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

packing list for europe suitcase items

Items on the list below are more focused on a packing list for Europe summer. However, if you’re travelling during winter, you may need a few extra layers. We’ve got a few suggestions at the end 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 are firm believers 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 2022

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 Ospret 40L carry-on backpack with everything in it. Weighs less than 10kg.

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. 

Osprey Packs FARPOINT 40, Volcanic Grey, Medium/Large

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.

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 evenly 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’re planning on staying in hotels (and even some cool hostels) around Europe, small toiletries will usually be provided.

  • Hanging Toiletry Bag
  • 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)

  • Hanging Toiletry Bag
  • Toothpaste and toothbrush
  • Shampoo
  • Body gel
  • Moisturiser
  • Deodorant
  • Lip Balm
  • Sunblock
  • Deodorant
  • Shaver/small shaving cream
  • Mosquito repellent (with DEET!)

 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 in our packing list for Europe, 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. There are some cities in Europe (Rome and Barcelona in particular) that have a higher rate of pick-pockets and petty thieves, so you need to be a little more cautious of your belongings.

We 100% recommend Travel Insurance 

We highly recommend you sort some good travel insurance to cover you when things go wrong. It will be one of the most essential things in your packing list for Europe. We’ve used World Nomads Travel Insurance to cover us in over 100+ countries. We recommend adding one of their comprehensive travel insurance policies to your packing list for Europe.

Another fantastic (and affordable) travel insurance company is SafetyWing Travel Insurance. This is an insurance company created by travellers, for travellers. These guys offer Travel Medical Insurance that covers people from all over the world, while outside their home country – The best part is that COVID-19 coverage is included in their very affordable plans. 

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 Aviasales. 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.

  • Aviasales (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).

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 all over the world) 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 carry as we travel around the entire world, 189 countries so far.

Check out our travel map of where we’ve been and see the six countries we’ve got left to visit. Taking into account, we move 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.

The Best Group Tours in Europe

And, if you don’t have the time to travel slowly in Europe but really want to discover more, then a group tour could be the answer. We highly recommend Expat Explore. They offer a variety of coach and rail group tours around Europe to suit everyone, and you’ll have a fantastic crew to take care of all the details. Your only task is to turn up and have an amazing time.

Check out Expat Explore, and if you see a tour that you want to book, use our promo code VERYHUNGRYNOMADS at checkout for an additional 5% discount off your trip!

My other suggestion is G Adventures for awesome small-group adventures in Europe.

Stay Connected in Europe

Airalo is the largest eSIM store with eSIM plans for 190+ countries and regions worldwide. This 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! 

Get connected with an Airalo Eurolink eSIM Data Pack starting from $5 for 1GB (covers 39+ countries).

Browse all six (6) Europe Data Packs available

What is an eSIM best esim for Europe Travel activation

TRAVEL PLANNING RESOURCES

✈️ Flights: Aviasales & CheapOair are the best websites to book cheap flights.

🏨 AccommodationBooking.comAgoda, and Hotellook are the top platforms to search for fantastic hotels and accommodation options at the best price.

🏥 Travel Insurance: Don’t forget travel insurance! We recommend World Nomads or SafetyWing.

🚌 Transportation: To book trains, Trainline is the best and cheapest website. To book transport in Europe, USA & Canada, we use Omio & FlixbusUS. For travel in Asia, we use 12Go. For all other countries, we use BookaWay to compare and book Bus, Ferry, or train tickets to get around.

🚘 Car Rental: DiscoverCars, & Europcar are reliable platforms to book rental cars.

👫 Group ToursG Adventures or Expat Explore offers the best group adventures around the world. Use our promo code VERYHUNGRYNOMADS at checkout to receive 5% off your Expat Explore Trip!

📸 Day Tours & TripsGetYourGuide & Viator are the only platforms you will need. They offer everything at unbeatable prices.

🎒 LuggageOsprey Farpoint 40L Backpack or Samsonite Luggage Range (we love this Stack’d Carry-On Spinner Suitcase).

🛄 What to Pack: To help you get started on packing, here is our ULTIMATE Packing List for all Travellers.

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

💰 Send Money Anywhere: WISE is the best online account that lets you send money, get paid, and spend money internationally. It’s 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 VHN20 for a 20% discount on ALL eSIMs (new Airalo users only – Read Terms & Conditions) OR use promo code VHN15 for a 15% discount on ALL eSIMs (for existing Airalo account users – Read Terms & Conditions)

✅ Check out our Travel Resources Page for more Useful Tips to Save you Money!