After a couple of months in hiding, I’ve decided to come out of retirement to share with all the fellas out there what you need to pack for a long haul backpacking vacation in Europe. Long story short, bring lots of underwear. If you want to hear the detailed version then go ahead and read on…
A Guy’s Guide to Packing for Europe
Our Osprey Farpoint 55L bags ended up being solid options for us, and admittedly, I was pretty indifferent about choosing one to begin with. I let Meghan take the reigns on that. I would say about 50% of the time I would have rather had a roller bag. However, the times when a backpack came in handy, it REALLY came in handy. Like walking on cobble stone streets or down dirt roads.
Dark Grey Vans – I basically wore these things every day regardless of what I was wearing, and I’m actually wearing them as I sit at my parent’s house writing this. Best shoes I’ve ever bought.
White Vans – Meghan told me like ten times not to buy white shoes. I have this infatuation with white shoes though. Like I seriously love white shoes. I should have listened to Meghan. They were ruined before the end of the first week, but I still lugged them around for all five months.
Nike Tennis Shoes – I worked out fairly frequently and used them for other things, like hiking, traveling, etc. They’re a must have for me.
Flip Flops – Even though my toes are pretty gnarly I actually found myself wearing these quite a bit. Another must have. (Editor’s note: Casey REALLY needs a pedicure)
Blue Jeans – I didn’t really think about packing or plan what clothes I was going to bring. I basically just threw a bunch of stuff in my bag. Thus, it shouldn’t be a big surprise that when I got to our first stop in Paris, I found a huge hole in the crotch of my jeans and on the right butt cheek. I threw the jeans away in the Madrid airport a week later.
Two pairs colored khaki shorts – Once again I’m not good at packing. I brought two pairs of colored shorts (one red, one blue), but on the trip I realized that only one of the pairs matched with the shirts I brought. Therefore, I wore one pair of shorts a lot, and the other not so much.
One pair cotton shorts – I don’t really know how to describe these, but they are awesome. Cotton shorts from J Crew that I basically lived in. Life saver.
One pair athletic shorts – I wore these every single day. No seriously, every single day for five months. Accidentally left them in a Ramada Inn in Houston and I’m still devastated about it.
Two pair board shorts – Two pairs was enough for me since we didn’t go to the beach more than one or two times in each location.
Five short sleeve t-shirts – These were, as you can guess, must haves for Summer in Europe. In Southeast Asia I’ll probably just favor tank tops.
Two tank tops– Wore these a lot on beach days and when were were in tropical climates where I didn’t feel like I would be judged for going sleeveless.
Two long sleeve shirts – It got pretty cold at night everywhere after mid-September, so I was happy I brought these.
Two short sleeve button ups – I wore these a couple of times, but I made the mistake of bringing a super fratty shirt with anchors on it, which I was embarrassed to wear in public.
One long sleeve button up – Only wore this two times: The two days at Oktoberfest. It went well with my Lederhosen but was totally unnecessary other than that.
Six pairs of socks – I only came home with two.
Seven pairs of underwear – This definitely wasn’t enough. Had to reverse them more times than I’d like to admit.
Two baseball hats – Brought my 49ers hat and Mariners hat. Wore them quite a bit.
* One pair of black jeans – Bought them in Budapest at H&M for $20 and they are now my favorite pants.
* One pair of khaki pants – Bought them in Paris at H&M. Good to have but probably won’t wear that often.
* Two short sleeve t-shirts – Bought them at H&M for $5. I will probably purchase new clothes as I go in Southeast Asia. I think it’s actually cheaper than washing shirts.
* One pair of board shorts – $20 in Costa Rica and they are pretty awesome.
* Water/wind-proof jacket– Okay, so I didn’t actually buy this. More, I “acquired” it one (late) night in Prague. Look, I thought it was mine and so I took it off the back of a chair as we were leaving the bar. Don’t judge me for it. (Although, I will admit that it came in handy once it turned to Fall Weather).
* Hotel slippers – Discovered on this trip that I’m a bigggggg slipper guy. Will be buying a better set when I’m done traveling.
Standard toiletries – Basic stuff like deodorant, toothpaste, etc were all brought along. Two things I would recommend that might get overlooked: Extra razor blades and baby powder. It was a must on hot days for my feet and…. other things.
Laptop and charger – Some people said we should only bring one computer for the two of us. I’m glad we brought two. We each used our individual laptops a ton.
Phone and adapter – I regret not buying data in every country we went to. It was like $10 and would have made life so much easier for getting around cities.
Elastic work out bands – Got these off Amazon for $15 before we left. They are awesome, but I’m still in the worst shape of my life…. Maybe I didn’t use them right? Hmmm…