How to Pack for a 2- to 4-Week Trip to Europe

- International, Outfits, Travel


Since I just finished packing this weekend for my 2-week Europe trip, I thought I would share my tips for packing! Basically this is your guide on how to pack for a month long trip (at most) with just two bags: your backpacking backpack and your purse/tote. If you’re like me, you’ll avoid dragging around any extra luggage, especially when you will be taking multiple flights.  It is SO much easier to deal with less clothing, less to carry, but at the same time you still want to look stylish on your trip.  With that said here are my tips! (Of course, these are for a summer trip from June to July, so different clothing would be required at another time!)

1.  Consider versatile items.  Accessories (jewelry, scarves, hair pieces, etc.) are the perfect way to mix up outfits without taking up a lot of room.  It is amazing how many different outfits you can make by just switching up the accessories and wearing the same top with a different bottom, for example.

2. Instead of your usual purse, bring a larger zip-up tote to double as your purse and another place to store souvenirs/extras while traveling. Having a purse or tote that zips also helps ensure that all of your contents are safe and sound (Money, passport, guide books… yes I need this, electrical converters).

3. Pack no more than 4 pairs of shoes.  Shoes take up a lot of room, and most likely you will be doing a lot of walking, touring and exploring while in Europe.  You want a comfortable pair of walking shoes or flats and if you are going somewhere where you need a fancy pair of heels, why not buy a pair while you are there?!  Heels take up a lot of room, so if it is possible, try to do without packing a pair.  For summer, flats, sandals and walking shoes are the way to go (I highly recommend these flat sandals— most comfortable pair I’ve ever owned).

4. Roll your clothes.  It is amazing how many shirts, tanks, dresses I can fit in less than half my bag by rolling them up.  Plus, this should help with wrinkles.

5. Have picked out what you are going to wear on the plane.  Since the flight is longer, you want to be comfy.  Skinny, yet stretchy jeans, a plain tee and jacket will help keep you warm on the plane, and also gives you layering options. (Take off the jacket if you get too warm!) A scarf can also help keep you warm and double as a mini pillow. (I’m not a fan of the neck pillows…!) Usually I wear dresses on flights during the summer, but I also know I FREEZE on planes, so I have to do jeans, socks and walking shoes to stay warm for the long flight to London.

Along with my tips, here is a general list of what I recommend to pack:

  • 1 Jacket (Highly recommend a good leather jacket…warm, and chic for Europe)
  • 2-3 Plain tees
  • 2-3 Tank tops
  • 2 Pairs of Jeans
  • 3-4 Dresses (Ones that easily roll up and do not wrinkle)
  • 1-2 Skirts
  • 1-2 Blazers/Cardigans/Denim-Button Ups
  • 1 Pair Walking Shoes (Recommend this pair)
  • 1 Pair Flats (Recommend this pair)
  • 1-2 Pair Sandals (Recommend this pair)
  • 3-4 Summer Scarves
  • 2-3 Headbands/Hair Accessories
  • 1-2 Belts
  • Endless Jewelry 🙂
  • Pajamas (Pants/shorts, you never know what the hostel/hotel temperature will be like)

The next few images show how versatile some of these items can be.  For example, placing a plain tee (my striped one) over my coral maxi dress, the dress becomes a skirt for a whole new look.  As far as accessories go, I highly, HIGHLY recommend light-weight scarves, which are chic and look great with everything!

Hopefully some of these tips helped you and these images helped show you how versatile your clothing can be! (and these are just some ideas for how to put different outfits together… lots of other options as well!) Happy Monday!

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  • Reply
    June 4, 2012 at 8:11 PM

    🙂 Nice!

  • Reply
    June 4, 2012 at 9:05 PM

    What a great post Rachel!! I really like the images too to help visualize the outfit! This method would have helped me 4 yrs ago – we went to Europe for 3 months but hubby only wanted to bring 1 bag! It was a little nuts! 🙂

    I’m so excited for you about this trip! You are going to have so much fun!

    xo, sam

  • Reply
    Fashion By Alicia
    June 4, 2012 at 11:10 PM

    These are great tips! I’m such an over packer so if/when I go to Europe I’ll follow your tips!!

