The ULTIMATE Packing List for Europe – Essentials for 2024

Planning a trip to Europe? Our guide covers the essentials you will need in your packing list for Europe.

This continent is one of our favourites regions of the world to explore.

The ULTIMATE Packing List for Europe – Essentials for 2024

Planning a trip to Europe? Our guide covers the essentials you will need in your packing list for Europe.

This continent is one of our favourites regions of the world to explore.

Hi, we’re Rach & Marty!

We’ve visited every country in the world and want to help you get the most out of your travels!

Whether you need an expertly planned itinerary, some experienced hints and tips, or just craving a delicious food adventure, we’ve got you covered!

Hi, we’re Rach & Marty!

We’ve visited every country in the world and want to help you get the most out of your travels!

Whether you need an expertly planned itinerary, some experienced hints and tips, or just craving a delicious food adventure, we’ve got you covered!

Hi, we’re Rach & Marty!

We’ve visited every country in the world and want to help you get the most out of your travels!

Whether you need an expertly planned itinerary, some experienced hints and tips, or just craving a delicious food adventure, we’ve got you covered!

We may earn affiliate commissions from websites we link to, at no cost to you. Click here for details.

packing list for europe suitcase items

Furthermore, if you’re searching for a Europe packing list that will be light enough to carry so you can easily move around from country to country, then you’re in luck. 

Items on the list below are more focused on a packing list for Europe summer. It’s the ideal Europe backpacking packing list too, as it’s light to carry, yet comprehensive.

However, you may need a few extra layers if you’re travelling during winter. We’ve got a few suggestions to complete the ULTIMATE packing list for Europe for any season.

Travelling around Europe is thrilling! Expect your trip to be full of diversity, adventure, warm hospitality, many beaches, world-class cities, and amazing food! You need to read our food map of Europe before you get there.

With so many countries packed into one amazing continent, do you know how many countries are there in Europe? 44, 45 or 49?

The best part about travelling here is if you forget something on your packing list for Europe, you can easily pick it up on the way. 

Our best tip for your packing list in Europe is – Keep it Light!

Our best tip for preparing your packing list for Europe is that less is more! Trust us, a packing list for backpacking Europe or travelling with a suitcase is much easier when your backpack or luggage is light. 

When travelling around Europe, believe us, you will use many forms of public transport. We firmly believe that travelling in Europe by train is the best, yet the bus network is fantastic to travel between countries too.

We know that each and every traveller is different. If you’re planning to fit as much in as possible and breeze through many countries, it’s critical that your packing list for Europe is similar to this one.

We’ve prepared our packing list for Europe summer so many times as we used to work as tour guides here for many years. Trust us, everything included in our packing list for Europe below gets used frequently. 

At the same time, if you’re planning to go a little slower and stay a little longer in each country, our packing list for Europe has you covered. 

packing list for europe suitcase with stickers
The Ultimate Packing List for Europe.

Ok, let’s get to it! Your Packing List for Europe for 2024

Choosing the Right Travel Bag

Ok, some people are backpack travellers and others are suitcase travellers. The type of luggage to carry items on your packing list for Europe is up to you. To help you out though, we cover the pros and cons of each travel bag in our post Suitcase Vs Backpack – Which one should you choose?

In saying that, choosing a backpack over a suitcase for your packing list for Europe will give you more flexibility. The reason for this is that you will encounter many cobblestoned streets, countless stairs, super small elevators at hotels, or none at all (so heads up for carrying your own suitcase up four flights of stairs).

It is a little easier to navigate all of this if you have a backpack rather than wheeled luggage. Nowadays, you can buy some awesome travel bags that offer both options, like the Osprey Wheels 36 Bag. You can wear this bag as a backpack and then convert it to a rolling bag too. 

packing list for europe martys backpack
The Ultimate Packing list for Europe. This is our Osprey 40L carry-on backpack with everything in it. Weighs less than 10kg. The Europe backpacking packing list you need for summer.

We’ve used many travel bags over the past twenty years. The one we use now is the Osprey Farpoint 40L Backpack and we love it! This is the ideal backpack for your packing list for Europe. 

Do you need a small day pack?

Travelling with a small day pack is a personal choice. We travel with one as we prefer to keep our valuables with us at all times. This is especially important when taking overnight train/bus rides.

We carry this small Osprey day pack

We often lock our large 40L backpack to something stationary when we sleep on overnight trains and our small daypack containing our valuables will remain on our person, inside our silk sleeping sheet while we sleep – it feels much more secure to do this to deter any opportunistic thieves.

