Backpacking Through Europe: What To Pack

For the first time ever, I’m backpacking through Europe.

The boyfriend and I are hitting four different countries and packing everything we need in our backpacks. This should be fun.I’ve been really putting thought into what to bring with me because let me tell you, backpacks don’t have a ton of room in them. I ended up buying an Osprey Porter 65 which is the biggest backpack you can get that’s still a carry on. I’m not trying to waste any of my time waiting in line for luggage. 

Okay, so small bag. 10 days. What do we bring? 

The Airport Outfit

First, I like to plan out my plane outfit because you can pack a lot on your body that you don’t have to worry about packing in your bag. I like to start out with a pair of leggings (stylish ones of course), socks & sneakers (because airport floors are nasty), a cute t-shirt and a hoodie because planes get so cold (and it can double as a pillow)! If you’re traveling in the winter, feel free to add your jacket on top of this too. 

In The Backpack

Since we have one shirt, leggings, sneakers and a hoodie (and jacket) on our bods. What are we putting in the bag? The key to making this work is bringing pieces that you can use for multiple outfits. No one is going to know if you’re wearing the same pair of jeans a few times… except maybe whoever you’re with, but they’re doing the same shit. 

  • 2 pairs of shoes: sneakers, boots, sandals, heels (depends on where you’re going. But keep it to two!)
  • A lightweight jacket (depending on when you’re going. I just so happen to be going early October)
  • 2 pairs of pants: I like to bring a pair of jeans and a black pair
  • 5-7 shirts (pair them with different pants and shoes and you have endless outfits)
  • Yo undies, bras and lots of socks (obvs)
  • 1 scarf

That’s honestly all you need. This list obviously doesn’t include toiletries, electronics, medicines, etc., but those things vary among all of us. I happen to also be bringing a dirndl with me because I’m hitting up Oktoberfest in Munich this year! 

You can shop the pieces I’m taking with me below. What do you have to have when going on vacation? 


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  1. Great list and good job keeping it light. When backpacking less is always the way to go. If you find that you are needing something, you can always purchase it on the way and then it pulls double-duty as a souvenir!

    1. Another great tip! I think that works out so well, buy as you go if you need to! A shirt from germany is way cooler than a shirt from my drawer!

  2. Great suggestions! Love that you’re keeping it light and simple. I’m beyond jealous. – have a Fab Trip!!

  3. How exciting! I backpacked through Europe for 2 months and it was so hard fitting all the essentials, especially transitioning from cool spring temps to hot summer!

    1. Hopefully you will get to someday! This is my first time backpacking so I’m sure I’ll have a lot better tips when I come back lol

    1. Exactly! You’re just there to have fun! Carry ons are the way to go anyways, like you said, not the time nor the funds to be dealing with all of that!