Packing List For Backpacking Europe: The Essential Gear You Need!

Ahh, backpacking Europe. The ultimate expression of freedom! With a little bit of organisation, and an awesome packing list for backpacking Europe, you can travel the continent without a care in the world. You can eat all the waffles in Amsterdam, see the glorious sights of Prague, or live la dolce vita in Italy’s Amalfi Coast region.

Or you can go unprepared, and find yourself desperately trying to mime “I need a USB cable” at a Moldovan mini-market manager, only to handed a tin of dog food. You buy it out of embarrassment, slink out in shame, and resign yourself to a flat phone battery. We’ve all been there.

Yes, backpacking through Europe is definitely the best way to see one of the world’s most diverse corners, but having a good European travel kit is definitely going to help you out. Although you can generally lay your hands on anything you’ll need in an emergency, your experience is going to be a lot less stressful if you know that you’re already covered for the main stuff.

By the way! Thar be affiliate links in this article, mateys. These incur absolutely zero extra cost to you, should you decide to buy anything, and may even save you a bit of cash. Now, onwards!

A blue domed Greek building against a blue sky and sea

The importance of having a packing list for backpacking Europe

When I was in Vienna, I needed some medication for a poorly stomach caused by too much rich food in Romania and Hungary. “No problem!” I merrily thought to myself, “I’ll go to a chemist or a supermarket, and get some“. Except that it was Saturday evening, and everywhere was closed by 7pm. They didn’t open again until Monday. I could’ve saved myself a lot of discomfort by being prepared in advance!

It’s tempting to freewheel it – after all, isn’t freedom exactly the point of backpacking across Europe? A desire not to be tied down, and to have ultimate flexibility? Absolutely – but there’s a difference between having freedom and being savvy. Having a good packing list for Europe isn’t restrictive; it’s giving yourself the freedom of not worrying about unforeseen circumstances. You can truly relax. and concentrate on taking in your surroundings.

So without further ado, let’s look at some top tips for your Europe backpacking trip!

The dome of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome with a bridge in the foreground

The one thing that should be top of your Europe travel checklist


Let’s face it: there’s no point in making plans for backpacking around Europe until you get your visa – if you need one, of course.

If you’re a resident of the USA, Canada, Japan, Australia or New Zealand, and you’re not planning to stay longer than three months, then congratulations! You won’t need a visa. You can blow up balloons, throw some confetti, and continue onwards to to the next section. It’s all shiny there, with soft cushions and cakes!

For everyone else, you’re going to have to do some research before you continue on. But it’s okay; I’m going to stay here with you, and guide you through, onwards to that lovely land of visa freedom. And it’s actually pretty simple!

Firstly, pop the relevant info (where you’re from, and where you’re going) into the box below. This will take you to iVisa, a trusted site which can help you get everything sorted nice and quickly. Once done, you’ve got the most important item on your backpacking Europe checklist!

The best backpack for backpacking Europe

Before I give you the ultimate packing list for backpacking Europe (yeah, it’s in bold because it’s just that freakin’  awesome), you need something to put all those travel accessories in. So I’m going to let you into the secret of what I genuinely consider the best backpack for Europe.

Yep, like every other travel blogger in the world, I’m going to recommend Osprey backpacks. But honestly, there’s a reason why everyone tips them – they’re extremely well made and durable. I’ve had my Fairview 40 for over a year, and I use it every single month with a heavy load in it (namely, my gaming laptop, and every other aspect of my life. I’m like a terribly English snail). Guess what: it still look absolutely good as new. I don’t think it even has a scuff on it, which is amazing considering all the countries and public transport systems I’ve dragged it through.

I also really appreciate that they make backpacks specially designed to fit female travellers. My Fairview is one of those, and it’s soooo comfortable – I can attach the chest clips to distribute the weight properly, and nothing digs in to sensitive areas!

