What to buy (and pack) for your European summer getaway

Woman standing looking at beach in Greece

Are you part of the massive group of Aussies flocking to Europe to escape winter? Well we’ve come up with some travel tips as well as a packing checklist to make sure you have everything you need for your holiday!

No matter where you’re travelling, there are always essentials - a suitcase, headphones or a neck pillow come to mind. If you’re in the market for any of these items, find out where you can buy them on sale right now.

Plus more to help you survive summer in Europe this year!

European summer getaway packing checklist

summer essentials ready to be packed

International power adaptor. Depending on which countries you visit, you’ll need different power adaptors. Most of Europe uses the same one but the UK’s are different. If you are visiting both regions, consider buying a universal adaptor. Otherwise, it is probably cheaper to get one for each.

Beach towel. Towels can be bulky but if you opt for a Turkish towel, it won’t take up much space in your suitcase.

Sunscreen. It can be hard to find SPF50 in a lot of European countries so it’s best to take your own for the highest level of sun protection. You can either buy a cheap sunscreen from somewhere like Woolworths or you can spend a bit more and get one from a beauty store such as Sephora. (Make sure you don't put this in your carry on luggage unless it's under 100ml because it will be taken away at security!)

Swimwear. A good swimming costume is essential for any summer holiday.

Sunglasses. As well as being fashionable, sunglasses are practical. Make sure you pack your favourite pair for your holiday!

    If you’re in the market for some new sunnies, check out Sunglasses Hut for some options.

Beach hat. Another sun safety essential item! Make sure you take some sort of hat to keep the sun off your face.

Sandals/slides or thongs. To avoid getting sand in your sneakers, grab an appropriate pair of shoes to wear to the beach.

  • You can’t beat a good old pair of Havaianas… check out the wide range at The Iconic. 
  • If thongs aren’t your style, there are many other types of sandals you can go for. Check out mens and womens sandals.

Walking shoes. If you’re travelling afar, chances are you’re going to be doing a lot of exploring and sightseeing. A lot of European cities are also best explored by foot, such as London and Paris. To keep you comfortable on your exploration, make sure you pack a good pair of walking shoes!

A water bottle. It’s important to stay hydrated all year round, but especially important in summertime. Consider investing in a good (insulated) water bottle to take with you. Note that in more remote areas of Europe such as the Greek Islands, you can’t drink the tap water and will have to buy bottled water.

An international sim card. Make sure you know how you’re going to stay connected while overseas to avoid  racking up a very expensive internet bill. Check out our guide on how to use your mobile phone overseas to find out your options.

Travel insurance. While this may not be something to physically pack, it's an important thing to have with you on your holiday in case of an emergency - be it illness, injury or lost luggage. Compare travel insurance with Mozo to find one that’s right for your needs.

If you aren’t a frequent traveller or haven’t been to Europe before, you might not know what to expect.

So finally, here are some packing and general travel tips:

  • Consider packing cubes to keep your suitcase organised and easy to navigate. You can find these at Amazon, Big W and Kathmandu
  • Make sure you pack all liquids over 100ml in your checked luggage to avoid it being taken away at security!
  • Prioritise clothing that dries fast so you don’t have to spend ages on washing and drying. Clothing made of lightweight materials is usually best, e.g. cotton. 
  • If you’re worried about losing your luggage, consider buying a bluetooth location tracker such as an Apple AirTag so you can locate it at all times. They usually cost about $50 each and are worth the money to avoid the stress of misplacing your suitcase and all your belongings. Check out bluetooth location trackers at JB Hi-Fi and AirTags at Harvey Norman
  • Be aware of pickpockets and keep your belongings safe. Some places in Europe are more renowned for pickpockets than others, for example, Barcelona and Rome. You don’t want your holiday ruined by having your bag stolen. To keep yourself safe, avoid bags like backpacks that are easy to steal from, instead opt for a bag you can hold in front of you. Amazon even stocks anti-theft travel bags. 
  • Make sure you take at least one warmer item of clothing. Yes, summer in Europe is usually very warm, but there are times when it can dip at night. 

If you’ve got all of these things packed, you can be sure your holiday will go smoothly. Happy travelling!

For more information about online shopping including information on upcoming sales, check out our online shopping hub.