I won’t lie, it’s really hard to pack everything you’ll need for four months abroad into two suitcases. Somehow, after selling half of my closet and doing some serious organizing, I managed to do it. Listing everything I packed would be long and boring, so here are some of my absolute must-haves, but remember that they key to successful packing is being completely honest with yourself and your style- don’t pack what you won’t wear!
- High-waist denim shorts. Not too short though! I got mine from a thrift store for $1.50 and gave them a little DIY love, so don’t waste your money on a $40 pair at Urban Outfitters.
- Black drawstring track pants. The perfect European substitute for sweatpants. I got mine from Express.
- A great pair of jeans. I hate navy on my legs, so I stick with black.
- The perfect white t-shirt. My favorite is the Essential Crew from Gap.
- Camisoles in nude, white and black.
- A white blouse. I brought about 4 because that’s all I live in.
- A black sweater.
- A solid zip up hoodie. Mine is light gray and from Target, and is perfect for hikes or throwing over a maxi with a denim vest to go around town.
- A hot dress. Self explanatory.
- A rain jacket. Alison (my mom) came in the clutch with a great find from Eddie Bauer that’s a little longer and cinched at the waist, AND HAS A HOOD. That’s important.
- Some kind of Northface or Patagonia-esc jacket.
- Ugly sneakers you will want to throw away at the end of the trip. Makes more room in your suitcase for all the goodies you will buy.
- Cheap flip-flops. Because hostels are gross.
- Black flats. Get some Dr. Scholl’s inserts too; you’ll thank me for that tip a thousand times over, I promise.
- Comfortable, durable, neutral sandals. DON’T YOU DARE WALK AROUND EUROPE IN FLIP FLOPS.
- Boots. I brought my riding boots, others brought combat boots, it’s up to you.
- Wedges or heels. Just one pair. Once you go out in them you will swear you’ll never do it again, but you’ll be happier knowing that they are sitting in your closet in case you need them instead of them being thousands of miles away.
- Scarves. I have a huge collection that I narrowed down to four: my favorite lightweight leopard print, a lightweight tan infinity, a heavier knit cream infinity and a heavier plaid.
- Skinny Belts. Match them to the shoes you bring (love, my grandma). I brought black, tan and my favorite gold with a jeweled leopard head clasp from Asos.
- A watch. You will become very unattached to your phone since you have no service and will need someway to figure out the time.
- Jewelry. I’m obsessed, so I brought tons of rings, earrings and bracelets, plus a few necklaces. My go-tos are crystal and gold studs, thin gold bangles and a gold ring.
- The perfect purse. Mine is convertible, going from bowler to crossbody with a simple folding over of the top portion.
- A wallet with a zipper. 1€ and 2€ are coins and are easily forgotten when they are floating around the bottom of your purse.
Although this only covers a small portion of what I brought with me, and includes a few things I forgot and had to either buy here or have my mom send me (my forgotten Northface and a pair of heels), this a great base for getting started. Remember to weigh your suitcase before you go to avoid overweight charges! Good luck!