How to Pack Light for a Trip to Europe

Pack Light for a Trip to Europe

When traveling in Europe, it’s important to pack for the occasion. If you are staying in multiple destinations, it is a good idea to pack lightly. Some airlines charge extra fees for luggage that exceeds their weight limit. If traveling by train, it is a difficult to swiftly board and exit with a lot of baggage. It is also a chore to find space for all your bags on a crowded train. You can maximize your space by following some simple tips in this article.

It should be fairly easy to find hostels or hotels with laundry facilities near by or in-house. This makes it easy to pack fewer clothing and maximize space by minimizing the dirty laundry you carry around. Coin operated laundry facilities are usually inexpensive compared to the burden it can cause to tote extra clothing around. For a three week trip, it is a good idea to take two pairs of jeans, one pair of shorts, two pairs of walking shoes (in case one gives you blisters or gets wet), socks and underwear for no more than five days, one jacket, one sweater and no more than four shirts. This offers a lot more luggage space and makes for cargo that is easier to carry in a smaller bag.

There are certain things that will be less hassle or even cheaper to buy while in Europe. Electrical outlet converters are easy to find in train stations, grocery stores and airports. They also often cost about half the price in Europe than in the U.S.

Packing food is generally not ideal. It’s hard to know how food items will fare in the flight. Flying to Europe, there is usually at least one lay over and with all the luggage handling, there’s no way to know how much of a mess it may have made in your bag. A few granola bars or a small package of crackers is not going to make much of a mess and may come in handy when you land and at the airport and they’re selling a bag of chips for $6.00. But plan on buying most of your food at your destination instead of taking up valuable room in your bag.

It’s a great suggestion to buy travel containers for your toiletries or buy travel/trial size toothpastes, toothbrush, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, shaving cream, etc. to conserve room.

Remember that a lot of hotels or hostels will have a blow dryer to use so you won’t need bring one.

It’s a long trip from home to hotel and you may have to walk with your luggage from the train station or bus. Keep your cargo as minimal as possible to make your time on foot less awkward and your trip less stressful.

Top Ten Money Saving Ideas for a European Vacation – Part 1

Money Saving Ideas

With fuel prices dropping, air travel is becoming affordable again. That’s the good news. The bad news is that traveling in Europe is still expensive. But there are some things you can do, both before departure and during your vacation, to save some money on your European trip. Europe is a fascinating place, rich in culture and history, and you owe it to yourself to go there sometime. With that in mind, and realizing that most of aren’t exactly rolling in dough, here area some ideas for keeping your European vacation budget within reasonable boundaries.

  1. Pre-book Excursions

With the Internet, it has never been easier to make advance arrangements for tours of museums, palaces, historic sites, and other places of special interest. By booking ahead of time, you’re factoring in the cost on the front end and guaranteeing that you see the attractions of most interest to you. You can also sometimes avoid waiting in interminably long lines.

  1. Shop for Airline Deals

This may seem obvious, but shopping for the best prices on airline tickets involves more than searching Expedia and Travelocity. Now, there are “best of the best” sites like and that actually search other travel search engines and give you pricing options you might not be able to find on your own. Also, don’t forget the cost savings available if you can be flexible on your travel dates or fly during off-peak hours.

  1. Use Public Transportation

In Europe, you can get almost anywhere by some combination of trains, subways, or buses. Particularly in most large cities, you can also buy discounted public transportation passes for a day or even a week. Travel like the locals: use a train or a bus. Sure, a taxi can drop you off at the front door of your destination, but it can also be a budget buster.

  1. Carry Your Own Food and Water

Food is a major cost in Europe, especially in the larger cities. When possible and practical, buy food in a grocery or supermarket (yes, they have them, even in Europe). Buy breakfast items ahead of time and eat in your room instead of in the hotel cafe or a bistro. Make your own lunch, and carry it, with a large bottle of water in a day pack (buying drinks of all types, including water, can seriously add up). Save eating in a restaurant for a special treat. In places like Rome and Paris, refill your water bottle instead of buying a new one. If you’re traveling to out of the way places, you should probably do a little advance Internet research to make sure the local water supply is dependable and sanitary.

In Part 2 of this article, I’ll give you six more ways to cut corners on your European vacation and still build a lifetime of memories.