Are you one of those people who packs their bags the night before flying off for your holiday?
Or do you generally wait till the last minute and stress over packing your luggage as you are not sure what should go in?
We used to be like that too, but since we have decided to make it easier for us, we have prepared a travel packing checklist that you can make it your own too!
During short trips or weekend trips, it is easy to overlook the importance of packing well.
We may think, oh it’s just a couple of nights, oh I’m sure we can buy the things we are missing there, or we may end up screaming at ourselves in the mirror when we realise we did not bring along something important.
On the flip side, when we have a longer trip, it is super easy to over pack, like maybe half of the things we bring are redundant.
We get to the airport and realise we need to pay for hefty extra baggage fees, or we find out that there is not more storage space to fit in that beautiful souvenir for Mum.
So recently we went for a short trip in Phuket which you can read more about here, and we are now packing for our 3 months trip in Europe.
This list that we have compiled can easily be used as a packing checklist for Europe or an international travel packing list.
No more stress ahead, just download and be a savvy packer!
What's covered in this post
First of all, check out the weather at your destination.
While this may seem very obvious, it is easy to overlook or worse, not find out the most accurate situation at your destination.
We might know that it is autumn in Europe from September onwards, but we may overlook the fact that different countries will have different conditions at the same period of time.
Europe is huge, so make sure to check individually if you are traversing a number of countries.
It is also easy to forget that all important rain coat, or a tiny umbrella.
So don’t be that guy.
Number of days you will be away for.
If you are planning to travel for more than 5 nights away and want to keep your luggage manageable, you will have to factor in doing laundry while on vacation.
Which is pretty easy if you choose to stay in AirBnb (you can get a SGD 42 off your first booking if you use my code) or in serviced apartments which provides a washer and sometimes a dryer.
Our advice is to take not more than 5 outfits, and make sure to keep the colours neutral so that it is easy to mix and match them.
Bring along a nice shirt or dress in case you wish to hit up a club or restaurant where you might need to dress up a little.
Drying tip: Hang the clothes in the shower, preferably on a clothesline, or using hangers, and have a warm shower. You will find your clothes “ironed” once the steam settles down.
Comfortable shoes are probably the most important.
Look, we are all gonna walk during our holidays, whether you are out doing shopping or hiking.
The only exception is probably a beach holiday where you will be in flip flops.
So make sure to invest in a good pair of shoes that can fit multiple occasions.
Assuming you will be outdoors often, it is wiser to shop for a pair that is water resistant too.
Don’t forget a comfortable pair of socks too, which you should pack in up to 5 pairs.
Get the home in order.
While you are away from home, most of the time there will not be anyone looking after it for you.
Hence, there are some essentials tasks to complete before you take off.
Turn these off:
- All switches
- Gas supply
- Lights/Timed lights
Clean these out:
- Expiring food/leftovers in fridge
- All windows
- All doors
- Neighbours, who can help keep an eye out
- Security system company, if any
- Mail/Newspaper delivery company
Get your vaccines and medication
This is often an overlooked part of travelling, and it is especially crucial when travelling to certain parts of the whole, for example Malaria vaccination when going to Africa.
So make sure you check out what you need, and get them at least 4-6 weeks before your departure.
Visit you physician too to get common medications for flu, fever, diarrhea and make a small medicine pack to carry with you at all times.
Purchase travel insurance and check out the medical coverage provided. Get yourself a quote here.
Almost ready to pack?
Top of the list should be your essentials.
Passports, visas, driving licences, international driving permits, boarding passes, privilege/membership cards, wallets, credit cards, cameras and phones.
We would as far as saying, without this there will be no vacation.
We like to use a small pouch, roughly A4 in size to fit most of the items here in (except for camera, which goes in a travel camera bag, and phone, which goes into our pockets).
Choose an appropriate suitcase
Or for some people, a suitable backpack.
Depending on where you go and whether you have any checked baggage, the choice of luggage is crucial.
If you know you will be walking down the cobblestone streets of Europe often, we suggest not dragging a suitcase along and damaging its wheels.
