europe packing guide


what to pack for a trip to europe in winter

Hey friends! Hope everyone is having a great week thus far. I've been bundling up more than usual lately as the temps keep dropping here in London. Winter is always pretty brutal, but I've found it to be even more true here in Europe for some reason (depending where you go). While I plan to do a proper packing guide for a long term trip abroad, I thought I'd zoom in a bit and speak to those of you traveling to Europe in the winter. 


For starters, I LOVE being in Europe during the winter for several reasons, but mainly because of the Christmas markets and the significant drop in tourists compared to the summer months. But those things aside, there's something so magical I can't quite put my finger on, and I highly recommend experiencing it for yourself at some point. 


When you do, be sure you pack appropriately. While cold weather may not be foreign to you, European lifestyle causes you to be outdoors a bit more than you may be used to (walking is a much more common mode of transportation than in the states). So wherever you're going in Europe this winter, here's what you need to pack: 



To be honest, I find gloves to be a bit annoying. Even if they keep my fingers toasty in the winter, I usually never wear them- until I'm in Europe. Even if it's not frigid, the seemingly constant state of being outdoors makes your fingers feel like they're going to fall off, so gloves are a must. Opt for something chic like these Ugg tech leather gloves with shearling lining or these "Jenny" leather tech gloves by Burberry. 





Beanies are pretty much my best friend in the winter here in Europe. They can make an outfit look more pulled together, they keep your head + ears warm, they hide unwashed hair AND they're easy to pack.  Be sure to bring neutral options (like this and this) as well as a fun color (like this or this) to mix things up a bit. 





The warmer the coat you pack, the better. I highly recommend a down option (and if you have a fur/ faux fur lining- even better!) If you're going somewhere really cold, opt for a longer parka (like this or this). If you're going somewhere a bit more mild (which honestly, London usually is) you'll be fine with a wool blend like this or this



Turtlenecks are a great base layer to wear under those parkas and scarves. You can opt for a more lightweight option like this, or you can go for a thicker knit like this or this




No matter what pants you wear, be sure to pack some thermal leggings as a base. I love these fleece lined leggings and also these. You can wear them on their own or underneath jeans if you want to stay extra toasty. 




It may sound obvious, but pack a good variety of scarves. This layer is always key in Europe, no matter the season- but especially in winter. I love this chic cashmere oversize wrap in grey (I wear it with everything it seems!) for a good neutral. I also like having some printed options like this or this

Hope this helps inspire your packing for a magical winter in Europe (or any cold-weather destination for that matter.) Hope you have a great Wednesday, and stay tuned later this week for a giveaway I'm excited to announce!




Barcelona Packing Guide


Hola once again! If you've been reading this week's posts, you know we've been talking about all things Barcelona (like where to stay and where to eat).  Today, we're continuing that trend by chatting about another important planning detail: what to pack.


No matter what time of year you visit Barcelona, chances are it probably won't be cold. The "winter" lasts from December to February (with average temperatures around 53°F). Most visitors go between April and October when it's generally sunny + warm. Assuming you fall into that majority, here are some items I'd recommend packing in your suitcase:



A classic leather bag is clutch for Barcelona (pun intended). The style in Spain is versatile, so you want a purse you could wear while browsing a market in a fedora + espadrilles, but also take to a tapas + wine dinner date wearing a chic pantsuit and wedges.  You'll also notice a lot of these suggestions are cross-body options, which was intentional to help protect you from pick-pockets (keep a close eye on your belongings regardless- it can happen here!) 

Go for real leather like this, this or this. If you prefer that vegan life, try a faux option like this or this. And if you prefer to add a little pizazz to your bag, try one with a little fringe (here or here).



This look has already been having a moment this year, so there's no better time to embrace the trend and let the Spanish sun kiss your shoulders. During the day, opt for a bold print (like this) or pops of bright color (like this or this). And just because the sun goes down doesn't mean you have to cover back up. Opt for a darker piece (like this romper that could pair with an espadrille wedge). 




Maybe it was just me, but I feel like I noticed SO many Spanish women wearing chic jumpsuits and rompers. My favorite look was styling them with a sleek pony + bold red lip (which I saw done a few times.) If you're going for a daytime look, try lighter linen fabrics (like this or this). And for after dark? Try a chic pop of red (like this). 



Casual shift dresses are pretty much always a traveling "must" for me. They're comfortable and super easy to make yourself look pulled together. Pair this staple (also here or here) with a with a fedora + espadrilles to give it a Spanish flare.



I love Espadrilles in so many warm weather climates, but especially in Spain. This style of shoes have been made in the Pyrennean region of Catalonia since the 14th century, so not only is it a "cute" look to wear-- it's extremely historic in Spain. Today they come in all sorts of styles to pair with any look: wrap sandals (also herehere and here), wedges, and the traditional slide on style




While fedoras aren't technically Spanish (the term actually comes from French dramatist Victorien Sardou's play. Thanks, Wikipedia) they seem to have adopted the look over the years. Aside from "looking the part," I love hats while traveling for lots of reasons (mainly because you can go longer without having to wash your hair, and they make you look more pulled together in an instant). You can go for a classic style like this or this if you want a "one size fits all" approach. If you want to step outside the box a little, go for a deeper tone straw like this, or even forgo straw all together with a wool version if you happen to visit in the cooler months. 