As for which size you should get – that really depends on how long you’re planning to travel for, and what you’re more comfortable with. A 40 liter will easily hold what you need for a couple of weeks, without having to do any washing. It’ll also be within the hand luggage size of most airlines (be sure to check first, though – I’ve had no problems with it on easyJet, for example, but it’s considered oversize on Ryanair flights. Though Ryanair are famously stingy on bag sizes). If you feel like you need a bit extra, go for a 70 liter – they’re still a manageable size, but you can get that much more in!

A green Osprey backpack with a keyring stating

Packing for Europe – the best travel accessories for Europe

Okay, so you’ve got your backpack; hurrah! It’s time to get those nifty little gadgets: the great ideas that’ll save you time, stress, and frenzied dashes around unfamiliar shops trying to find items listed in another language. I’ve personally tested all of these on a recent trip, and I can tell you that I’ve immediately added them all to a Europe packing checklist, which has been chiseled into the finest granite available, and placed in my living room. I don’t want to travel anywhere without these; they are genuine hero items.

Here we go – this is what to pack for Europe in order to have a savvy, smart trip!

A pair of European two-pin plugs

USB Plugs

On a previous trip to Budapest, my boyfriend and I experienced a real crisis. Nope, not relationship problems, snoring, or unsightly hairs left in the shower. But a crisis over… plugs.

You see, we used to travel to Europe with one of those plug adapters: the ones where you fit a plug into the adapter, and then plug it into the wall. And there was no problem with the plug itself – it worked exactly as it was meant to, was reliable and solid. The problem was that we just had too many things that needed to be charged up.

Think about all the electronic items which are travel necessities these days, and how many of them you have, especially if you’re travelling as a couple or a family. Between us, my boyfriend and I have two phones, a vape (his), and a camera (mine). We tend to get back to the hotel room in the late evening – so how on earth do you charge all that up by the morning, unless you’re willing to wake up and switch items over every few hours (spoiler: I am not willing to do that)?

Kinda simple, actually! Get these Europe USB plugs, and you can charge all of your devices at the same time. They’re also designed to stop charging as soon as the battery is full, so you won’t have to worry about things getting overheated whilst you’re asleep. Perfect! These really did save the day multiple times on my trip, and save those arguments over whose turn it is to use the plug!

A woman's hand holding a small grey tub of Sudocrem skin care cream

My Little Sudocrem

I freakin’ love Sudocrem. There. I said it. I’ve declared my love to the world, and Sudocrem and I are running away together! Nothing will come between us!

Seriously though, I never travel without Sudocrem. It is legitimately the most useful substance in the world – it calms irritated skin, and is a blissful balm on sunburn (as someone who has permanently scorched shoulders, this is a particular godsend). Insect bites are soothed by its mere touch. It moisturizes dry skin, which can be so uncomfortable if you’re travelling in the winter. It’s fantastic on cuts and grazes, softening up the skin and assisting healing. It is beautifully efficient at eliminating chafing (girls, you know what I’m talking about). You can even use it as a general moisturizer for your skin – perfect for when you’re heading out for the evening!

Little and often is the Sudocrem watchword: it’s so efficient at what it’s meant to do!

Until now, taking Sudocrem abroad has meant having to take one of the iconic grey pots with you, but this came with its own issues. Namely, they they could be a little bulky, and that the generous sizing resigned them to being packed in the suitcase, and going in the hold of the plane. You’ll all know that being on a long flight really dries out your skin, and I’d inevitably forget to put some Sudocrem on before checking my bags in. What was a girl to do?

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Well, my love of Sudocrem has increased tenfold, because they’ve brought out My Little Sudocrem – a genius product in a sturdy, petite package. At 22 grams of cream, it’s more than enough to deal with anything you can throw at it, but small enough to slip into hand luggage on a plane, and a daybag whilst you’re abroad. I can have it with me 24/7. It’s a true boon for those who want to pack light, and have an all-purpose troubleshooter!

A comfortable daypack

Let me tell you a story. It involves me, my back, and a lot of pain.

