What to Pack: Europe in the Summer
Packing for trips overseas can be complicated for many reasons.
How do I avoid over packing?; and
What do I wear to fit in?
On our previous trips overseas, I had typically just packed whatever I wanted. I was going to be checking a bag, so who cares? But since I am making a conscious effort to practice minimalism, I decided to take a good, hard look at what I am carrying around with me as I prep for our trip to France next week.
Minimalist packing is no joke. Some people can pack so very little (2 pairs of shorts, 2 t-shirts, 1 pair of shoes, 1 dress)! Honestly, the idea of that gives me anxiety! So, I’ve found a happy medium between minimalist packing and being prepared.
Let’s start with shoes since they tend to take up the most space. I am a firm believer that you will probably only need 2 pairs of shoes, 3 tops:
You will likely need a good pair of sneakers because you will probably be doing a lot of walking. My go-to sneakers for sightseeing in Europe are Supergasand Slip On Vans. They're cute, fashionable, and comfortable. I often travel with some Shout Wipes to quickly clean off scuffs and dirt at the end of the day.
You will need a pair of shoes to wear out to dinner if you want to get a little more dressed up. Choose a pair that are neutral and go with every outfit, like Espadrilles (I've linked my favorite pair below).
A pair of cute sandals that you can wear when you are going out to dinner but are dressing down. Choose a pair that doesn't take up too much space. I love these Madewell Boardwalk Gladiator Sandals.
When moving onto outfits, always start with your travel outfit, one you can wear on the way there and on the way back. I often go with soft, trouser style pants, my Supergas, a t-shirt, and a light jacket. Once decided what you will wear for traveling, set it aside and move onto day outfits.
Europe is warm in the summer and you will likely spend your days walking around much of the day. That’s why I tend to go for simple cotton dresses that I can pair with my Supergas of Vans. You can find great ones at H&M that are very inexpensive, modest, and comfortable. You can also just bring a few and send them out for laundry at your hotel. They are also very easy to clean on your own since they are made of cotton.
For evenings out, bring a couple of dresses, jumpsuits, and rompers that also match well with the shoes that you brought. Definitely try to dress it up a little in Europe, but in a simple and understated way.
A couple of notes to keep in mind for your day-to-day outfits:
When packing your day-to-day outfits, it’s important to pack as many one-piece items as you can such as dresses, jumpsuits, and rompers. They will take up less space in your luggage.
When I am traveling in Europe, unless in the United Kingdom or traveling in the winter, I tend to avoid jeans and jean shorts. 1. It’s usually to hot for jeans in France, Spain, and Italy, 2. Europeans don’t really wear jean shorts, and 3. They take up a lot of space!
The rest of your packing will be undergarments, toiletries, and socks. All of which are small enough to not take up much space.
Travel Tip:ALWAYS bring all travel size of your toiletries! If you don’t have travel size, you can purchase empty travel size bottles on Amazonand simply fill them with your favorite toiletries from home.
My carry-on is one of my favorite things to pack. I love having everything I need for a relaxing flight at the ready under the seat in front of me. For this trip, I'm trying out a backpack, but I have typically used a tote.
These are the items I always have packed in my carry-on:
A travel folio containing our boarding passes, passports, photo copies of our passports, Euros, and itinerary.
A scarf or shawl (for when its chilly and when you want to cozy up and go to sleep on your red eye)
Vitamin C Packs to boost the immunity.
Hand Sanitizer Wipes
Cozy Socks (again, FREEZING on airplanes!)
Ginger Chews (for any motion sickness)
Face Wipes (to freshen up before you land)