Packing for a 3-week or 3-month, multi-country trip can be a daunting task. Am I packing too much? Too little? Is bringing this entire box of pads really necessary? Yup- we've all been there. However, don't fret because I've put together a comprehensive packing list for your next backpacking trip throughout Europe.
• Use packing cubes: Packing cubes are undoubtedly the best way to keep your belongings organized in your luggage. Not only do they help maximize space, but they also save time and hassle by making it easier to find certain items. If you don't want to invest in packing cubes, there are plenty of inexpensive alternatives that are probably lying somewhere in your home- large ziplock bags, cloth tote bags, and even plastic bags work.
• Make photocopies of travel documents: As theft is a common occurrence when traveling abroad, it's crucial to take precautionary measures by making photocopies of your passport, driver's license, and credit cards. Keep one set of hardcopies in your carry-on bag, and keep one set of copies online. You can do this by either emailing your travel documents to yourself, or saving them on an easily accessible online drive like Google Doc.
• Pack light: It's tough, I know. However, when you're constantly moving from city to city, packing light will save you a ton of hassle. I suggest only packing one carry-on size luggage or one carry-on size backpacking pack, and one travel daypack or purse.
What to pack in your travel daypack/purse:
• Purse: I brought my Fossil Camilla Convertible Small Backpack because it fit all of my belongings, and didn't feel bulky. Not to mention the bag itself is versatile and goes with every outfit. It also contains multi-zipper compartments, which is optimal for preventing theft.
• ID or driver's license
• Student ID: Whether you're a high school student or graduate student, bring your student ID- several attractions throughout Europe provide discounts for international students.
• Foreign currency: The euro is the commonly accepted currency in Europe, but these nine countries use their own form of currency: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Denmark, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
• Credit cards: Visa and MasterCard are the most widely accepted credit cards in Europe. Make sure to bring credit cards with no foreign transaction fees.
• Hardcopies of travel documents
• Portable charger: Portable chargers are a necessity when traveling abroad (or anywhere)!
• Phone charger
• Plug adapter: This plug adapter works in almost all European countries.
• Camera: Don't forget to pack your camera charger in your luggage.
• Pocket tissue pack
• Hand sanitizer
What to pack in your backpack/luggage:
• Backpacking pack: Invest in a durable, lightweight backpack- you'll thank me later! The Osprey Kyte 46 Pack is a great backpack for any backpacking trip. The 46 liter pack in size XS/S is perfect for my 5'2" frame. Not only did it perfectly fit all of my belongings, but it also passed as a carry-on for all of my flights.
• Clothes: Keep in mind that this is what I packed for a trip during late May to late June. Research the weather conditions for your trip in advance, and pack your clothing accordingly.
1. 7 pairs of underwear
2. 2 bras
3. 2 sets of pajamas
4. 1 dress
5. 1 romper
6. 2 lightweight long-sleeve shirts
7. 1 lightweight short-sleeve shirt
8. 1 casual tank top
9. 1 pair of jeans or shorts
10. 1 jacket or sweater to layer
11. 1 swimsuit
12. Birkenstock sandals: Birkenstock sandals are great for walking, and pair well with most outfits.
13. Shower sandals: If you're planning to stay in hostels, shower sandals are a must.
• Toiletries: Make sure you comply with TSA's 3-1-1- rule by keeping all of your liquids, gels, creams, and common toiletries under 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters.
4. Shampoo, conditioner, and body wash
6. Makeup wipes
9. Hairbrush, hair tie, and hair clip
14. Pads/tampons: Unless you have space in your luggage, purchase feminine products during your trip.
15. Laundry detergent sheets: Laundry detergent sheets are great for hand washing clothes, and they work in washing machines as well.
16. Travel towel: Pack a microfiber towel as it dries quickly.
1. Pain and fever relievers
2. Allergy medication
3. Motion sickness pills
4. Birth control
5. Hydrocortisone cream
1. Travel laundry bag: Make sure to pack a bag for dirty laundry. Similar to packing cubes, you can use cloth tote bags or large plastic bags as alternatives.
2. Padlock: If you're staying in hostels during your trip, bring a padlock to keep important belongings safe inside lockers.
3. Hydroflask: Bring a Hydroflask or any stainless steel water bottle to save costs on water.