Sunday, October 23, 2016

What To Pack For A Summer in Europe?

So you've booked your flight ticket, totally overwhelmed by the excitement, you can almost see yourself stuffing your face into all those beautiful pastries in Paris... and then, here comes the tough question: What should I pack

I've used this Checklist for all my previous trips to Europe (and survived) so I think it is rather complete. Don't be too stressed out if you forgot 1 or 2 things, you can always buy them in Europe (except your documents and bank cards.. don't forget those.). Let me know in the comment section if you have more tips to share! Thank you in advance!


Don’t be fooled by European Summer! Rain is frequent especially in the north and the west, plus, wind is strong! Hence, expect a few days of cold weather even during the height of summer! Pack in a light weight coat and hold a warmer jacket for the flight. 


You probably wouldn’t need a wool sweater for Summer but nevertheless, pack at least 2 long sleeves clothes in. Long-sleeve button-up shirts are not only fashionable, it can also be doubled up as a coat.


It is safe to say that one-piece dresses or jumpsuits are female travelers’ favorite travel outfit. Why? Because then you won’t have to spend too long on mix and match! Other than that, if you feel like wearing jeans that day, just tuck the dress in and Voila, you have a whole new different look! Also, prepare 1 set of nice clothes for evenings and nights out.
Below is one example of how I wear my dress as a top for a more versatile look. 


Bring a few casual tops or T-shirts that can be easily layered together. 


Stretchy comfortable and (preferably) fashionable pants go a long way. Other than that, pack in 1 or 2 dark slim-fit jeans. Those jeans are the king to mix-and-match and they won't get dirty too easily (unless you spill something), you don't need to wash them often. Bring shorts or shirts too if you feel like it. 


Preferably a pair of nightwear that can be double up as casual daywear
I actually wear this shirt to bed.


Although you're going to be on your feet a lot in Europe, you really do not need to go overboard with shoes. 

  • A sturdy pair of comfortable walking shoes (Sports Shoes)
    to hike and walk on the cobbled streets
  • a pair of flip-flop sandals
    for the beaches and the hostel shower. 
  • Don’t forget at least 3 pairs of socks!I usually avoid cotton socks because it won't dry quick enough once wet. 


  • Underwear I believe 5-6 pairs is enough. Wash them whenever you get the chance. 
  • RaincoatInstead of an umbrella, bring a raincoat to save on your luggage space and weight. 
  • Swimwearand hit the beaches!


Remember, less is more. 
  • Bobby pins Useful for easy travel hairstyle
  • 1 simple earrings, 1-2 understated necklaceJust enough to glam up any outfits. 
  • 1 scarf This is important for you to cover your shoulder and hair when entering churches or mosques. 
  • 1 large crossbody bag/ handbagTo keep all the most important stuff. 
  • SunglassesSo that I don't need to squint my (already small) eyes, bring a good one.  
  • Sleep mask, earplugs, and travel pillowYou'll thank me later. Especially when you encounter multiple snorers in your 16-person dorm. A travel pillow saves you from neck pain when traveling long distance on a bus/train/plane. 


  • Mobile phone and chargers
  • Camera and SD cards
  • Portable chargerThis is useful if you are a heavy phone user and need to access the offline map 24/7 or you'll be lost, so my case. 
  • 2-4 universal converters 1 for the phone, 1 for the camera, another 2 (optional) for the laptop and portable charger. 
  • Laptop If you need to work on the road like me or you need to upload and store photos safely during your trip. 
  • Camera standIn my case, I always bring a small camera stand the size of my palm. It is extremely useful when taking your own pictures. I used to travel without one, putting my camera on the ground but then I realize that this actually caused damage to my camera. 


  • PadlocksSome hostel might have them for rent but it doesn't hurt to bring 1 or 2. You might need them in the bus or train too. 


  • Small medicine bag Include the essentials: What should I pack in my medicine bag
  • Sunscreen and vaselineIt is important to take good care of your skin in order to prevent skin cancer. 
  • Feminine products for womenNormally you will be able to find pads and panty liners in local stores, however, due to traveling stress, climate change, and body adaptation, your period might come knocking on the door earlier than it should. To avoid a bloody scene, always bring some with you. 
  • Insect repellentEspecially if you are going to hike or camp, you'll need this. 


  • Travel towelPurchasing a quick-drying towel is a smart move. Not only that it absorbs well, it drys quickly so that we wouldn't have to pack a moist towel into our backpack and stink up the rest of our stuff. 
  • A small bottle of travel shampoo, toothbrush, and toothpaste
  • Wet Tissues 
  • dry shampooThis is not a must but it comes in handy when we have consecutive night bus journeys and still wants to look like we actually bathed. 
  • CosmeticsKeep it to minimal. A lipstick and eyeliner will be good enough. 


Before the trip, make photocopies of all the documents below and arrange them nicely in a travel document wallet. You should also leave a copy back home with your loved ones, in case of emergency. 
  • Passport
  • Flight booking confirmation
  • ID (Drivers license, IC card or student card)
  • Travel insurance


  • Money You really do not need to bring too much cash with you -- it is actually dangerous to do so (robbery, snatch theft, pickpockets...)! Most stores accept debit cards, so why do we need to risk it? I normally only keep 20-40 Euros in cash with me and if I need more, I'll just make an ATM stop.  
  • Bank cardsDon't forget to activate overseas banking! I use a Citibank debit card and I don't remember having to pay any extra service fees during cash withdrawal.  


  • Sleeping bagWhile most hostel sheets were clean, I just couldn't risk it especially after an episode of bed mites encounter. Moreover, a sleeping bag helps to ensure better sleep quality on night buses and night trains. Other than that, some hostel in Europe rent out bedsheets instead of providing them for free. If you have your own sleeping bags, you'll be able to save a few Euros

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