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What to Pack for Your European Vacation: Top 10 Essentials

A European vacation can be an experience like no other. The rich architecture, food, music, language, and culture can make you feel like you’ve been transported to another time. Their history is rooted through thousands of years, so when you finally decide to visit Europe, its grandeur and charm will not disappoint.

Aside from checking the local forecast so you can choose seasonally appropriate clothing, there is a list of must-haves when traveling abroad. We recommend packing light, but bring the good stuff. There is a reason why all of the best fashions come from across the ocean. Europeans dress well! Once your wardrobe is chosen, here are our TOP 10 essentials to pack for your trip.

  1. Passports – This would seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people forget. Be sure to check the expiration date on your passport to make sure that it will still be valid for at least 6 months after your travel date (this is a requirement!). Also, make a photocopy of your passport and put it somewhere in your suitcase. That way, if it gets lost, you still have a copy and it makes getting another one much easier.
  2. Adapter – Guess what will happen if you plug in your American gadgets into a European outlet? Their power runs practically double, so your precious DVD player will burn out in seconds. Most of Europe runs at 220 volts, but Great Britain has its own 3 prong outlets. You can easily purchase adapters online or at most major stores.
  3. Medications – It’s a given that you’ll want to bring any prescription medications that you take regularly when you travel, but you’ll want to take others, too. OTC pain, allergy, first aid, and stomach medications may be different than what you’re used to overseas. In addition, when you go into a pharmacy in a foreign country all of the information on their medication is in their native language. So, unless you speak the language, you won’t be able to read what it is. Bringing all your own meds makes life much easier.
  4. Comfortable Shoes – In Europe, there’s a lot to see and you’ll want to see EVERYTHING! Walking all day long while your sightseeing can be a strain on your feet and back so supportive shoes can make all the difference. You’ll be strolling through some ancient cities with cobblestone streets that can be difficult to walk on, so keep that in mind as well. What do most European women wear with their fashionable dresses on the street? Cool sneaks.
  5. Map – Cell phone signals can be tricky depending on your location and phone service provider. Don’t count on getting service everywhere. Most of the time it’s great, except when it’s not. Having an old-fashioned map of the city you’re visiting may come in handy if your phone is out of commission.
  6. Book of Translations – Just in case you do run into cell signal issues, that nifty app you downloaded won’t be any help. There are hundreds of pocket-sized books of translation for virtually any language. Go online and order one before your trip, you’ll be happy you did.
  7. Bag – Just like comfortable shoes, you’ll want a comfortable bag to carry your essentials in all day. Perhaps a small backpack just large enough to include a couple bottles of water, or a crossbody messenger bag. If you aren’t comfortable carrying it all day, leave it at home.
  8. Sunscreen – Europe as some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. If the sea and sand are on your itinerary, don’t forget to pack some SPF. Even if you’ll just be city-bound, the sun can be extremely strong especially in the summer months.
  9. Sunglasses – Walking around all day in the summer can be scorching in some cities. Shades are just as necessary as sunscreen to keep yourself comfortable for a long day of sightseeing.
  10. Jewelry – As much as you may love lots of accessories, we recommend just taking the basics. A lot of jewelry can really weigh down your luggage and your body while traveling. If you lose a treasured piece, the chances of finding it again are slim. Just take the basics with you, and leave the important stuff at home.

Think light, simple, and comfortable. Also, make sure you have the most common basics you’d need in case of an emergency. Juice up your phone and be prepared to take plenty of photos that you’ll enjoy looking at for a lifetime. Now that you’re all prepared, arrivederci!!