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Women’s Travel Clothes for Europe: Packing List, Anti-Theft Bags, & Tips

Preparing to travel to Europe can be stressful. Which Visas do I need? What should I pack – Travel Accessories? Will I get robbed the second I get off the plane?… (hint – no).  To take the stress out of preparation, I’ve put together this packing list of “Women’s Travel Clothes for Europe.”

The important thing to realize about Europe is this:

Europe is an incredible place with fascinating diversity, culture, and history. This place is home to normal people, who do normal things – just like you and I. You are no safer or more in danger in Europe versus your own home, so relax and enjoy.

For this packing guide, I’ve broken down each season with my best general tips and recommendations that can be applied to most of Western Europe and the United Kingdom. However, take comfort in knowing that you are in Europe and not the Australian outback.

Whatever luxuries you end up needing whilst on the road will be easily procured from any local shop or pharmacy. Take a DEEP BREATH and try not to lose focus on what really matters – Instagram photos.

Women’s Travel Clothes for Europe: Packing Staples for All Seasons

First and foremost, you need to realize that Europe is NO MORE DANGEROUS than any other Western country. Every country has its individual issues, but no one is going to target you directly because you are American or because you are a foreigner.

That crazy story that happened to your mother’s aunt’s hairdresser’s cousin was the exception to the rule: Europe is safe and ready to greet you!

Anti-theft Bags & Purses: Do I Need an Anti-Theft Bag in Europe?

Full disclosure  – I do not use any anti-theft bags or money holders. I do not use a hidden money pack, I don’t stick money in my shoes, and I definitely DO NOT take my passport around with me during the day.

Instead, I just try to blend in with the rest of my surroundings. I don’t take expensive jewelry or equipment with me, and I try to look as normal as possible. 

However, I constantly do get questions about this so I thought I would at least provide some options in case you want that additional peace of mind.

Do I Need an Anti-Theft Bag in Europe?

So, by and large, if you’re sensible with you’re belonging you don’t actually need an anti-theft bag per se. I don’t use one and I travel around different parts of Europe a lot, often with my expensive camera. 

In the busier and more touristy areas like around the Colosseum in Rome or the Eiffel Tower in Paris, you might want to consider anti-theft bags and accessories. Also, if you’re planning on spending a lot of time in train and bus stations, this can be where a lot of theft happens, especially for tourists. 

Realistically, you don’t want to seem like you’re carrying a ton of important stuff around which is why I’m not a huge fan of fanny packs and money belts that you wear over the top of your clothes.

Having backpacks that look like normal fashion backpacks, like the brown leather one above are non-descript enough not to stand out and have a ton of hidden zips that sit against your back so thieves can’t get in while you’re on the move. 

Obviously, carrying less is always best. If you need to carry around a laptop, a camera, and half the world’s gadgets, you’re going to need a much bigger and more intense anti-theft bag. The key is to have the openings as close to your person as possible – that’s why the zips are normally on your bag.

Alternatives to Anti-Theft Bags

So, I’ve seen a lot of cool anti-theft items over the years, including scrunchies with hidden zippers for keys, belts with wallets hidden in the bucket, and more.

One of my favorites is this infinity circle scarf that has a hidden zipper so you can wear your valuables around your neck without anyone knowing. It comes in a range of cute colors so you can get a couple so you can match your outfits – we’re not sacrificing style for safety, we’re making safety cute!

A lot of these alternatives actually come from outdoor adventure clothing and accessories – after all, you need somewhere to store your keys, phone, and cards when you’re out on a short hike or a run.

If you’re looking for cute anti-theft pants, check out running leggings and athleisurewear. They’ll normally have a hidden zip pocket on the back or on the inside of the waistband. 

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Best Bags to Use for Traveling Europe (What I Actually Use!)

