This story was created in partnership with: Trafalgar
The trick to packing well for two weeks in Europe is to travel with a versatile capsule wardrobe that’s practical, stylish and comfortable — no matter what time of year it is! With Trafalgar’s European tours you’ll be on the the cobbled streets of Paris one minute and walking alongside the canals of Venice the next. Here’s your checklist for what to pack for two weeks in Europe!
Why travel with a capsule wardrobe?
Visiting a new destination is always exciting but the hassle of getting there isn’t always fun. Airlines frequently update baggage rules and weight allowances, it’s part of the journey but it can make travel a little stressful at times. A capsule wardrobe will allow you to pack efficiently and lightly. You won’t need to worry about whether you’re taking too little or too much. Some capsule wardrobes will even fit into a carry-on, taking away the hassle of having to check-in luggage!
Top tips for creating a capsule wardrobe for Europe:
- Choose basic separates in neutral colours.
- Pack things that you will wear more than once in a number of ways. For example, a tank top could be worn during the day but also in the evening with a nice pair of shoes and an accessory.
- Nail the basic wardrobe and then add a few other seasonal items. For example, shorts or sundresses for the summer, a scarf for layering during autumn or sprucing up an outfit in the evening.
Europe enjoys spring, summer, autumn and winter! While the the summers can be baking hot, the winters can get rather cold and chilly, but autumn and spring are mild and pleasant. If you’re travelling in winter, you’ll need to take a warm coast and likewise, if you’re visiting in the the summer, leave your fleece lined boots behind.
Basic all-season capsule wardrobe for European city adventures
- T-shirts or tops in neutral colours: Perfect for sightseeing during the day and tucking into a pair of jeans at night with some nice accessories and smart jacket for chic and casual look that’s perfect for a relaxed dinner or cocktail bars. Pack both short and long-sleeved options.
- A buttoned denim shirt or white shirt: Stick with clothes are easy to mix and match! A simple shirt is super versatile, and you pair it with jeans, shorts or nice trousers or tie it over a sundress for the perfect day outfit in Europe.
- Jeans and/or black slacks: Super comfortable and an essential piece of clothing to travel with – make some room in your suitcase for a several pairs of jeans and/or black slacks. If you’re travelling extra light, or trying to fit everything in to your carry on, just take one or the other. Check your tour to see the kind of activities you are doing, because some evening venues may have strict dress codes, in which case black slacks are the best comfortable option as you can dress them up or down depending on what you’re doing.
- Comfortable shoes: You’ll be on your feet most of the day, wandering through the charming streets and exploring famous historical attractions, packing a pair of comfortable walking shoes is vital! A nice pair of sneakers or soft-soled shoes may be the height of practically, but these days they are also a very stylish way to hit Europe’s cobbled lanes.
- A pair of smart-casual shoes: You only really need to travel with two pairs of shoes. The second pair you choose will depend upon the time of year, during the summer, a nice pair of sandals will suffice and during the colder months a pair of boots is ideal. For spring or fall, a pair of slip-on shoes or ballet pumps are a good choice.
- Something dressy: Pack something fabulous to wear if you end up on a fancy night out!
- Something colourful: Bring your favourite item that will be your signature piece for the trip! It could be a pair of colourful shorts or pants, a scarf or shirt, dress or handbag, but you need at least one thing that pops and adds a little sparkle to your European capsule wardrobe.
- A classic, long or waterfall blazer: Instantly upgrade any outfit day or night with a sophisticated blazer. It’s worth travelling with a blazer as they are ideal for a cool European summer evening or as a casual layer during the day in autumn.
- Moisture-wicking socks: Don’t underestimate the power of having cool, dry socks (especially during the summer)! You’ll be on your feet all day and there’s nothing worse than feeling uncomfortable in your socks. Pack a few extra pairs, they don’t take up much room and may come in handy!
- Other key things: PJs, underwear and travel-friendly toiletries.
