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What We Packed for 3 Months Backpacking Europe (Winter/Spring)


We knew we were going to Europe for a minimum of 3 months on a one-way ticket for roughly 8 months prior to departure. This means we have no good excuse for waiting so long to pack our bags. When Creative Live called, we put our trip on hold, went to Seattle, and only had 4 days in-between flights to pack [Warning: Do not try this at home! Side effects may be stress, crying, forgetting things, regret, and complaining].

Since we were traveling during shoulder season, our packing list had to contain a mix of both winter and warmer weather clothes. In addition, we were going to snowy Iceland for 8 days so we had to prepare for that as well. We knew we wanted to travel light via backpacks, however, as creatives, we also had to bring gear for our photos which meant an entire backpack stocked with camera equipment and a plethora of dress options. We also knew we had to bring shoes for both freezing snow and warmer weather.

what we packed

We packed our bags, waited a day, unpacked, and then repacked, taking things out in the process. This was a good way for us to rid ourselves of unnecessary items. It is also a great idea to follow a backpacking checklist to make sure you didn’t miss any essentials!

Our Packing List for Europe in Winter/Spring (Including Iceland in Winter)


packing list

Large backpack:


  • 2 Pairs of skinny jeans
  • 1 Pair of boot cut jean
  • 1 Pair of jean shorts
  • 2 Short dresses
  • 2 Maxi dresses
  • 2 Tank tops
  • 2 “Around the house” shirts
  • 2 Sleep shirts
  • 1 Sleep bottom
  • 2 “Around the house” bottoms
  • 1 Sweater
  • 1 Cardigan
  • 5 Long sleeve shirts
  • 5 Short sleeve shirts
  • 1 Fancy shirt (long sleeve)
  • 1 Pair of sweat pants
  • 1 Pair of fleece lined leggings
  • 12 Pairs of underwear
  • 6 Pairs of socks (2 fluffy, 2 wool, 2 crew cut)
  • 2 Pairs of gloves (one ski one city)
  • 1 Jacket
  • 4 Photoshoot dresses (A necessary evil, although bulky!)

packed photoshoot dress


  • 2 Pairs of ballet flats
  • 1 Pair of Converse
  • 1 Pair of hiking boots
  • 1 Pair of snow/city boots


  • 1 Warm headband
  • 2 Fashion scarves
  • 1 Warm scarf
  • 4 Necklaces
  • 3 Headbands
  • 1 Hair Flower
  • 1 Bracelet
  • 1 Crochet cross-body purse
  • 1 Larger cross-body purse


  • Foundation
  • Blush
  • Powder
  • Blush brush
  • Lipstick
  • Lip gloss
  • 2 Chapsticks
  • Toothbrush/charger
  • Toothpaste
  • Diva Cup
  • Retainers
  • Floss
  • Mascara

what VJ packed

Smaller backpack:

  • 20lbs of food
  • 11” HP laptop/charger
  • 14” Lenovo laptop/charger
  • Portable iPhone charger
  • 2 iPhone chargers
  • Pillow
  • Sleep mask
  • Ear plugs
  • International outlet converter
  • Mini Bluetooth speaker


what TJ packed

Large backpack:


  • 5 Pairs of jeans
  • 1 Hoodie
  • 3 Sleep shirts
  • 2 Pairs of sweat pants
  • 4 T-shirts
  • 2 Pairs of fleece lined leggings
  • 5 Sweaters
  • 1 Jacket
  • 3 Thermal long sleeve tops
  • 3 button down tops
  • 5 Pairs of socks (wool)
  • 10 Pairs of underwear
  • 3 Pairs of gloves (snow and city)
  • 4 Photoshoot dresses




  • 1 Warm headband
  • 1 Hat


  • Cologne
  • Deoderant
  • Toothpaste
  • Mouth wash
  • 2 Curling brushes
  • 1 Beard brush
  • Trimming set
  • Pocket knife

TJ Packed this

Second backpack:

  • Sony A99 Camera
  • 50 mm lens
  • 70-200 mm lens
  • 85 mm lens
  • 35 mm lens
  • 28-85 mm
  • 2 Chargers
  • 2 Batteries
  • Dust blower
  • 2 SD cards
  • 2 External hard drives
  • International power strip
  • Phone charger
  • 2 reusable water bottles w/filter replacements


Plain and simple, we wish we brought more long sleeve shirts. We know we will be happy to have short sleeve tops/dresses when it gets warmer, but 5 long sleeve shirts, 3 of which are boring thermals, just didn’t cut it. Moral of the story, if you are going somewhere cold, bring lots of long sleeve tops! The food gets tiring to lug around, but it has saved us tons of money and saving money is cool. Other than that, we are pretty pleased with everything we packed!

Did we miss anything? Think we packed too much? What do you generally take when you travel for an extended time? 

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4 thoughts on “What We Packed for 3 Months Backpacking Europe (Winter/Spring)

  1. Agostina


    My friends and I are planning to travel for the first time to europe for 3 months in spring.

    Do you have any tips for low cost flights? I heard they charg you for everything! so I’m a little bit worry in what to pack. Did you take a purse with you? If I only take a carry on, will be any room for souvenirs? haha

    Hope you can read the message!


    1. Follow Me Away Post author

      Hello! Yes, low cost carriers do charge based on weight and size. Which ones are you looking at? You can always bring a carry on and fold a bag inside of it that you can fill up with souvenirs to bring on the way back. That way, even if you have to pay a little extra, it will only be for one way and not round trip. We did take a purse and wore our heavy jacket and simply put the purse under the jacket so the agents didn’t see it when boarding and then kept it on our lap during the flight.

  2. Caren

    This is great! I am going to be gearing up ( pun intended) for Europe for Spring, Summer and some Fall. I’m taking a 75 liter bag + 1 personal carry on backpack with my laptop and camera gear. This is my first trip that’s lasted more than 3 weeks, so curious to see how this all pans out. We have some similar items minus the food and photoshoot dresses! Though I do love that concept.

  3. Chris

    Thanks for posting this article. Just curious at how many litres each bag was. Do you feel like you should’ve packed less? Or was what you took was manageble enough?
    Thanks 🙂

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