When we’re on the move, our small Osprey day pack sits on the front of our body with our Osprey 40L backpack on our backs, this makes it easy to quickly access passports or money.

Choosing your Travel Clothes

As I mentioned at the beginning, this packing list for Europe is focused on being a packing list for Europe summer. The European summer runs from late June to late September and the majority of European countries receive high temperatures during this time. Temperatures range between 25 and 35 degrees Celsius.

The best clothing to choose for your packing list in Europe is light, breathable cotton, clothing you can mix and match, and items that dry quickly.

And, we must admit that our compression packing cubes have been a lifesaver in keeping things organised.

Packing List for Europe: Clothing for WOMEN

Packing List for Europe: Clothing for MEN

Toiletries for Women

We’re lucky to be able to share some toiletries on the road – so it gives one of us a little more room in our backpack. If Marty carries the toiletries, I’ll carry our espresso machine and fresh coffee to share the load.

packing list for europe toiletry bag
Packing list for Europe. Try to keep toiletries to a minimum to reduce weight.

We try to keep toiletries to a minimum as they can be heavy. We also travel with carry-on baggage, therefore, all of our toiletries must be 100ml or less. If you plan on staying in hotels (and even some cool hostels) around Europe, small toiletries will usually be provided.

  • Hanging Toiletry Bag
  • Compression Packing Cubes
  • Small containers (100ml) for refills
  • Shampoo/Conditioner 100ml each
  • Bar of soap
  • shaver/razor (we never have a problem at airports with this in our carry-on)
  • hairbrush
  • Roll-on deodorant
  • Toothpaste & toothbrush
  • exfoliating shower glove (we found these in Morocco..love them)
  • 100ml sized sunscreen – We like Nivea or Neutrogena brands
  • Nivea face moisturiser SPF30
  • Blistex and lip balm
  • A few pieces of makeup (which we rarely use, but sometimes it feels nice to dress up) 1 tube of foundation, bronzing powder, and brush, 1 mascara

Toiletries for Men (as suggested by our male travel buddy)

 Accessories/Extras for our packing list for Europe

Technology/Electronics

If you’re a photographer, digital nomad, or simply can’t live without your MacBook and other electronics, we understand.

We need these things as we work online as we travel the world. Here’s what we take as part of our Europe Packing list, in terms of electronics.

packing list for europe macbook
Our packing list for Europe includes our MacBook and other electronics

Safety in Europe

Travelling around Europe is regarded to be relatively safe, but it’s best to read our 12 Tips for Safe Travel. The same goes for travelling anywhere in the world, accidents do happen.

Some cities in Europe (Rome and Barcelona in particular) have a higher rate of pick-pockets and petty thieves, so you need to be a little more cautious of your belongings.

And it goes without saying that common sense is essential to take in your Europe packing list and beyond.

We 100% recommend Travel Insurance 

We highly recommend you sort out some good travel insurance to cover you when things go wrong.

It will be one of the most essential things on your packing list for Europe. We use Heymondo to cover us on our world travels. We recommend adding one of their comprehensive travel insurance policies to your packing list for Europe. Get 5% discount on your travel insurance policy from us! 

Transport and Getting Around Europe

packing list for europe train travel

Getting from A to B in Europe is easy. Read our best tips about travelling around Europe by Train, it’s a great way to travel this continent.

The ONLY website we use to make reservations for train tickets is Trainline. They offer the cheapest fares, you get instant confirmation and their booking platform is so easy to use.

The best part about travelling Europe is that you can also find some incredibly cheap flights with low-cost carriers.

We book all our flights around Europe on CheapOair. The prices are unbeatable and you can choose to pay in the currency of your choice. 

The bus network in Europe is wonderful too! The best website for checking buses, and other forms of transport is Omio. 

How to Book Accommodation in Europe

We always use the same websites to book accommodation in Europe. Booking.com is our number one choice for booking accommodation in every European country.

Apps to download for Europe

Download these apps on your phone to make your travels in Europe much easier.

  • CheapOair (to search flights)
  • Booking.com (to book accommodation on the go)
  • XE.com (to check the latest exchange rates)
  • Maps. me (the best offline maps to help you navigate around)
  • Google Translate (while English is widely spoken in Europe, this app is so useful when you get lost in translation)
  • Omio (book buses, ferries and trains on the road)
  • Trainline (book train and coach tickets all around the world and save up to 60% discount on average per ticket).

RELATED POST – 20 Best Travel Apps (Plus They’re Free)

southeast asia packing list apps to download

Staying in Europe long-term?

