25 Best Travel Accessories for Europe

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by Maggie Turansky


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We have been travelling around Europe for years and know exactly what the best travel accessories for Europe are and what items you should leave behind!

Regardless of whether you are about to embark on your own trip to Europe or are looking for a gift for a friend or family member, this list of must-have items will help narrow exactly what accessories you should be packing for Europe!

25 Best Travel Accessories for Europe

Camera

Arguably one of the most important travel accessories is going to be a camera. While mobile phone cameras are getting better and better these days, if you want to come home with some truly spectacular photos from your Europe trip, then you’re going to want to invest in a good camera.

If you’re interested in learning photography and want a top-notch camera without the weight and hassle of a DSLR, then we recommend the Sony A6400.

It is the camera that we personally use for all of our photos and its lightweight, mirrorless quality makes it the ideal camera for travel as it won’t add a lot of weight to your luggage.

Sony Alpha a6400 Mirrorless Camera: Compact APS-C Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera with Real-Time Eye Auto Focus, 4K Video, Flip Screen & 16-50mm Lens - E Mount Compatible - ILCE-6400L/B, Black

Lightweight Tripod

Another Europe travel necessity if you’re interested in upping your photography game is a lightweight tripod.

While it might seem like a tripod is a heavy, awkward, and clunky thing to pack with you on your trip to Europe, there are numerous tripods on the market these days that are incredibly lightweight and small, making them ideal for travel.

Our pick for the best lightweight tripod to bring with you is the Joby Gorillapod (also available from REI here), however, there are numerous other options available.

With a solid tripod combined with a great camera and you are sure to have some enviable photos of your Europe trip to post on your Instagram.

JOBY GorillaPod Compact Tripod Kit with Ballhead for Mirrorless Cameras up to 2.2 lbs. Black/Charcoal.

Kindle E-Reader

If you love to read while on holiday or if you just don’t want to bother carrying around a heavy guidebook wherever you go, then an Amazon Kindle e-reader is an essential item.

I was late to the Kindle game and thought I would only ever want to read paper books, however, I did end up purchasing a Kindle for my travels and my life has been forever changed.

Not only do you have an entire world worth of books available to you at just a click of a few buttons, but Kindles are also incredibly lightweight and take up minimal space in your bag.

The Kindle Paperwhite has a backlight so you can read into the night without disturbing your partner and the matte screen mimics paper so you can easily read outside in the sunshine.

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (16 GB) – Now with a larger display, adjustable warm light, increased battery life, and faster page turns – Agave Green

International SIM Card

In this day and age, staying connected is more of a necessity rather than a luxury. And though it might even seem tempting to plan to go to Europe and be able to turn off your phone and get away from it all, the fact of the matter is that having a data plan makes travelling throughout Europe so much easier.

And this is why having a good international SIM card with data is an absolute must-have.

We recommend buying an Orange SIM with 30GB data or Three SIM with 12GB data before heading to Europe because they have affordable data plans and work throughout the European Union, meaning that you will not have to get a new SIM every time you cross the border to a different country.

It is also a great idea to pre-order a SIM to your home before you leave, so that way you can be connected as soon as you land and not waste any of your valuable holiday time trying to get an affordable data plan.

Power Bank

Another of the electronic travel necessities, a power bank can be absolutely essential while on the road, especially if you want to make sure that your many devices are properly charged.

There is nothing worse than being lost and not being able to use Google Maps because your phone is going to die, or wanting to read a book on you long bus ride only to find that your Kindle is at 5%.

A power bank is one of those items that you don’t think you will need until you absolutely need it, however, it will become an invaluable asset to any of your holidays — and your everyday life!

Anker Portable Charger, Power Bank, 10,000 mAh Battery Pack with PowerIQ Charging Technology and USB-C (Input Only) for iPhone 15/15 Plus/15 Pro/15 Pro Max, iPhone 14/13 Series, Samsung Galaxy

Travel Adapter

A travel adapter is another must-have Europe accessory that is so easy to forget that you need.

However, if you’re visiting the European continent from pretty much everywhere outside of the European continent, you will find that the plugs are different from the ones you use at home. And, because of this, you will need an adaptor for any of your electronics to get power.