Don't fuss with a massive beauty routine in Barcelona. In all honesty, you're likely to sweat off most make-up and the humidity will kill any curl you put in your hair. But 2 products that will serve you well? A bold red lip (like MAC's "Ruby Woo") and texturizing spray to combat humidity + embrace that undone look (Oribe is my favorite and smells amazing too). 




Depending where else you go in Europe, I recommend a larger hardshell suitcase for Barcelona. Even if you don't need all that space going over there, you'll want it coming home (coming from the gal who brought back SEVEN bottles of Spanish wine last time). If you're a light to moderate traveler, go for something chic + affordable (like this DVF piece). If you're on the go more frequently and want something more durable that will last longer, opt for something like this, this or this


Obviously this doesn't cover everything you need to pack, but hopefully you'll find it helpful as you plan your trip to Barcelona (or any warm weather climate in Spain for that matter!) 


Stay tuned for tomorrow's fourth + final Barcelona post from this trip: all about what to see + do! Until then, have a happy Thursday, friends!




Happy Friday from London! Hope everyone has had a great week. Haley and I are getting ready to head off on a quick little adventure next week, and packing has been front of mind. 

I'm often asked what to pack for a trip to Europe (and I'd like to think I'm somewhat of a pro, considering I've been living out of a single suitcase these last 3-4 months).

I also know that with the holiday's approaching, lots of us are looking for gift ideas. I'd argue travel essentials are always a great gift to give to someone you love (especially if they have a trip coming up). 

Combine all the factors above, and it seemed appropriate to put together a list of things to pack for a trip to Europe (no matter who you are or what time of year you go). 



Traveling in Europe means your suitcase is likely to be dragged around even more than it is domestically (consider planes, trains, taxis, ferries- you name it). Those flimsy airline tags are bound to rip off, so invest in a chic + sturdy leather luggage tag like this one from Cuyana



I'm asked about luggage a lot. And rightfully so- it's the most necessary item for any traveler. I've learned that the cheaper the luggage, the shorter the lifespan. For domestic trips, I've loved my DVF luggage set (it's chic + light weight) but I've learned (after living out of it all year) it's not quite sturdy enough for a long term European adventure. Your best bet for luggage that will last (the case, the zipper, the wheels, etc.) even in the harshest conditions on trains, planes and automobiles, is going to be brands like Victorinox, Rimowa or Tumi



 Temperatures while traveling are constantly changing-- especially in Europe. Light layers are key, and you can't go wrong with a cashmere scarf (especially this oatmeal color that goes with everything).  Wear it like a traditional scarf or wrap it around you like a blanket on the plane/train. Either way, you'll be so glad you have it. 



Travel is so hard on your skin: the dehydration from airplane altitude, the ever-changing climates, the list goes on. I've learned to always keep a bottle of La Roche-Posay Thermal Water in my purse to spritz on my face whenever I need a quick refresher. It's scientifically proven for its soothing properties and has been used in Europe for centuries. It's mineral-rich micro-droplets provide immediate, intense soothing that you can feel. Order it online and keep your eyes out for more products by this lovely French brand, La Roche-Posay all over European pharmacies. 




I learned the hard way that carrying mulitple currencies around is incredibly confusing. One night in Croatia while attempting to pay for my gelato (I maayyyy have been a little tipsy), I hit my breaking point and dumped my entire wallet out on the counter top while searching for kuna that was hidden among dollars, euros and pounds. Luckily, Haley bought me this Aspinal of London currency belt that has been a life saver. It's slim and comes with 4 compartments labeled to separate your dollars, pounds, euros and other notes so you'll never find yourself digging for the appropriate payment. 




We all know the struggle to keep an iPhone battery charged, but this pain-point seems to be amplified even more while I'm in Europe. When one device serves as your camera, map, and means of communication (among many other things) it's naturally going to be in your hands almost non-stop. So instead of having heart palpitations when your "10% battery remaining" notification comes on the moment you're about to see the Mona Lisa, just pull out this handy portable iPhone charger for additional battery to save the day. 




Europeans know a thing (or 20) about stylish footwear. One reason why? They do TONS of walking.  While heels may look cute, they're not the most practical option. To fit in like a local, pick up a pair of stylish lifestyle shoes (like these adidas Superstars) you can wear with just about any everyday outfit



I used to think a passport case was unnecessary and that it just looked cute (especially since this one matches the currency belt). But it does extend your passport life if you're traveling in areas with inclement weather (Ireland anyone?) It's also become quite a conversation starter with fellow travelers when they ask me where I got it, which has been fun. Overall, I've found it to be a form of expression (similar to a lot of things we carry) for one of my most prized possessions- so why wouldn't I want one?




In addition to durable luggage, be sure to have a solid carry-on tote. I have both this weekender tote and overnight tote from Cuyana and both are wonderful. Different airlines have different allowances for carry-on baggage, but both of these are always allowed (and if you don't get a personal item, they'll also fit your purse. Additional perk? I'm using them for shorter trips when I can leave my big suitcase behind (like the upcoming trip Haley and I are taking this week...stay tuned!) 



I use my earbuds every. single. day. On a plane or on a train. Working on my laptop in a café or while walking and exploring the city streets. They're in my ears more often than not somedays. I loved these Sonix earbuds for the pop of color, but also the handy little leather pouch that comes with them so they don't get tangled up in everything that's in your purse. 


So there you have it! 10 essentials you should definitely have before hopping across the pond and exploring Europe. I hope you find these to be helpful! Any other packing tips you want to see? Let me know in the comments below!


Stay tuned for more travel adventures coming to the blog early next week. In the meantime? Have a great weekend friends!