Travelling to Europe is one of the best experiences you can have in your life. This vast and varied continent has a tonne to offer visitors. And while planning a trip to Europe is an incredibly exciting process, from mapping out your route to even figuring out your budget, it can seem really overwhelming to figure out what to bring to Europe. If you are on the hunt for the best travel accessories for Europe and want to know what are necessary (and useful!) items to bring with you, check out this list of tried and tested items to help make your packing a breeze.
The Best Travel Accessories for Europe
Arguably one of the most important travel accessories for Europe 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 A6000. It is the camera that we personally use for all of our photos and it’s lightweight, mirrorless quality makes it the ideal camera for travel as it won’t add a lot of weight to your luggage.
2. 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.
3. 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 one best travel accessories for Europe you could bring with you. 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.
Basically, if you’re looking for an essential item to bring to Europe, you can’t go wrong with packing a Kindle.
4. 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 Europe travel accessory.
We recommend buying an Orange SIM with 20GB 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.
5. Power Bank
Another of the electronic Europe travel necessities, a power bank can be absolutely essential while one 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!
6. Plug Adaptor
A plug adaptor 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 adaptor 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. If you’re looking for the best travel converter for Europe, we also recommend finding one that has USB cables so you can easily charge your devices.
7. 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 Europe 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!
8. 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.
9. 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!
10. HDMI Cable
One of our most valued Europe travel accessories 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 Airbnb’s or hotels will have smart TV’s 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.
11. 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!
12. 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 luggage space.
13. 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.
14. 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.
15. 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! There is no excuse to continually buy single-use plastic water bottles.
16. 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! While this isn’t an absolute essential Europe travel accessory, it is a great addition for any coffee fanatic. I personally use and love the Espro Travel Coffee Press (also available from REI here) and wouldn’t trade it for anything.
17. 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 (also available from REI here) as they are leak-proof and under 100ml, meaning that you can put them in your carry-on luggage on aeroplanes.
Scarves have always been a pinnacle for 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.
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.
20. 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!
21. 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 Europe travel accessory.
22. 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.
23. Eye Mask
If you want to have a good night’s sleep, then finding a good eye mask can be one of the best travel accessories for Europe for you. 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!
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.
25. 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.
There are a number of Europe travel accessories that can make you trip to the European continent a lot easier and more convenient.
When travelling in Europe, it’s always a good idea to make sure you have a travel insurance policy so you’re covered for any unfortunate events! We like WorldNomads and always use them for our trips – click here to get a quote from WorldNomads
Are you looking for the best travel accessories for Europe? Is there anything you never travel without? Let us know in the comments!