How to Pack Light for Europe
If you’re planning on Backpacking through Europe this spring or summer you should be thinking about how you can reduce the overall weight you intend to carry. Not only is it more comfortable for you as a backpacker when you have to run to catch a bus in London or a train in Italy, but it also means you won’t get charged extra for exceeding weight limits on airlines.
One thing you should try to do straight away is put a weight and size limit and on your overall luggage. Ideally this would be no more than 22 lbs with dimensions of 19”x15”x7.8” (including handles and wheels) Obeying these restrictions means you can travel hand luggage only on budget airlines such as EasyJet, without any extra fares. Flying with these airlines is definitely the most cost effective way for Backpacking through Europe, so if you can reduce your travel gear, you will reap the rewards.
TIP: Travel with a luggage scale to ensure your luggage is always the correct weight. Check out this Tarriss Jetsetter Digital Luggage Scale w/ 110 lb Capacity – Lifetime Warranty ($16.97)
How do you cut the weight?
- By researching and planning your trip properly you can really target what clothing and travel gear you are going to need. Unless you are planning on climbing Ben Nevis (UKs highest mountain) or Skiing in the French Alps you will not need heavy hiking boots or a ski jacket. Choose clothing and gear you know you will need and NOT what you think you might need.
- Even if you are planning to travel for two weeks or two months, you still only need to pack the same amount of clothes. Pack the minimal amount of clothing you need and do laundry there. Use this Scrubba Portable Laundry System Wash Bag ($51.95) and you will be able to wash and go all the time.
- Choose travel friendly and lightweight materials. There are many ultra light fabrics and travel clothing on the market to help shave the ounces (see our article Ultra light Backpacking Gear) But there are also materials in your own closet you should avoid, such as leather.
- Buy toiletries there. Believe it or not shops in Europe sell everything you need to maintain personal hygiene! Once you get there pack only travel sized toiletries of the essential items like toothpaste, shave gel, soap etc and leave the ‘luxuries’ for back at home. If you really want to take them with you ensure they are all TSA approved.
- Download the App and lose the Book. While I’m an avid fan of guidebooks they really are heavy and take up valuable space. Travel Apps from Lonely Planet, Wiki Travel and Hostel World make Backpacking through Europe a lighter and more stress free experience.
Follow these How to Pack Light for Europe Essential Tips and you will be prepared.
- Only pack items you know you will use – Not what you think you might need.
- Check the Weather Forecast – Then you will know what you need.
- Choose light weight materials – You really don’t need your leather jacket.