Once upon a time, I used to roam around Europe using a shoulder bag from a very reputable designer brand. I put everything in there – bottles of water, my super-chonky camera, umbrella, my vast reserves of cash (lol, joking). But there was a problem – the shoulder bag only sat on one shoulder, meaning that all that weight was on one side of my body. Unbeknownst to me, it was merrily causing my back to pull against the strain.

I first noticed the results of this when I was on the Amalfi Coast, hopping off a Roman curb in Herculaneum. A pain, which I can only describe as “eye-wateringly excruciating” shot up my back, and for the rest of the trip I had to frequently stop and sit down. My back would magically go back to normal, until I stood up again and put my bag back on my shoulder. In Florence, the pain became so bad that I had to cut my visit to the Uffizi Gallery short, because I simply couldn’t stand up any more. I had massive anxiety about what was causing it – was it hereditary back problems? Was it early-onset arthritis? Just how many spinal operations was I going to need?

Well, screw that.

I came back from Florence, and immediately took to Dr. Google. I realized that quite possibly, it was the bag which was causing me problems. Duh.

As I said above, I love Osprey products because they’re so ergonomically designed – consider that I’d had zero problems with my big, heavy 40 liter bag. I immediately went to the Osprey site, and contacted the online help chat with an adviser, asking if they could recommend something that was good for bad backs, urban use, and comprised of enough room to carry all my needed goodies.

They recommended the Sylva 12 – and oh my goodness, it is just the best backpack for Europe. It’s a great day bag which spreads the weight across my back – it’s so light that I can barely feel it. I can carry more stuff around than I ever did, for weeks at a time, and not have a single flare of pain.

Get the Osprey daypack which suits you best (depending on your build and needs), and stuff it into your main backpack. Use it as a daypack, and you have the perfect Europe travel bag.

Comfortable travel shoes

I’ve put travel shoes right next to a comfortable daypack, because I consider them to be just as important!

When I was visiting Florence and suffering from all that back pain (genuinely, I only had a single day where I wasn’t in pain. And that was even though I was staying in a hotel with a hydrotherapy tub), I was foolishly wearing a pair of boots to explore the streets. They had zero support whatsoever, and did nothing to cushion my feet or spine from the hard cobblestones I was walking over! I am 100% convinced that having poor footwear contributed to the pain in my back.

At the same time that I was searching for a new bag, I also had a look to see if I could find the best shoes for backpacking Europe – something light, maybe canvas. Durable enough, but still having a little splash of style.

Well, all the sources that I checked out seemed to lead me to the same brand – Superga. With my natural bias for anything Italian, I ordered a pair – after all, it was worth a try.

I can now conform that they are the most ridiculously comfy shoes I’ve ever owned. They look similar to Converse (and come in just as stunning an array of colours!), but they’re slightly wider – I’d never noticed before how narrow Converse are, and how much they were squashing my feet. I didn’t have time to wear them in before I left on a trip to Budapest, and I didn’t get a single blister. They were comfortable straight out of the box.

There was no way that I could write a packing list for backpacking Europe without including these – if you’ve had foot or back problems, or if you just want a seemingly-indestructible yet fashionable pair of shoes, grab a pair!

Comfortable boots

Similarly to above, you need a comfy pair of boots in your bag. Sometimes sneakers just don’t cut it: you’re going to be visiting something a little more formal, or the time of year isn’t suitable.

At the same time, you’re backpacking. The thought of stuffing heavy boots into your pack makes your spine weep in anticipated anguish. How can you avoid such a dilemma, and tearful body parts?

Well, I’ve got a discovery that’s going to change your life. Check out Hey Dude shoes (or Hey Dude UK for my fellow Brits). These things are an absolute revelation – they’re ridiculously comfy, with a lot of designs being fleece-lined, and soled with memory foam. They’re fashionable yet sturdy, with a whole range of choices. Best of all, they’re incredibly, jaw-droppingly lightweight.

