What to Pack When Headed to Europe

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A handy roundup of travel essentials to take with you to the Old Continent.

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There really is no “perfect” time to visit Europe––the Old Continent has a lot to offer all year round. In the summertime, head to France, Italy, Croatia, Greece or Portugal to find pristine beaches and taste some of the freshest seafood. And in the winter, check out the slopes (and Christmas markets!) in Switzerland, Germany, and Austria. Or, visit the Scandinavian countries for breathtaking snowy landscapes and once-in-a-lifetime experiences (the Northern Lights anyone?).

So whenever chance and your travel plans take you across the Atlantic, you know you’re going to have an amazing time and discover picturesque places you’ve never been before. And while each country and town may require you to pack items specific for that destination, there are a few things that you always have to carry with you, like a travel adapter, sturdy walking shoes, and a travel pillow.

Most European countries have wonderful public transportation options, but if you opt to rent a car, make sure you have an international driver’s license on you. You may also want to get travel insurance in case you have a medical emergency.

For everything else, keep scrolling to see a breakdown of all the essentials you’ll need before you jet off to Europe.

Foval International Travel Adapter and Voltage Converter


Courtesy Amazon

This travel adapter also serves as a voltage converter so you could use your electronics in Continental Europe and the UK. It features two plugs and four USB ports so you could charge multiple devices at the same time.

To buy: $34, amazon.com

Brita 26 Ounce Premium Filtering Water Bottle with Filter


Courtesy Amazon

Sometimes tap water is all that’s available when you’re on the road. This Brita bottle uses a carbon filter to reduce chlorine taste and odor in tap water so you could stay hydrated wherever you are without leaving a terrible plastic footprint of store-bought water bottles after you.

To buy: $19, amazon.com; $17/5 filters, amazon.com

Tumi Carson Backpack


Courtesy Tumi

The Carson backpack is part of Tumi’s best-selling Voyager collection specifically designed for the frequent traveler. It fits up to a 15-inch laptop and about a day-worth of clothes so it’s perfect for daily or overnight trips. It has multiple pockets including one on the side which is water-resistant. The backpack comes in six gorgeous shades so you are sure to find one that fits your style.

To buy: $395, tumi.com

Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700


Courtesy Bose

Bose’s brand new noise-canceling headphones are definitely a stunner. From their sleek looks to the first-of-its-kind integrated audio augmented reality feature that delivers an extraordinary sound experience, these headphones will be a great companion while you are traveling through the Old Continent. They also feature Bose’s most-powerful to-date microphone system that picks up your voice while isolating the noise around you making bad quality phone calls a thing of the past. Finally, the battery lasts up to 20 hours per charge.

To buy: $400, bose.com

Prada Logo Stripe Leather Sneakers


Courtesy Saks Fifth Avenue

Prada’s new striped sneakers are the epitome of casual chic. Wear them with jeans or with a dress for a cool look. They are crafted in Italy from quality leather and sport an elevated sole.

Gentlemen, we haven’t forgotten about you. A similar style is available in men’s sizes. It has contrasting black detailing and also sports a slightly elevated wedge-type of sole.

To buy: $690, saksfifthavenue.com and $750, saksfifthavenue.com

Polo Ralph Lauren St. Andrew Surplus Wool Cuff Beanie


Courtesy Saks Fifth Avenue

Don’t risk catching a cold while enjoying one of Europe’s beautiful Christmas markets. Add a pop of color to your outfit with this unisex beanie knitted from the finest (and warmest) merino wool. We love that it is designed with an extra-wide cuff for a stand-out look.

To buy: $78, saksfifthavenue.com

Fujifilm X-A7 Mirrorless Digital Camera


Caption

If you haven’t switched to a mirrorless camera yet, now is the time to do it—they are a lot more convenient for travel than bulkier DSLRs and deliver impeccable image quality. 

Fuji’s X-A7 24-megapixel camera was released a few months ago to stellar reviews. Expect crisp and colorful photos even in low-light situations, an LCD touchscreen with an easy-to-navigate menu, and quick autofocus even in video mode—perfect for solo travelers and vloggers.

To buy: $699, amazon.com

Calpak Silk Travel Neck Pillow and Eye Mask


Courtesy Nordstrom

Falling blissfully asleep on the train or the airplane just got a lot easier. This luxurious silk set will not only help you catch some Zs but it will also make sure you wake up looking your best—silk is known to tame frizzy hair and prevent creases.

To buy: $95, nordstrom.com

The White Company Cashmere Socks


Courtesy Nordstrom

If the first thing you do when you walk into your hotel room is to crank up the heat (same), then you really need these bed socks. Crafted from super soft cashmere they will keep your feet warm and ensure a good night’s sleep.

To buy: $49, nordstrom.com