So you’re getting ready for the European adventure of your dreams. You got your airline ticket, your passport is ready and you have some tentative sites you’d like to see. But how on Earth are you supposed to pack? From the Alps to the Mediterranean beaches, it can seem overwhelming to get everything you need into one suitcase. Luckily, we’ve broken it down for you into this list of the things you shouldn’t forget. Traveling the world has never been easier and with this packing list, you can be sure you will have the time of your life.
If you haven’t already figured it out there’s a lot of walking involved in a European vacation. Never mind navigating an airport and going from terminal to terminal once you arrive across the Atlantic walking is going to be your primary mode of transportation. Certainly there will be buses and trains and taxis but when you want to explore museums churches and ancient sites you’re going to be on foot. It is not uncommon to walk up to five miles a day on a European vacation and that’s if you stay in town. With all that walking you’re going to want a pair of supportive shoes. Might we suggest comfortable sandals? It may sound shocking to consider sandals as your prime footwear option but hear us out. You can find sandals that are equally stylish and supportive that will be perfect for traveling. Some walking sandals like Viakik sandals for women even offer excellent arch support. With an outer sole with thick tread to keep your feet protected from the cobblestone roads and different terrains plus excellent support, these sandals will make your trip easier.
Sandals offer the benefit of being easy to put on and off when needed and will keep your feet cool and not stinky. You can easily wear them on a hike or to the beach but can also be dressed up for more formal affairs, making them the perfect day into night footwear option. If sandals get wet in a rainstorm they will dry much quicker than an athletic shoe or boots certainly. They also have the benefit of being lightweight and easy to pack, so they won’t take up extra room in your suitcase that you could use for souvenirs, that is, if you decide you need an extra footwear option but if you choose the right sandal you probably won’t need to!
Do not bring new shoes with you to Europe! Your vacation is not the time to be breaking in new shoes since doing so will run the risk of blisters and pain. You most certainly do not want to have your vacation spoiled by stressed-out feet, so choose your footwear wisely!
Dresses or Skirts
It can be hard to know what to wear on vacation, you, of course, want to be comfortable but also look nice. Dresses or skirts are going to give you the benefit of looking more put together and not frumpy. Whether you’re looking at Renaissance art in a museum or dining in Paris, you’re going to want to look more put together then a pair of shorts and a t-shirt can offer.
Packing two or three dresses will give you options and will take up less room in a suitcase then pants shorts and shirts. (Plus, since shorts aren’t popular in Europe you won’t stand out as an obvious tourist.) European culture is still very traditional especially as you travel to the more rural towns and villages. You can show them you’re respectful by wearing a dress.
Dresses also have the benefit of being cooler to wear. Have you ever been on a packed non-air-conditioned bus before? Trust us a dress is a great option. Opt for wrinkle-resistant fabrics so that you won’t have to spend time ironing when you could be exploring Switzerland.
A Cardigan or Jacket Option
Especially if your dresses are sleeveless, you are going to want to pack a coordinating cardigan sweater for times when you may find yourself chilly, or just when you have the need to cover your shoulders. As odd as it may seem with our current cultural norms, there are churches and other places in Europe that will require you to cover your shoulders before you can enter.
Having a cardigan or two will allow you to mix and match with your packed dresses, creating multiple different looks in a travel-sized capsule wardrobe. Depending on your travel plans and the expected weather a rain jacket may also be a great addition to your suitcase. The blustery wind can wreck umbrellas so a raincoat is a safe bet to keep you dry.
The Right Undergarments
While what you’re wearing on the outside is incredibly important you don’t want to skimp on your underwear either. Investing in quality travel underwear is a great idea as it breathable and fast drying. (You’ll most likely want to do laundry during your trip so fast drying is super handy.) Typically travel underwear is resistant to odors as well as being incredibly durable.
No matter what type of underwear you prefer make absolutely certain that it fits comfortably. If your underwear is uncomfortable it is likely that you will find yourself uncomfortable for the bulk of your vacation. Smart travelers know that good travel underwear is worth the investment!
When you’re packing light you will have extra room for all manner of accessories that can spruce up your wardrobe and have you feeling and looking great as you explore. With a single jewelry roll you can switch around bracelets, necklaces, and earrings to create many different looks as well as help dress you up for a night on the town.
Sunglasses are an easy option to pack and with two different stylish pairs can change an outfit up completely. Sunglasses will also protect your eyes from sun damage making them especially important if your travels will take you high in the mountains or visiting a beach.
These accessories can make or break your outfit and definitely help you feel like you’re wearing a brand new outfit even with your limited options you’ll repeat over several days. Also popular in Europe are fancy wristwatches so bring your watch if you want to blend in.
Have A Great Trip
Now that you have some ideas on how to best pack for a successful European adventure you can start preparing and gathering your favorite items. Start breaking in your sandals, buy a couple of new dresses and some fresh underthings and get ready for a vacation you won’t soon forget, safe travels!