Autumn in Europe: The Only Packing List You’ll Ever Need

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Getting ready for some European travel this fall? I’m jealous! Autumn in Europe is one of the best times of the year. As you plan and prep for your trip, deciding what to pack will be paramount.  We hope this can serve as your go-to autumn in Europe packing list. Packing for the chilly weather has never been easier. Let’s go!


suitcases two drifters

A few years ago, we decided to spend several months in the UK and other parts of Europe. With flexible plans, I knew I’d need fall clothing and items as well as some transitional winter things. That gave me the summer to organize my wardrobe and my packing. 

In researching for my European packing list, I looked into how to build a capsule wardrobe, comprised of well-loved pieces that would go with just about everything. I set out to do something sort of like that. I noted that neutral colors were the way to go, with lots of high-quality basics that could supply plenty of versatility.

In other words, if you’re wearing the same 5 shirts for months, you’ll need to find ways to spice things up a bit. Voila: accessories and layering pieces.

And this type of simple, classic wardrobe certainly is always in vogue in Europe. Think black, neutrals, black, the occasional pop of color, and more black! Pssst: Check out the ultimate travel packing list to help you be prepared for all seasons. 

I’ll talk about my clothing options in more detail a bit later on, first let’s get the basics covered.

The Perfect Suitcase for Traveling to Europe

The right packing list starts with the right suitcase.  I looked long and hard at all the options and ended up going with a sleek, affordable Samsonite. 3 years later, I am still obsessed with this suitcase and it is hanging in there just fine!

My awesome suitcase: Samsonite Luggage Winfield 2 Fashion HS Spinner 28, Charcoal, One Size

I could never pack for any length of time in only a carry-on. Some travelers do this, and while I admire that simplicity and appreciate the ease with which one can move with carry-on size luggage, I knew I’d have to go one step up.

The 28-inch suitcase is perfect for me. Although it’s too big for a carry-on, it’s not as massive as other suitcases I’ve had in the past. And the shape of this one makes it the right kind of compact for a week trip or for long term travel. (For his stuff, Nathan carries a very large travel backpack.)

In addition, for my everyday purse, I carry a cross body bag, which is comfortable to carry and securely wrapped around my torso.

Travel Essentials 

No matter the trip or destination, here are some travel basics we always recommend.

  • International plug adapter: If you’re traveling abroad, you will need an electrical adapter to plug in your electronics. An all-in-one option is simple, especially if you’re planning on visiting both the UK and mainland Europe.
  • Your documents: The most important items for your trip are of course your passport and other documents. Be doubly sure you’ve got your documents in order, including passports/visas/vaccination records for international travel. You could stash this stuff in a cute passport holder if you’d prefer.
  • Travel insurance: Never leave home without adequate travel insurance. We recommend World Nomads for your fall trip to Europe.
  • Good quality headphonesPersonally, I think this is one of the travel must-haves. We Two Drifters always listen to music on flights and having a pair of reliable—and comfortable—headphones is a necessity. 
  • travel journal: , A travel journal is a great place to jot down those precious memories. I kept a journal when I went backpacking through Europe and it is something I deeply treasure today.
  • Packing cubes: Many travelers swear by these for creating a more organized, more compact suitcase.
  • Portable power bank: You may need a portable source of power to keep your devices charged when you’re on-the-go adventuring. This one is a solid choice.

What I Wore: A Fall in Europe Female Packing List

Now let’s delve into the numbers of what I packed for Europe in the fall. While my clothing was designed to suit me for a few months of travel, you can definitely narrow this down for shorter trips (and you absolutely should if possible! Packing light is the best).

  • 5 casual tops
  • 3 tank tops (exercise/sleep)
  • 3 pairs footwear (sneakers, boots, simple black flats)
  • 2 regular bras
  • 2 sports bras
  • 2 pairs denim jeans
  • 1 pair black skinny jeans
  • 3 sweaters
  • 1 light jacket
  • 2 dresses
  • 1 fancy top
  • 1 stretchy black mini skirt
  • 1 pair black tights
  • 1 grey vest
  • 2 pairs black leggings
  • 1 cold weather headband
  • 5 pairs thin socks
  • 1 pair fuzzy socks
  • 1 pair mittens
  • 1 fashionable scarf
  • 1 pair simple CZ stud earrings
  • 10 pairs underwear

To keep everything sorted, we suggest using packing cubes. Here’s an awesome guide to the best packing cubes out there.

Here’s a glimpse of what I brought:






As I pared down the old and purchased the new, I made sure to keep my favorite things, even if they aren’t fabulous quality. Why? I want to wear what makes me happy. I think that’s key to creating a small wardrobe–truly loving the pieces you’ve got. That makes getting dressed not only simple, but enjoyable. 

READ NEXT:  The Best Backpacks for Europe (2020): An Essential Buying Guide

Autumn in Europe Clothing Details

It’s not enough to know the numbers. You want to see some suggestions what you should pack! So now we’ll delve into the details for your fall in Europe packing list. Depending on your trip (in any season) here’s a great printable resource for planning your packing.

My items came from a hodgepodge of places, including Kohl’s, Amazon, Primark, Gap, Target, & many, many thrift stores. Below, I’ll show you where to find specific items when possible, or I’ll point you to a similar piece.


My tops were all interchangeable basics made with soft materials. I focused on neutrals, including this black and white striped top, along with a basic blue and grey tee. I also had two tanks, a simple dark green & light blue. This made up the basic tops for me. 

You could also find nice, comfortable basics at places like J.Crew and Gap.  I recommend a mix of short-sleeve and long-sleeve tops.


I brought just 3 pairs of shoes, appropriate for Autumn in Europe. My favorite: simple black flats, which go with literally everything, sturdy yet fashionable boots (especially these two-toned riding boots that go with everything), and basic black sneakers, mostly for running & exercise.


For gettin’ fancy, I packed a more casual dress of maroon and black stripes, and a plain black maxi dress, which can be dressed up or dressed down.  And truly, you can never go wrong with a basic black dress that you can dress up or dress down as needed! 


I brought a couple of jeans in different washes, black leggings, as well as some awesome black skinny jeans that I love. These look similar to the pair I picked. You can never go wrong with black pants while traveling through Europe.

Sweaters & Jacket

How to keep warm in Europe in the autumn: sweaters & a light jacket. In the fall months, I love my simple green jacket. This one from Amazon is a lot like mine, which I bought years ago.

I also suggest warm sweaters—one that’s a cozy cowlneck (perfect for serious chiily temperatures), one that’s a soft, flowy pullover, and a third that’s a chic cardigan.

Other Cool Items & Accessories

Even a basic wardrobe needs a bit of excitement. Bringing a few accessories will help to spice things up. I’ve got a fun black and grey scarf that works well with all my outfits.

I’m pretty simple in terms of jewelry, so aside from my wedding ring I’ll just be bringing statement faux-diamond studs

Ready to get packin’?

I haven’t laid out every single item for you, but I think you get the gist. If you have any questions about any of my items or my packing style, let me know! I’d be happy to help point you towards some great stuff!

PSST! Save this article for later by pinning this to your travel planning boards on Pinterest!

You might like these other resources on traveling in Europe: