The Dos and Don'ts of Packing for Europe


(Image credit: @moderosa)

If you're headed on a European vacation anytime soon, and you're wondering how to start packing, today's post is for you. While we're not at all implying that all cities and countries across the continent are the same, there are without doubt a handful of similarities, as well as general rules of thumb to keep in mind whenever you're headed on a trip. So from remembering your sensible shoes to what types of tops to bring, we've rounded up our best tips to help you get that comfortable and fashionable vacation wardrobe you deserve.

Scroll through to read about all our dos and don'ts of packing for Europe, then, of course, to shop our picks for each.

Do: Walking Shoes

Don't: Stilettos 

Now we're not suggesting that you stick to sneakers for your entire trip, but consider comfort even when choosing night-out shoes or sandals because the probability of cobblestones is high.

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Do: Crossbody or Belt Bags

Don't: Heavy Shoulder Bags

Since you'll likely be walking around, exploring, and doing tourist activities from day to night, it's important that you choose a bag that won't weigh you down by the end of the day. As such, we suggest a crossbody or a belt bag.

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Do: Light Layers

Don't: Bulky Jackets

Unless you're planning to visit Europe in peak winter, we suggest bringing a mix of layers rather than big, bulky jackets. This will help you save space, as well as make your outfits all the more interesting. 

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Do: Versatile Dresses

Don't: Going-Out Dresses

While we're not suggesting you don't bring pieces to go out in, we'd advise that the dresses you pack can be styled and worn from day to night. This way, you can get the most out of every item you bring.

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Do: Lightweight Tops

Don't: One-Time Wears

Rather than high-maintenance pieces, uncomfortable staples, and tops that require ironing, we suggest packing light, breathable, and versatile options for your trip. Think cotton fabrics, wrap styles, and pieces that can be worn with a variety of bottoms and layers. 

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Do: Carry-On

Don't: Multiple Big Suitcases

Lastly, we know it's ambitious, but we highly suggest limiting your luggage to either a carry-on or a single suitcase for your own ease. Whether you're traveling from city to city by train or staying in one place, not having to worry about losing your luggage makes downsizing worth it.

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Nicole Akhtarzad Eshaghpour
Senior Market Editor

Since starting as an intern back in 2013, Nicole Akhtarzad Eshaghpour has held several roles here at Who What Wear, and she is currently senior market editor. It was a less expected route, seeing as she was graduating from business school at USC when this all began, but it has turned out to be the best one for her. Fast-forward to 2020, and she's moved to NYC from her hometown of Beverly Hills and spends her workdays a little differently from when she was an intern starting out. Currently, she focuses on a weekly mélange of shopping content. As far as her personal style goes, she's largely drawn to classic pieces and neutral basics but will always make an exception for something colorful, printed, or bejeweled as long as it's deemed worthy enough. After all, the only thing she loves more than a good party is dressing up for one. On weekdays, she can usually be found at home eating something delicious for dinner and trying to force her husband to watch 90 Day Fiancé.