What Should I Include in My European Packing List

Brian SchlottmannFAQ'S, Germany, Parent Info

Packing Instructions

In planning for your stay in Europe, it is important not to think of the European segment as a ‘trip’, but rather a place will you will live and settle in for several months. The obvious tension is that you will have very limited space in which to pack your personal belongings for the five-month stay. However, we have compiled the following lists to assist you in preparing for Europe based on previsou teams’ experiences and feedback.

You will be able to check in one piece of luggage that is no more than 50 lbs. You will also be able to pack a carry-on as well as one personal item like a laptop, camera bag or purse.

Items marked in red are considered absolutely mandatory.

Clothing Requirements

  • Uniforms: Always bring your uniform.
  • Casual Clothing: A light jacket is good for days when the weather is less cold. Sneakers or sturdy shoes for hiking, running, and intense walking. You will need winter and spring socks. In Europe’s cold climate, jeans paired with a sweater, flannel shirt, or t-shirts with a cardigan are customary for daily use.
  • Women should pack leggings (leggings are a great for travel because they take very little room in your luggage-just remember, if wearing leggings, you will need to wear a long shirt or dress over them), and maybe two pairs of jeans, at least 2 pairs of boots, sneakers, one pair of sandals for Spring, and a heavy winter coat.
  • Men – should pack a couple of pairs of jeans, 1 extra pair of casual pants, several (4) t-shirts or casual shirts for daily use, sneakers, boots or warm hiking type of shoes for daily wear, a pair of shoes like TOMS would be good for the spring. a light hoodie may come in handy, and a heavy winter coat.
  • Workout Clothes: Add a workout outfit or two because we will have regular workouts. Remember these have to be winter type of workout clothes (no shorts-too cold!).
  • Special Events Clothing: For visiting religious and special events, you will need modest and semi-casual attire. Must churches in Europe are very casual, but there are some more traditional-always lean on the side of caution when choosing length, and style.
  • Women – a couple of skirts (not mini) with at least three blouses, one/two winter type dresses, One pair of dress shoes, and plenty of scarves.
  • Men – One pair of dress slacks and one pair of khakis, as well as 2 dress shirts for men. Bring at least 1 nice pair of dress shoes for church services or special events.
  • Winter/Snow Clothes: Do not buy these items in the US, wait till you get to Europe. These items are extremely heavy for your luggage, and can be purchased cheaper in Europe. There is also a possibility of Europe experiencing a mild winter. Wear your one heavy coat on departure from US, boots, gloves/mittens, and scarf as these items would be heavy in your suitcase, and the weather will be very cold upon arrival to Europe.
  • Jewelry: Our advice on jewelry is simple, if it is something you won’t be broken-hearted if it brakes, or is stolen, then bring it, but keep it simple.

Electronic Devices

Amazon Sample (Click to View)

Click to view Amazon.com sample

Converters and Adapters: In Europe, electricity is 220 volts AC. 220/240V. Visit a hardware store for an adapter (which changes the shape of the plug) and a converter (which changes the voltage; about $20). In most cases you won’t need a converter. Don’t make the mistake of using only an adapter, unless appliance instructions explicitly state otherwise.

Sample Listing

Sample Listing showing “Input: 100-240V~”

Most electronic appliances, like a lap top, ipad chargers, iphone chargers, etc., will auto-switch voltages between 100 and 240 volts. However you will need to look at the extremely small fine print on your AC adapters for the line that says ‘input’. You would expect to see something like, “Input: 100-240V~”. Since you most of the places you will be staying are rated at 220 volts, your AC adapter will work just fine if it shows the appropriate range.


  • Deodorant, razors, feminine products, and toothbrushes, toothpaste, make up, and hair products can be purchased upon arrival. If you have a specific brand you prefer to use from a specific store, come prepared with enough supplies for five months.
  • Contact lenses are inexpensive in Europe as well as cleaning solutions. If you wear glasses, it is advised to bring a copy of your prescription in case you need to purchase a replacement set.
  • Basic first-aid kits, bandages, a pain reliever, thermometers, motion-sickness remedies, and diarrhea or upset-stomach medication (Pepto Bismol® or Imodium®) can all be purchased upon arrival.

Study Items

  • Laptop
  • Your issued iPad
  • Paper Bible
  • Paper journals and writing utensils for note-taking

Other Items

  • If you take medication, you will need to bring it in its proper container with a copy of the prescription in case of an emergency. Also, make sure to bring enough for the entire length of the stay. If you are a diabetic, be sure to bring your testing kit, meds, prescriptions, and always carry a snack with you and notify the Abante staff of any changes in your condition before departing the United States.
  • It is advisable to bring a list of medications in case you run out of meds.
  • Bring your passport, ATM and/or credit cards, and driver’s license. It is advisable to have personal copies of all the aforementioned should these documents get lost or stolen.
  • Thank you Items: Always pack some thank you cards, and small gifts (candy, or American type or snacks items) that you can leave with your host families while traveling through Europe. (Plan on at least 5-6 host families). Hint: Snickers, Reeses, and Skittles are favorites there because they are not available in Europe.