I’ve recently been on a trip to Europe for the first time with a dear friend of mine. We visited France, Monaco, Italy, Germany and the Netherlands during April – May and enjoyed it immensely. As it was our first time to Europe, we did a lot of research beforehand on what to pack and thought we had it all. Turns out we still missed a few packing essentials for Europe.
Listed below are the things that I feel you simply can’t skip out on if you want to make the most of your Europe trip.
Comfortable Walking Shoes
It may seem obvious that you’d need comfortable walking shoes, but don’t underestimate how far and how long you will walk while exploring Europe.
Flip flops or normal sneakers with hard soles are not going to cut it. Rather invest in comfortable walking shoes with proper support for your feet. You don’t want to be too tired to walk after only a few days, or have to deal with blisters made by uncomfortable shoes. Trust me, this is exactly what happened to so many other travellers we met.
I recommend taking a rain coat/rain jacket with you just in case, and then buying an umbrella in Europe if you need one. This way you don’t have to pack a bulky umbrella in your suitcase, but you’re still prepared if it starts raining.
If you do pack or purchase an umbrella, make sure its a sturdy one. We went through more than one umbrella since a couple of them broke with the strong winds that accompanied the rain.
Scarves or Clothing Items to Cover Up
I’d definitely recommend you bring a scarf along for your trip to Europe. This is for two reasons – to use when it’s chilly outside, and to cover up when visiting cathedrals in Europe.
If you don’t want to bring a scarf, then I’d recommend you bring a few longer sleeved chiffon type tops. Most cathedrals in Europe require that both your knees and shoulders are covered before you are allowed to enter.
Travel Adapter Kit
Make sure you have a travel adapter kit that you can use in all the countries you plan to visit. Not all power outlets are the same in Europe, so having an international travel adapter can come in handy.
The ones we got could be assembled into one big unit, so we didn’t have to worry about losing any of the parts. You also get some pretty neat ones out there with USB ports that you can use for charging your electronics.
Lockable Backpack/Bag That Goes Across Your Body
You absolutely need to have a backpack that you can lock or a purse/bag that you can sling across your body. Trust me guys, this can save you from soooo much trouble and headaches. It can be a real nightmare if you get pick pocketed, especially if your travel documents are lost. You should try and make it as difficult as possible for people to rip away your purse or bag.
We bought ourselves some cute looking backpacks that had double zips and also bought couple of small locks. We locked our backpacks using the locks and double zips and kept the keys with us on some awesome necklaces. This way we could walk around with our backpacks on our backs without any fear of being pick pocketed.
Before you go on your trip, create your very own survival kit. This should contain items to help with things that you personally are prone to suffer from. Think about things such as any medicine you may need, headache, anti-histamine and motion sickness pills, help for allergies you have, vitamins, plasters, hand sanitizer, eye drops, lip balm, etc.
If you’re visiting a lot of countries, I’d recommend you take some immune system boosters and vitamins with you – you don’t want to get sick while on your trip!
And just a general note, you can buy these things while in Europe. But from my experience, the language barrier can be an issue and you could struggle to get exactly what you want. Don’t expect everyone at the shops to speak or understand English – in most cases (we found) they actually don’t.
It’s certainly obvious that you can’t leave without documents such as your passport and visa. In some countries, you also need proof of onward travel, so make sure about which documents you need beforehand.
A good idea which I’d recommend everyone does, it make photocopies of all your important travel documents. Keep them in a safe place such as your suitcase, in case you lose the real documents. Also make sure you have printed out versions of your itinerary, accommodation and flight details in case you lose your phone.
There are plenty of tips out there on packing for your travel adventures. These packing essentials for Europe is by no means an exhaustive list. They are simply the items that I feel you absolutely need to take with you.
Hope you have safe and wonderful travels! Let me know if there are any items that you feel are essential for a European trip that you can’t do without. Would love to hear your thoughts!