Backpacking throughout Europe is by no means an easy task, but it is definitely one worth experiencing if you have the time. The diverse continent offers a wide variety of activities, cultures, and cuisines, and is generally very backpacker friendly. In addition to a great opportunity to get a more intimate look at Europe, backpacking is relatively inexpensive.

Shopping for airfare in advance or securing it with a Capital One Venture Double Miles Challenge can make flying in much more affordable, and simply choosing to avoid big resorts will allow you to see and do far more than you had imagined.

However, before you take flight, be sure to pack each of the following in that backpack that will become your lifeline:


One of the biggest pitfalls that backpackers get themselves in to when traveling is not packing a variety of items. Be sure to pack at least one tee shirt, tank top, long sleeved shirt, pair of jeans, and pair of shorts. You will also want to pack one or two pairs of different shoes to fit the variety of terrain you will be covering. Ultimately, you want to make sure that you will be prepared for any climate situation.

A Solid List

Before flying out, create a list of all hostels in and around the areas in which you will be visiting. Along with names, you will want to make sure that you include addresses and phone numbers so that you can contact them in advance if you wish. Having this list will help you get about more easily, and will also make it easier to find other accommodations should your first choice be filled up for the evening.

First Aid Kit

You never know when a bump or scrape may occur. To keep yourself from having to find a local pharmacy for Band-Aids and antibiotic ointment, pack a small first aid kit equipped with bandaids, gauze, ibuprofen, and antibiotic ointment.

Travel Journal

While it may not seem like a necessity, having a travel journal during your travels will be something that you will thank yourself for bringing later. Be sure to take a small one along to document places you’ve stayed in and people whom you have met. It’ll be great for resparking memories and for future travel plans should you choose to return.

A Credit Card

While cash is great to have on hand, having a credit card can be a real life saver for travelers needing to cover an emergency or book a last minute room. Just remember to make sure that the card you take is one of the numerous credit cards without foreign transaction fees to maximize your spending.

Smart Phone

Taking a smart phone may seem frivolous and expensive when traveling abroad, but it can definitely be a life saver. In addition to translation apps, a good smart phone will be able to help you locate restaurants, hostels, sites, and just about anything else of interest. It is essentially a personal assistant for the wandering traveler.

Ziploc Bags

Clothes get dirty and wet when traveling around, and toiletries spill. To keep your other items clean and dry, always take a few extra quart and gallon sized Ziploc bags.


When you are out and about exploring cities, the last thing you want to do is lug around your backpack. However, leaving your bag unattended isn’t always easy either. To keep your belongings safe at hostels, bring locks for both your zippers and for your hostel locker. This way you will be able to stay both bag and worry free.

Backpacking is a great way to see all the nooks and crannies of Europe, but it is an adventure that you don’t want to be unprepared for. Make sure that you adequately pack your bag so that you are able to take on any adventure you come across.

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1 Comment on “8 Essentials for Any Trip Through Europe”


    I’ve wanted to go backpacking so many times but haven’t yet; this blog just made me want to jump up and get on with it. These are really good tips and explanations about what to bring along. Although some of them are obvious, others are very smart and I’m sure I would not have thought to take them. Silly as it might sound, I probably would have overlooked a first aid kit, but bringing a small one sounds like such a good idea. And Ziploc bags could seem superfluous, but they have so many uses and take up virtually no space or weight. Another thing that I think would be a good item to have would be a plug adapter, since Europe is very well known for having plugs that are not the same as American outlets.

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