Grab a pair of these, and you’ll never have to worry about having suitable boots for travel again. I got a pair of ankle boots, and they genuinely weigh about the same as a bag of chips. They’re superbly well made, and the lacing system means that they’re slip-on – perfect for getting through airport security!

Want something even better? If you’re a Brit, or if you order through Hey Dude’s UK site, you can use the discount coupon NCADE20 for 20% off. Seriously, don’t miss out on this, because they’ve changed my travel life!

Packing List For Backpacking Europe: The Essential Gear You Need!

Packable hat

Sometimes, you find a travel product so good that you know that you’re never going to go back to the old way of doing things.

Packable hats are that product. I bought mine in Gatwick Airport before a trip to the Amalfi Coast, and thought it was awesome. I didn’t really think too much more about it, until I took a normal, non-packable hat with me to Budapest.

Good gravy: non-packable hats are annoying. How did I ever cope with the things?? They can’t go in your pack because they’ll get squashed. You have to carry them through the airport, an area where you generally need more available limbs than a kraken. You end up arriving in your destination, where it’s currently doing an impression of monsoon season, wearing a dripping straw hat. Ugh.

Instead, get a packable hat. You can fold, spindle, and mutilate them! You can stuff them into the deepest recesses of your pack, and forget about them until you need them. They roll up nicely and fit into your daypack if you’re fed up of wearing them. They do everything a standard hat does, but they do it better.

If you’re wondering what kind of witchcraft this is, they’re basically made out of a felt-like material – but they look exactly the same as a standard hat. The added bonus is that they’re extremely light, meaning that it’s even less weight on your shoulders!

Give one a try – you’ll never go look back.


Hand-cranked fan

News for people who think that places like the UK and Scandinavia are constantly draped in rain or snow clouds: we do actually get hot weather.

In fact, Europe is becoming more and more prone to heatwaves, thanks to a distressing amount of global warming. They’re getting more and more extreme – indeed, a heatwave in 2003 led to the premature deaths of 70,000 people. Yikes.

The problem, especially for places like the UK, is that we don’t often get sustained periods of heat, so fitting all of our buildings with air conditioning simply isn’t a financially viable option. Why spend that money, when you’ll potentially only use it for a couple of weeks per year? On top of that, our buildings are designed to keep as much heat in as possible, as for the majority of the year we’re prone to chilly conditions. Unfortunately, if you happen to visit during a patch of hot weather, you may well feel like you’re baking in your own skin.

On the hottest day ever recorded in the UK, I was on a coach trip to see Windsor Castle, Bath, and Stonehenge. Whilst we were in the queue for Windsor Castle, the Americans on the tour were melting in the heat, but I was cool as a cucumber – and it was all down to a hand-cranked fan!

Hand-cranking fans means that you’ve got no need for batteries or USBs, taking two power source worries away. They’re small and robust, and you can pop them into your daypack for when you’re feeling the heat a wee bit too much. Plus it takes so little effort to turn the handle: maximum coolness for minimum effort!


If anyone ever asks me for my top tip on how to backpack Europe, there’s always one answer: learn the language.

Speaking the lingo gives you sooo many advantages, guys. You can read signs in airports and train stations, and navigate them a lot easier. If you’re in trouble, you can ask a local for assistance, and not worry about the language barrier. You can amuse yourself by watching bizarre late night television!

The reason I know all these advantages, and why I always tip people to gain a bit of language knowledge, is because I taught myself Italian using Babbel. There’s a whole raft of languages available, from Italian, German, French, Spanish, Danish, Norwegian, Portuguese, Polish, Russian and more. And it is genuinely the best language app I’ve ever used – to put that into context, I think I’ve downloaded every single Italian learning app from the store. None of them grabbed me like Babbel did.

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So, why do I like it so much?

