After traveling to Europe during both winter and summer seasons I have realized how much more difficult it is to pack for colder climates than warm. So I have thrown together a carry-on approved packing guide for your next trip to Europe during the winter! This packing list keeps things simple while looking cute, and most importantly warm.
I know what you are thinking, how on earth could you manage to fit one month (or more) worth of clothing into one backpack, especially during the winter, and still look cute? Well if you are simple and don’t need lots to live off of, then the trick is packing minimal. Mix and match outfits, wear the same pants three times, and layer, layer, layer! Chances are the hostel or hotel you are staying at will offer laundry services, or you will find a laundromat in a city nearby your destination. Or, if you come to a desperate moment in time like us… you can always fill the sink and wash your clothes in there too.
First things first!
Your luggage! Depending on the type of trip you are taking, I have two different options for you.
My first pick for a trip that requires lots of traveling, changing hotels, walking, etc would be a backpack and specifically the Osprey Porter 46 Liter. This bad boy can be carried like a backpack or you can put the straps away and carry it like a suitcase, which also means you can check it if need be! It’s carry-on approved, and 46 liters which is more spacious than you think! Inside has two side pockets for shoes, dirty laundry, umbrella, etc., and three outside pockets for electronics, toiletries, and other accessories! This is my go-to bag every time because I can fit a solid amount of things into it, and it’s so comfy to travel with!
My second option if you are say going to Paris for a week or two and then to London for another week or two, would be my Away carry-on! I actually adore my Away bag for a couple of different reasons. This carry-on is great if you are not going to be trekking your bag through multiple different cities and all over cobblestone streets. It will fit plenty of clothing, roll with ease, and make for a lovely seat while waiting for the glamourous customs check.
Along with my backpack, I like to travel with a medium-size purse or tote bag. If I’m using my Away rolling carry-on, I will opt for a good size backpack and stuff a purse in there!
In my purse/tote bag or backpack, I keep the essentials for a long flight and any valuables I’d like to keep at my side such as…
- Passport + at least 2 paper copies of it
- Important Documents + a pen for customs
- Sleep Mask
- Portable charger
- Plug/Outlet Adapter (These are country specific, do your research!)
- Phone Charger
- Hand Sanitizer
- Travel Size Advil + Tums
- Refillable H20 bottle + Snacks
- Camera + Charger (if bag is checked)
- Anything I wish to read/notebook
My packing list:
- 1 pair of jeans
- 3 Pairs of black leggings/base layer that doubles as its own
- Spandex + comfy shirt to sleep in
- 1 black undershirt/tank top
- 2 thermals
- 1 white long sleeve
- 1 fancier shirt (for a nice dinner or night out)
- 1 black scarf
- 1 white scarf
- 1 black beanie
- 1 pair of mittens
- 2 weeks worth of panties + socks
- at least 4 pairs of WOOL SOCKS! (cotton or other material does not keep your toes as warm as wool will)
- 1 fleece hooded jacket
- 2 stylish sweaters – 1 white & 1 black
- 1 warm snow/down feather jacket! My advice would be wear this during your flight, don’t pack it!
- 1 pair of waterproof boots that are comfy to walk in. My top two picks – Emu Austrailia Pioneer Boot or a pair of Weatherized High Top Vans
- Travel size umbrella
- Padlock – this is nice to have just to secure your luggage while traveling whether you check your bag or not
Crucial for Staying in Hostels:
- 1 pair of flip-flops for showering. Trust me, you’ll thank me later.
- Microfiber/Quick drying towel. Some places will offer towels for a small fee.
- Padlock or two for leaving your belongings in the lockers.
Inside the suitcase, I carry a toiletries bag containing these items…
- Hair brush
- Travel size mascara, tweezers, & lipstick
- Q-tips & Kleenex
- Jewelry in small case to accessorize with
- Hair clips/ties
Also to prepare yourself for security, don’t forget to add any liquids (3oz or less only) to a plastic bag and keep them in an easy-to-access area, such as…
- Body wash
- Face wash
- Hair products
Don’t Stress! ANYTHING YOU FORGET YOU CAN BUY! Except for your passport & wallet so don’t forget those.
This packing guide is a good start in the right direction to traveling during winter months, but also leaves room for anything you forget to pack or decide you need while over there! Remember some European cities have the best shopping so pack smart and leave yourself room to shop till you drop!
Please scroll down to subscribe & comment below if this guide helped you with your packing nightmares or you think I’m missing any necessities for going abroad!