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Must-Have Packing List *Updated*
What I pack on every European adventure
Packing for any adventure is an event entirely of its own. Because I’m a planner and list-making machine, I actually find a lot of joy in this process, but that’s not the same or everyone. That’s why I’m here today to update my must-have packing list from last year, and offer you a place to start when it’s time to make your own lists, pack, and take off on your next much-anticipated holiday.
**I am a minimalist traveler. I prefer ease of movement through airports, train stations and city streets. All of my items must fit in either a carryon and backpack or a travel backpack and crossbody purse. I never check luggage from the US to my destination. I do sometimes check my luggage when I’m on my way home.
**This list is specifically for my European travel. It would need to be modified when traveling to other countries, cultures and climates, but I think it’s still a good place to start no matter where your journey leads.
Amy’s Top 25
My number ONE forever! We’ve all got our weird little quirks, right? Well, If I forget my sleeping bag I might as well turn around and go home. My mind-boggling allergy to random and unknown synthetic materials makes hotel sheets and blankets my greatest nemesis, but my bestie silk sleeping bag saves the day every time. Honestly, it’s great for comfort whether you have allergies or not, and folds up in its own tiny little bag for easy packing.
AirPods AND Corded Earbuds
I use AirPods for listening to podcasts and downloads from my phone and for listening to free, recorded walking tours in various cities, but I always keep a pair of corded earbuds that fit comfortably for when I forget to charge my AirPods.
Whether on the plane or in an unexpectedly loud hotel room, hostel, or AirBnB, these are lifesavers.
NOT at Grandma!!! I used to travel to and from Hanoi annually. I was young and independent, and my legs still killed me on those 10+ hour long-haul flights. Then I got smart. The day I went on Amazon and purchased cute compression socks will live on as one of the smartest days of my life. No more pain! No more uneasy flights of not being able to sit still. I’m in love!
The Perfect Blue Jean Jacket
Jean jackets are my staple piece of clothing whether I’m traveling or not. They go on top of basically everything, wrinkle-free, and add a comfortable layer to just basically any outfit or a handy second layer under a big puffy coat.
Quart and gallon size Ziplocs save me every time. From airport security to protecting my passport in the rain, I never leave home without them. Also, a good reusable shopping bag is essential for European travel. Most markets and groceries don’t offer bags, and they are always perfect for carrying baguettes, cheese, and wine for an impromptu sunset picnic. Finally, the small, packable duffle is a brand new item I recently added to my must-have list. Why? Well, I never check a bag enroute to Europe, BUT I’m not opposed to checking it for the journey home. It’s tough to bring home treasures when bags were packed to the brim from the start. By packing a small duffle, I can now check my carryon and take a duffle filled with goodies acquired along the way and my backpack on the plane to travel home.
I keep a wrap in my backpack for chilly airplanes and restaurants, as an additional scarf for cold weather, and extra comfort for nighttime sleeping.
Whether staying in an AirBnb with a washer or doing laundry in the bathtub, detergent pods transport easily and come in quite handy.
After experiencing an Austrian Christmas market on a Monday when all banks were closed and no one wanted to take my credit card, I will never travel again without my Charles Schwab debit card. It works at every ATM worldwide and there are ZERO transaction fees, which are generally killer on most other debit cards available.
Passport, 2 Credit Cards and a Backup Card in My Apple Wallet, Driver’s License, $40-$100USD, Health Insurance Card, Debit Card and Travel Insurance Information…AND COPIES of my passport, health insurance card, travel insurance information, fight information and any trains or tours I have booked both on my phone AND on paper. I also email all of this to myself so I can access it from any device.
Kindle or book
The glue stick is for all the tickets, receipts, and cards I want to keep in my journal or any other treasure I want to afix for sentimental memories…otherwise, they get lost before I get home.
Handy in so many ways!
For me, Benadryl is always necessary for allergies and proven to be more difficult to find internationally. Magnesium Glycinate helps me to sleep like a baby.
Traveling with one eye on the world and the other eye on Jesus is an act of worship and so necessary for me. I love to take my practice of journaling alongside a burning candle that reminds me of Jesus’ presence even when I travel…plus, some rooms are stinky!
Sometimes when I have the time and space afforded by travel, I get inspired to pursue the ancient practice of write letters to those I love.
Why? Read this!
Phone and MAYBE My Laptop (with Chargers)
Sometimes I add an additional phone cord and block.
I pack an umbrella for every season. It works just as great for snowy street walking and intense sunshine as it does for rainy days.
I travel with two pairs of shoes. One is seasonal and the other is always my Adidas leather sneakers. They are comfortable for miles and miles of city walking. They match almost everything and are perfect protection from the unexpected puddle or downpour.
Small Crossbody Purse
Just make sure it’s water resistant and large enough to hold a phone, credit cards, room key, and passport. I never leave my passport behind.
All of this PLUS clothes and toiletries in a carry-on and backpack ONLY?
Packing cubes, Ziploc bags, and a little bit of good ol’ fashioned determination save me stress and make international travel so, so easy.
Save this list for your next adventure.
And…what would you add?
Happy Travels and Happy Packing!