Europe is a diverse continent, full of natural terrain, built up cities, beaches, mountains, sunshine, rain, snow… you name it, Europe has it.
And with fewer crowds, cheaper prices and a curious mix of weather, we think spring is an excellent time of year to visit Europe. In fact, we often head somewhere new on the continent every spring (usually in March or April).
So to help you prepare for your own upcoming trip, we’ve created this his and hers packing list for Europe in spring. We hope you find it useful!
Expect lots of cutesy, couply photos like this throughout the post… #sorrynotsorry
His & Hers Packing List for Europe in Spring
Underwear & Socks
But make sure to always pack spares in case you get caught in some kind of freak weather. That can happen across Europe due to its diverse landscape.
Scott usually reuses one top across a couple of days, whereas I’ll pack enough so that I can change my top each day. Whether you pack short sleeved or long sleeved tops depends on where you’re heading and when.
Across northern countries such as the UK, Netherlands and Scandinavian countries, you’ll likely want to pack long sleeved tops, or combine short sleeves with extra layers like jumpers and cardigans.
Whereas southerly countries like Italy, Portugal and Croatia are much more likely to have warmer temperatures in spring, so you’ll probably find that short sleeves are fine, with a couple of spare thin jumpers or jackets for when the coastal winds pick up or for chilly evenings.
Some other European countries also call for even more layers. Iceland, for example, can still see snow and freezing temperatures as late as the end of April, thus, thermals and snow jackets may be needed.
Scott walking through Thingvellir National Park in Iceland in late March… still a winter wonderland!
Trousers, Jeans or Leggings / Shorts or Skirts
Similarly to tops, whether you wear trousers versus shorts, or jeans versus skirts, will depend on where exactly you’re heading within Europe.
Most countries will call for layers during spring, with the few exceptions (such as Portugal and Croatia) being warm enough to get your legs out.
Generally, we recommend choosing a thin leg such as skinny jeans, as wide legs can often trail on the ground more… and soak up rain water and dirt. This is less than helpful when you’re unlikely to have the home comforts of a washing machine to hand.
Cardigans & Jumpers
No matter where you’re heading in Europe in spring, we always recommend packing layers. Even if the sun shines all day, you may face strong coastal winds and chilly evenings when the sun goes down.
*** Pro Tip ***
Wool-blend and merino wool fabrics are best as they’re great at repelling odours and moisture, while keeping you cool indoors and warm while out and about.
Many European countries are blessed with rain throughout the spring months, so you should expect at least one full day of rain or on-off showers during your trip. Therefore, a waterproof coat is essential.
We love these options for men: (click on the images to see more info)
And these options for women: (click on the images to see more info)
If you’re visiting much colder countries, such as Iceland, then you may need to swap out a light waterproof coat for a padded windproof ski jacket, which also doubles up as a waterproof.
Here are some great options for men: (click on the images to see more info)
… And some more here for women: (click on the images to see more info)
Accessories for Women
The different pairs of shoes you’ll need in Europe depend on where you plan on visiting. For romantic city breaks like Paris, London and Berlin, some cute sandals, boots or flats are all you really need.
Sun-seeking is also much the same; sandals or flats should be both great options.
Stylish Day Bag
Your cabin bag can easily double up as your day bag during a short city break to Europe. Choose a size that is at least 30 cm tall and you’ll easily fit things like your camera, purse, makeup, hair brush, keys, travel documents and entertainment within it.
Accessories for Men
Similarly to your other half, you’ll need different shoes for different reasons throughout Europe. Chic cities like Oslo, Vienna and Prague call for casual trainers, boots or smart leather shoes for the evening.
Sun-seeking calls for trainers, sandals and flip-flops.
While outdoors adventures call for a robust pair of walking boots like these ones.
Stealing a kiss in romantic Vienna… also our first trip together! (March 2015)
Toothbrush & Toothpaste
… But you already know to pack those, right?!
Shower Gel, Shampoo & Conditioner
… Unless your hotel supplies these for you.
I never travel around Europe in spring without some moisturiser. Across the shoulder seasons, harsh coastal winds or even mountain winds can dry out skin; as can warm sunshine-filled days. I have yet to find a better moisturiser than the ones by Eveline Cosmetics, such as this Argan Oil one, while Scott prefers moisturisers by Nivea, like this one.
If your hotel doesn’t provide a hair dryer in your room, then you may want to pack your own. We love this travel hair dryer from BaByliss as it’s powerful, yet hardly takes up any room in your luggage!
