Over 50 style / Travel Tips

Insider Secrets to Pack for Six Weeks in Europe Summer

Updated March 28, 2024
insider secrets to pack for six weeks in europe

The secret to pack for six weeks is planning your outfits ahead of time before you even start to pack.

Carry on only or check a bag? Does it makes sense to take a carry on and try to squeeze everything in? That’s up to you. Personally … unless it’s a long weekend it’s a no. Traveling for 2-6 weeks calls for a carry on plus a checked bag, because I feel more comfortable with options.

Depending on how you’re traveling, you may be able to get away with packing light. But again it’s up to you. Let’s get started packing with just what we need OK?

How to Pack for Six Weeks in Europe

Step 1: What Size Bag Should You 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.
  • Must have? Always take a backpack or small duffel for easy access to daily stuff like laptop, passport and phone on weekend and day trips

I recommend

For most trips the ideal combo is a medium size roller bag plus a backpack or small duffel. Check the medium size bag and carry on your backpack or personal item bag. Yes, you have to wait for the baggage carousel but to me, it’s worth it!

Step 2: Choose What You’ll Wear

  1. Pull everything out of your closet 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!
  7. Only take if it works with 3 other pieces, is comfortable and you’ve worn in it in the last year

I recommend

Don’t forget to pack a few warmer pieces in case the weather turns chilly or rainy because it can even in August, especially in the UK!

Step 3: Finalize Clothes 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)

Add these extras

  1. 1 or 2 dresses
  2. 2 -3 pairs of shoes or sandals
  3. a lightweight coat
  4. a lightweight poncho
  5. 1-2 sweaters or hoodies
  6. 7 days of undies | bra | hose
  7. 3-4 pair socks
  8. 1-2 lightweight scarves
  9. straw fedora & baseball hat for bad hair or windy days

Step 4: Pack for Makeup & Hair

  1. Carry on size toiletries
  2. Travel makeup
  3. Travel hairdryer (dual voltage)
  4. Brush | Comb |  Rollers or curling iron
  5. Small travel mirror

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

Step 5: Pack for Comfort

  1. Pillow – small 12 x 16 “baby pillow” 
  2. Lightweight robe or caftan
  3. Slipper or flip flops for room or to the pool
  4. Poncho for warmth on plane or as a quick wrap

Step 6: Pack Your Technology

  1. Camera
  2. Phone | Phone Charger
  3. Kindle | Charger
  4. Laptop or Tablet | Charger
  5. Travel Converter | Adapter

I usually travel with a tablet for email and researching. But sometimes I’ll take my Macbook Air if I’ll be working too.

UK & European Charging

  • Most electronics such as laptops and phones are dual voltage, meaning they adapt on demand to use either 110 (US) OR 220 (UK) voltage. 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.
  • However to charge your phone, tablet etc you’ll still need an adapter plug – this adapts your US plug to the UK/EU 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.
  • Most electronics with USB connectors can be charged at wall mounted USB ports found in some hotels, on trains or buses. But take a dedicated plug with multiple USB ports to be prepared.
  • 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.


I’ll take what I need to travel with a certain degree of comfort.  If I’m traveling somewhere unfamiliar I’ll be sure to pack essentials like tech or toiletries that may not be easy to replace or sourced locally.

Clothing is easy (and fun) to buy once you’ve reached your destination, but technology is harder to replace. I recently traveled to Portugal in the winter and was unprepared for how warm it was. I thought I was far from any shopping centers but I remembered a designer outlet mall I’d seen on the way from the airport and it was a great place to grab some warm weather clothes.

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

For some unusual packing hacks watch this video on Youtube.


About Author

With over 30 years in a creative role in advertising and publishing, and a lifetime of journeys between the US and UK, I've created Hipoverfifty for you. I hope my journey and perspective will guide you on yours.