While you can get a plug adaptor that is only for the European-style plug outlet, we recommend getting a universal adapter that can accept and adapt to any plug type, so you can use it wherever you go.

This is especially helpful if you plan to visit places like the UK, Malta or Cyprus along with other European countries, as they use different plug types to the rest of Europe. We also recommend finding one that has USB slots so you can easily charge your devices.

Travel Adapter, Worldwide All in One Universal Travel Adaptor Wall AC Power Plug Adapter Wall Charger with Dual USB Charging Ports for USA EU UK AUS Cell Phone Laptop Black

Portable WiFi Hotspot

If you work online or need to be more connected than the average person while travelling through Europe, then you might find that a portable WiFi hotspot is an incredibly helpful accessory to bring with you.

With a mobile hotspot, you never need to be at the mercy of a shoddy hotel connection or worry about the safety of an open wireless network. There are numerous mobile WiFi hotspots for travel available out there, but we recommend the GlocalMe G4 Mobile Hotspot for the best all-around features.

If you choose to rely on public WiFi instead, make sure to invest in a quality VPN such as ExpressVPN so you can browse the internet securely!

GlocalMe G4 Pro 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot, 5” Touch Screen LCD Display WiFi with Lifetime US+EU 16GB & Global 1GB Data,Dual Band Portable High Speed WiFi Device,SIMFREE,Pocket Router for Travel (Black)

Noise-Cancelling Headphones

Whether you want to block out noise on your long-haul flight, want to listen to music while on a train, or want to block out the snoring of a hostel bunkmate, a pair of noise-cancelling can be an invaluable addition to your Europe luggage.

Personally, I like in-ear headphones as they are small, lightweight, and take up virtually no space in my bag. However, it can also be worth it to bring a pair of over-the-ear headphones if you want to completely block out noise and get some better sound quality.

Sony WF-1000XM3 Truly Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones with Mic, up to 32 Hours Battery Life, Stable Bluetooth Connection, Wearing Detection with Alexa Built-in - Black

Packing Cubes

If you want to keep everything (not only your electronic cords!) organised and compressed in your luggage, then you cannot go wrong with packing cubes.

These have revolutionised our packing completely and allow us to keep everything clean, dry and organised while also maximising valuable suitcase space.

There are so many different packing cubes available, however, we recommend and personally use the Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter cubes.

Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Compression Packing Cubes for Travel S/M - Two Durable, Lightweight, Water-Resistant Ripstop Fabric Suitcase Organizer Bags, Brilliant Blue

Anti-Theft Handbag

If you’re travelling to Europe, you’re likely going to need to be vigilant in the more popular tourist areas as pickpocketing can happen.

While we don’t necessarily think this is something you be actively worried about (if you are smart and don’t flash your valuables, you are unlikely to be pickpocketed), having an anti-theft handbag or day pack can take a lot of stress away from having to watch over your belongings.

I personally use the PacSafe Citysafe Convertible Backpack (also available direct from Pacsafe here) and absolutely love it — I’ve also never been pickpocketed (knock on wood)!

Pacsafe Women's Citysafe Cx Anti Theft Convertible Backpack-Fits 10' Tablet, Black

Lightweight Shopping Bag

For the environmentally-conscious (and we all should be), you will find that bringing a packable lightweight shopping bag to be the perfect European travel accessory for you.

Most European countries have bans on single-use plastic and will make you pay for bags at the supermarket, so having your own shopping bag will not only cut down on excessive plastic usage, but it will also save you money.

Having your own shopping bag is also useful if you want to shop at local markets where you’re unlikely to get a plastic bag at all.

ChicoBag Original Compact Reusable Grocery Bag w/Attached Pouch and Carabiner Clip | Perfect for Shopping, Travel, Organization | Eco-Conscious Packable Tote | Boysenberry (Pack of 1)

Reusable Water Bottle

Along the same lines as the shopping bag, the tap water in Europe is safe to drink across the board and because of this, it is completely unnecessary to buy plastic water bottles. Not only is buying water incredibly wasteful, but it also can add a lot to your overall daily expenses.

So please bring a reusable water bottle — you won’t be sorry.

