There’s something special about a summer trip in Europe — the air is sweet, the days are longer, and it seems wherever you go, the atmosphere is buzzing. With a suitcase in hand, the packing begins and often I look no further than a few easy dresses. Days at the beach, afternoons at cafes, and morning strolls are staples of a summer trip in Europe.

I find clothes that can be mixed and matched are ideal for packing a suitcase that isn’t spilling over — as we all know it’s hard to resist shopping in Europe. With a few staples, those fun tops for a night out, and the simple dress does just fine for a great summer trip in Europe.

Here’s what I recommend packing for a summer trip in Europe:

1. Bottoms

This time of year in Europe tends to run hot, hot, hot. Picture flowy pants like this, or a midi-skirt that can pair well with a number of tops. I always throw in one pair of denim, like a white or ankle-cut for an evening occasion. During the day, I stick to denim or linen shorts.

2. Tops

Running on the theme of a hot summer, an easy off-the-shoulder top is my ultimate European top. I always pack a few t-shirts, two to three loose tanks, and you can never forget a light blouse to throw over.

3. Dresses

Nothing says summer like a flowery-print dressthis one or this maxi is the ultimate one to toss in the suitcase. A few easy dresses like this one or this, make for an easy day to night look. I always pack a romper as well.

4. Shoes

There’s the basics to a Europe trip, and one that cannot be overlooked is a good walking shoe. I edge towards a white sneaker that can pair with shorts. I always have a pair of sandals, often two like this or this. My favorite summer shoe is an espadrille in the form of a flat and a wedge.

5. Accessories

The first accessory in the bag is always a pair of sunglasses that will pair with just about everything, like these black Ray-Bans or these. A straw-summer hat is also in order for the sunnier days and to match, a straw bag for those trips to the farmer’s market. For when it’s time to walk around town, I love this little backpack to stash a camera and necessities.

6. The Essentials

With more time in the sun, I always opt for a good SPF cream like this one or this. I always toss in a dry-shampoo and my favorite body oil (a French classic!.)

7. Tech

I always travel with my camera and 35 mm lens. I would recommend bringing a Kindle for an afternoon read, an extra SD card, a camera cleaning kit (<$10) for on the go, an extra battery pack for your phone, and extra batteries for your camera.

8. Travel Insurance

The last thing I never leave the country without is travel insurance, and my preferred is World Nomad’s. Book here:

Purchase Travel Insurance

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