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Packing List for Backpacking Europe for Women

Updated: Nov 6, 2023

After two weeks of backpacking Europe, I am happy to share my list of "must have's" when it comes to backpacking Europe-women's edition.


Bag Recommendation


There are a lot of great options and after a lot of research, we landed on the Women's Osprey bag. This bag has a version that does not come with the removable backpack, but I found the little pack to be a great addition and used it for full day trips.


There is also a version that comes with wheels. And no day pack. If you feel like it might be too heavy for you, or you are not used to backpacking, then this is a great "both" option.



Packing Cubes - MUST HAVE


It was absolutely incredible how much we could fit into our bag with these cubes. Not only did they help to keep things organized, I felt like I could fit more into my bag. The Osprey pack above fits up to 3 or 4 cubes depending on the size. I could also fit a toiletry bag and two extra pairs of shoes.




Anti-theft Cross body Bag


There are a lot of different styles to pick from, but I found that having a small anti-theft cross body bag was perfect for any outing. At one point while we were on the Metro in Milano, I was targeted by a pick-pocketer! Thankfully they were not able to get anything from me because they couldn't get the zipper open.



European Travel Plug Adapter


There are a lot of different options to pick from. As you are looking through travel plug adapters, it is important to think about what you will be plugging into it. Do NOT bother with brining a hair blow dryer. Every hotel and Airbnb has them and they take up a lot of space. If you need a hair straightener, then you'll want to look into the low Volt option for your hair straightener. We were able to use this plug with a low volt hair straightener and it worked great.



Compact UV umbrella for rain or Shade - MUST HAVE


This umbrella comes with a carrying case and packs very small. It was something we used everyday while in Europe. Not only does it randomly start and stop raining at any time throughout the day, if you are there during the summer, it's HOT. Being under this umbrella kept me cool on hot days walking around and kept me dry when the rain suddenly came falling down out of the sky.



Cooling Shall


Having a shall to take with you to Europe is a necessity. If you want to go into one of the Catholic churches you will need to have your shoulders and knees covered. In the summer time, it gets really HOT, so having one item that works double duty is a great space saver.







Casual Knee Length Dress with Pockets

Finding cute dresses that come down to your knees can be a challenge. These BD Moon dresses were great. They are 95% Rayon, 5% Spandex, so they dry quickly and are both machine and hand-washable.


As you're shopping for different clothing to pack remember to stay away from cotton and stick to fabrics that breath and dry quickly. Dryers are not common in Europe, and doing laundry in the sink is quite common when it comes to backpacking. So having clothing that will be dry the next day all depends on the fabric.



Other important items, but they entirely come down to preferences are:

  • Shoes - Take one pair of comfortable sneakers. You will be doing a lot of walking, so good shoes are a must.

  • Sandals - Pack one pair of sandals that are versatile. You can get them wet, they breath well, and they are great for walking in.

  • Chafing body glide - It is hot, everything will rub. This is a must have item

  • Small bag locks - These are great for travel days to put on your larger bag or for extra protection on your backpack.

  • A lightweight long-sleeved shirt or sweatshirt.


Items to AVOID

  • Taking too many pairs of shoes. Pick two and call it good.

  • Jeans or denim. Denim is heavy and it takes forever to dry.

  • Cotton. I mentioned it above, but cotton takes a long time to dry. Try to get underwear and socks that are hemp or linen.


And that's it! Let us know what you think about our list or if you had any "must have" items you loved when you went to Europe.





*Please note that if you do purchase some of these items we may receive a VERY small affiliate commission from your purchase. It is important to note that All items are our own recommendations and things we actually used on our 2 week trip.



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