And if you’re someone who doesn’t like the taste of tap water or if you’re nervous about the water safety (in the EU and pretty much everywhere else in Europe, the tap water is completely safe anyway) you can get a water bottle with a filter!

Brita Hard-Sided Plastic Premium Filtering Water Bottle, BPA-Free, Replaces 300 Plastic Water Bottles, Filter Lasts 2 Months or 40 Gallons, Includes 1 Filter, Kitchen Accessories, Sea Glass - 26 oz.

Travel French Press

If you’re a coffee fan like me, then you might get a little tired of the instant coffee that is normally on offer at hotels and other accommodations in Europe. If you want to brew a good cup of coffee in your hotel room or Airbnb, I recommend bringing a travel French press!

I personally use and love the Espro Travel Coffee Press and wouldn’t trade it for anything.

ESPRO P1 French Press Coffee Maker for Travel - Double Walled Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Coffee Maker and Tea Maker, Portable and Durable Coffee Press for Travel, 12 Ounce, Matte Meteorite Black

Reusable Toiletry Bottles

If you’re only going to Europe for a short time or are flying carry-on only, then investing in a set of reusable toiletry bottles is an affordable and convenient way to avoid plastic waste and take your favourite shampoo with you.

I personally recommend GoToobs as they are leak-proof and under 100ml, meaning that you can put them in your carry-on luggage on aeroplanes.

humangear GoToob+ 3-Pack (Medium) | Refillable Silicone Travel Bottle | Locking Lid | Food-Safe Material, Clear/Red/Orange, Medium (2.5 fl.oz.; 74ml)

Headphone Splitter

If you’re travelling as a couple and you both want to watch the same show or movie (or listen to the same music!) while on a plane, bus, or train, then a headphone splitter is one of the best travel items for Europe for you.

Instead of sharing a pair of in-ear headphones to be able to watch the same movie, a headphone splitter allows both parties to watch and enjoy the same thing with good sound quality, as well! This is obviously only necessary though if you don’t have wireless headphones!

Syncwire Headphone Splitter, Nylon-Braided Extension Cable Audio Stereo Y Splitter (Hi-Fi Sound), 3.5mm Male To 2 Ports 3.5mm Female Headset Splitter for Phone, PS4, Switch, Tablets & More

HDMI Cable

One of our most valued items we take to Europe is an HDMI cable, which allows us to connect our laptops to a TV so we can stream things like Netflix or YouTube on a big screen.

While a lot of Airbnbs or hotels will have smart TVs with streaming subscriptions, most do not and it can be really nice to be able to watch a movie or TV show once every so often while you are on the road.

PowerBear 4K HDMI Cable 10 ft | High Speed Hdmi Cables, Braided Nylon & Gold Connectors, 4K @ 60Hz, Ultra HD, 2K, 1080P, ARC & CL3 Rated | for Laptop, Monitor, PS5, PS4, Xbox One, Fire TV, & More

Cord Organiser

Because the average person travels with so many electronic devices these days, it can be very difficult to keep all of the cords and chargers organised.

Rather than shoving everything into a zip-top bag and risking a tangled mess, we recommend investing in a cord organiser to keep your things together. It is also a lot more environmentally friendly than a plastic bag!

BUBM Double Layer Electronic Accessories Organizer, Travel Gadget Bag for Cables, USB Flash Drive, Plug and More, Perfect Size Fits for iPad Mini (Medium, Grey)

Scarf

Scarves have always been a pinnacle of European fashion for both men and women and they are also the perfect European travel accessory.

Scarves can be used for lots of things — they’re great at adding a chic pop to your outfit, you can use them to cover your head or shoulders if you’re touring churches or religious sites, and they can be used as a light blanket or even a pillow.

YOBOKO Womens Fashion Long Scarf Linen-Cotton Beautiful Pure Color Soft Scarves,Breathable & Comfortable Super Large Size Shawl Wrap for Outside/Beach, 200 X130 CM (Black)

Padlocks

While a padlock has always been a Europe travel essential for backpackers wanting to secure their belongings, a TSA-approved luggage lock is a great thing for all kinds of travellers. I personally like to lock my luggage while on trains or walking to my accommodation.

If there isn’t a safe in my room, I will also lock my valuables in my luggage if while I am out for the day. Having a padlock can give you the extra layer of security that you might need.

