Packing Guide: Summer in Europe + FREE Printable Checklist

June 6, 2015,

A lot of people struggle with overpacking or underpacking. For my first few trips, I was definitely an overpacker. On my first international trip, I actually bought myself an oversized suitcase to fit all of my clothing and products (I was 18 and only leaving for a week!!).

When I traveled to Barcelona solo, I decided to pack only a carry-on. I knew I wouldn’t have anyone to help me lug around a heavy suitcase so I decided to pack light and only carry what I needed. From then on, I continue to pack light. I think when you pack for Europe (in summer or any season), underpacking is better than overpacking. You can buy anything you can’t fit in your luggage (or can’t carry in a carry-on like razors or products of more than 100 ml) while there. 

From my experience in Europe during the summer I created this printable packing checklist for you. This packing guide is useful for travellers visiting cities as well as the countryside and/or seaside. This list works for a one week trip or longer. For most clothing items I have not entered in the amount to bring – this is up to you, depending on how long you will be gone for! But remember – you don’t need more items than you can wear in two weeks (re-wearing items and washing at a Laundromat or by hand will become natural!). We usually end up wearing our favourite pieces over and over anyway – I know I do!

Here is a sample of the list. You can download the complete packing list for FREE below. SAMPLE PACKING LIST: electronics


Click the image below to download your FREE Summer in Europe packing list.


I am sure you will find this packing list helpful for your summer adventures in Europe.
As mentioned in the packing list, a language or phrases app (or book) for the local language of the country (or countries) you are visiting is very helpful. If you’re looking for other helpful travel apps, I highly recommend the CityWalk App by GPSmyCity. I also find journaling very therapeutic and important while traveling, so I’ve included a journal and pen in the packing guide.

I did not include pyjamas in the packing list – if you are traveling for a longer period and are packing light, Travel Fashion Girl suggests getting extra use of your workout gear by also wearing them as pyjamas. I did this on a (recent) longer trip and it was very helpful. 

I leave you with one short anecdote: I brought my European straightener with me when I travelled to Barcelona and upon arriving, discovered that it was no longer working. I threw it out and used the in-room blow dryer to quickly style my dry hair each morning. The lesson here is you don’t need to bring any heat styling products while travelling. They are bulky, heavy and you probably won’t be spending more than 5 minutes on your hair in the morning anyway. Also, your Airbnb/hostel/hotel will almost always have a hair dryer for any necessary hair maintenance. 

If you are visiting for a week or less I say ditch the shampoo, conditioner and other styling products. If you are visiting for more than one week and will need to wash your hair, I suggest saving the money on the adapter or new styling products and opt to visit a local salon for a blow dry. I did this in Florence and for only 25 euros (including tip) I had my hair done between lunch and my next museum. Most salons will offer you drinks (wine, coffee, sparkling water – you name it!) so you can count that as part of your food budget. All jokes aside, it’s up to you – whatever allows you the least fuss, I support ya! 

Your turn! What are your musts when travelling to Europe during summer?
What have you learned to live without?DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE SUMMER IN EUROPE PACKING LIST: clothing, accessories, electronics & more... // at happiestwhenexploring

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  • Reply Ilena June 9, 2015 at 3:02 pm

    Loved your tips on what to pack for Europe in summer. I greatly appreciated your honesty on how you over-packed and then adjusted. I could definitely adopt your tricks. We are so afraid we won’t have everything…but people all over the world manage wherever they live and part of the experience is living like the locals. I thought your idea of having your hair done at a local hair salon brilliant. These are the moments when you can chat and share with someone from ‘there’…they learn from us and we learn from them and get to know their world from a different perspective. Getting pampered is a PLUS too. Thank you for the tips! Ilena

    • Reply happiestwhenexploring June 10, 2015 at 1:54 am

      Yes, yes, yes to everything you said! Living like a local & getting by with less. Thank you <3

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