The best packing advice I ever received is this: Pack as if you are going for 10 days. Why? Because it is much easier to pack for a 10-day trip than a long-term international trip. You can do laundry every week or so. When you think about it that way, it makes packing much more manageable. Here’s the full list of items I brought with me for three months in Europe. You can check out the places visited on my backpacking Europe itinerary. The beauty of the travel packing list below is that it can be used on a two-week trip to Europe or even a round the world trip.
- All clothing items should match. Neutral colors are best.
- Roll (don’t fold) your clothes and use packing cubes.
- Pack a comfortable pair of shoes in addition to tennis shoes (Converses, TOMS, etc.). They are a bit more fashionable than tennis shoes for when your feet have had enough of those cute sandals!
- Avoid packing cosmetic jewelry. A simple pair of earrings and watch will suffice.
- Use mini bottles for toiletries. You can restock at local grocery/convenience stores throughout your trip.
- Remember, you can mail items home and/or purchase clothes during your trip. So avoid packing a heavy jacket if you don’t need it until your last month.
- There is no shortage of laundry mats in Europe. Pack less and do laundry more.
Backpack and bags
- The backpack: Osprey Kyte 46 Pack – Women’s *I truly believe this is the BEST travel backpack for Europe. It’s extremely comfortable and light. It fits under your feet when traveling on a crowded train, or you can easily throw it on a luggage rack. And best of all? Most airlines consider it a carry on backpack.
- The day bag: Longchamp Le Pliage Large Tote
- The night bag: Fossil Crossbody Purse
- Quick-dry towel
- Thin sleeping sheet (perfect for not-so-clean-hostels. Learn how to choose the right hostel)
- Brita Water Bottle (with interior filter)
- Travel Pouch (Passport and Ticket Holder)
- Foldable clothesline
- Sink stopper
- Lonely Planet Western Europe Guide Book
- Lonely Planet Central Europe Guide Book
- Waterproof watch
- Mesh laundry bag
- Silk pillowcase
- Mini bottle of wrinkle release
- Passport (plus two copies)
- Drivers license (plus two copies)
- International drivers license
- Eurail train pass
- Basic toiletries (plus one pink nail polish)
- Makeup (travel size basics)
- 1 North Face Women’s Fastpack Wind Jacket
- 1 lightweight green jacket
- 2 short rompers (one black and one black/white)**Ended up mailing one home.
- 1 long romper (black/white)
- 2 dresses (one black and one black/white stripes)
- 2 pants (one black jeans and one blue jeans)
- 4 short sleeve tops (one pink cotton, one grey cotton, one teal cotton and one black silk)**Ended up mailing the teal shirt home and buying a blue cotton t-shirt.
- 1 grey tank top
- 1 grey cotton long sleeve top
- 8 pairs of underwear
- 2 sports bras
- 2 real bras (black and nude)
- 3 pairs of socks
- 1 pair of black Nike shorts
- 1 pair of black Nike pants
- 1 black bandeau
- 1 black cardigan
- 1 black/white scarf
- 1 black pajama romper
- 1 swimsuit
- 1 black floppy hat **Ended up mailing home.
- Black Steve Madden sandals**Ended up switching out for white Converses.
- Brown Steve Madden sandals
- Black flip flops **Used as shower shoes.
- Nike tennis shoes
- Black ballet flats
Here are a few more travel planning resources:
- How to plan a long-term trip
- A Three-Month Itinerary
- A 14-Day Itinerary to Five European Capital Cities
- Five Easy Ways to Save Money, Spend Less and Travel More
- Why I Chose to Backpack Europe [and how you can too!]
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