Packing for Europe

Jenna Hrdlicka

Heading to Europe this summer? Don’t forget these fashion necessities.

Trying to decide what to pack for a trip abroad is no easy feat. Luckily, a few fellow students are here to help. Iowa State students spending Spring ’16 in various parts of Europe gave their advice on what to pack, and what to leave at home.

Barcelona, Spain

As a general rule, it is usually best to dress like the locals in order to avoid that neon “tourist” sign above your head. According to Amy Westrick, a junior in Marketing, most of the fashion among locals in Barcelona revolves around neutral color palettes, with the most popular being black. When listing her go-to items this past semester, she said, “I don’t think that I could live without a light cardigan. I wear it all the time because here in Spain it is very hot during the days, but tends to get cooler at night; [a cardigan] is easy enough to just throw on.” Her other 2 must have fashion items are black jeans—which go from day to night with ease—and her sunglasses. “It is always super super sunny in Barcelona,” she said. “Since I have been here—3 months now—it has “rained” 2 times. You really cannot leave the house without your sunglasses, especially since you are walking everywhere all the time!”

Glasgow, Scotland

If your vacation destination is in Scotland, Sam Iverson, a junior in Apparel, Merchandising and Design, suggests bringing a nice travel backpack that meets Ryanair personal item requirements, a fashionable rain jacket, and joggers. “I wear [my joggers] all the time because they are comfortable and I can dress them up or down for traveling.” he said. What to leave at home during a trip to Glasgow? “I definitely wouldn’t bring any form of uncomfortable shoe.”


Florence, Italy

Anna Lickliter, a junior in Apparel, Merchandising and Design, said her 3 staple pieces in Florence have been her Ray Bans, Adidas Stan Smiths and boyfriend jeans. Italians value quality, tailored clothing and are keen on following current fashion trends. Abbie Walton, also a junior in Apparel, Merchandising and Design, added a leather jacket, high waisted jeans and a cross body bag as Florence essentials. Pickpocketing is highly common throughout Europe, especially in tourist destinations like Florence; a cross body bag allows you to keep a closer eye on your belongings while freeing your hands to hold that perfect cone of gelato and slice of pizza.


Cork, Ireland

When traveling to Ireland, Grace Bogart, a junior in Political Science, advised packing a nice thick scarf—which she explained doubles as a hood when getting caught in the rain—a cute pair of sneakers and a wool coat. She recommended bringing nice, classic clothing pieces. Sweaters you can layer, a few cute skirts, a few pairs of pants, and a basic dress are her packing list recommendations. Her style tip for working with a limited wardrobe is to wear collard shirts under dresses, jumpers and sweaters. “It completely changes the look and makes it possible to re-wear things without getting boring and repetitive,” she said.

When filling your suitcase for a trip to Europe, some of the most important things to remember are to bring suitable shoes for walking long distances, accessories for hefty amounts of rain or sun, depending on your travel destination, and a wardrobe that lends itself to mixing and matching. The final piece of advice from many of these students? Pack light. Although that 8th “just in case” outfit may seem necessary, no one likes lugging around a heavy, over-packed suitcase.