No hairdryer necessary at Giant’s Causeway in April… excuse the weird frown; it was also very sunny!
Cabin Bag Essentials
Tablet & Keyboard
By taking a tablet and keyboard (if you’re writing) on the plane with you, you can get some blogging done, watch movies and TV shows you’ve downloaded in advance, or even play offline games… that’s several methods of travel entertainment in one!
Foldable Noise Cancelling Headphones
Noise cancelling headphones are – by far – the best for drowning out the sound of a loud airplane engine or even crying babies. If you can find some foldable ones like these, then you’ll also save some valuable space in your cabin bag.
Books & Magazines
For when you get bored of movies, music and blogging, flights are a great time to catch up on your reading. We recommend something travel-related or that’s set in the European destination you’re visiting to really get you in the mood for your trip! Better yet, why not take your guidebook in your cabin bag so you can finalise some of your Europe itinerary whilst on the flight? We always stand by the quality of Lonely Planet’s books!
Mini Travel Games
When you’ve watched all the movies, read all your books, blogged way too much and grown bored of your music, your final option for decent in-flight entertainment is to play a few games with your other half. We usually always take a mini pack of playing cards with us, as well as travel-sized Connect 4 and Battleship.
An essential item throughout most European countries in spring is the humble umbrella. We recommend packing one in your cabin bag so that you can grab it as soon as you need it (even if that means as soon as you leave the airport!) We also suggest you each take an umbrella in your cabin bag. No-one wants to have to share a tiny umbrella between two people and risk getting half of their body wet!
The umbrella that got left behind in Vienna after this photo was taken… naturally, we only noticed when it started to rain.
Spare Socks & Underwear
Take it from a couple that has had the misfortune to lose both of our hold luggage on the same trip… that spare pair of socks and underwear in your cabin bag will be very welcome on the other side should you be as unlucky as us!
Because you’ll never know when your phone or tablet will run out of juice… we love using chargers by Anker, such as this one.
To keep your camera safe, you’ll need to take it into the cabin with you. While some of the best travel backpacks have special compartments for cameras and lenses, you can also take an additional bag on board with you if your airline of choice allows it. As for the camera itself, we’re currently loving the easy to use bridge cameras from the Sony DSCH range, like this one.
Eye Mask & Travel Pillow
If you’re travelling long-haul to Europe (or catching a flight at a stupid time of night or early morning), then you’ll likely want to sleep while travelling. For the best sleep possible, you should pack a silk eye mask like this one or this one, and a soft memory foam travel pillow like this one.
You’ll need a passport to enter all European countries, and depending on which country you’re flying from, you may need a visa as well. Take a look at local government or travel websites to find out if you need one. To keep things organised (and to hand easily), we always use a travel wallet.
Living our best lives in spring-time nature…
From left to right: Hanbury Hall & Gardens, UK | Powerscourt Estate Waterfall, Ireland | Stourhead, UK
You may choose to use a credit card, which has a decent exchange rate and minimal fees when used abroad, like Monzo, or you may want to carry cash around with you. Either way, you’ll need different currency depending on where you’re visiting in Europe. The UK still operates with the Great British Pound (GBP), lots of countries now use the Euro (EUR), while other countries such as Norway use a completely different currency altogether (Norwegian Krone in this case). To help, this website is great for detailing which currency you’ll need.
We almost always fly with mid- or low-budget airlines in Europe and we rarely pay extra for airplane food as it’s so expensive. Instead, we take our own snacks on board, saving a small fortune with each trip we take. If you want to do the same, pack things like crisps, sweets, nuts and dried fruit to keep you going throughout the flight.
Travel Water Bottle
Similarly to food, we also prefer to take our own water on board in a reusable travel bottle. Most, if not all, airports have a drinking fountain or cooler machine around, which you can use for free after going through security. You may have to ask where it is or look around corners though as they’re often hidden away from view!
Using a face wipe across your face, neck, hands and arms is so refreshing when you’re not able to take a shower mid-flight!
Makeup, Toothbrush & Toothpaste
Along with carrying some face wipes with you, you’ll also instantly feel refreshed when using a toothbrush on a long-haul flight or by quickly touching up your makeup upon waking up.
We hope you found this post useful and are now fully clued up on what to wear in Europe in spring! If you’re after more specific packing advice based on where you’re heading, then just let us know in the comments below and we’ll do our best to help you… we’ve been to over 15 European countries together so we like to think we know our stuff! 😉
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