TSA Luggage Locks (2 Pack) - 4 Digit Combination Steel Padlocks - Approved Travel Lock for Suitcases & Baggage - TSA Lock - Black

International Driver’s Permit

A European travel essential if you’re planning on renting a car on your holiday is an International Driver’s Permit, or IDP.

While not a substitute for your actual driver’s license, an IDP translates your license into a number of different languages and is a requirement in some European countries. While you may never be asked for one, it is always better to have — just like a good travel insurance policy!

Travel Umbrella

Even if you’re travelling in the height of summertime, Europe (like everywhere else in the world) is still susceptible to the occasional rainstorm.

And while we always recommend packing a good waterproof travel jacket in Europe, it can also be a very good idea to stick a solid travel umbrella into your luggage.

You don’t want your trip to Europe to be ruined by the rain, so an umbrella is really an essential item for Europe or any international travel!

Repel Umbrella The Original Portable Travel Umbrella - Umbrellas for Rain Windproof, Strong Compact Umbrella for Wind and Rain, Perfect Car Umbrella, Golf Umbrella, Backpack, and On-the-Go

Travel Pillow

If you plan to take any long bus or train journeys or have a long-haul flight to kick off your European adventure, then a good travel pillow is going to be a Europe travel necessity for you.

Nothing is worse than getting a sore neck after being crammed into a seat on an uncomfortable flight or bus trip, and a good and supportive neck pillow is a great way to add some comfort to your journey.

MLVOC Travel Pillow 100% Pure Memory Foam Neck Pillow, Comfortable & Breathable Cover - Machine Washable, Airplane Travel Kit with 3D Sleep Mask, Earplugs, and Luxury Bag, Grey

Eye Mask

If you want to have a good night’s sleep, then finding a good eye mask can be one of the things you’ll miss most if you don’t have!

Eye masks are helpful to block out the light and to get some sleep on a plane, they are also helpful if your accommodation doesn’t have good curtains or there is one blinking light that drives you crazy during the night.

Having a good eye mask can make or break the sleep you get on your trip, and having a good night’s sleep means that you will have all the more energy to go out and explore Europe!

Alaska Bear Sleep Mask Silk Eye Cover with Contoured Padding for Pressure-Free Comfort - Upgrade Over Thin Flat Shades (Black)

Earplugs

Much like an eye mask, earplugs are really helpful to ensure a good night’s sleep on your Europe trip.

Not only are earplugs incredibly useful when it comes to getting some shut-eye on a long-haul flight or drowning out noisy bunkmates in your hostel dorm, but they can also be just as helpful if you’re staying in a hotel with a lot of street noise.

Like I said earlier, nothing is worse than exploring a European city when you’re tired and cranky and making sure you have earplugs to drown out the noise can prevent this.

3M Ear Plugs, 30 Pairs/Box, E-A-R Classic 310-1060, Uncorded, Disposable, Foam, NRR 29, For Drilling, Grinding, Machining, Sawing, Sanding, Welding, 1 Pair/Pillow Pack

Hand Sanitiser

One thing that I bring with me everywhere I go, making it an essential Europe travel accessory, is hand sanitiser, particularly given recent events!

You’re going to be seeing and touching a lot of things while on your Europe trip and you’re not always going to have direct access to a sink to wash your hands. So if you want to have a picnic and you’re hands are feeling a bit grimy, your trusty hand sanitiser will come to the rescue.

PURELL Advanced Hand Sanitizer Soothing Gel, Fresh Scent, 8 fl oz Pump Bottle (Pack of 4), 9674-06-ECDECO

These are just some of the items to add to your packing list that can make your trip to the continent a lot easier and more convenient!

Are you looking for items to take to Europe? Is there anything you never travel without? Let us know in the comments!

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Maggie is a co-founder and writer for The World Was Here First. Originally from the US, she has lived in five different countries and has travelled to dozens more, both solo and with her partner, Michael. She particularly loves exploring Spain and spending time in the Caucasus and the Baltics. Read more about Maggie

Comments

  1. Thanks for this article about traveling to Europe! We are going to Europe in six weeks and reading this information helps so much.

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