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How To Totally Fail When Packing For Europe

All of the Don'ts When Deciding What to Bring on Your Next Trip Abroad

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Cute Outfits

Bringing cute outfits on a trip all around Europe may seem like a great idea, but do not be deceived. These so called "cute outfits" will not be so cute anymore once you have trekked around an entire city while wearing the same dirty clothes for days on end, without a washing machine in sight. Instead, a better option is to only bring clothes with you that are functional and you don't care much about. This way, if you ever want to look nice you can drop by a local store and ditch your old clothes to make room in your bag for a nice Parisian or Italian outfit that will also serve as a great souvenir.


Going along with the idea of not bringing cute outfits on a trip around Europe, it's also not a good idea to bring heels. Not only do they take up a ton of valuable weight in your suitcase or backpack, but they are also incredibly difficult and awkward to pack, and as awkward as they are to pack, you will definitely look worse trying to conquer that European cobblestone in a pair of 5 inch stilettos

Rolling Luggage

As mentioned previously, not many things get along well with European cobblestone, and a rolling suitcase is not one of them. While trying to navigate the narrow streets of Venice, a bulky rolling suitcase is the last thing you want. Though backpacks may be slightly heavier and more of a haul, you will not have to worry about people tripping over them every turn you take or trying to fit them onto a crowded metro or train. Backpacks also tend to weigh significantly less, which is a crucial issue when travelling abroad. Plus, who doesn't look cool while rocking the rugged hiker look?


Unless you are staying for an extended amount of time, or on serious business, bringing highly valuable items, such as laptops, is always a risky ordeal. Though hotel and hostel lockboxes are convenient for storing away your clothes while you are out for the day, they are not necessarily trustworthy in regards to keeping expensive items totally safe. Besides that, hauling around a 5 pound laptop everywhere you go and taking it in and out for airport security can turn into a real pain, both mentally and physically. If you are worried about being bored on long train or airplane trips, try some old fashioned journaling to kill time and leave your laptop at home.

Hair Dryer/Curling Iron/Straighterner

In regards to what to pack for Europe, all of these items listed are an absolute no-go. Ever heard of international converters? They are a total lie, made to trick you into spending thirty dollars so that your precious blow-dryer can travel across seas with you, only to burn out the minute you plug it into the wall, regardless of the guaranteed "converter." However, if the thought of living without your straightener makes your skin crawl, there is a solution. Many hotels and even some hostels will offer hair irons for your all accessible use, while others will charge a small rental fee; still if this doesn't work there is also the option of stopping by a store and grabbing a cheap one to take on the road.

Refillable Water Bottles

Although it seems like a great eco-friendly way to always have water on hand, bringing a refillable water bottle with you will end up being a nuisance. The most important aspect when packing for Europe is saving space, meaning if you can buy it when you get there-always do. Whether you buy a plastic water bottle from a vending machine and continue to refill it throughout your trip, or invest in a nice European thermos, the best way to go is to buy it when you reach your destination.

Excessive Jewelry

Though it is not heavy, and usually will not take up that much space in your bag, the main reason for not bringing too much jewelry is the fact that you will not wear it and you will end up losing it. Bring one or two pairs of earrings that you can leave in all the time and one versatile necklace, that's all you will need.

Strict Itinerary

One of the greatest things about Europe is the ability to be spontaneous. With a different country in almost every direction, the possibilities are endless. Want to hop on a train from Belgium to London? Great. How about a one hour flight from Dublin to Edinburgh? Done. However, if you go to Europe with your trip already completely planned out and plane/train tickets purchased, that leaves no room for unplanned adventures that may arise. It could be that you arrive in Salzburg and decide that you just must stay another day to explore the city before heading on to Munich, and with a lax schedule, you are free to do just that!


Ahh yess.. this one is a tough one, but truly something to think about. Yes, Europe has some of the most romantic places in the world and seems like the ideal vacation get away for you and your significant other. However, until you are seriously committed to each other, you should really consider saying "ciao" to them for a few weeks. The idea behind leaving your boyfriend or girlfriend at home is not so that you can go to Europe and hook up with every stranger you meet at the club, but really serves an important purpose. Europe is one of the best places for self-discovery. Nothing will help more deciding what it is you really want than experiencing the challenges, tribulations, joys, and successes which inevitably come with exploring new and culturally different places. Spending time in other cultures and experiencing what is foreign, really changes who you are and who you want to be with, and when you come back you may decide your current partner is either the love of your life, or a thing of the past.


Last but not least, when going to Europe, do not bring expectations with you. Europe is a crazy continent when you never know what will happen. Just let it be, take the bumps in the road as they come and revel in awesome experiences that you will have. If you spend all of your time thinking about how you thought things would be, you will never truly appreciate the way things are

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