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I’ll admit that packing for Europe takes effort to select fashionable and functional clothes that are also comfortable. So my packing list for different countries and activities varies.

If you’re going to Paris, you’ll select stylish clothing in your closet, if you’re going to Switzerland, as I am in a few weeks, you’ll want stylish clothes for sophisticated Zurich and Geneva and functional outdoorsy clothes for the Alps and hiking.

Here’s what I”m packing for the cities:

  • Stylish jeans, which Europeans wear everywhere.
  • I want to blend in, so I’ll select black as my basic color and dress it up with a blazer, a thin sweater, and accessories.
  • To add style but not bulk, I’ll pack numerous scarves, including a camel-colored Pashmina that is warm and goes with everything.
  • Fun costume jewelery. European women wear scarves and jewelery regardless of the season.
  • A pair of  decent- looking walking shoes and a pair of black flats for evening.
  • Dressing in layers is a “must” in Switzerland where the weather can change throughout the day, and evenings can be quite cool. I’ll need a fleece jacket for the mountains and will  take along a nice black jacket or raincoat, and add warmth with a scarf.

Packing for hikes in the Alps:

Camera with extra batteries, water bottle, sunglasses, sunscreen, hat, well broken-in hiking boots, extra socks, t-shirt, rain jacket, fleece jacket.  A small first aid kit with New Skin, extra mole skin, and first aid cream.

This summer was wet and cool in the California Sierra,and when I went hiking in the Yosemite area I encountered wet, muddy trails and streams higher than normal.So keeping my feet dry and legs clean was challenging  hiking day after day.

One piece of hiking gear that I used were gaiters. They are  sleeves that slip over your boots and ankles to keep you mud free and dry on the trail.  I’m packing mine for trails and snow fields in the Alps.

Basic city packing list for a short trip

  • One pair of black slacks in addition to the pair you wear.
  • Four blouses, including one silk blouse for evening wear.
  • A light, colorful cardigan sweater .
  • Colorful scarves.
  • One pashmina shawl.
  • Costume jewelry.
  • One jacket (wear on the plane).
  • Dress shoes, one pair of flats.
  • Walking shoes with rubber soles.
  • Socks, underwear.
  • Lots of Zip Lock bags.
  • Tiny umbrella.
  • Eyeshades and ear plugs. Earplugs are a must if you’re not accustomed to sirens.
  • Duct tape and clothespins or big safety pin to close the hotel room curtain.

Bon voyage!