Flight booked. Booked Airbnbs. Adventure awaits. And now, the only task left before embarking on an unforgettable European vacation is to answer the always lingering question: What should be on your vacation packing list?
Let’s be honest: preparing your dream wedding dress can sometimes feel like a battle royale costume. Decisions need to be made, and patience is needed. It’s a lip-smacking game of practicality and duel style for a coveted spot in your pocket.
But don’t worry, because I’m here to make the process easy. After three years of living in France and several summer getaways under my belt, I have gained valuable insight into the art of packing. I saw with my own hands the things that never happened in my bag and who were my trusted friends during the trip.
We focus on the last one—the seven must-haves that are as valuable as they are worthy of Instagram. Make your packing woes a thing of the past, and add these to your packing list ASAP.
1. A Maxi Dress
Maxi dresses are the choice for European residents and tourists in the summer. Whether you’re exploring Dubrovnik’s city walls, catching the sunset in Santorini, or dining on a beachside terrace in Amalfi, a maxi dress can do it all (and make you look look good either way).
In addition to their versatility, they are one of the most useful things to put in your bag. They take up little space, are a complete garment in one part, and can be worn day and night.
2. A linen top
With their lightweight and breathable fabric, linen fabrics offer the perfect balance of style and comfort. They keep you cool as the temperature rises and are much friendlier than their pants. For a timeless look that blends well with any floor, opt for a neutral shade like white or soft beige. You can style your blouse with a tailored skirt for an old fashioned look or pair it with a midi skirt for a romantic outfit that can get “mamma mia.”
3. Midi skirt
The epitome of femininity and my all-time favorite: the midi skirt. With their fun silhouettes and endless styling possibilities, midi skirts are a must-have for any European getaway. They can be dressed up or down with something as simple as your choice of shoes and require little effort to look together. Finally, if your summer plan is close to spring, midi skirts are essential because of their long length. And trust me: you won’t understand how much atmosphere is part of your vacation until you have fun on the coast or on an island-boat. Short skirts are not straight.
4. Patterns of customized skirts
When it comes to staying cool and stylish during a summer European tour, don’t forget the power of shorts. Although length and material can vary across different locations, a well-chosen pair of shorts can be a great addition to your travel wardrobe. Tailored shorts offer a sophisticated solution to elevate your look without sacrificing comfort. High waists, flattering silhouettes, and neutral colors make for a pair that’s as easy to wear on a trip to the beach as it is to explore ancient ruins.
5. A heavy sweater
Although your summer vacation will include warm weather, it is important to be prepared for cold evenings and new mornings. A heavy sweater or cardigan is great for layering and keeps you warm when the temperature drops. This is especially true if you are enjoying a beach vacation. The sea and ocean air can be very cold when you wear a strapless sundress from your day trip.
It is also worth noting that if you are visiting certain religious sites, appropriate clothing may be required. Having a sweater on hand allows you to enjoy all the places on your to-do list while respecting the local culture and traditions.
6. Comfortable sneakers
Leave the bulky running shoes behind and elevate your OOTD with lifestyle sneakers – the footwear choice of the fashion community. Opt for a sleek design, white accents with a splash of color, or a double-edged vintage kick. These styles are easily combined with the clothes we mentioned earlier and make you feel comfortable while enjoying all of Europe. From the cobblestone streets to the bustling city, good sneakers provide the necessary support to enjoy the day without making sacrifices.
7. Shiny shoes
No summer vacation is complete without a pair of flat, strappy shoes to show off your pedicure (a sacred step in pre-vacation preparation). Cash if they are gold. I mean, when else will your sun-kissed ankles get the adornment of golden Roman sandals?
This popular shoe option adds a touch of elegance to any outfit while providing you with the stability you need to enjoy a sandy day traveling in the Greek Islands. Look for shoes with adjustable straps or straps that allow you to adjust the fit. These details will keep you on your toes as you explore the hidden gems of your destination—proof that function shouldn’t go out of style.