Backpacking through Europe is a rite of passage for many. With study abroad programs more popular than ever, many students are choosing to spend the summer after their study abroad program travelling through Europe independently. Knowing how to pack several weeks or months of constant travel is the key to enjoying your trip. Traveling through Europe’s cities and countryside is meant to teach you about new cultures not what it’s like to be a pack animal. Efficiency is crucial, less is certainly more. Here are 5 tips to make your backpacking experience as awesome as it can be!
- Make a list of essentials. You can always pick up another t-shirt when you’re there, but you won’t always have access to a prescription refill or a phone charger. So figure out what your “essentials” are and write them down so you don’t leave anything behind before you jet across the pond.
- Plan for all weather scenarios. If you will be travelling across several different countries, you will most likely experience several different climates, even if you are travelling in the summer. Summer means something different at different altitudes and latitudes and longitudes. Pack a bathing suit for your week on the Riviera and boots for your hike in the Swiss Alps. Don’t forget an umbrella!
- Get organized right away. Even before you put your first pair of shorts in your suitcase, sort your items into categories and then get a travel organizer. The Pack Gear Organizer helps you do this easily. With its different compartments, this lightweight organizer will turn your backpack or suitcase into a portable Ikea closet in a snap. This is clutch backpacking gear for the traveler going to multiple cities on one trip, since all your things will be sorted into compartments you wont have to unpack every time you get to a new locale. And for the budget traveler staying at hostels where unpacking really isn’t possible, this makes the whole experience so much more enjoyable because you will be able to find that extra camera lens in seconds, not hours.
- One of each is a law not a rule. Do not bring duplicates of anything. If you think you will only need one “nice outfit”, commit to exactly that, one nice outfit. Coin operated Laundromats are your best friend when backpacking, and trust me, it is very unlikely that you will run into that guy from Ibiza at the discothèque in Paris, no one will mind if you wear the same outfit more than once.
- Comfortable and sturdy shoes should be at the top of your list. Finally, remember why you are going on the trip, to see the world! You will hopefully be doing a lot of seeing so make sure you understand that this means a lot of time on your feet, and I mean a lot! There is nothing quite like wandering through twisty, cobblestone streets of Europe’s medieval old towns. And sore feet can ruin all of that. So find some comfortable shoes and still them right in your Pack Gear.