These are things that I brought on my recent trip to Europe that I would have not survived without aka a brief packing list. These items got me through almost two months straight of non-stop country hopping. Whether you are going to Europe, or anywhere else, these things will come in handy for short and long-term travel. Read below for 10 things you’ve got to pack for smooth sailing on your upcoming trip.
1. Passport holder
Make sure to bring a passport holder, especially if you plan on country-hopping like I did, and will be needing your passport often. It acts as a protective layer for your passport and most of them have card holders as well. I got a cute pink one on amazon for around 8 bucks. It held everything I needed in it; my passport, bank cards, and on travel days it held my boarding passes. This is the one I got but amazon has plenty options if it’s not your style.
2. Fanny pack
Now this is one thing I hope you don’t ignore on this list. My fanny pack was a life saver. I had no problems with pick pocketing or losing any of my important items my entire trip thanks to my fanny pack. I purchased mine off amazon wanting something on the stylish side that was also functional. I kept my passport holder, phone, airbnb (or hostel, or hotel) keys, metrocards, cash, and anything else you could think of in my fanny pack. It stayed with me at all times either around my waist or across my chest. This is the exact one I got as seen in some of my London pics.
3. Comfy (but cute) tennis shoes
Yet another purchase I made from amazon, I wanted to make sure my walking shoes were also fashionable so I opted for platform PUMAs. To ensure they were extra comfortable for walking I added in cheap inserts from target. These shoes were amazing, they were often the highlight of my outfit while also offering the support I needed. Being the only tennis shoes I brought, they went through a lot but stood the test of time and endless walking/hiking.
4. Reusable water bottle
The one thing I personally forgot and regretted every single day. Water was like a delicacy in some countries, even having a glass of water at a restaurant came at a price. Even when that wasn’t the case, we were still traveling in the middle of summer and hydration was important. We found ourselves buying so many plastic water bottles from the stands and stores, it would have saved so much time and money (and earth) to have brought a refillable one. Most public parks throughout Europe offer free fountains with fresh, cold water to refill with.
5. Universal power adapter
If you want to charge your phone, camera, laptop, etc. while on your trip this is a no brainer. Unsurprisingly, I got mine on amazon (about $20). This one is great because not only does it have the universal EU plug, it also has UK and AU. If you didn’t know, the UK has a different plug than other European countries, so the standard EU adapter will not do if you plan on making a stop in the UK.
6. Luggage locks
These were a great buy that I didn’t expect to use as much as I did. Having luggage locks not only made me feel safer carrying around luggage on public transportation, but also during hostel and shared airbnb stays. Although most hostels have lockers, some don’t and luggage locks offer another layer of security when rooming with people you don’t know. I bought a pink two pack, one for my suitcase, and one for my backpack. The one for my backpack was unnecessary and I ended up giving the extra to my travel partner, Andrea.
A good backpack carries EVERYthing. It is a must must must must-have if you are traveling to multiple places during your trip. I had a medium sized suitcase because of the length of my trip and my back pack acted as a carry on. It held everything from my laptop to my odds and ends that wouldn’t squeeze into my suitcase. It was not only useful for traveling days, but came in handy for hikes or trips to the beach to carry snacks and supplies. The one I got (from Amazon), was awesome because it had a pocket for everything you could think of. Pictured above are the exact color options I purchased, but there are many different color options in this style.
8. Pepper spray
This one, is not super high on my list because I did not use it my entire trip. But, if you are traveling alone or even in a small group, I highly suggest it. Although I did not have to use mine there are so many possible situations where it could be helpful. I recommend purchasing a mini-sized key chain, one that’s not too big to fit comfortably in your fanny pack. The keychain I got from Amazon was about $10.
I wish I had the writing skills to artfully describe how painfully difficult it was to find affordable sunscreen in Europe. Please, I beg you, run to Walmart, Target, anywhere and purchase sunscreen BEFORE your trip. Life will be so much easier. I got sunburned all over my face in Spain trying to go without it before succumbing to the ridiculous prices.
This one is more or less obvious, but headphones were one of the last things I added to my bag. Although most of your time will be spent exploring, these are a need for traveling anywhere. They are doubly important if you plan on staying in a hostel or shared place. Not everyone is on the same sleep schedule as you and you may need to block some sound out.
Ultimately, when packing for your trip make sure to bring what’s important for YOU. These things may seem unnecessary for your own needs, but I found everything listed above very useful throughout my trip. Did I miss something? Comment below.