Simply put, it has a very immersive way of learning, and a vast vocabulary for you to absorb. You choose a category, starting from the very start if you’re a beginner, and learn the words as if it’s a game. You sort words into the right order, match them against a picture, or listen and repeat. It’s easy to understand, and most importantly, fun!

I know what you’re thinking, there. “Why should I pay a subscription for Babbel when I can get Duolingo for free?”

Answer: because Babbel goes sooo much more in-depth. I completed the Italian tree on Duolingo, and I still felt like there were things I didn’t understand. I guessed them, or learnt them by repetition. Babbel is like learning from a native – it explains why certain grammar rules work the way they do, or coaches you on your pronunciation. Aside from that, there’s is so much more vocabulary to learn on Babbel. It’s like comparing Fifty Shades of Grey with War and Peace.

Click this link, and give Babbel a try! You won’t be disappointed! And because Babbel has a sleek and functional app, this won’t take up any room in your pack!

Try Babbel Now
Try Babbel NowAn example of language learning app Babbel, providing advice on pronunciation

Travel Wallet

How did we ever cope without travel wallets, guys?? If you haven’t discovered yet how fantastic they are, then let me take you into a parallel universe. A distant world, a possible world… a world of nightmares!

You’re packing your backpack, dreaming of sipping sangria in Spain, or hiking around a fjord. You grab your passport, and smugly think “aha! You won’t get me, demons of disorganization! I defy you!”, and pop it into a pocket in your pack. Where it slowly, slowly slides down.

You get to the airport, and you need your passport and boarding pass. You wrench a tattered piece of paper out of your bag: the remains of your boarding pass, mocking you. Desperate, you fish around in that pocket where your passport resides… but it’s slid so far down that you can’t locate it. Rather than being an organised, international jetsetter, you’re reduced to having get your underwear out of your pack in public just so you can locate your errant document.

Other travellers laugh at you. Airport workers laugh at you. The demons of disorganization laugh at you!

Okay… so that’s a little dramatic. But that’s essentially what happened to me at Amsterdam Airport. Yes, I was mortified.

Fortunately, my boyfriend gifted me a travel wallet soon after, and life has been so much easier since! I keep my passport, boarding pass, health insurance, and foreign currency inside, and it’s so much easier to keep everything in check. It’s bulky enough that it doesn’t slide into forgotten corners of your pack, but slim enough that it takes up very little room. When I get to my hotel, I sling it into the safety deposit box, safe in the knowledge that all my valuables are in there.

It’s. So. Good.


Stop giggling at the back. It’s not sexy, I know.

But neither is diarrhea! I speak from personal experience! And yes, there’s a story coming!

When my boyfriend and I were in Vienna, we started feeling a bit poorly. I’m usually pretty good at spotting foods which should be avoided (I wrote a whole article on it, so I really should’ve known better), but we made a mistake.

We ate a salad.

Yes, a humble salad in a town in Hungary started having some very adverse effects on my boyfriend and myself. I won’t get into the details, because you really don’t want them, but we lost half a day in the beautiful city of Vienna purely because we felt too rough to stray far from the hotel bathroom. That was time that we couldn’t get back, and probably cost us a day trip out of the city. It was my one regret from my trip (along with the time that I almost accidentally headbutted a lamppost, but that’s another story).

We eventually got into the city centre, found a pharmacist, and begged for something that would help. The kindly Austrian pharmacist handed over some Imodium… and promptly charged us 10 euros for it. Yowch. I must admit, shoveling Imodium down my throat whilst sitting on the steps of the Vienna State Opera is not one of the classiest moments of my life, but it was very necessary. And it worked like an absolute charm. Neither of us had any further problems, thank goodness.

No, it’s not sexy. Buy it anyway; thank me later.


Yes, it’s the item that your mother always reminds you that you need, and you roll your eyes and think “nah, they’ll only take up room, and I never use ’em”.

But when it comes down to it, wouldn’t you rather have them taking up room in your pack than be stuck without them when you need them?