If you’re considering staying longer in Europe (and you’ve got the right visas to do so), check out the Trusted Housesitters website for saving loads of money on accommodation. Become a house-sitter in Europe (and worldwide) if you’re considering staying in one place for a little longer.

Being a house-sitter means free accommodation for you in return for looking after different homes around the globe.

This was one of the best things we ever did! Join now with our personal invitation and receive a massive 25% off your membership!

Travelling Beyond Europe?

Travelling beyond Europe or need some suggestions for warmer items to add to your packing list in Europe?

Our Ultimate Packing List for every traveller includes the items we carried as we travelled to every country in the world.

We moved between all types of weather, from very cool temperatures to sweltering hot ones. And, we still manage to travel with carry-on baggage only, often less than 10kg.

We’ve also put together our Complete Packing List for Africa and the Essential Packing List for Travelling in Southeast Asia.

Don’t miss our EUROPE CITY GUIDES

Group Tours in Europe

And, if you don’t have the time to travel slowly in Europe but want to discover more, then a group tour could be the answer.

We recommend viewing the best range of European group tours on Tourradar.

My other recommendation is GAdventures for awesome small-group adventures in Europe.

Travel Tips for Europe

We have many travel guides and tips for Europe— an incredible continent!

Are you travelling on a budget? These ten cheapest European countries will help you plan an itinerary that lets you see as much as possible while there.

Furthermore, if you plan to travel long-term (or at least until the money runs out), these 21 cheapest countries to visit will help you make your hard-earned dollars stretch a bit further.

Delicious cuisine can be enjoyed across Europe, and our food map of Europe will inspire your culinary journey.

For food lovers, don’t miss our top 10 best countries for foodies, a couple of them are located in Europe.

Here are 8 things to know about travelling to Eastern Europe and it’s good to know these 7 misconceptions about Eastern Europe too.

These top 6 travel hacks to save money are great to read when planning your travels.

You’ll need to stay connected while travelling in Europe. We recommend eSIM. It’s easy, reliable and affordable. View eSIMs for individual European countries, or consider a regional eSIM for Europe (which covers 39 countries).

If your travels in Europe are part of a much larger global adventure, then a Global eSIM may be the answer. It connects you in 124 countries, offering data-only eSIM and data/call/text eSIM. The Global eSIM has been a game-changer; we couldn’t imagine travelling without it now.

If you want to travel with like-minded travellers, consider joining a group tour. View the best deals on group tours in Europe.

Check out our best-ever travel tips compiled from more than twenty years of experience.

Did you enjoy this article? Share it with friends and family!

Travel Planning Resources

✈️ Flights: We use Skyscanner to book cheap flights worldwide.

🏨 AccommodationBooking.com is our preferred platform for booking hotels and accommodation. We use Vrbo to book apartments and long-term stays.

🏥 Travel Insurance: We recommend Heymondo (Get 5% off Heymondo) & SafetyWing

🚌 Transportation: Trainline is the best website to reserve trains. We use Omio to book transport worldwide. For travel in Asia, we use 12Go. 

🚘 Car Rental: We use DiscoverCars to book rental cars worldwide.

👫 Group ToursG Adventures OR compare multi-day tours worldwide with Tourradar.

📸 Day Tours & TripsGetYourGuide & Viator are the only two platforms you need.

📚 Lonely Planet: The Best Range of Travel Guides & Ebooks, and FREE Shipping! (use code RACHELDAVEY10 for a 10% discount)

🎒 LuggageOsprey Farpoint 40L Backpack or Samsonite Luggage Range.

🛄 What to Pack: Don’t forget your Universal charger and a good power bank.  To help you pack the essentials, here is our ULTIMATE Packing List for all Travellers.

🐶 Become a House Sitter: Join Trusted Housesitters and enjoy FREE accommodation worldwide. Use our invite to receive 25% off your new membership.

💰 Send Money Anywhere: WISE & Revolut are the best online accounts that let you send money, get paid, and spend money internationally. Both are so easy to use and way cheaper than any bank transfer.

📶 Stay Connected: Airalo eSIM allows you to get connected the moment you land at your destination, and you can avoid those expensive data roaming charges. We LOVE this product! Use promo code NOMAD15 for 15% off ALL eSIMs (new Airalo users only) OR use NOMAD10 for 10% off ALL eSIMs (for existing Airalo users)

✅ Check out our Travel Gear and Travel Resources for more valuable tips to save you money!

Tasty Food Adventures

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