5 Essential Travel Items for Europe

No matter how much I pack for a vacation in Europe, and it’s a lot, I always forget something. Thankfully, many of the same stores and brands (or similar) that we have in the States are available over there. These are 5 essential travel items I always bring.

Don’t pack too much. I have no idea why I just gave that advice. I’m a serial over packer. Mostly, I try to limit myself to a 25″ suitcase and a tote carry-on, especially if I’m doing a lot of train travel. Honestly, I usually end up adding a smaller 22″ suitcase as well, especially if my husband is there to help me. If you can get by with only a 22″ carry-on, I have the utmost respect for you!

No matter how much or how little you pack, be sure to include these five essentials.

Adaptor Plug

Make sure to bring the correct adaptor plug for the countries you will be visiting. Since you will need the adaptor to plug in all electronic devices, hair dryers, straighteners, etc. this is one of the most essential travel items. Most of the EU countries use the same plugs. However, you could end up in some historic hotel with old plugs! Hotel front desks might have an adaptor to borrow. To be safe, buy a universal adaptor to add to your essential travel items, that way you’ll be covered everywhere!


Medications are definite essential travel items! Do not forget your prescriptions and favorite OTC medications. Many meds may be hard to find or are not available in all countries. Some OTC medicines require a prescription in Europe or they are ridiculously expensive. For more information on what medications to bring to Europe read my Ultimate Travel First Aid Kit.

Portable Phone Charger

Admittedly, I use my phone a lot when I’m traveling. How else am I supposed to stay in touch with my friends and family, and who can live without FB and Insta? Google maps is my go to app for navigating my way around. I also use some other great apps like the ones in my post Awesome Travel Apps.

Naturally, my phone battery takes a beating throughout the day. Be sure to bring along a small portable phone charger, I stick one in my purse and keep it charged at all times. It also comes in handy on the flight over if you’re on an old airplane without USB ports or plugs at your seat!

Comfortable Walking Shoes

Sore feet and blisters are not your friend in Europe. Do yourself a favor and pack some super comfortable shoes for all of the walking you’ll be doing. Whatever you do, don’t bring brand new shoes! Been there, done that. Make sure they are worn in.

Cobblestones + heels = broken ankle

Shoes with a thicker rubber sole and a flat or low heel are best for all of the cobblestones you’ll be trekking on. Ignore all that advice about not wearing sneakers. Everyone else does, go for it. Besides, there are so many cute, fashionable, and comfortable sneakers out there!

Just be sure to bring a pair of shoes that are leather, water repellant (or waterproof in winter), or spray them with water repellant because it rains.


Yes, it rains. Bring a small, collapsible umbrella and stick it in your purse or backpack. Don’t leave your hotel without it if there is a single cloud in the sky. Also, take a packable light raincoat or jacket. Trust me, you will probably need one or both no matter what time of year you visit!

There are many more items I never leave home without, but these are 5 essentials everyone should bring. Read The Best Jetsetting Beauty Products for some great beauty items to bring. Leave comments or questions below. Keep traveling!



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