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Updated on December 15th, 2019

I’m pretty sure for most of you a European summer holiday is on the bucket list. I mean who doesn’t want to laze by the Mediterranean drinking Aperol Spritz’s? Or spend a few days hiking through wildflower covered alpine meadows? Only with a continent that is so diverse what do you pack? So, ladies, this one is for you – the best Europe summer packing list.

This coming summer will be the fourth summer I have spent in Europe. I spent two summers working aboard superyachts, one living in Germany and one to be determined. Some things I have done during this time is explored Croatia’s national parks, volunteered with Workaway in Montenegro and lived on Lake Bohinj in Slovenia. So I have learnt a thing or two about what to pack for this type of climate.

This list is intended to be the best packing list on the internet so I want it to be comprehensive. Or if you just want your free Europe packing checklist pop your email in here.

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What to pack for summer in Europe

Disclaimer: Some links in this article are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase through them, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. For more information on my disclaimer click here.

Info about summer in Europe

Where: Europe is a big continent. For this packing list, we will focus on Western Europe as it receives the most visitors.

When: June – September

Average temperatures: Summer temperatures are beautiful in Europe without being too hot. Along the coastal areas, peak summer temperatures to sit in the high 20’s and at night drop down to the high teens. In the more mountainous regions, temps will be slightly cooler overnight and could get down to 10 Celsius. Once you hit September temperatures will drop a bit more but still be mild.

One of the best things about summer in Europe is the number of daylight hours. Expect the days to be long and the rainfall low. You can find out more about the European weather patterns here.

Europe Map

The Europe summer packing list is best for the countries below with a heart. You can use it for other nearby countries but the highs and lows will be more extreme. Therefore, consider packing extra layers for the countries further north and the UK.

Western Europe map

How to pack for Europe

Firstly, you will need a good bag. I like to travel with my 65 litre Kathmandu backpack (no longer available). Although there are plenty of other women’s backpacks you can find to suit your needs.

Depending on how long you are travelling for a small carry-on suitcase may fit your needs better. If you plan to be catching a lot of flights during your trip, I would highly recommend travelling with a bag that fits within carry-on dimensions. As most airline carriers will charge baggage fees.

Packing Tips

Firstly and most importantly, pack light! The best packing tip for backpacking Europe I can give is to grab two hoodies or bulky items that you aren’t going to pack. Put them in your bag. Now, pack around these. If you are anything like me, you will fill the empty space, no matter how large the bag is. So this is a handy tip I use into tricking myself to packing less. Once you have everything you need, remove the hoodies.

Another one of my favourite packing hacks is to use packing cubes. Not only will these help you stay super organised they seem to add so much more space to your bag. Buy a pack with a variety of sizes.

Europe summer packing list essentials

electronics flat-lay best travel accessories for europe

Now, packing the right essentials is key.

1. Your passport, travel documents and driver’s licence. You won’t get far if you forget these.

2. Money, bank cards and travel cards. See bottom of the post for money tips.

3. Medication. Make sure you have enough for your entire trip. Pharmacies will fill a couple of script repeats if you tell them you’re heading overseas.

4. Phone. I’m pretty sure no one in today’s age would ever forget their phones. But it’s on here just in case.

If you are going to be spending a lot of time on or near the water it could pay off to get a LifeProof phone case. Are you going on Sail Croatia or something similar? Then DO NOT travel without a waterproof case.

5. Sunglasses. With all that sunshine, make sure you protect your eyes. Opt for UVA and UVB protected glasses.

6. Day bag. You’ll want something that is big enough to carry a bottle of water, camera equipment but also light and comfortable enough to walk around with all day.

Pacsafe has a great variety of bags that will keep your belongings safe. I like the Slingsafe style as it just looks like your everyday cross-body bag.

Toiletries for a Europe summer packing list

makeup palette

Are you wondering how you can pack light for Europe with all your toiletries? Most of the items listed below come in smaller travel sizes. If you cannot find them in your local pharmacy, head online to stores like Amazon and search for travel-sized toiletries. You can even buy empty containers to put your own products in.

7. Toothbrush and toothpaste. Make sure you stay minty fresh. If you use an electric toothbrush just remember this is an additional item that will need charging. For shorter trips, I’d recommend leaving this at home and packing the regular one.

8. Sunscreen. Keep those youthful looks and remember to apply sunscreen daily. This is a good thing to bring from home because touristy places significantly bump up the price of this.

