Ultimate Shoppable Packing List for Europe Backpacking
There’s an insane OCD involved in trying to squish 3 months of coordinated outfits for Europe into a carry-on that’s half the size of my underwear drawer. I did it.
It’s all shoppable, but remember:
1. Stick to (mostly) one color family
2. This list is designed for layering
3. Pick your own undies and toiletries!
4. Pick items that can all be washed and dried together!
5. All liquids must be in containers under 3 oz.
Here’s the list that fits and weighs in under Ryanair limits (with a DSLR and toiletry bag — I wouldn’t try to add a laptop and still make the weight limit on strict airlines). The only other thing I packed and recommend is a small camp towel — like from REI — that dries quickly.
1. Patagonia’s Maximum Legal Carry-On (AS big as you can get without worrying about getting bumped into cargo
2. Packing cubes — a miracle! Like drawers for your luggage
3. 1 dress (churches, dinners)
4. 1 pair long leggings (under dresses and skirts in cool weather and for working out and sleeping)
5. 3 pairs pants
6. 1 capri
7. 1 pair shorts (I was relying on fall weather and skirts)
8. 2 skirts (I packed three)
9. 5 tanks (they go under everything and you can work out and sleep in them)
10. t-shirts (I packed 4ish)
11. 2 long sleeved shirts (In reality, I packed one cotton, one plaid, and the sweater wrap. My jacket generally covered t-shirts and I could remove layers when we were walking and it was unusually warm).
12. A jacket (best if it can go under a warmer coat when necessary)
13. a scarf (for blending in and looking Euro, for using as a blankie/emergency towel/picnic blanket and for head-coverings in some churches)
14. Sweatpants (sleeping or traveling if you need a give-up day)
15. bathing suit
16. VERY light, compressible coat (should fold into roughly the size of a grapefruit)
17. Deep conditioner (under 3 oz size for carry-ons!). Conditioner can be hard to find when you need it. Besides, you’re stressed and not eating like you did at home. Vitamins!
18. Good makeup. While there are Sephoras all over, you’ll find your small carry-on liquid allotment (one ziplock full of under-3 oz. containers is ROUGH. This is the biggest reason to not go carry-on only to Europe.
19. Warm socks. For sleeping and for frigid days — otherwise, I wore slip on shoes every single day. Eventually, they hit the trash when winter really set in and I purchased boots abroad.
20. All-outfit shoes (this is the hardest part! One pair of shoes?!)
21. A travel organizer toiletry solution
22. Adapters. In honesty, buying ahead still may not help. Ours ruined our computer (which STILL says “service battery”) and we ended up buying an expensive set at Harrod’s for Apple Products. You can get the computer set (most of our charging needs were Apple products). Keep in mind the small, single adapters are better, but will not work with three-prong computer cords. Our all-in-one fried one hotel’s circuit breaker. And my curling iron. And a couple adapters. Buying abroad is advised when you can!