That moment of excitement hits when you realize that you’re about to travel across the globe to foreign countries, experience their cultures, eat their bomb food, and explore. But then it starts to dawn on you, what do you pack?? I backpacked in Asia and Europe last summer and if you’re a procrastinator like me, found myself staring at my backpack the night before I was supposed leave. My very empty backpack. Here is the Europe and Asia packing list I created, hopefully it prevents you from being in a similar situation or helps you remember to bring that one thing (for me, I always forget a towel, which is crucial if you’re staying in hostels!).
Summer Europe and Asia Backpacking List:
- North Face backpacking backpack, similar in size to the one here. If you’re planning on splurging on anything, I would recommend a sturdy, reliable backpacking backpack from a company you trust. After all, it’s going to hold all your stuff (and all the goodies you buy, either for yourself or for friends and family). You can usually find good deals by going to outlets (which is what I did) and I personally haven’t noticed a significant difference in quality.
- small purse (for daily excursions)
- toiletries including facewash, makeup, makeup remover, shampoo/conditioner, body wash, lotion, deodorant (This may be a little different depending on where you plan on staying. For example, at hotels it’s pretty standard to provide shampoo and conditioner but with hostels, you’re usually on your own. And trust me, after walking around all day exploring the Coliseum at Rome or the Acropolis at Athens, a shower will be pure bliss. Also, beware that some places may not have similar hygiene culture. For example, I had the hardest time trying to find deodorant in Korea..I even started wondering if Koreans even sweat! Being prepared never hurts, especially if you’re traveling to hot/humid areas.)
- medicine like tylenol, imodium, and tums (or birth control for all you ladies out there)
- 3 bras (one black, one nude, one white so you’re covered no matter what you wear..literally)
- 7 pairs of socks (so you can at least go a week without doing laundry)
- 7 pairs of underwear (same reason as above)
- 3 tanks
- 2 v-necks
- 5 pairs of shorts
- 2 skirts
- leggings (perfect for flights..I always end up getting so cold!)
- white romper (it’ll look great in photos against your newly tanned skin, I promise)
- 1 clubbing dress (because you’ll probably end up going out AT LEAST once, even if you think you won’t)
- 1 summer dress
- 1 pair of pajamas
- black cardigan (because it pretty much goes with everything and makes for a great layering piece)
- cargo jacket
- small towel
- pair of sandals
- pair of sneakers
- flipflops for hostel showers (ain’t no one trying to get athlete’s foot while abroad)
- sunglasses (cheapo ones that you don’t mind losing as you’re beaching)
- journal and pen (found myself using these a lot to reflect and capture all my experiences so I wouldn’t forget them!)
- hairbrush and hairties
- travel size laundry detergent (I was traveling for two months and knew I would need this at some point)
- phone charger
- headphones (lifesaver during long plane rides!)
- hand sanitizer (at some locations you’ll be lucky enough to have soap in the bathrooms and sometimes you won’t..in that case, hand sanitizer can be a godsend)
- universal charger (I got this one that worked in both Asia and Europe for less than $7 on Amazon. Check it out here)
- and most importantly, your passport!
- Scan and email a picture of your passport and driver’s license to yourself. Most likely you will be completely fine, but just in case you find yourself in a situation without identification, you want to be able to access these!
- Inform your cellular company know that you’re traveling and disable your minutes and data. That way you won’t be charged for roaming and you won’t be paying for minutes that you’re not using.
- Notify your credit card companies that you’re traveling abroad is also a good way to avoid getting your credit card annoyingly blocked just as you’re about to scoop up some gorgeous dresses during the insane summer sales in Spain or pay for that ATV to explore the beaches in Mykonos.
- Plan an itinerary before you leave so you can make sure you hit all the spots you want to see! It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all of the cities, make sure you don’t miss anything by checking out this itinerary.
You’re going to have so much fun and regardless of whether you’re going to Spain, China, or Greece, it’s going to be amazing. I’m a firm believer that the more you travel, the more you learn not just about the world, but about yourself. Cliche, but it’s cliche for a reason.
What is that one item YOU can’t live without while traveling? Share in the comments below!