Europe Packing List for Women (Fits in a Carry-On!)

Packing List for Europe for Women (Fits in a Carry-On!)

Here’s my complete women’s packing list for Europe — which can be used for any trip length and will fit in a carry-on only!

Since we normally visit warm or tropical destinations for one week or less, I had to do a little more planning for this 2-week trip to France and Scotland in regards to what to pack. In France, I wore dresses (with leggings underneath on the colder days) but I needed warm clothes and layers for Scotland.

Women's Packing List for Europe (And How to Pack Light!)

Not to mention, I didn’t know how much time I would have to do laundry considering I traveled to a new hotel almost every single night of the trip. I also had to stay aware of the weight of my checked luggage and carry on because I took a couple of flights with Ryanair — who is notoriously strict about their baggage weight limits.

We used to travel with backpacks (you can see our packing tips for backpackers post if you are interested) but our travel style has changed over the years and the last thing I want to do is lug around a heavy backpack anymore — my camera/laptop bag alone weighs almost twenty pounds.

About a year ago, we bought a new set of hardside luggage that we have been very happy with. So far, we have only used the small carry on size — it’s the perfect size for a one-week trip to a warm destination — but I took the medium-sized luggage for this trip.

Packing List for Europe


Europe Packing List for Women (And How to Pack Light)



  • 7 Tops – 3 Short Sleeved, 4 Long Sleeved
  • 2 Pairs of Pants
  • 2 Dresses
  • Black Leggings to Go Under Skirt / Dresses
  • Boots to Wear with Pants and Dresses
  • 1 Pair of Sneakers
  • 1 Pair of Flats (I LOVE these for travel and they brighten up any outfit.)
  • 1 Skirt that Goes with All of My Shirts
  • 1 Light Cardigan to Go With Dresses or Jeans
  • 1 Heavy Coat (waterproof)
  • 1 Swimsuit
  • 2 Bras
  • 1 Scarf
  • 1 Cute Beanie
  • 1 Pair of Gloves
  • 1 Belt
  • 15 Pairs of Underwear (These are small and I would rather not run out if I don’t have time to do laundry.)
  • 10 Pairs of Socks


Other Items


Camera Gear & Electronics


Plan Your Trip to Europe!
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Accommodation: offers savings on hotels, apartments, and villas in 80,000 destinations worldwide. You can browse hotel reviews and find the guaranteed best price on hotels for all budgets.
Travel Insurance: We never travel without a travel insurance policy because it’s not worth the risk! We use and trust Visitors Coverage, which we’ve used for the past 8 years.



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  1. Packing is pivotal. Forget an essential item and you’re left
    disappointed and scrambling to find the nearest store in your
    destination. Pack too much and you end up disorganized, burdened with
    heavy bags, and hemorrhaging money to pay for pricey airline baggage

  2. Traveling Trejae says:

    I notice so many are traveling with MacBooks. Do you have any difficulties charging it in France?

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      All you need is the plug adapter so it will fit in the socket. All Macs can be plugged into up to 240 voltage, so you don’t need a converter. My macbook is a bit heavy, but it’s better than the 17″ Macbook I used to bring on my travels. 🙂

  3. Those are some really nice pictures. You life seems very enjoyable. I would to go to these places.

  4. I also pack a lot of dresses when I travel – they’re so light and comfy and can be easily warmed up with tights, jacket and pashmina. 🙂 I love a good pair of boots that goes with everything too. 🙂

  5. Rease Kirchner says:

    You look so freaking cute in that last photo. I love the whole outfit.

  6. Thomas Dembie says:

    Thanks for sharing your packing list! On the camera gear front, I also bring an external hard drive to back things up. Along with my 5D Mark III I also bring a small point and shoot (with a fairly large sensor), since there are plenty of times when I just don’t want to lug around the good stuff, but still want to be able to take nice shots in low light situations.

  7. Sandra O'RourkeGlynn says:

    Your organized thats for sure. As an ex flight attendant, ticket agent, baggage svc agent then flight control. I was always ready to go somewhere on stby at a seconds notice. As I travel so much now I have one rule when in Europe, its carry on luggage only. You wear the heaviest shoes, people don’t realize how much they weigh. Then a light pair if necessary but I normally buy them there. I buy 5-10 white t-shirts in primark or the equiv before leaving, they match everything and both long and short sleeve and I throw them away before I return, I wear my coat, hat, scarf, gloves, sweater, one pair of jeans, one skirt, use washing machines regularly. and the camera has gotten more expensive and smaller. When I fly international I bring a suitcase. I haven’t used a backpack since I was 19. My sister just went away for 2 nights 3 days with a full size suitcase. I’m in shock when females tell me they bring several pairs of shoes on vacation.

  8. SnarkyNomad says:

    Packing for winter usually isn’t nearly as much of a hassle as people think, since you’re wearing all the cold-weather clothing anyway. The only real problem would be if you’re planning a winter+summer adventure on the same trip, and have to carry winter clothing around in the summer. But even in that case, if you get those puffy coats that stuff into tiny corners, plus some warm leggings, that’s pretty much all you need. Hat and gloves barely take up space, and I like to wear 2 pairs of socks at once instead of carrying winter socks specifically.

    And nice job on the “skirt that matches everything” decision. I’ve been trying to talk a friend into packing only things that match everything else, whenever she raises the objection of wanting things to match.

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      Well, it’s only recently that I’ve decided to pre-match my outfits. I used to just throw all of my favorite things in my bag and once I got there I realized a lot of my stuff didn’t go together. 🙂