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  • Writer's pictureNate + Christa

What's in our bags? Here's what you should (and shouldn't) pack for your next European vacation!

Updated: Apr 25

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Getting ready for a trip to Europe and looking for ideas of what to pack? We put together this easy packing guide of our favorite (and most useful) Amazon finds- plus a few things to leave behind!

Our number one most used item of the trip has been these vacuum travel bags. The set of bags comes with a perfect travel-sized pump that is small but mighty! Great if you're on a longer trip or just need to make some space in a smaller bag. (Also try these packing cubes if you're looking to avoid traveling with a pump!)

These European plug adapters are a must have for all of your gadgets.

This is my all-time favorite toiletry bag. It's fits soo much! It comes with a handy hook that is perfect for hanging on door allowing you to make the most of your space (keep in mind rooms are typically on the more compact side in most places around Europe).

If you're planning on shopping or flying extra items back with you (or just to check your weight before you fly), you need this digital weight scale. From our experience, airlines in Europe have been much stricter with baggage weight than they typically are in the States, even for carry-on items. So save yourself the headache (and avoid extra fees) and make sure your bags meet the weight requirements before getting to the airport... we learned the hard way.

Hiking on your trip? Skip packing a bulky backpack and opt for this lightweight, water resistant backpack instead. It rolls up to fit in your hand, but will surprise you with how much it can hold!

I'm sure you've been warned about pick-pocketers. Theft can happen anywhere, but seems to be most common in the big city crowds. Our best advice is to avoid leaving items like wallets and phones in your pockets (especially back pockets!) and bring something like this front-facing fanny pack or a backpack to keep your belongings in.

Comfortable walking shoes are a must! Unlike most cities in the United States, European cities are very walkable. We average about 5-6 miles a day. Come prepared with these heel liners in case you need them. You can expect uneven, cobblestone roads in most places. Many cities also have steep hills and lots of steps (looking at you Lisbon, Porto and Positano). So ditch the heels, bring your best walking shoes and be ready to get your steps in!

Even if you're traveling during the summer, it's still a good idea to bring a light jacket or sweater as evening temps in most places can still get a bit chilly.

This one is not really a necessity, but it is definitely nice to have if you happen to encounter rain during your trip. This umbrella has held up through heavy winds, rain and being shoved in the bottom of a backpack about 100 times so far.

For my traveling pet parents: I plan to do a more detailed post on our experience traveling with our dogs, but for now I will just include these must-haves for those planning to travel abroad with their pets. This pet carrier- it is airline approved and great for trains/taxis or simply to wear as a backpack to keep hands free. It fit our 10 lb Yorkie mix nicely and has held up well through our travels. These collapsible bowls with lids are perfect to store an easily accessible meal while traveling if needed. The hooks make it convenient to attach to leashes. Finally, this is our favorite harness/leash combo. The harness has hooks on both the front of chest and top of harness back and the leash is thick with a nicely padded handle. Last but not least, we have loved these pet backpacks!

What are some things you recommend or can't travel without that I have missing from my list??

Tip: It's important to note that you will want to pack light as you will likely have to carry your luggage up/down stairs and potentially long distances, especially if you're heading to a car-free city or town.

Check out my Travel Checklist next for a printable packing list!

We quickly learned after our first trip to Positano why everyone says to travel light in Europe.. so many regrets (and maybe a few tears) lugging heavy suitcases around!

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