Again, we emphasize not to over pack and use a smaller luggage whenever possible!
For example, with 4 tops, 4 bottoms and 2 outerwear, you can create 32 different outfits!
Liquids all go into ziplock bags
We think this is pretty common sense, but there are so many times we have heard about travellers finding their favourite create busted open during their flight.
So let’s not underestimate air pressure.
Make sure liquids are packed into zip lock bags, and if you are carrying any liquids on board the plane, pack them into 100 ml containers, up to a maximum of 9 (usually it is 10 but stay on the safe side).
Pack a set of clothes into your carry on
Mishaps happen, even though we hate it. But it does.
So if you run into a situation where your baggage is delayed or lost, you want to be able to have a change of clothes before the bags arrive or before you get to buy a new set.
These days we travel with a ton of gadgets, from tablets to phones, to Kindles to wireless headphones, laptops, smart watches, cameras and the list goes on.
Most of these gadgets are using similar cables, so it would be wise to bring along a power strip to share the resources.
Pack it in together with the respective adaptors (tip: many gadgets can use the same adaptor, thus reducing your load) and cables into a bag you designate as an electronics bag.
And don’t forget at least 1 power bank which you should bring on board (not check in).
Bring the right bag!
There are so many options when it comes to bags for travelling. You can go for a high quality duffel bag, trolley luggage or the trust backpack. Whichever you choose, you can sure make use of the handy tips below.
Spread the weight out evenly.
If you are using a backpack, you should pack the heavier items closer to your body, and decide which side of the bag you wish to store the dirty clothes.
Usually, backpacks these days allow you side access rather than just from the top, and some are even clam shell design that opens all the way up, which makes live extremely easy for packing.
Interfolding the clothes
This means that rather than folding each single piece of clothing on its own, you interfold many pieces together.
Some people swear by the rolling method, but we think that both are useful in its own right.
It is also a must to buy one of those giant sized zip lock bags (much higher quality than regular zip locks found in kitchens) that can help you squeeze out as much air as possible.
This works brilliantly for suitcases, and if you can get your hands on medium sized ones, they work well for backpacks too.
Space for shoes and dirty clothes
Create a small space for your shoes and stuff your socks into them to save even more space.
Also, this area of your bag will also become the dirty clothes section, as you don’t want to soil any of the other clean stuff.
We like to use a combination of plastic bags and old laundry bags to store our used clothes.
Make use of packing apps
Since apps were introduced, there is an app for nearly everything.
And no surprises here that there are some apps that help out during the boring process of packing.
No, it will not and can not do the actual packing for you, but they do get you well organised.
Here are some you should check out:
Final words and get your 3 more packing checklist designs here!
So there you have it, our best packing list for Europe (or International is great too).
Do you have any tips to share too? If you have, please leave a comment down below!
Since you are preparing to travel, check out some of our articles to inspire you:
- 19 Bucket Lists Ideas
- Travel Planning Resources
- Free things to do in Any City
- 50 + 1 Family Trip Quotes
- Visit Singapore on a Friendly budget
- Destinations Guides
Don’t forget to pin them to Pinterest and share with all your friends on social media!
Logistics before travelling
Before you travel, make sure to pre-book a mobile router so that you can get access to the internet easily with WiFi. The router can be shared by a few friends, making it super budget friendly.
Save on currency exchange rates
Stop paying exorbitant rates forever! Make use of TransferWise debit card to get the best rates across the globe. You can also use it to transfer money worldwide for cheap.
Find cheap flights.
Air tickets are usually the bulk of your expenses. Set up an alert and snag cheap fares with Skyscanner.
Find the best accommodation.
Book a place ahead of time to get good rates. Booking.com has transparent fees and excellent rates.
Handy travel guide.
For the old school kid in you, get a travel guide book and get lost exploring the city.
You don’t need us to teach you to be a responsible adult, do you? Get a quote here.
Planned for you activities.
Need a guide to show you and your group around? Lots of operators here to choose from here. You know who they are and how they are reviewed.
More resources to help you.
All other useful travel resources we use when we book our trips.