european train trip dressing

Five years ago, at the end of a study-abroad semester in St. Andrews, Scotland, I ventured with my now-husband on a five day Eurorail trek. Let me assure you, it was so far short of stylish (we’re talking days without showering, strangers sharing bunkbeds, and somehow getting trapped next to an ex-convict eating canned hot dogs). But despite those things, I wouldn’t change that experience for the world. I do, however, dream of recreating our adventures with a non-college-kid budget and infinitely better wardrobe.

So for the jetsetter or wanderluster stepping out on a European train trip, smart packing is a must. It’s key to include versatile pieces with comfort as priority and chicness a close second.

Here’s a quick reference guide for traveling essentials that won’t break the budget:


Jeans for rugged exploring, joggers for loose comfort, leggings to sleep or sweat in, and one pair that can be classed up with a sweet blouse (think dinner at a café on the Seine).


For these choices, it’s highly recommended to find wrinkle-free fabrics that won’t feel too clingy. To cover all the bases, try one in a shirtdress style, one, in a sleeveless silhouette, and another in the breezy boho family.


These are the champions of your suitcase. They’re the most multi-functional and should be durable (but also things you won’t get sick of wearing). An ideal combination would be one layering black tee, one feminine white piece, and one loosely cut gray option.


Cutout booties for lengthy adventures, slipper-like mules for some post-walking recharge, and trendy loafers for a classic alternative.


Both in dark tones that won’t be too noticeable when worn multiple times throughout the trip.


One cardigan for added length and warmth with a stylish European appeal, plus one lazy day sweatshirt (that conveniently doubles as a travel pillow).


Two Bags

Toting two sizes makes it convenient to switch between heavier loads and just the essentials. Plus, when traveling always choose bags with closed tops for safekeeping any valuables.

One Hat

This is function plus fashion all rolled into one. Steer clear of harmful rays while looking dapper in a wool blend wide rim accessory.

One Scarf

Since it’s easiest to mix and match with neutral clothes, pack (at least) one colorful scarf to bring instant energy to any outfit.

One Coat

Europe in the fall means likely some rain and certainly a bit of wind. So investing in a waterproof outer layer will make you a much happier traveler.

Do you have any travels coming up in the fall? Where to and what are you bringing?

Feature Image via Amanda Greeley



  1. We are spending two weeks in France with our 4 kids in October. We will visit friends in Switzerland and maybe do an overnighter in Italy! I have a packing spreadsheet for each person.

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