How to Pack Backpack for Europe Packing List For Male and Female

Planning a 2 weeklong trip to Europe and don’t know what to pack? Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered. Planning and packing for any trip can be very exhausting and difficult especially for beginners. Europe is one of the ultimate travel experiences. With the continent offering a mind blowing, diverse range of things to do, places to visit, it gets confusing what exactly needs to be packed. Not to mention, packing all your essentials for the trip in one backpack can prove challenging.

Beginners often make the mistake of packing too much stuff and still neglecting essential items to bring that they are unaware of. Bringing too much stuff can become a hassle to handle, it becomes difficult to keep track of your things and makes you a bigger target for thieves as well.

To ensure you have the best traveling experience, we have researched and compiled a list of the necessary items you would need on your trip.

Backpacking Europe Packing List Female:

We ladies often have a tough time cutting down to just the essentials and packing light. The desire to look fashionable and to have anything we might possibly need on hand often ends up in us over packing.  Limited space in a backpack, however, demands of us to pack light and doesn’t give us many options. Here is a list of the most essential items you will need on your trip to make it smooth sailing and comfortable.

A Backpack

backpack for europe

The first thing that you need to buy to ensure a comfortable journey is your backpack. The choice of backpack can affect your trip a lot. An uncomfortable, insufficient backpack will end up spoiling your entire trip. Your backpack needs to be comfortable and light enough for you to be able to carry it throughout your travel without tiring.

Maelstrom Travel Backpack is one of the best choices out there! This backpack provides ample storage for all your necessities with room to spare. It has 3 large compartments, 2 laptop compartments, and 13 storage pockets making it your ideal backpack for traveling! The bag comes with 2 extra storage pockets and a toiletry bag. The bag has also been made comfortable with the use of ergonomic S-shaped shoulder straps and sponge design at the back.

The backpack can comfortably carry all your clothes, shoes, toiletries, laptop, iPad, and other knickknacks.

A Daypack

After securing the perfect backpack, the next item on your list is a daypack that you can easily store in your backpack and whip it out for use whenever needed. The daypack ensures that you don’t have to lug around your heavy backpack all day round while sightseeing. You can store your camera, notebook and other such items that you will need when out for the day. These items will be readily accessible at hand while your backpack is safe and secure back where you’re staying.

4Monster Daypack is an excellent choice as not only is it lightweight and easy to carry but it is also made of water-resistant and tear-resistant material. The daypack provides plentiful storage space. It would be able to hold your camera, journal, other miscellaneous items as well as any souvenirs you buy while exploring.


The next item on the list is an essential everyday item. Packing clothes can prove to be tricky and we end up packing more than necessary.

Shirts and Pants

For this trip packing three to four shirts, a light sweater or cardigan, one or two dresses and a couple of T-shirts and tank tops is more than enough. Two to three pairs of jeans, a couple of pairs of shorts and skirts to go along with them is plentiful.


A very crucial but often overlooked part of packing is the socks we pack. Socks can play a big role in making your trip comfortable or highly uncomfortable as they are closest to your skin.

Smartwool’s socks are one of the best options on the market. The socks are made of Merino wool making them quite soft to wear as this wool is a sustainable wonder fiber that wicks moisture away and helps regulate body temperature from cold weather to sweltering heat of the summer.


Packing comfortable underwear goes to lengths in helping your journey be smooth and comfy. If you pack uncomfortable underwear it will serve to make you uncomfortable and annoyed throughout your entire trip and you will lose out on a priceless experience. Make sure to pack up to 5 comfortable pairs of underwear.

Jacket and Rain Gear

For cold and rainy weather don’t forget to keep a jacket or other rain gear that can keep you warm during unexpected weather conditions and chilly nights.


Unlike popular opinion, it’s better to take just one pair of shoes along with you or a maximum of two. Any more than that would hinder you. Other than your sneakers, a pair of flipflops can come in handy for showers.

Packing Cubes

These handy cubes can make your trip significantly easier and smooth sailing. Packing cubes are small, lightweight bags used for packing your clothes in separate compartments. You can organize and sort your clothes, packing shirts and tops in one, pants in one, socks and underwear in another. It makes it easier to find and access your clothes without rummaging through everything. It also keeps wrinkles to a minimum and helps compress your clothes to provide more space for storage.

Eagle Creek Pack-it Cubes are definitely a fan favorite. They are durable and lightweight and have visibility mesh so you can access your things without making a mess of everything.

Travel Towel

Traditional towels can be a pain to carry on a trip as they are bulky and take forever to dry. A good replacement for that is a travel towel. These towels are designed to be convenient for travel. They are lightweight, absorbent, and will dry overnight. Do note, however, that most travel towels can be smaller in size than traditional towels. Check the dimensions of the towel before buying it. If you have long hair you may want to bring along two; one for your hair and another for your body.

PackTowl Travel Towel is a quick drying microfiber towel that can soak up four times its weight and dries nearly 70 percent faster than cotton towels. It is the perfect companion for your journey.