I always carry band-aids (or plasters, to us quirky Brits) when I travel. If I’m with my boyfriend, it’s particularly a necessity, because he’s bizarrely prone to getting blisters. During a two-week trip, he went through two boxes of plasters on his own.  And then there’s that time I almost headbutted a lamppost.

It was completely my fault – we were having lunch at a little place in Eger, Hungary, and our table was on a little plinth made out of brick. You had to take a very small step up in order to sit in the chairs. Of course, by the time I finished my lunch, I’d completely forgotten about that. So I got up from my chair to go to the bathroom, and was halfway through telling my boyfriend “we really need to go to Vietnam one daaaaaarrrrgh”. I’d plopped off the step, and completely lost my balance. I was running out of control at a 45 degree angle, before I smacked to the ground, landing on my elbow and knee. Oh, and my head was about one centimeter from a solid iron lamppost.

It honest-to-goodness felt like I’d broken my arm. I ended up with a massive scrape along my elbow (which currently seems to be turning into a scar), which needed some serious patching up with band-aids.

It’s as easy as that to hurt yourself, and get a nasty wound which needs covering up. Take a box of band-aids, and pop a few in your daypack. It’s just silly not to.


The other item that your mother always reminds you to take, and she’s right.

Most people don’t skip on the sunscreen, but there’s still a few folks who think “well, it’s not as hot as back home – I’ll be fine!”. Nope, take that sunscreen, and put it in your pack.

We still have plenty of areas that’ll catch you out. I lathered myself up in sunscreen in Romania, and still got burnt. Similarly, I have an almost-permanent sunburn mark on my shoulder thanks to not protecting myself properly at the notorious oven that is Pompeii. Europe might be more temperate than a lot of continents, but you still need to be sensible.

Personal Alarm

The chances are that you don’t need a personal alarm. I’ve got one – have I ever used it? Nope, never. Heck, I’ve wandered around the backstreets of Naples (a place which isn’t nearly as scary as its reputation would have you believe), and not felt under threat at any time.

But does it make you feel a little bit safer? Yup.

The majority of Europe is completely safe – in fact, the main problem that you’re likely to encounter is that of pickpockets. Whilst you can combat that problem by buying anti-theft backpacks, you can also do your best to raise the alarm… especially in the rare event that you encounter something worse than a pickpocket.

A personal alarm just gives you that peace of mind, especially if you’re backpacking Europe solo, or if you’re female. Sad to say, female travellers still need to keep a special eye out for their safety, and a personal alarm does the trick nicely. They’re generally small and discreet (some are even disguised to look like a cute keyring which you can pop on your bag), and they just make you feel that little bit safer.

Hopefully, you’ll never need to use it, but having a personal alarm is definitely a good idea.

Spare padlock

I always travel with a spare padlock, which I keep locked to the outside of my pack. Is it some kind of metal af fashion accessory, like having a cute keyring?

Nope! (plus I already have a cute keyring on there! Sue me.) It’s just really useful to have a spare one, particularly combination locks, if you’re travelling through Europe by either plane or bus.

A lot of budget airlines operating within Europe have a policy of putting bags, which might’ve been intended as hand luggage, into the hold if space in the overhead lockers fills up too quickly. EasyJet are definitely one, and if you’re planning to start your trip in the UK, your chances of making your onward journey using their services are pretty high. That’s why I started taking a spare padlock – my 40 liter pack qualifies for hand luggage size, but if I can’t fit it in the lockers, I can whack a padlock through the zippers before it gets taken away and put in the hold.

Similarly, I’ve also heard that it’s a good idea for anyone using FlixBus. There’s been some issues with drivers mistakenly taking the wrong bags out of the bus’s storage, or worse, other travellers deliberately taking your pack. Lock your bag to a strut, and no one is getting their hands on that sucker!

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Backup battery

Never mind travel; I don’t go anywhere in life without my backup battery. I’ve spent more time with thing than some of my friends. It is my number one Life Pro Tip.