  • Reply
    June 4, 2012 at 11:46 PM

    This is great- & I am absolutely terrible at packing light!!

  • Reply
    June 5, 2012 at 12:14 AM

    I think that Mr. A would agree that I need to read these tips. I am a horrible packer. For four days out of town, I will pack seven bags. I like to have choices!
    Twitter: @GlamKitten88

  • Reply
    June 5, 2012 at 12:26 AM

    Wonderful tips sweetie! *.* Fernando says that i’m not the best person to pack, i always take lots and lots of things (that usually i don’t need, but shhhhh) I really have to be more organized in that way! 😉 Muiitos beijinhos

  • Reply
    June 5, 2012 at 4:06 AM

    oh my gosh this is such a helpful post! i am super organized and i always stress about packing!!

  • Reply
    June 5, 2012 at 4:16 AM

    These are great tips hon thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    June 5, 2012 at 6:03 AM

    awwwww europe how i love thee 🙂

    we pack our jewelry the same way!! i’ve meaning to look for some sort of jewelry traveler, but i guess this is sufficient in the meantime.

  • Reply
    June 5, 2012 at 10:27 AM

    Cool Tips Rachel! Have a fun and safe trip!

  • Reply
    June 5, 2012 at 10:49 AM

    Oooh great post…now if I only had somewhere to go 🙂

    The Other Side of Gray

  • Reply
    June 5, 2012 at 12:10 PM

    Okay 2 bags? Girl you are my hero…. I don’t know if I could do it? And only 4 pairs of shoes? I’m getting anxious with the thought of limiting myself 🙂 But then again I don’t have a fabulous trip to Europe on the horizon!!!! Can’t wait to hear all about your trip… and I also hope someday the universe will allow us to be FB friends – ha!


  • Reply
    June 5, 2012 at 12:44 PM

    I’m the worst bag packer for trips, always filled with outfit regret. Good tips!

  • Reply
    June 5, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    I’m going on vacation on Friday so I’ll keep these tips in mind! I want to try rolling my clothes, I’ve never tried that before (although my clothes are pretty small as it is since I’m so petite, ha) and I love the idea of jewelry in plastic baggies!

    The Tiny Heart

  • Reply
    two birds
    June 5, 2012 at 1:20 PM

    i was definitely not this smart when i went to europe. i had a suitcase just full of boots when i went. not smart!

  • Reply
    antonella c'est moi
    June 5, 2012 at 5:41 PM

    amazing shopping sweetie!!!

  • Reply
    wardrobe girls
    June 5, 2012 at 6:53 PM

    wait..can i PLEASE come to europe!??

    great packing. you look very prepared.


    wardrobe girls

  • Reply
    June 5, 2012 at 11:59 PM

    Fun post! Love your picks! The moccasin hightops are great!


  • Reply
    Jacy Tilton
    June 6, 2012 at 1:56 AM

    Great tips! I brought a big suitcase when I went to Greece several years ago and it was horrible to lug around! I roll my clothes also 🙂
    Thank you for your sweet comment! I’m enjoying my internship so far!


  • Reply
    June 6, 2012 at 4:07 AM

    great tips for packing… looks like you managed to fit a bunch of lovely into those small bags! Makes me dream of backpacking through Europe again, like I did after college graduation with my girlfriends!

  • Reply
    June 6, 2012 at 9:55 PM

    I am a fan of packing light!! I don’t like to take lots of luggage and have that much more to worry about. Usually I’m good with jut a carry on.
    I’m having a pastel bracelets giveaway on my blog, would love for you to pass by and enter!


  • Reply
    Jane Squared
    June 9, 2012 at 12:07 AM

    I love packing posts; I think it’s really helpful to know how other people organize things. It really helps when I’m packing for my own vacations. Safe travels!

  • Reply
    June 12, 2012 at 5:05 PM

    This is one of the best “How-To” posts on packing I have come across. I always end up packing way to much (including two pairs of heels I never end up wearing, hahaha). I’ll have to keep this post somewhere to remind me less is more!

  • Reply
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