I Traveled to Europe 5 Times This Year—Here's What I Always Packed

Europe packing list

Between work trips that took me to Paris Fashion Week and Italy and personal travel back to some of those spots again, I’ve hopped the pond with travels to Europe five times over the last year. Through each of these trips, I’ve been able to refine my packing habits after learning which items were essentials and the pieces I wish I had added to my suitcase. But now, I really have it down.

When it comes to planning what I’ll be bringing, I have a few categories I consider. My biggest consideration is always fashion and the outfits I’ll be wearing. But equally important are the beauty products so I don’t have too many trips to the local pharmacy. Another important essential? All of the electronics and cords I don’t want to leave behind.

If you’re planning a trip overseas and want to know how to master a European packing list, I’m here to point you in the right direction. Ahead, I’m breaking down my guide for arriving with everything you need. Scroll down to see my Europe packing tips and the pieces I’ll never go abroad without.


Kristen Nichols' Europe packing list

For years I traveled without proper luggage, but I finally picked up a set of matching suitcases from Away, and it was such a great investment. What I love most about these bags is they come with built-in USB chargers so I can power up my phone without having to track down an outlet.

Away The Large Suitcase $295

I use my bigger suitcase to pack most of my shoes and clothes that I check on the plane.

Away The Bigger Carry-On Suitcase $245

My carry-on is always where I pack an extra set of clothes (in case my checked bag gets lost). But also, all of my valuables like bags, jewelry, and electronics.


Kristen Nichols' Europe packing list: pack in outfits

Here's a trick I've learned from fashion girls across the industry: Pack in outfits. If you can map out what you're wearing ahead of time, it allows you to cut down on extra pieces you won't end up wearing. I also make sure to pack versatile items that I can mix and match into different looks.

Natasha Ribbed Merino Wool Sweater
Khaite Natasha Ribbed Merino Wool Sweater $780
X Cindy Crawford High-Rise Straight Leg Jeans
Re/Done x Cindy Crawford High-Rise Straight Leg Jeans $387 $194
Este Croc-effect Leather Ankle Boots
By Far Este Croc-Effect Leather Ankle Boots $510


Kristen Nichols' Europe packing list: comfortable sneakers

I've made the mistake of buying new sneakers for a trip or forgetting to pack a pair altogether. I always end up walking around a lot, though, so I've learned my lesson. Now, I make sure to always pack a pair of sneakers that have already been broken in.

Adidas Superstar Sneakers
Adidas Originals Superstar Sneakers $80

These are the most comfortable sneakers I own.


Who What Wear editor Kristen Nichols' Europe packing list

Instead of packing a ton of bag options, I prefer to keep a tight edit so I don't overstuff my suitcase. One of my essentials is a style like this Chanel bag that I throw across my body so I'm hands-free and can easily transition from day to night.

Chanel Reissue 227 Double Flap Bag $6400 $2625

I've owned this bag for years, and it's still my best investment purchase.


Who What Wear editor Kristen Nichols share her Europe packing list

In the winter, I always make sure to pack a versatile jacket like this cashmere trench from Burberry. A bulky item like this is something I want to only pack one of and be able to wear with everything.

Wool Cashmere Trench Coat With Fur Collar
Burberry Wool Cashmere Trench Coat With Fur Collar $2195

My mom actually picked up this jacket last year, and I've been borrowing it from her on repeat.

Kristen Nichols' summer Europe packing list

Now, when it comes to summer travel, swimsuits are something I always throw in my suitcase.

Monday Swimwear Bahamas One-Piece $159

This is one of my favorite finds from last summer. I love the minimal lines and super-thin straps.


Two of the most important pieces I make sure to pack? Devices to charge all of my electronics while I'm abroad.

Joomfeen Travel Adapter $13

A travel adapter is essential for charging my laptop and phone. 

RAVPower Portable Charger $42

Another more recent addition to my travel arsenal? A portable charger that allows me to charge my iPhone on the go. This one powers your iPhone up to 4.9 times.


Who What Wear editor Kristen Nichols' Europe packing list tips

Because I always scope out the vintage stores when I'm in a new city, I leave some extra room in my suitcase so I can pack any travel finds. This shot is from last year when I spotted a vintage store in Paris stocked with racks and racks of Chanel.

Louis Vuitton Monogram Transparence Lockit Bag $3540 $1395

How amazing is this vintage Louis Vuitton bag?

Chanel Metallic Tweed Skirt $475 $333

And this Chanel skirt.

This post originally appeared on Who What Wear.

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