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Many of my European adventures have happened during the summer. From living in Mediterranean countries like Italy and Croatia to visiting countries all the way up to Poland in August. Although these places do not have quite the same weather during the same season, the average summer temperature throughout Europe ranges from about 70 degrees Fahrenheit, to into the 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
While you absolutely can pack light with just a carry-on, depending on the length of your trip and where you plan to spend most of your time, you’ll want to pack a little bit of everything! Here’s your ultimate guide to packing for European summer travel.
Presenting, the Ultimate European Summer Travel Packing List:
Essential Travel Items
These are the items that you absolutely can’t travel without–partly because you can’t get on the plane without (most of) them!
- Driver’s License
- Cash & Credit Card
- Itinerary & Tickets
- Keys & Wallet
You’ll always need your everyday essentials. But, depending on what you prefer to use when exploring, you should have a trusty and trendy backpack or purse to carry your go-to things throughout the day.
Not sure what kind of backpack or purse you need? I wrote an entire post dedicated to what types of travel bags and purses you should bring on a trip.
- Reusable bag
- Luggage locks
- Blanket scarf
- Neck pillow
- Reusable water bottle
Mix and match a few different tops, shorts, and skirts, and dresses, with one or two pairs of leggings, jeans, and a jacket. Since summers in Europe are hot, you probably won’t end up wearing jeans unless it’s a chilly night.
Personally, I love summer dresses, so that takes up the bulk of my travel wardrobe, whereas I only bring one or two pairs of shorts depending on the trip.
Accessories can totally transform your outfits! Since these are small, you can pack several different options. Replacing a belt or adding a scarf can alter your whole look and keep you from losing precious time going back to your accommodations to change outfits.
- Light Scarf
Next up on the European summer travel packing list–––the shoes.
Shoes are similar to accessories in that they can dress up or dress down your appearance. Even more importantly, they need to make sense for your adventure. Many European towns have beautiful cobblestone streets, which makes for an uneven walking surface. Make sure whatever shoes you decide to bring won’t hurt your feet; otherwise, you might feel the uncomfortable bump of blisters while walking around these historic cities.
Choose your shoes wisely and stick to a neutral color palette. Since sandals are the slimmest shoes, you can probably slip an extra pair or two into your suitcase, while you might only have space for one pair of bulky sneakers.
When it comes to sneakers, as long as they’re supportive, you don’t really need to bring hiking boots or running shoes with you. Unless, of course, you’re planning for a hike or can’t live without your daily runs! I’ve used my trusty Adidas for everything from walking 35,000 steps daily through historic cities, to climbing up to the top of a rocky ridge. Do what works best for you.
- Heeled sandals
Looking for a complete organizer for your trip, with an included packing list? Swipe my free, printable Travel Planner!
The necessary stuff. If you have access to a washing machine or laundry service, then you don’t need to pack as many options in this category. Otherwise, if your trip is only for a few days or you won’t be able to clean your necessities, you’re going to want enough clean options for each day of your trip. And a few extras, just in case.
Some European countries have gorgeous coastlines. Some have fantastic mountain ranges. Others have thrilling adventure activities. Or, y’know, one day you might be in Italy and spontaneously decide you’re going for a horse ride that afternoon. True story!
No matter what, if you’ll be out there being active, you want to make sure you have a few options.
- Sports bras
- Workout tops
- Workout leggings
- Bathing suit
- Flip flops
This is the area you can have the most fun! While there will always be a few staple beauty items you can’t live without, this is the area I usually pack the least. Instead, I’ll pick up many of these essentials from local stores. That way, you can get to save a bit of room in your suitcase, while discovering new products that might even be better than the ones you already use.
- Haircare products
- Sanitary products
Last but by no means least, your electronics. Ask yourself–how much can you unplug for your trip? Can you live without your computer for a week or two and maybe just stick with a tablet, or will you still be on the clock for work while you’re away?
Finally, don’t forget your chargers, and be sure you have the right travel adapters for wherever you’re headed!
- Travel adapters
- High-quality binoculars
Since everyone has different tastes, I know there are some sections of this list that you’ll need to expand, and other parts that you’ll bring the bare minimum. The beautiful thing is it’s up to you! Use this as a guide and then customize it to fit your style. No matter what you bring, you’re sure to have a great time on your European adventure.
What do you include on your European summer travel packing list?