Packing guide for your European holiday

When it comes to packing for your upcoming European holiday, you are probably like us and stare at your cupboard wondering what on earth to pack. It’s hard when you don’t know what the weather is going to be like and if you’ll be able to do any washing or how much space you need to leave in your suitcase for things you may buy along the way.

For the below list in a printable checklist, click here.

If you’re travelling to Europe in Winter, click here to read that post.

Click here for a checklist for carry-on luggage. You can print this off and tick as you pack!

Packing guide for Europe


When packing your clothes, try to match everything up before you pack it in the suitcase. Because you’ll be wearing the same clothes a lot, they need to be interchangeable with what you’re wearing to make different outfits. You could always add a colourful scarf on to brighten it up or mix it up a little.

I always recommend packing less than you think you need. Most of the time you wear the same things and come home with clean clothes you never wore. Not to mention you’ll probably go shopping and end up with a heap more clothes so keep this in mind!

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Waterproof/windproof jacket: Even in summer, Europe can get chilly in the evenings so you are best to take a windproof and waterproof jacket to cover all bases for when you go out in the evening as well as during the day. These jackets also come in handy if you’re on a boat and the wind picks up.

Gym gear: Always comes in handy, so maybe pack one set of gym gear. Either you may want to get in some sneaky exercise, or you may do some hiking – either way, this will be comfier!

Trousers/jeans: It is always a good idea to pack at least one pair, maybe two of jeans. For girls, a dark and a light denim to mix it up.

Tops: Bring a few different shirts that each goes with your bottoms. This way you can mix and match but make it look like a different outfit. Don’t pack a top that you will only wear once, or only goes with one item of clothing. It is just wasted space!

Dresses: For the ladies, dresses are a nice way to keep cool but also look nice!

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Vest: For days when it may start out cold, you can always wear a vest!

Scarf: You may not need gloves in summer, but you can always pack a summer scarf just to add a bit of colour to your outfit!

thewelltravelledman oslo palace

Oslo, Royal Palace

Walking shoes / Hiking boots and socks: You will, of course, be doing a lot of walking so make sure you have some comfortable shoes and that, of course, means socks to go with them! You only need maybe two pairs and you can always wash and re-wear!

Sandals: When you’re not walking around, you may want a pair of sandals/slip-on shoes to wear with shorts or a dress (for the ladies). Minimise the number of shoes you pack as they take up so much space. Try to aim for your walking shoes plus one other pair that you can wear with everything else.

Swimwear: Absolutely pack one or two pairs of swimmers. If you are swimming daily then pack two pairs as they may not dry overnight and there is nothing worse than putting on damp swimmers.

thewelltravelledman medsailors croatia sailing trip and packing guide for europe

Underwear: I shouldn’t need to mention it, but don’t forget your underwear!! It is better if you get fast drying and breathable underwear. This way you can wash it in the sink of your hotel and it will dry overnight!

Backpack: Depending on the style of your holiday, you may need to take a backpack with you. If you plan on doing some lovely hikes or general site seeing throughout the day, this will come in handy to carry your water bottle, jacket if you decide to take it off and other bits and pieces.

Depending on the size of your backpack, I would recommend using your backpack as your carry on luggage for the flight over. If you don’t want to limit yourself with a backpack as your carry on, then opt for a small backpack that can pack flat in your suitcase and you only take it out on the days you need it.

Travel towel: If you’re heading on a beach holiday, pack a travel towel! These take up next to no space and are super quick drying so you can use it every day.


You will need the usual toiletries plus a few extra bits and pieces. Here is our list.

The usual stuff: Shampoo, conditioner, soap, face moisturiser (preferably one with SPF if you can), toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant and a razor.

Sunscreen: An absolute must! But you can always pick this up when you’re over there.

Mosquito Repellent: Something that is often overlooked. It is worth packing this!!!

Medical items: Pack things such as band-aids, medicine for a sore tummy, headache tablets and any other medicine you normally take.

Laundry powder: So you can do some basic washing in the sink (like your underwear!)


Camera: An absolute must! Don’t forget to pack some spare batteries so you don’t get stuck with a dead battery.

GoPro: If you have one – remember to pack it along with your handles, waterproof floating handle etc.

Laptop: If you’re like me, you will probably take so many photos you’ll fill up your memory card. I like to download my memory card every second night and back up on the laptop and/or external hard drive. Two reasons, I like to keep them sorted as I go as it takes less time when I get home and secondly if something happens to my camera and memory card I haven’t lost an entire holiday, just one or two days.

Headphones: We each have a pair of the Bose noise cancelling headphones – mainly for the plane but you can use it if you’re doing day trips and have a bit of driving!

Headphone splitter jack: If you don’t know what this is and you travel with someone you should get this! It means you can both plug into the jack and watch the same movie or listen to the same music.

Converter power plug: You will need the correct power plug to charge your devices so make sure you have at least one of these, perhaps getting one that has additional USB charges on the side!

Other tips

Travel Insurance: Now you may not need to ‘pack’ this, but you should absolutely get your travel insurance sorted before you go. Click here to read more!

Have we missed something off the list? Let us know in the comments below!

Do you have travel insurance?

Before travelling, make sure you get a travel insurance policy – you never know when you might need it! Click here for information on travel insurance, what company we recommend and a link to get an instant quote.

Alternative accommodation

If you’re looking for alternative accommodation to either save some money or share with friends or family, click here for information on Air B&B ($50 discount on your first booking), hotel price comparison websites etc.

“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” – Gustave Flaubert

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