So what I actually use when I travel are leather bags that blend into the hustle and bustle of the city around me. When I’m shooting for my blog, I typically tote around:

  1. My camera
  2. Phone, wallet, keys
  3. Water bottle
  4. Light Jacket

Below are a few examples of the types of bags that I use whilst traveling to make my life easier and to appear just as ‘European’ (whatever that means) as the next girl. This way, you don’t have to sacrifice fashion to be safe abroad!… and your Instagram followers will thank you later 😉

Women’s Travel Clothes for Europe: Spring Packing List

The weather in Europe really fluctuates in the Spring, unfortunately. I was trekking through the snow in hard-core snow boots in the middle of April just this year #GlobalWarmingMuch.

The worst discrepancies happen when transitioning from day to night, so you’re going to want to wear chunky layers that breathe, are waterproof, and can charge your phone – simultaneously (this is a joke).

But seriously, if you stay ready for the rain you won’t have to scramble in the middle of a thunderstorm that’s 80F out of nowhere.

a woman wearing a scarf and sweater in Europe

Layers are a girl’s best friend during the rainy season! So I typically go with a tank top and pants for a base outfit.

Then I layer on with a ‘match-everything’ sweater, shoes that I don’t mind getting wet/muddy, and a trendy jacket that has a hood (important) and is somewhat waterproof. This way, I’m ready for summer, rain, and everything in between!

Women’s Travel Clothes for Europe: Summer Packing List

Summer is the most magical time of the year for Europe!… but in some countries, summer is only for two weeks and then it’s gone (looking at the U.K.).

But when you’re REALLY lucky, you’ll have perfect sunshine and limited humidity and that’s when you can bust out all the really cute stuff without backup jackets and umbrellas.

Keep in mind that you’ll still be doing a LOT of walking… and even more eating when you’re in Europe so best to wear comfortable shoes and things that… um… expand? when you’ve had a wee bit too much to eat.

Did you even go to Italy if you DIDN’T have gelato 3 times a day? I think NOT!

Europe is also very liberal with what you wear both on and off the beach, so feel free to experiment and treat the streets of Paris as your own personal runway (because it is). This especially goes for swimwear.

Topless beaches and thong bikinis are all the rage in South Europe so join in the fun but DEFINITELY observe the locals in the area. It wouldn’t be the first time a tourist whips out her tatas at the wrong beach. Hint: not all beaches are nude beaches. Do your homework, sis.

I would avoid wearing leather during the summer in Europe (shirts, jeans, shoes, etc – backpacks are okay). You will stick to your lovely clothing and your shoes will STANK after just a few short hours. Save these looks for fall and winter instead.

Women’s Travel Clothes for Europe: Fall Packing List

Europe has a wide variety of temperatures and climates so you’re going to want to bring solid-color clothing that sticks to a specific color pallet. At first glance, this seems a lot more complicated than it actually is so let me explain.

In my opinion, I look best in white, blue, and earthy tones. I have staple pieces that I can rely on and I tend to style around that piece.  I also try to mix it up with bright pops of color – like my red cut-out dress or my blue striped A-line dress.

I think it’s important to also mention that I don’t shop for trips typically. Instead, my entire wardrobe is filled with earthy tones with very deliberate statement pieces that give the illusion my wardrobe is extensive. 

Each of these pieces can be swapped with different tweaks to create completely separate looks. When packing for a trip, you only have so much space to work with so each piece needs to be able to play multiple rolls.

If you’re going to bring a standalone piece, it better be damn cool. Anything that’s uncomfortable should be left at home.

For 2 weeks, you’re going to want to bring:

1 Wool Jacket | 2 Sweaters (Thick + Thin) | 5 Tops (mix of thick & thin) | 2 Pairs of Pants | 2 Thicker Dresses | 1 Scarf | 1 Bikini | 1 Hat | 7 Panties (just wash them) | 2 Normal Bras | 2 Yoga/Soft Bras | 2 Pairs of Shoes | 1 Backpack | 1 Crossbody Purse

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Skincare

When traveling, it’s important that your skincare regime is ON POINT otherwise you’ll likely suffer from acne because of the food, puffiness from the boozing, and lasting sun damage because of all the sightseeing.

Stay ready with my favorite products in the gallery below. Because Europe tends to have a varied combination of climates – very much like my combination skin – my routine aims to combat multiple issues.

