Spring Break in Europe – A Packing Guide
Spring Break is coming up quickly. Whether you’re dreaming of a resort getaway (see here) or debating what to pack for a European vacation – the time has come to officially start thinking about what to pack. I kid you not, I’ve gotten 5 requests in the past few weeks asking what to pack for late March in Europe. You, lucky people, are headed to Italy, France, England, and Spain, and that’s just who has reached out. The what to pack for Spring Break in Europe question is causing some serious angst, so I’m here to help! And I figured it was the making of a well-needed blog post to boot.
When traveling to Europe the goal is to be comfortable and chic, while somewhat blending in with the natives so you’re not sticking out like a sore thumb. We’ve all seen pictures of the goofy looking tourists with shorts, white tube socks, and their favorite football team’s graphic T-shirt. Don’t be one of those people. Blend in, look chic, and be comfy. I have an easy formula I use when packing clients. And, I’m sharing it with you all today…
What to pack for your European Vacay.
Spring in Europe is cooler and maybe even a bit chilly, so dress in layers so it’s easy to peel if you need to. Or, to add some on when the temp drops at night. Guys, it can be pretty cold in Europe this time of year. The forecast may say 60’s but when you’re outside walking it can get chilly. You’ll notice I’m suggesting A LOT of layers so you can adjust accordingly.
And it doesn’t matter if you’re going to London, Paris, Rome or Barcelona – you basically need the same type of outfits in all of those places. In fact, you could use this packing guide for a trip to NYC or Washington, DC as well.
First and most importantly, start with a base color. If you keep with the same color theme it will cut down on the number of shoes you need. I’m always a fan of black. It’s always chic, and easy to mix and match AND it doesn’t show drips or stains like white – if you’re a messy eater like me, that’s important to keep in mind.
You Don’t Need to Buy a Whole New Wardrobe
Most likely you’re not buying a whole new wardrobe for your trip (hello, gotta pay for the trip itself, right?) but you can use this as a guide and see what similar pieces you have in your closet to get the same results.
This post is PACKED with shoppable links. Literally, you could click thru and buy everything linked here and be all set with a capsule wardrobe for your vacation and beyond. If you want to do that, Gd bless, go right ahead. But if not, you can still click the pink words and see the examples of what I’m suggesting – use that as your cheat sheet when packing.
Here’s What You’ll Need to Pack:
- Start with 3 pairs of pants/jeans. I suggest at least one black or dirty black pair. I’m a fan of these, these, and these.
- For every bottom, pack 2-3 tops depending on the length of your trip. Like this (love the sleeveless for layering) this, this, and this
- Pack 1 nice top/blouse for evenings
- Stay warm with 1 pullover like this or this and 2 cardigan type sweaters, like this, this or this
- Leather jacket and/or a blazer (this one is amazing because of the stretch and the zip out dickies) And this lower price option is great too!
- Turtleneck for layering
- 1 Long sleeved t-shirt – extra points if it’s striped
- IF, and only IF you need a dress, make sure your booties work with the dress you choose. It will cut down on the number of shoes you need.
- Comfortable travel outfit (pants, top and sweatshirt) for the flights and for lounging after a long day of touring.
- One pair of comfortable sneakers
- One pair of booties that match with all three bottoms – you could do either this black pair or this black pair and a tan pair if you have space. I love the sock type bootie paired with a cropped jean (it keeps your ankles warm and you looking stylish.
- Lightweight, packable down coat
- A lightweight rain parka for layering over in case of showers or wind.
- A sweater, fur or down vest for layering under for extra warmth.
- Hat and gloves
- Add 1 pair of statement earrings to dress things up
- Two scarves. One heavier wrap type scarf, because it can be used as a warp in the evening, a blanket on the plane and a scarf during the day and one that’s a print and a little lighter.
- A cross body bag that can hold your camera, phone, money, and guidebook (btw, this one can hold a small laptop too). This one’s a bit smaller and nylon (ie water-resistant) and my clients that have it love it.
- A lightweight travel tote that zips at the top, for the plane and if you need to carry more than fits in your cross-body one day.
- Don’t forget undies, socks (like the Smartwool brand for warmth and moisture-wicking), pj’s and toiletries
How To Make a Ton of Outfits
All of these pieces mix and match together to make a gazillion outfits! Seriously, like sooooo many. There are endless possible combinations with these pieces… here are a few combos to give you an idea. And, btw, these are many of the actual pieces I own and pack for travel – so they’re tried and true!
On the Plane
Top (Hallie wears size Small)// Leather Jacket // Pants (Hallie wears size 4) // Tote // Sneakers (order 1/2 size up)// Wrap // Sweatshirt Hallie wears size small// Coat (size up if you want it to fit over the leather jacket)
On the Ground
Top Size up for slouch// Pants run tts // Dickie // Blazer runs small, size up1-2 sizes // Sneakers order 1/2 size up// Wrap // Bag this can hold a small laptop and has a top closure // Coat (size up if you want it to fit over the leather jacket)
Top // Pants run tts // Vest (wear it over the top, under the sweater) // Sweater // Booties //Scarf // Bag this can hold a small laptop and has a top closure // Coat (size up if you want it to fit over the leather jacket)
Sweater // Wrap // Dress // Bootie // Vest (wear it over the dress, under the sweater) // Bag this can hold a small laptop and has a top closure //Coat (size up if you want it to fit over the leather jacket)
So this post got a lot longer than originally planned – what do you think? There are probably at least 15 more outfits I could make with these pieces – you could go for a month and be all set! For realz.
Ciao Bellas and Grazie!
Since the purpose of this blog is to take the stress out of getting dressed, we try to make it easy on you by sharing shoppable links (accessed by clicking the PINK words or the actual photo) with awesome readers like you. We want to let you know, some of those contain affiliate links for products. There is absolutely no additional cost to you if you take action (click, purchase, subscribe) with one of these links. As a result, we will earn some coffee money from your click. But we promise to drink it while creating more ad-free, helpful content like this.
This post was originally posted in March 2019 and updated Feb 2020.