At this point, you've decided that you want to travel all of Europe, but now you have to decide on what to bring! After my experiences, let me share with you what is the smartest things to pack in your bag!
Firstly, let me start of by saying, you must decide if you will be taking a train around europe, or flight to flight. The reason for this being, if you are taking flights in Europe, most small airline that you will be taking only allow for 20-22lbs (10 kg) as your carry on. So unless you want to be paying extra for baggage, you need to pack well. If you decide on taking the train around, you can fill that bag up right to the rim! As long as it doesn't exceed larger airline limits of 50lbs (22 kg).
Limit your clothing and toiletries...
I know this may seem hard to do, you want to feel and look your best while travelling through, and meeting new interesting strangers. The truth is, you will most likely be wearing your favourite outfit that you packed every other day anyways. My suggestion is to pack one warm sweater and long pants that you like. Keep in mind the season you will be travelling, look up the weather prior to travelling and pack accordingly. Always pack something that you are comfortable in for those long walking days, and an outfit that you feel wonderful in, for those nights when you want to feel your best! The only thing that I would pack lots of is your underwear and socks, the'yre small and something you always want to be clean. For shoes, I would bring your comfiest sneakers and one pair on comfy sandals, you won't need more than that.
Along with clothing, limit your toiletries as well. Ladies, you won't be pulling out your hairdryer, curler and flatiron everyday. If you are, you're wasting your time on the many hours you could be out exploring! Keep it to the basics: A toothbrush, toothpaste, small shampoo and deodorant. All the things to make you feel as clean as a whistle.... :)
Use a travel pack, it will keep everything organized and less hassle while travelling.
Things we forget about unless they're on a List...
A Lock - Travelling alone or in groups, it is important you lock up your valuables! Most hostels will sell them and will have somewhere for you to lock your things.
Passport, Driver License, Credit Cards
Towel - use a microfibre towel, they dry very quick and can be packed very small!
Ear Plugs & Eye mask- you can imagine how loud a room of 8 people in your hostel can get on the weekend...
Photocopies of important documents (passport, flight details, booking conformations)
Ziploc bags in different sizes - these are good for when you have dirty clothes and want to keep your remaining clothes smelling good.
Extra euros - most countries in eruope take euros and it is always good to have some cash handy while travelling!
Laundry materials (if you are staying for a long period of time, you will have to wash your clothes at some point!)
Portable charger - Your phone will die, and your phone is your camera most times.
Baby wipes/Wet wipes
Small day travel packpack - I would suggest finding one that is basic fabric that you can fold up when empty.
A light rain jacket
Pillowcase - if you don't trust the hostels!
This list may seem extensive and you're probably wondering, how the heck will this fit into my backpack? Well, the answer to that is you make it fit. Remember this is your trip, and it's your choice on what to bring and what to leave back at home. As long as you have your basics, your adventure doesn't stop!
A Few things before you begin travelling:
Do you have travel insurrance?
You never know what type of trouble you may get into. It is important to have travellers insurrance while travelling so that if you do get hurt, it won't cost you more than your trip.
Debit Cards with free ATM withdrawls:
You don't realise how many times you stop to use your debit card or to withdrawl money. I would suggest to get a debit card with free ATM withdrawls. Some of the leading cards are Revolut and KOHO, which you can sign up online and they will send you a card in the mail. It will take over a week though, so be sure to do this early enough prior to your trip. This is also handy because you can top up your card right from your phone!
Research your port of arrival customs:
It is important you research the customs of where you will be arriving. Some countries are stricker than others and will ask you questions that you will have to be preapred for! It would be the worst thing to start off your journey with a stop at the border.
Create a Travel Playlist:
I'm not sure about you, but music is vitally important when travelling. There are many times where you will be waiting around for planes or trains, or on transportation for hours at a time. It is important to have good music to relax and chill out to while you're travelling around.
Set up a Budget:
It is important that you walk into your trip with some type of budget. It is very easy to get carried away with travelling expenses, especially during the beautiful summer season. Remember that once your money runs out, that could mean the end of your trip.