Cultural Experience | Europe

What to Pack for a Summer in Europe

Not sure what to bring to Europe this summer? This ultimate packing list has you covered!

So you’ve decided to spend the summer in Europe. Congratulations! Making the decision to go on a cultural adventure is the easy part. The tough part is figuring out what to pack! The weather is different from country to country and you don’t want to leave out something you’ll wish you brought later. Well, good news! This packing list (based on a 4-6 week trip) is all you’ll need before taking off on your European adventure.

Important Tips

• Pack light! You’re going to buy items while abroad, even if you don’t think you will. Don’t risk dishing out money on your return flight because of an overweight bag. You also don’t want to be the girl struggling to keep up with the group because your luggage is too heavy.

• Choose a color scheme. It doesn’t have to be all neutrals, but try to make sure you can wear almost every top with every bottom, and your outerwear pieces and shoes with every outfit as well. This will allow you to make more outfit combinations out of less clothing.

• Be practical. If you aren’t sure you’ll wear it, you probably won’t. That fancy dress will probably never leave your suitcase, and you’ll wonder why you ever thought you’d be fine wearing heels on cobblestone roads.

• Choose the right bag. If you’re on study abroad, it’s normal to check a large bag and carry-on a small bag to use for weekend trips. If you’re backpacking or on an organized tour, do your best to fit everything into a carry-on or risk holding up your group and paying fees. To do this, you may need to omit a few items from this list. Check the climate in each of your destinations to determine what not to bring.

• Share with friends. If you’re traveling with a friend, only one of you needs to pack certain items like a hair dryer or curling wand. You may even consider sharing jewelry, scarves or staples items like plain tank tops and cardigans.

• Don’t stress! Anything you forget to pack can be found in Europe— aside from your passport of course!

Now on to the packing list…


• 3 sundresses or rompers— I love packing these because they’re a top and bottom in one.

• 2 maxi dresses— Maxi dresses can be dressed up or down, making them extremely practical.


• 2 casual tank tops

• 2 dressy tank tops

• 1 short sleeved top

• 1 long-sleeved top— I like bringing a denim shirt, as I can roll the sleeves or use it as an outerwear piece.

• 1 t-shirt

• 1 athletic top


• 1 blue jeans

• 1 colored jeans (black, white, or color)

• 1 flowy pants— These are amazing for bus rides, train rides and long flights. Plus, they look nicer than leggings.

• 1 denim shorts

• 1 cotton shorts

• 1 leggings

• 1 exercise shorts


• 2 cardigans— Stick with neutrals like black, white or tan.

• 1 jacket— Jean or cargo style.

• 1 heavy jacket— Bring something you know will keep you warm like a leather jacket or light coat.


• 1 sandals— Make sure they’re comfortable!

• 1 boots— I know they take up more space, but you’ll be glad you brought them when you’re in cooler countries like Amsterdam, London and Switzerland.

• 1 flatsYou’ll probably wear these the least, but they’re very versatile and come in handy when traveling to places where you need to be covered or want to look less like a tourist (think Paris and Rome).

• 1 walking shoes— Choose something comfortable like Toms, espadrilles or Converse.

• 1 sneakers— Bring these if you plan on hiking, canyoning, skydiving etc.


• 2 scarves— Scarves are your best friend! Wear them to instantly switch up any outfit.

• 1 pair of sunglasses

• 1 crossbody bag

• 1 tote bag— Make sure it has a zipper and isn’t easy to get into!

• 1 umbrella

• 1 stud earrings

• 1 statement earrings

• 1 simple necklace

• 1 statement necklace

• 1 bracelet

• 1 watch


• 1 sleepset

• 2 swimsuits

• 1 towel— Many hostels charge a fee for towel rentals.

• 1 neck pillowIf you’re tight on space, bring one that’s inflatable. You’ll be glad you did when you’re trying to get some sleep on a cramped bus.


• 2 standard bras

• 1 strapless bra

• 1 sports bra

• 12 pairs of underwear—This is my one exception to packing light. It’s always a good idea to bring extra underwear as you never know when you’ll be able to do laundry.

• 5 pairs of socks


• Shower products— Pick up a travel sized toiletry kit and fill it with your own products. I fill mine with shampoo, conditioner, body wash and face wash. You’ll find these products in most hotels and in stores at your study abroad destination, so don’t waste suitcase space on large bottles.

• Make up bag— Keep it simple! A small bag with SPF 30 BB crème, concealer, mascara, eyeliner, SPF 15 powder, blush, bronzer, an eyebrow pencil, a small eyeshadow duo and a tinted SPF lip balm will do the trick.

• Medications—Daily vitamins, ibuprofen, sleep aid, anti-nausea, anti-diarrhea and any prescribed medications such as birth control.

• First-aid kit— A few band-aids and a neosporin packet should do the trick.

• Packet of tissues— You never know when you won’t have access to toilet paper. Carry them in your purse throughout your trip.

• Toothbrush

• Toothpaste (travel sized)

• Dental floss

• Moisturizer

• Pimple cream

• Sunscreen (travel sized)

• Deodorant

• Hand sanitizer

• Earplugs

• Hairbrush

• Hair ties


• Laptop/tablet

• Laptop/tablet charger

• Phone— Look into international plans before you leave. Even if you’re getting a basic cell phone from your study abroad program, take your cell phone for pictures and wifi use.

• Phone charger

• Camera

• Camera charger

• Outlet converter Don’t forget this!

• Headphones

• Cheap hair dryer— Even if you use a converter, your hair dryer may stop working or even fry by the end of your trip.

• Cheap curling wand


• Passport

• Copies of passport— Hide these in both your carry-on and checked bag.

• Driver’s license

• 2 credit cards— Make sure they don’t charge foreign transaction fees! Keep one hidden as a back-up.

Packing tips

Pack all medications, jewelry, and important documents in your carry-on.

Throw a spare outfit in your carry-on in case your luggage doesn’t make it to the correct airport. Fingers crossed that doesn’t happen!

Roll your items to save space.

Invest in packing cubes to save space and stay organized.

Pack laundry sheets in between your clothes to keep them smelling fresh throughout your trip.

Europe Summer Packing List Image

Once you’ve tripled checked that you have everything, you’re ready for Europe! Feel free to ask any questions in the comments, or connect with us on Twitter or Instagram. Bon voyage!

What to pack for a summer in Europe

Jenna Rice

University of Central Florida | 20 stories

Jenna Rice is an alumna of the University of Central Florida. She studied abroad in Florence, Italy and seeks out any opportunity to travel within the U.S. and abroad. When she isn't working on her personal travel blog,, Jenna enjoys scouting out foodie spots, boating, online shopping, spending time with friends and taking ridiculous amounts of photos. Stay up-to-date with Jenna’s travels by following her on Instagram and Twitter at @ricejenna.

One response to “What to Pack for a Summer in Europe”

  1. Anonymous says:

    No longsleeve t-shirts, and only 2 cardigans for a whole month?! You must be traveling in the southern part of Europe only…

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