You can typically purchase most of these products in travel sizes (less than 100ml each) or you can create your own travel sizes by purchasing the tiny refillable bottles from Target or Walmart.

Basic Routine:

  1. Cleanse
  2. Gently Tone
  3. Concentrate
  4. Moisturize (SPF)
  5. Eye Cream

Clothing & Style Advice

Because Europe is so vast, I’ve put together my best general tips and recommendations for travel through Western Europe and the United Kingdom.

As the traditional ‘Euro-Trip’ involves hopping between multiple countries and conditions, I’ve included a few shopping examples regarding what would be appropriate to wear in these countries based on the weather conditions and cultural expectations. 

Keep in mind that each country has its unique climate and conditions so it’s best to look up these individual places to get a better idea of what you’re going to experience.

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For 2 weeks, you’re going to want to bring:

1 Water-proof Jacket | 2 Sweaters (different thickness) | 5 Tops (thin) | 2 Pairs of Pants | 2 Thicker Dresses | 1 Bikini | 1 Scarf | 1 Hat | 7 Panties (just wash them) | 2 Normal Bras | 2 Yoga/Soft Bras | 2 Pairs of Shoes | 1 Backpack | 1 Crossbody Purse

My recommendations are below!

For 2 weeks, you’re going to want to bring:

1 Sweater or light Jacket | 5 Tops | 1 Pairs of Pants | 1 Pair of Shorts | 4 Sun Dresses | 1 Beach Hat | 7 Panties (just wash them) | 2 Normal Bras | 2 Yoga/Soft Bras | Pairs of Trainers | 2 Bikinis | 1 Pair of Sandals | 1 Backpack | 1 Crossbody Purse

 
 

My recommendations below!

Dressing For Winter

Winter is basically a crap shoot. There’s no other way to say it – lol. Some countries will be pounded with snow (Norway) others will just experience a light breeze (Portugal). So your best bet is to dress in layers and to bring a bikini. Hear me out.
 
In the Winter time, sauna and spa culture comes alive and people travel from all over to experience the natural springs found all over Europe. Some spa and sauna culture will be a bit different from others (looking at you, Iceland!), but every country will have a warm body of water – indoors or outdoors – for you to enjoy.

Gloves. Scarf. Hat. Check. Your extremities are most at risk during the winter months so be sure you have wool or other thicker materials on-hand. Silk just isn’t going to cut it. For coats and jackets, you’re going to want something with goose down and that’s wind resistant otherwise you’re going to freeze to the core. There’s nothing like a Norwegian winter chill at -14C. My Columbia winter coat also has reflective material that saves all of my natural body-heat inside of the jacket so I can wear fewer layers and still stay just as warm.

Leave the open-toed stilettos at home. Frost-bite is not a joke, people! Instead, go for a classic black boot with traction on the base so you’ll be sure-footed whilst you walk around. They can be slightly heeled, but unless you’re going to the most exclusive clubs in Europe, no one is going to expect you to be in sky-high heels when visiting their establishment (unless this is a trendy club in Berlin). Black boots and white sneakers are all you’ll need for a two week trek through Europe in the winter. Anything more than that is overkill and you’ll be paying for it in luggage fees. If you intend on going skiing or being in loads of snow, I would recommend visiting any outdoor retailer to get proper boots and gear for the conditions.

For 2 weeks in a SNOWY environment, you’re going to want to bring:

1 Down Jacket (hooded & water-proof) | 2 Sweaters (thick) | 5 Tops (mix of thick & thin) | 1 Pairs of Jeans | 2 Pairs of Leggings | 1 Pair of Snow Pants (goes on top of leggings) | 1 Sweater Dress | 1 Scarf | 1 Hat | 1 Bikini | 1 Pair of Water-proof Gloves | 7 Panties (just wash them) | 2 Normal Bras | 2 Yoga/Soft Bras | 2 Pairs of Shoes | 1 Backpack | 1 Crossbody Purse

My recommendations below!

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