The 10 Best Items I Took With Me to Europe

A month is a long time to be traveling, especially when you’re not in the same place for more than a week. I honestly can’t say there were many times where I was kicking myself wishing I would have brought a certain item. Before we left I planned to pack for every possible situation that could arise, and in doing so I felt very prepared. That being said, I thought I would share the 10 best items I took with me to Europe. These were the things I found myself constantly reaching for, and can see them being travel staples. Are there any items you never leave home with when traveling? I’d love to know!

smart items numbered

  1. J. Crew Jacket – This was perfect to throw on when the temperature dipped down in the evenings. Since it’s so lightweight it was also great for layering.
  2. Klean Kanteen – I use these all the time at home. It was great because we could refill them in our apartment and carry it with us as we walked through the city. Since some restaurants, bistros, and cafes charged for water, the Klean Kanteen saved us every time.
  3. Rick Steeve’s Phrase Books – I tried to speak the local language as much as we could and it really paid off. Some places we went to were sans English, so having this book in my purse came in handy.
  4. Reusable Bag – Maybe it’s a little silly that I’m including this in my list, but when it came to storing dirty laundry it was perfect. It’s able to be squished to fit in the big bag without taking up heaps of space.
  5. Crossbody Bag – I bought this at Nordstrom’s anniversary sale last year and was the best purse for traveling. It was small enough where it wouldn’t take up a ton of room, but big enough to easily hold everything I needed.
  6. Headphones – From tuning out the incessant noise of the plane engine to screaming babies, headphones were worth bringing.
  7. Turbie Towel – I use these all the time at home and was so glad to have it with me in Europe. After washing my hair I throw it in the turbo towel for a little bit; it helps my hair dry faster.
  8. Onitsuka Tiger Runners and Birkenstocks – These sneakers were supremely comfortable. I actually bought them the day before leaving and was worried they would kill my feet. I was surprised to realize they didn’t need any breaking in (winning!). Birkenstocks were perfect for the days we walked a ton and it was blistering hot. The arch support in the can’t be beaten, and this style isn’t as clunky as some of their other sandals.
  9. Silk Eyemask – We stayed in some apartments that didn’t have any blinds or curtains. So at 5 am when the sun was beaming through those windows, having an eye mask was a lifesaver.
  10. Osprey Backpack – This backpack was a game-changer. It has multiple compartments and pockets for everything I needed to take. It was also really great having my hands free of any luggage, so I could easily hop on and off trains and buses with ease. Every single place I stayed in was up a flight of stairs with no elevator available. I was running up those staircases taking two steps at a time! Just kidding I wasn’t. I can easily see myself using this bag for camping as well. It doesn’t look the most glamorous, but its functionality outweighs that.
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