Miscellaneous Items

Other than these items there are still quite a few essential things you should pack for your trip. Bring along your sunglasses, scarf, earplugs, eye mask, a flexible water bottle, a mini keychain flashlight, your laundry and toiletry items, Ziplock bags, a lint roller, portable battery pack, your smartphone, painkillers, prescribed drugs and any vitamins you regularly take. You do not want to get into the hassle of trying to find them during your trip.

Make sure to make copies of important documents to decrease the risk of losing them. Better safe than sorry!

Also Read: How to Pack a Backpack for Camping

Backpacking Europe Packing List Male

Essentially the packing list for men and women wouldn’t be that different, just a couple of items that are geared more toward the men.

After equipping yourself with a backpack and a daypack, start by packing your clothes. With two to four button-up shirts, one or two sweaters, three or four T-shirts, two pairs of pants and a jacket and rainwear, you’re all set in the clothes department! It is recommended to take along just one pair of shoes and a pair of flipflops. You can opt for two pairs if you feel like you have enough space.

Padlock and retractable cable lock

For extra safety and security equip yourself with a padlock for keeping all your belongings in the bag safe and a retractable cable lock for securing your bag to your bunk or a luggage rack.

Master Lock Resettable Combination Lock serves brilliantly in keeping all your possessions secure.

Small flashlight

This is a small but useful item that should be a must-have on your list. A small keychain flashlight can help you out in multiple tight spots and you can make use of it whenever you want to.

Streamlight 73001 Nano Light Miniature Keychain LED Flashlight is a solid and reliable product. You can never go wrong with Streamlight!

Water bottle

A water bottle is an obvious must-have item. It keeps your water close by and ensures that you are well hydrated throughout the entire day. While a basic regular water bottle does work, flexible water bottles are much more functional and suitable during such a trip.

The Platypus Softbottles with a Closure Cap is the perfect companion for you as it can be rolled up and easily packed when empty. The bottle has a smart design, narrowing at the middle making it easier to hold. The bottles are also machine washable.

Reading material

With so much travel ahead of us, we try to bring along things that would help us pass our time during the journey. This more often than not turns up being books and other reading materials. Taking along books can add unnecessary weight and baggage so it’s better to leave them behind. A great alternative for this is E-reading! With this much technology on our hands, we no longer have to carry multiple books with us.

The Amazon Kindle is great for anyone who loves to read. You can bring along all your reading material with you without having to worry about storage space.

Outlet Plug Adapters

Different countries have different outlet ports so it would be best for you to buy an outlet plug adapter and bring it with you. This will ensure that you are able to charge all your electronics without a single worry.

Ceptics simple set of European adapters should work just fine for you. You can charge your cell phones, laptops, camera chargers or anything else. It is compatible in most European countries and comes with a lifetime warranty. It will, however, not work in Ireland, UK (London) & Scotland.

Packing up your backpack with all this should still leave space for you to pack other miscellaneous items that are unique to your needs.


Q1) How do I choose the right backpack size for my trip to Europe?

Ans) Choosing the right backpack size depends on the duration of your trip and the amount of gear you plan to carry. A 40–60-liter backpack is usually sufficient for a backpacking trip to Europe that lasts a few weeks. If you plan to travel for longer, you might need a larger backpack.

Q2) How do I pack my backpack for maximum efficiency and space utilization?

Ans) Pack your backpack by organizing your items in packing cubes, rolling your clothes instead of folding them, and using compression bags to save space. Put heavier items at the bottom of the pack, and lighter items at the top. Use the side and front pockets to store items you might need to access quickly.

Q3) Should I bring a travel towel, or will hostels provide them?

Ans) Some hostels provide towels, but others do not. It’s always a good idea to bring a travel towel, as it takes up minimal space in your backpack and can come in handy if you need to dry off quickly or don’t want to pay extra for towel rental.

Q4) Is it necessary to bring a sleeping bag or a sleeping pad for backpacking in Europe?

Ans) Most hostels provide bedding, so a sleeping bag is not necessary. However, if you plan to camp or stay in budget accommodations, a sleeping pad can make a big difference in your comfort level.

Q5) Should I bring a portable charger for my electronics, or are there outlets available in hostels?

Ans) Some hostels provide outlets, but it’s always a good idea to bring a portable charger just in case. Make sure to check the voltage requirements of your devices before you travel to ensure that you have the correct power adapter.


In conclusion, packing a backpack for Europe requires careful consideration of the climate, activities, and cultural norms of the region you’ll be visiting. It’s essential to choose a comfortable and durable backpack that can accommodate all your essentials without being too heavy or bulky. When it comes to packing, prioritize versatile and lightweight clothing that can easily be mixed and matched, and opt for layering pieces that can be worn in different weather conditions.

Remember to pack practical items such as comfortable shoes, a first aid kit, a travel adapter, and a portable charger.

With these tips in mind, you’ll be well-prepared for your European adventure and able to enjoy all the region has to offer without worrying about your gear.