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As a team of seasoned travelers here at Vacation Countdown App who venture through Europe annually, we know first-hand the items that can make or break your trips abroad. The perfect European holiday starts with having the right travel accessories on hand, since this definitely isn’t your standard American road trip!
You need a proper arsenal of gear to seamlessly navigate between airports, train stations, foreign languages, and new currencies – trust us. From chargers that work across multiple countries to scarves that double as blankets on long-haul flights, we’ve road-tested various accessories that no jet-setting backpack should be without.
In this definitive guide, we’re spilling all our globetrotting secrets and sharing our hand-picked list of must-have accessories that we swear by for smooth travels through Europe and beyond.
We’re including our favorite recommendations for the best travel accessories for Europe to prepare you for your next big trip overseas.
Air Travel Accessories for Europe
While traveling to Europe can be an incredibly exciting process, it can also be miserable. Prepare for your long-haul flights with these great Europe travel essentials:
1. Travel Pillow
We actually have an entire post dedicated to the best neck pillows for long flights. But our top choice is the BCOZZY Neck Pillow, which provides optimal support for your head, neck, and chin so that you can get a good night’s sleep on even the longest flight.
2. Noise Cancelling Headphones
Noise-canceling headphones have many uses—drowning out crying babies, making in-flight entertainment more enjoyable, and providing peaceful background noise while sleeping.
We love these over-the-ear headphones from MONODEAL, specifically designed for travel! They have a foldable design and travel case, plus they provide active noise-canceling and audio for up to 20 continuous hours, so you can watch movies the entire flight if you want!
3. Portable Charger
Never head on a long trip without a portable charger in hand. Especially when your tickets, hotel information, and more are stored online, you need to keep your electronic devices charged and ready to go.
We recommend this 28,800mAH power bank with four separate charging ports. It has enough juice to recharge an iPhone 6 times or keep several devices functioning for at least one full use. And at only 6″x3″, this power bank is also highly travel-friendly.
4. Reusable Water Bottle
Long-haul flights can wreak havoc on your hydration. That’s why keeping a water bottle on hand is so important. You can always buy plastic water bottles at the airport, but they’re expensive and contribute to plastic waste.
We have a whole post on the best travel water bottles for long flights, but our #1 pick is a classic 20 oz. Hydroflask. It keeps drinks cool for up to 24 hours, is leak-proof, and fits easily into any bottle holder.
5. Carry-On Luggage
One of the essential travel accessories for any Europe trip is the right carry-on luggage. Some international airlines will be incredibly picky about the size of your bag, so it’s crucial that you choose one that’s easy to transport and meets the size restrictions.
We particularly love MATEIN’s line of carry-on backpacks, like this expandable weekender. It packs like a suitcase, has multiple carrying options, and has plenty of organizational pockets. It’s also small enough to fit under your airplane seat! If you want to pack light, this could even function as your luggage for the entire trip.
6. Packing Cubes
One of our favorite Europe travel accessories is packing cubes! These have so many uses, from keeping you organized to helping you maximize space in that checked luggage. You can use these over and over for multiple trips, and they take up minimal space at home when you’re not using them. Check out these 8-bag sets from Bagail, complete with a shoe bag, laundry bag, and toiletry bag!
On-the-Ground Travel Accessories for Europe
Once you’re on the ground, you’ll have a new list of needs. Here are our top travel accessories to keep handy.
Never travel internationally without Google Maps (or Waze) handy! It can be so easy to get turned around in a new country, and the last thing you want is to be wandering the streets. It may come with an extra cost to your cell phone plan, but staying safe and maximizing your travel times is well worth the price.
7. Travel Backpack
Depending on what you’ll be doing in Europe, you could choose several different kinds of backpacks. Check out our list of best travel backpacks for a Europe trip here to see all our favorites. But for a general sightseeing trip, we recommend a basic anti-theft backpack that’s lightweight yet keeps your travel essentials safe.
Our top choice is the LOVEVOOK Unisex Travel Backpack. It has lots of compartments, combination lock zippers, a laptop sleeve, hidden pockets, and an external charging port for a power bank! Plus, it’s ultra-stylish, so you’ll look great while visiting Europe.
8. Plug Adaptor
A travel adapter for the European power outlet in your hotel room is absolutely essential! The last thing you want is to blow out power on the block (and fry your phone at the same time). Grab this European plug adaptor from Ceptics for coverage in all European countries with the convenience of multiple American and USB charging ports.
9. European SIM Card
One of our favorite travel accessories for Europe is a local SIM card! You can buy a SIM card with a month of data (within the country you purchased it in) for about $15. Since most basic US phone plans charge about $10 per day (or more) for international data, you’ll be saving money by day 2!
10. Money Belt
Even if you invested in an anti-theft backpack, we think money belts are some of the best travel gear to bring along. This gives you a safe and hidden place to store extra cash, credit cards, hotel keys, and more. And if you do happen to get robbed, they may take your bag but not notice your belt.
We like the AIKELIDA Travel Belt. It has an ultra-low profile, can fit on your waist or across your chest under clothes, and has room for a phone, passport, credit cards, and more with RFID blocking technology.
11. Travel Insurance
With the way airlines act these days, one of the best travel accessories for Europe is travel insurance. You never know when your flight will be delayed —or worse, canceled—messing up all your travel planning! That’s why one of our top travel tips is to protect yourself with an insurance plan.
A quick Google search will bring up various insurance plans designed for a European trip. Be sure to find something that protects you from lost luggage, trip interruption, and trip cancellation (at the minimum).