We’ve rounded up the most important items you’ll want to have on your trip.
Tops – 5 tops in a combination of short sleeves, long sleeves and shirts/blouses. Sticking to a neutral color palette will allow you to mix and match pieces with several outfits.
Bottoms – 2 pairs of versatile, smart-looking pants such as a lightweight trouser and a pair of jeans.
Warm Layers – 1 button down cardigan and 1 pullover sweater or lightweight fleece.
Socks & Underwear – 1 weeks’ worth. Lighter fabrics like synthetic blends dry faster than cotton.
Jacket – bring a lightweight water-resistant jacket.
Sleepwear – a comfortable t-shirt or paired with stretchy pants can double as pajamas and loungewear.
Scarf or tie – to add a bit of flair, transition from day to night, or achieve a more polished look in an instant. Something in a bright color or fun pattern is a great way to jazz up neutral layers.
Shoes – 2-3 pairs max. One pair of comfortable closed toe walking shoes plus one comfortable flat sandal or alternate closed toe shoe. Bring a pair of flip flops to slip on in your hotel room.
Belt – optional.
Personal Items & Toiletries
Essentials – travel sized toothbrush, toothpaste, razor & deodorant. Pack liquids in sealable plastic baggies to avoid leaks.
First Aid Items – antiseptic wipes & Band-Aids.
Medications – bring any medications in their original containers. If you check your suitcase, bring them with you on your carry-on while you travel.
Stain Removing Wipes – travel sized wipes or a stain removing pen for getting rid of spots.
Washcloth – many European hotels do not provide washcloths. If you prefer to have one, bring something like this easy-drying microfiber travel washcloth.
Tissues – pop a small pouch in your carry-on or handbag.
Prescription Glasses & Sunglasses – in a protected case.
Earplugs – these can help cancel any nighttime noise you aren’t used to.
Sleep mask – if you have trouble sleeping at your hotel or on a plane, an eye mask might help you get some rest.
Foldable Tote Bag – if you plan on shopping, bring an expandable tote in your suitcase to carry any souvenirs, clothing, or gifts back home.
Sunscreen & Insect Repellant – for in hot summer months and areas with lots of mosquitos.
Sunhat – one that can fold easily and fit in your bag while sightseeing.
Umbrella – something compact for your suitcase or carry-on.
Book – enjoy your downtime with a good read.
Water Bottle – these foldable & reusable bottles are great for travel.
Address List – for sending postcards to friends and family back home.
Planning to bring home wine or spirits? Check out this article!
Documents & Money
Debit & Credit Card – inform your bank and credit card company that you will be traveling internationally to avoid any unwanted holds on your account.
Money – you can use your debit card to withdraw cash when you’ve reached your destination, but it’s a good idea to carry a small reserve of U.S. dollars and the foreign currency for emergencies.
Documents – bring your travel wallet with all trip documents, tickets, ID and passport.
Foreign Adapter – bring the proper type of adapter for the country you are visiting so you can use your electronics abroad.
Cell Phone – note that your cell phone might not work outside the U.S. unless international service has been activated. Check with your provider ahead of time to avoid any unwanted fees. For calling or texting family back home, download Skype or WhatsApp onto one of your devices and use it whenever a Wi-Fi connection is available.
Digital Camera & Memory Card– many cell phones today have high-quality cameras. If you decide to bring an additional camera on vacation, be sure you’ll feel comfortable carrying it around with you all day. And don’t forget the memory card and batteries/charger!
Kindle or Tablet – these are great alternatives to laptop computers, allowing you to do everything from browsing the internet (when a Wi-Fi connection is available) to reading books and even interacting with family back home.
Batteries & Chargers – don’t forget to pack these for all of your devices! Or consider a universal travel charger to charge multiple things at once.
Check out this article for more advice on essential electronics.