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!