9. Razor. This travel size razor is perfect for a Europe trip.

10. Makeup.

11. Travel size shampoo and conditioner. Tip: You can fill them up in Airbnb’s and hotels which supply them.

12. Deodorant. No one likes a stinky human.

13. Compact mirror. If you’re backpacking and doing Europe on the cheap, don’t rely on hostel mirrors and doing your makeup in stinky, overcrowded bathrooms. This cute compact mirror is well-worth adding to the list.

Europe summer packing list compact mirror

14. Pain relievers. For the day after one too many drinks.

15. Moisturiser and lip balm. Keep smooth.

16. Sanitary products. Keep a few in your day bag for emergencies. Some people might want to travel with a menstrual cup. Better for the environment and will save you a ton of money in the long run.

17. Condoms. Stay safe!

18. Earplugs. For sleeping in hostel dorms.

19. Tweezers.

20. Nail clippers.

Travel clothes for Europe summer packing list

laundry hanging on line in europe

The clothes you need to pack for summer in Europe will stay the same for most lengths of trips. You may just want to add a few additional pairs of underwear, socks and basics for the longer ones.

Basics

The best packing tips for travel anywhere include a few great basics. You can layer these, dress them up or down and they don’t take up a lot of valuable space.

21. Black tank tops. I always travel with at least 2 plain black tank tops. You can literally wear these for every occasion. Whether you are down the beach, in the city or dressed up with accessories and a cute skirt out at night.

22. Sundresses. Again, perfect for the daytime, looks great in photos and can be worn out at night! I have my favourite dresses that are an easy go-to outfit when travelling.

23. Comfy shorts. A pair of shorts in a lighter fabric will keep you cool and comfortable during the hotter days. Great for wearing on shorter walks too.

24. Sandals. Make sure you pack a versatile pair of shoes that not only look good but you can walk around all day in. Try not to buy new shoes right before the trip as blisters won’t be fun.

25. Lightweight jacket or cardigan. Although it’s mostly warm at night, towards the beginning and end of the season you may need something light to wrap around you.

26. Underwear and bras. Enough for a week. Don’t forget a sports bra.

Tops

27. A mix of blouses or shirts. You know your style. Pack something versatile that you can wear day and night. Also, add something that is breathable if you plan on doing some hiking.

28. Long-sleeved tops. Something a little warmer if you are in the mountains or further north during September.

29. PJ’s. Lightweight summer pyjamas.

30. Rain jacket. A lightweight waterproof or water-resistant jacket will come in handy. I wear mine all the time.

Bottoms

cute-outfit-europe

31. Shorts or skirts. Pick which one you wear mostly at home. You already have one pair of shorts. Add to your Europe summer packing list one more of either a skirt or shorts. I personally like to have a high waisted skirt. This pairs well with the tank tops and is very versatile.

32. Jeans. One pair of jeans or long pants will be plenty for the occasional cooler evening.

33. Leggings. I live in leggings. These are great for walking around cities or hiking.

Others

34. Swimwear. Beaches, pools, hot springs, lakes. There are plenty of opportunities for swimming. Just because you won’t be on the coast doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pack a pair of swimmers.

35. Socks. 2-3 of pairs will do.

36. Rompers. Personally, I cannot wear rompers but I love them and wish I could. They’re cute, versatile and a whole outfit in one.

Shoes for travelling in Europe

womens shoes

In addition to the sandals listed above, pack the following pairs of shoes. Also, it’s important to know that Europe is full of cobblestone streets. So think twice if you really need to pack a pair of heels. Or you might just end up like her

37. Joggers. I love my Nike joggers because they are so lightweight and compact compared to other running shoes.

38. Thongs (Flip flops). Yeah yeah, not the underwear kind. Havianas for the win, always.

39. Hiking boots. Only if you plan on doing some hiking. Well obvs.

Best travel accessories for your Europe summer packing list

best travel accessories for europe

Add the following accessories and miscellaneous items to your Europe summer packing list.

40. Jewellery. I love this cute purse to carry all my jewellery.

41. Carabiner. Carabiners are super useful. I frequently clip my water bottle, shoes and hats to the outside of my bag.

42. Water bottle. Speaking of water bottles, pack a reusable one to help save the planet. Most of Europe’s tap water is safe to drink. This LifeStraw bottle has an inbuilt filter to get rid of any nasties in the other places or the mountains.