We all know the fear and dread of the low battery. No more mobile phone! No more Candy Crush and Instagram!

But when you’re travelling, it’s more important than that. Running out of phone battery means no camera with which to capture those memories. It means no useful apps, like GoogleMaps or Rome2Rio. Most importantly, it can mean no access to emergency services, or contact with loved ones at home who may be worried about you. It’s important to have all of those things when you need them.

I’ll happily admit that I bought mine in order to play Pokémon Go more efficiently, but I’ve lost track of how many times it’s saved my bacon when I’m on the road. My boyfriend even uses it in order to charge his vape, because the USB cable for that works in exactly the same way.

Best of all, they’re inexpensive, and generally extremely portable. There’s no way I’d travel without one!


Europe has some of the world’s most beautiful places of worship. Places which were considered ancient before Christopher Columbus set foot on his first boat. St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, the Duomo in Florence, the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona – if you’re visiting the city, you’ll want to visit these extraordinary places no matter which beliefs you hold. They’re just that awesome.

Howeverrrrr, they also have rules about keeping covered up, and if you’re visiting in summer, you may well fall foul of them. I’ve been caught out three times – once each in St. Peter’s in Rome and St. Mark’s in Venice, where I was wearing shorts and had to wrap a awkward piece of cloth around my legs. The other time was the church of Matthias Corvinus in Budapest, where I was wearing a shouderless dress, and had to wear my boyfriend’s heavy leather jacket. Boy, how I enjoyed sweating my bits off in one of the most beautiful buildings in Europe!

Do yourself a fashion favour, and remember to pack a scarf in your bag. Not only can you use it to avoid religious incidents, but you can use it for various other purposes. I use one to wrap around my camera, keeping it safe in my daypack. You can also use them to avoid sunburn on your neck and shoulders, or soak them with water and put over your head and neck if you have a heatstroke problem. Heck, they even work as pillows for long train and bus rides.  Scarves are one of your travel necessities for Europe, they really are.

Plus, you can get some lovely pretty ones! Who says that every useful travel item has to be plain and boring!

Mosquito repellents

As far as mosquitos and gnats are concerned, I am a all-day, all-you-can-eat buffet.

I don’t know why, but I seem to attract biting insects with the same relentless inevitability as having a hyperactive child sitting behind you on the plane. I’ve been nibbled all over Europe. I even get bitten when I stay at my boyfriend’s place, waking up covered in itching sores whilst he slumbers on, happily bite-free. I clearly taste like the finest chocolate cake.

Accordingly, I have developed a homicidal hatred of flying, biting insects, especially the one which circled the ceiling in my hotel room in Budapest for three days and descended for snacks every night. I finished up that journey in a hotel room in Poland, grumpily applying cream to my 14 bites (yes, I counted them), when a gadget show came on the television. I couldn’t understand a word of it, but I could see the product’s name, and saw that it was clearly designed to help with insect bites. Eagerly, I googled it.

Well, blimey. The Zap-It applies a small electric shock to your bite, which stops it from itching, swelling, and generally being annoying. It doesn’t involve chemicals, nor a battery. It just stops up to 1000 bites from being nuisances from hell.

The future is here; grab it with both hands! As a precautionary measure, you can also try repellent cream, and mosquito bands.

By the way, I eventually managed to swat the gnat in my Budapest hotel about an hour before I left. It felt strangely good.

Eco-friendly travel accessories

I’ve saved my favourite for last. Prepare to fall in love.

I first discovered Ocean & Company through Instagram, when I stumbled upon a photo they’d posted of their products. It was the most adorable bracelet, beaded with a cute little turtle in the middle, with that wonderful- sun-kissed look that I love. I’m very much a sea creature; I’ve lived by the ocean for my entire life. Going inland feels weird. I spent two weeks in Nebraska, and felt extremely discombobulated. Anything to do with the ocean is simply in my blood.

