Over 50 style

Insider Secrets to Pack for Six Weeks in Europe Summer

The secret to a perfect European packing list for a visit of up to 6 weeks is planning! Plan your outfits ahead of time before you start packing. In fact I’m getting ready to do just that!

Does it makes sense to just take a carry on and try to squeeze everything in? You’re the only one who can answer this question.

I personally feel more comfortable traveling with options and a carry on limits those. Could you get away with a carry on for a long weekend or  a week? Perhaps, but any longer is a NO for me.

Staying in an Airbnb with laundry facilities? You may be able to get away with packing light. But again it’s up to you. Only taking what you’ll wear and what you need is the goal!

6 Steps to Pack for Six Weeks in Europe

Step 1: Decide What Size Bag to Take

  • Staying in one location and renting a car? If you’re booked into a short term rental or house sit and have a car, take one large suitcase and one carry on. You can use the carry on for short weekend trips from your rental.
  • Traveling between multiple hotels or by train?  I recommend you use a medium suitcase with a small shoulder tote bag or backpack.
  • Traveling by train? Use a small to medium suitcase like a soft sided luggage with pockets. Long distance trains have dedicated luggage space but city to city trains may only have overhead space which doesn’t accommodate larger suitcases. You’ll end up standing, holding or watching your bags and that’s no fun!
  • Must have? Take a backpack for easy access to daily stuff like laptop, passport and phone on weekend and day trips.

For most trips I suggest using a medium size roller bag plus a backpack because I prefer to check all my bags. I don’t like lugging a heavy carry on around the airport. Yes, you have to wait for the baggage carousel but to me, it’s worth it!

Step 2: Decide What to Wear

  1. Pull everything out of your closet that you’re thinking of packing
  2. Decide on THREE main coordinating colors such as blue, green and white for example
  3. For each bottom (pants or skirt) pick THREE coordinating tops
  4. The goal is to make THREE outfits with each bottom piece. 
  5. If you can’t make a least THREE outfits from a pair of pants or a skirt, leave it at home.
  6. Do this in daylight to see if colors work together!

Leave it at home if:

  • Doesn’t coordinate with at least 3 other pieces
  • Isn’t comfortable on planes and trains
  • You haven’t worn it in a year

I’m targeting summer travel but do pack a few warmer pieces in case the weather turns chilly. Keep in mind no one will see you more than once (except your travel partner), so don’t worry about repeating a look!

Step 3: What to Pack

Once you’ve gone through your closet you should ideally have

  • 9 color coordinated outfits (with 4-6 tops and 3-4 bottoms) 


  1. 1 or 2 dresses
  2. 2 -3 pairs of shoes
  3. 1 lightweight coat
  4. a lightweight poncho
  5. 1-2 sweaters or hoodies
  6. 7 days of undies | bra | hose
  7. 3-4 pair socks

Extras if you have ROOM

  • 1-2 lightweight scarves
  • summer weight straw fedora
  • baseball hat for bad hair or windy days

Step 4: Makeup & Hair

Collect travel size versions of your daily toiletries like toothpaste, face cream, shampoo for example and gift size makeup samples.

Most hotels also supply hairdryers, so unless you’re picky you can skip packing one. In Europe, you won’t find electric outlets in the bathroom so I suggest packing a small travel mirror so you can put on makeup or style your hair anywhere in the room.

Step 5: For Comfort

Step 6: Technology

  • Camera or Phone
  • Phone | Phone Charger
  • Kindle | Charger
  • Laptop or Tablet | Charger
  • Travel Converter | Adapter

I don’t usually travel with a laptop but use my tablet for email and researching maps and destinations online.

Most electronics such as laptops and phones are dual voltage, meaning they adapt on demand to using either 110 (US) OR 220 (UK) voltage. But to charge electronics you’ll need an adapter plug – this adapts your US plug to the UK wall socket. The UK and Europe use different size plugs, so you’ll need both a UK and EU adapter depending on where you’re traveling.

You can also charge most electronics that come with USB connectors at wall mounted USB ports found in some hotels, on trains or buses.

Amazon doesn’t state on its product page whether Kindle is dual voltage. I charge mine using a USB port and haven’t had any problem.

If you aren’t sure if your device is dual voltage, you’ll need a converter. A converter converts one voltage to another, for example 110v (US) to 220v (UK). You’ll still need the plug adapter. This converter worked well for travel in Europe although it’s a little bulky to pack.


Take what you need to make your trip comfortable. Clothes are easy (and fun) to buy once you’ve reached your destination, but technology is harder to replace. Only take what you know you NEED so you have room for what you WANT to bring home!

For more of my favorite travel and outfit resources get them here.

Until next time, bon voyage!