have packing list helps you prepare for your upcoming travels. If you’re planning a long trip, consider getting a backpack like this one for your trip. It distributes weight evenly and you’ll appreciate being able to easily carry it when you’re climbing three levels of a subway station with no stairs or walking the lovely European cobblestone streets. I have it in black.