Europe in the summertime is truly magical. With warm weather across the continent, all of the sights take on a new luster. But before you zip up your suitcase, here are six key packing tips to keep in mind.

walking shoesGood shoes are a traveler’s best friend when packing

Some of the most wonderful European experiences involve walking down cobblestone streets or wandering the galleries and picturesque avenues. With that in mind, your luxury European tour is only as good at what’s on your feet. I always advise my clients to bring sturdy, comfortable shoes that they know won’t hurt their feet. Stash that elegant pair of heels in your suitcase for an evening out — but during the day, definitely opt for something comfortable.

 Black is versatile — and very European

lady on beach readingBlending in with the crowds can help you have a more authentic experience while traveling in Europe. So when in doubt about what to pack, think black. It’s a color that allows you to mix and match your clothing, while at the same time appearing more fashion-forward.

Think light and layers when packing

Even in summer the weather in Europe can be all over the map — and if you’re traveling to multiple countries, you’ll need a versatile wardrobe. Light, breathable fabrics are always best when you’re traveling, and combining several layers will ensure you stay warm when the need strikes.
Leave the fancy jewelry at home

jewelleryEven if you choose to visit or stay in some of the more upscale locales in Europe, that doesn’t mean that flashy jewelry is the order of the day. As a tourist who’s sure to spend time gazing conspicuously at the continent’s many gorgeous sights, wearing expensive jewelry or watches only invites trouble. Most of the finer European hotels will offer a hotel safe — if not an in-room safe — for your valuables, so if you are compelled to bring a favorite piece, wear it only sparingly for those elegant dinners.

Go beyond the backpack

When you’re touring around during the day, it’s natural to bring along a day bag that holds the things you’ll need — but in the interest of blending in, know that there are more elegant ways to stash your money. Instead of a backpack or fanny pack, consider a leather messenger bag, or a larger purse.

Plan for your activities

The big benefit of working with your personal travel consultant (like me) when taking a luxury European vacation: All the planning is done for you — which means you’ll have a very good idea about what you’re going to be doing each day. With that in mind, look at the itinerary for each day, and then make a note of the clothing, accessories and shoes you’ll need for that day. Ideally, you’ll find that several of the days require similar outfits — which means you can double up and leave more room for souvenirs in your bag.

And the last tip: Leave room when packing!

From designer clothing to tourist trinkets, you’ll find plenty of things you’ll want to take home. As such, don’t stuff your bags full! You can always purchase an additional bag or ship something home, but the easiest thing to do is to leave yourself some room in your original suitcase.

Happy packing!

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