43. Selfie stick. While I used to be against the idea of a selfie stick it really is the perfect companion to any solo traveller. I like to call mine the adventure stick 🙂

44. Sleeping mask. Great if you are staying in hostels.

45. Luggage lock. I always lock my bag when it gets packed into a holding area on a bus or train. Make sure you get a TSA approved lock.

Europe summer packing list luggage lock

46. Plastic bag. Useful for so many things. Put your dirty and wet clothes in or protect electronics from the rain just to name a couple.

47. Hand sanitiser. Keep a travel-sized hand sanitiser in your day bag.

48. Microfibre towel or sarong. I used to travel with a microfibre towel but now prefer a sarong. You can use it on the beach, as a clothing cover or even as a sheet in a hot hostel room. I find my sarong takes up even less space than the travel towel. I picked up mine when I was travelling through Asia.

49. Watch.

50. Hats. I have a cap with a snapback that I can attach to the outside of my bag. I also travel with a cute floppy hat.

Electronics for Europe

Electronics for Europe summer packing list

51. Clip-on smartphone lens. Take awesome photos with your phone and upgrade the lens with these easy clip-on ones. This set comes with a macro and wide-angle lens.

52. Kindle. I love my kindle. Although I do miss the feeling of holding a real book, I don’t have the added weight of a book in my bag.

53. Portable charger.

54. Laptop. Only if you want to watch movies or have a blog. Otherwise, leave it at home and it’s one less thing to worry about.

57. Chargers, cords and adaptors. Lots of your electrical devices will use the same charging cables. If so, just pack one of each. This travel adaptor will be the only one you need anywhere in the world and has dual USB ports.

Packing tip: I travel with a double adaptor in case there aren’t many power points in the hostel room.

58. Headphones or earbuds. I have a pair of wireless DACOM earbuds. I love them. The battery lasts for hours, they are really affordable, compact and have a charger inbuilt into their case.

59. Headphone splitter. This nifty device allows two headphones to be plugged into one device. Perfect if you’re travelling as a pair.

60. Speaker. If you can’t live without music a small, portable Bluetooth speaker is a good item to add to your packing list for Europe.

55. Camera. Make sure you have a way of capturing all of those incredible memories. I use a Nikon 3300 for my photos. It’s a great entry-level DSLR for those new to photography.

56. Camera equipment. This depends on the type of camera you have and how into photography you are. Items may include external hard drives for storing photos, memory cards, tripod, camera remotes, additional lens suitable to your trip.

Europe summer packing list documents

If travelling internationally you may need to show proof of accommodation and exiting the country to immigration control. So make sure to pack proof of flights, accommodation.

Keep photocopies of bank cards, your passport, visas and other important documents in the event something gets stolen. I like to keep a copy in my email too.

Travel tips and travel resources for Europe

Prepare yourself for travel in Europe with these tips and resources.

Money Tips

These days I don’t even exchange currency at home before heading overseas. Especially in Europe, you will find ATM’s all over the place so you won’t have any trouble withdrawing money.

I know some of you would like to withdraw money for peace of mind – which is totally fine. Just bear in mind, currency conversion places and banks charge high fees. Even the ones which say, ‘no commission’. What this actually means is they have worse exchange rates.

Budget tip: If you travel overseas frequently, find a bank which doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees. I have a Citibank account which is fee-free. If you’re happy with your current account, get yourself a travel card. While they will charge you to withdraw money the rate is usually less than the big banks. The main advantage is you can pay with the card without fees.

Another top money tip is to use a travel card which gets you airline points. I have a Qantas Frequent Flyer account and such have a Qantas Money Card as my travel card (although I rarely use this). When you top it up with foreign currency you earn frequent flyer points as well as when you spend it.

My favourite travel apps for Europe

Maps.me – This map app is great if you plan on doing any hiking. The app shows more detailed trail information than google maps. You can download the maps to be available offline and allows easy pinning of locations.

Podcasts – Whatever app your phone has for listening to podcasts. These are great for long bus journeys.

Hostelworld – A great app for booking hostels on the go.

Sweatcoin – You can earn rewards for walking! Really cool.

Get by bus – Great for booking buses.

Download your Europe travel Checklist

I’m a list kind of person. I love writing lists for everything and packing lists are no different. I have made you one that you can download and print! Yay!

Make sure you download this Europe summer packing list. Everything listed above is in a neat easy to read page so you won’t forget anything.

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Hello! My name is Erin, the lady behind Curiously Erin. After more than 10 years of travelling and working abroad, I wanted to create a platform where I could share my stories and travels. My goal is to help you live the life you desire and inspire you to travel more.

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