Essential summer items
Summers in Europe can be hot and humid depending on where you go. However, for most countries you’ll need need to keep the following packing tips in mind!
- Comfortable walking sandals: Just as cold feet can get in the way of enjoying sightseeing, hot feel can have a similar impact. Pack a pair of walking sandals for maximum comfort and style!
- Hat: From a classic baseball cap to a fabulous wide-brimmed hat, it’s the best way to protect your head and face from sun exposure while channeling some glamour.
- Sunglasses: Keep the rays at bay with some protective and chic sunglasses.
Essential autumn items
Autumn is a lovely time to visit. The weather begins to cool down, but is still very pleasant and as it’s no longer peak season, it’s a cheaper time to visit.
- Sweaters to layer with: The key to packing for autumn is to add some layers to your basic capsule wardrobe, a couple of sweaters is all you need.
- A pair of comfortable boots: Perfect to wear during the day and dressing smart a night.
- A light waterproof jacket: Autumn weather can be unpredictable, so keeping a light waterproof jacket to wear on a top of a couple of layers will keep you warm and dry!
Essential winter items
If you’re visiting during Europe’s colder months, it’s worth bringing these things along to make sure you’re comfortable and warm. Depending on where you go, some countries and regions can be in the negative temperatures and if you’re not used to that kind of weather, you won’t enjoy it! However, dress the part and exploring Europe during the winter is magical. From the beautiful holiday markets to frosted towns and festivals, there’s plenty to see and do.
- Layers: Thermal socks and thermal layers for the top and bottom are a must if you’re visiting in negative.
- Warm water resistant jacket: European winters are often cold and damp! Having a warm waterproof jacket with warm lining will come in really handy. Some places experience heavy snowfall, so having a water resistant jacket is essential.
- Warm comfortable shoes or boots: Having cold toes and feet while exploring or sightseeing is unbearable, so bring a pair of shoes or boots that will keep you warm!
- Hats, gloves, and scarves: Perfect for bundling up!
Essential spring items
Spring is a great time to visit Europe. The weather is mild, and it may rain, you’ll score some sweet travel deals.
- A light waterproof jacket: Showers are common during spring in most European countries, check the weather before you leave but a light foldaway jacket or rain-resistant trench won’t take up much room and will be useful during your trip in case it does decide to pour. You can also use it as a layer, because it might get a little chilly during the evening.
Travelling is the perfect time to overhaul your skin routine and ditch a full face of makeup.
- Sunscreen: No matter what the season, you need to apply sunscreen especially while travelling as we tend to spend more time outdoors in harmful UV rays.
- Travel-friendly beauty and shampoo bars: Everyone has their travel skincare essentials, but we’re big fans of shampoo bars and cleansing bars. Never deal with nasty leakages, you can stash them in your carry on and curb your use of plastic.
- Sheet masks: Travel can play havoc with your skin, the dry air on planes and jet lag might leave your face feeling dry and uncomfortable. Sheet masks are convenient to use and take up no space at all. Pack a couple of hydrating or balancing sheet masks to keep your skin feeling fresh and moisturised.
See Also: The Perfect Italy Packing List for Fall
Other essential items
Travel effortlessly with these additional items!
- Reusable water bottle: Make sure you stay hydrated while exploring Europe, but buying plastic water bottles is expensive and bad for the environment. Pack a reusable water bottle and fill it up at water stations.
- Universal adaptor: It’s always worth bringing one of these to keep your electronics charged on the go.
- Medication: It’s good to carry painkillers and travel sickness tablets or medication with you, that way should such an occasion arise, you needn’t go looking!
- An umbrella: Bring a small compact umbrella that you can throw in your backpack or handbag or pocket.
- Photocopies of passport and travel documents: It’s better to be safe than sorry! Travel with a photocopied version of your passport or other travel documents and keep it on your at all times.
Now that you don’t have to worry about what to pack, how about taking that vacation? Head over to Trafalgar to find your dream tour in Europe.