Europe Summer Packing List

Packing for a summer trip in Europe is one of the easier holidays to pack for.  Reason being is that almost everywhere you go will have the same kind of weather unless you start venturing into late September.  Once September hits in the northern and eastern parts of the continent you'll start seeing colder weather, or in my case snow in the beginning of October in Sweden.  Needless to say my Sweatshirt didn't do the trick of keeping me warm, so if you do plan on staying longer I recommend picking up a jacket along the way instead of carrying it with you for months when not needed.  Let's take a look at what I brought with me.

Carrying With Me

Passport : The most important item while traveling.  This will be needed everywhere, but I do suggest leaving it locked up when doing day trips from within a country.

Wallet : Generally speaking, men should purchase a small money clip that can hold a decent amount of cash and a few of the necessary cards.  Women have more flexibility since it all depends on the size of the purse they carry, if one at all.

Currency : I suggest pulling out approximately 200 Euro's before you begin your European travel if you are beginning in a country that is in the EU.  This way you don't have to run around for cash once you arrive.  The less you have to worry about your first day the better!

Driver's License : This will be used as a secondary Identification Card to your Passport.  If a hostel requires you to leave an ID card, it is better to leave your Driver's License since it is less vital to your travels.

Debit Card : A debit card is necessary since a lot of places in Europe only take cash.  Make sure you let your bank know which countries you are traveling to so they do not suspend your card while you travel.  Also make sure you research the best card that will limit the amount of fee's you'll pay when withdrawing different currencies from banks outside their network. 

Credit Card :  Two credit cards should be brought with one of them being left in a locker in case of an emergency.  Both credit cards should be chip readable and not have a currency swap fee's. 

Health Insurance Card : Your Health Insurance Card should be with you at all times in case of an emergency. 

Mobile Phone :  If you are bringing a phone from home, you must make sure it has international capabilities so you can purchase a European SIM Card.  A phone can also be easily purchased once you arrive in Europe. 

Sunglasses : I suggest bringing one cheap pair of sunglasses.  An expensive pair could easily go "missing" or they will get extremely scratched up from being stored in your bag when not being worn.  Leave the nice pair at home and go with a $5 pair for your trip. 

Belt :  Recommend bringing a two sided belt since it will have a dual purpose and can match more outfits.  Since you'll be traveling during the summer I would go with a white and black belt.

Clothes In My Backpack

Jeans :  Two pairs of jeans will be needed for the chilly nights in Europe during the summer.

Shorts :  I personally brought three pairs of shorts with me, but two pairs will be fine.

Running Shorts : A pair of running shorts can come in handy throughout your trip.  They can be used for sleeping, hiking, or just to lounge around in the hostel. 

Bathing Suits :  Two pairs of bathers should be brought, don't want to be in a beach town for a week and have to worry about washing the one pair too often.

Light Jacket :  As stated above, it does tend to get chilly in some countries at night.  In Austria and Switzerland this will absolutely come in handy.

Sweatshirt :  I opted not to bring one and paid the price.  Try and find one that can be tossed around and stained without looking too ratty.  May not be a bad idea to purchase one when you're actually abroad, makes for a great souvenir.

Sweaters :  If bringing a sweatshirt, I wouldn't waste additional room on a sweater.  Choose one or the other given they are not needed that often.

Button Down Shirts / Dresses :  At times during your trip you will either need to get a bit more dressed up, or may just want to.  It's nice to feel like you look presentable for a change, though I have limited it to only one shirt. 

T-Shirts : Don't go crazy here, eight shirts will do the trick.  Trust me, you will pick some up as you go.

Underwear : Probably the most important article of clothing.  I opted for 8 pairs, probably would have brought 10 - 12 if I could have fit them.

Socks : Eight pairs should be fine.  Don't forget that you will be wearing your sandals/thongs often.

Bath Towel : A Microfiber towel should be purchased since they are thinner and also dry faster.  One of the better purchases I've made throughout my travels.

Beach Towel : Completely optional, but should be brought if you are doing more of a sun seeker trip where a lot of beaches and lakes will be visited.  I opted not to bring one and didn't regret my decision. 


Sandals : One pair of sandals should be brought for beach days and casual touring.  They also will come in handy for when the showers aren't in the cleanest conditions. 

Hiking Shoes :  I brought a pair of white runners with me which was not the best idea.  White sneakers look much dirtier than black so I will go that route next time.  I also suggest purchase hiking sneakers over running since the running shoes are not durable enough to handle most of the trails and will rip.  My ASICS were fantastic for walking around, but the soles did rip from a lot of hiking after 3 months.  I'm not going to say they weren't made well since they did last 3 tough months, but I will definitely go with a comfortable hiking shoe next time. 

Casual Shoe :  A casual shoe should be brought that can be used for both walking around and going out in at night.  Some places will not allow you to wear sneakers so it is important to have these available.

Optional Items

Umbrella : An umbrella will come in handy, especially if your backpack is not waterproof.  There is nothing worse than doing laundry only to have your entire bag get soaked through the next day in a storm. 

Padlocks : Two padlocks should be purchased.  One can be used for your hostel locker and the second for your day pack or main bag if it cannot fit in the locker.  I used cable padlocks since they could easily go through my backpack zippers as well.

Earplugs I sleep like a rock, but if that's not your case then you may want to consider purchasing a pair of earplugs.  Hostels can be loud at night from people filtering in and out of the rooms and from the bar which could be right downstairs.

Water Bottle : Possibly one of the best items I brought on my trip.  Water is not free in Europe, so refill this whenever you can to save money each day!  Also go with an insulated bottle, it will keep your water cooler for much longer. 

Swiss Army Knife : Another fantastic purchase.  The knife should have a bottle opener and scissors, two items that are needed often and under rated.

Tea Bags : Random I know,  Placing tea bags in your backpack will get rid of the smell by keeping moisture out.