As I looked further into them, I realised that Ocean & Company don’t just make cute turtle bracelets – they are completely devoted to producing eco-friendly travel products which promote a plastic-free, sustainable lifestyle. They donate money back from purchases, and give it to charities which are helping to clean up our oceans. You can buy one of their tees, spread the message, and know that they’ve actually helped.

Most of all, I love their travel accessories, because they’re SO useful. A sea turtle tumbler means that you can refill your water from taps in bars and restaurants, rather than keep buying harmful plastic bottles. The super-cool bamboo toothbrush is naturally antimicrobial. A metal straw eliminates one of the world’s worst polluters, plastic straws – and even comes with a brush to clean it with!

So yup, I’m going to be having a shopping spree very soon, because I’ve had enough of going to my local beach and seeing plastic waste. We all need to make changes, and this is absolutely the simplest way of doing it.

Check out Ocean & Company by clicking here! And if you want some even better news, you can use the code ANXIOUSTRAV10 and get 10% off!

Plastic waste floating in the sea in a port Do we really want more of this? Take action!

Travel clothes for Europe

Knowing what to pack for a trip to Europe is so dependent on different factors. The main one is the season – just to use one example, there’s a vast difference in what you want to wear in Scandinavia in summer, and the exact same place in the winter. The length of your journey, and how much access you’ll have to clothes washing facilities, is another.

But, there’s certainly basics which you want to have with you. And this is why I’m going to let you in on a fantastic resource for creating your own packing list (because when it comes to which clothes to wear, you simply can’t make a one-size-fits-all packing list for a continent so diverse as Europe, with such varying weather).

Simply pop your email into the subscription box on the right-hand side of this site, and I’ll send you a packing list (it’ll subscribe you to my email list, but don’t worry – there’s zero spam. I’d hate that, so I’m not going to do it to you!). The thing which sets my one apart from most packing lists is that not only is there space for you to add your own items – so you can write down all your clothes, plus the travel necessities that you’ve just read about above!) – but there’s a checkbox for the RETURN journey. So when you’re off to the next stop on your backpacking trip through Europe, or when you leave for home with a full pack and a heavy heart, you can check that you’ve got everything. You’ve not left your passport, or your favourite sweater, or that cherished souvenir, in a hotel cupboard.

I genuinely think that it’s the most flexible packing list out there. But if you just don’t like the idea of subscribing – no problem! I’m still going to look after you!

Have a look at the TUI Holiday Checklist. I’ve travelled with TUI many a time, and they really do know their travel stuff – this handy little gizmo lets you pop in your destination, who you’re travelling with, and the length of your stay. You’ll be rewarded with a bespoke packing list that even takes the weather in your destination into account!

Share this packing list for backpacking Europe!

I really hope that this list has been useful to you! I genuinely use and love all of the products I’ve listed, and I wouldn’t be without them. They’ve saved me more times than I care to mention, and I hope that you can get them for your next trip – I can promise you that you won’t regret it. Some of them you’ll use nearly every day; others you might not use at all. But you’ll be healthier, safer, less stressed, more organised, more cultured, and that tiny bit fabulous.

If it’s helped you out, or given you some good ideas, how about helping someone else who might be in the same position as you? Give it a share! You can use the buttons below, or even better, save the below image to Pinterest. You’ll be sharing the love, plus giving yourself a bookmark back to this article when you’re ready to buy for your trip!

Need a printable packing list for backpacking Europe? Get all the travel accessories you'll need for traveling in Europe with this guide! Find travel products which will keep you safe, healthy, and organised, including European plugs and Panama straw hats you can roll up for an easy to pack outfit! #europe #backpacking #thatanxioustraveller Need a printable packing list for backpacking Europe? Get all the travel accessories you'll need for traveling in Europe with this guide! Find travel products which will keep you safe, healthy, and organised, including European plugs and Panama straw hats you can roll up for an easy to pack outfit! #europe #backpacking #thatanxioustraveller

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