Rick Steves’ Packing list

The source for this list is Rick’s Europe Through the Back Door book.  If you are a beginning traveler, (and even if you are not) BOLD I highly recommend this book!! All kinds of basic information and “everything you need to know” about traveling light, staying safe and healthy, avoiding rip-offs, as well as a section on each part of Europe, and even sample routes to choose.

The book is available at ricksteves.com, which also includes information about Rick’s small-group tours, a community section, traveler’s help line, “grafitti wall” and Rick’s fascinating personal travel blog.

Below are two versions of his travel list. The first includes more details about each item.  The second is for you to use as a check-it-off after you’ve become more of an old hand at packing light; it includes no details and is easier to use on a smartphone or other small electronic gadget.

Before you check out the two versions of the list, here are a few general notes on Rick’s packing method:

Rick uses travel clothes which can be hand washed and will dry easily; he prefers a cotton/polyester blend. He packs an inflatable hanger or two because it causes the front and back of a garment to be separated, for faster drying.

He fits all of this into a European-plane-sized carry-on and an under-seat bag (except for the items which are worn on the plane). He recommends  always going carry-on on to start out, but to pack a light-weight fabric, checkable bag so that one can bring purchases home. (Or else put the purchases, which may be more fragile, in your carry-on and your clothes in the extra bag. (He sells a great “extra bag” on his website).

Rick recommends to always bring two cards, such as a debit card and and credit card.  If one card gets stolen or compromised, you still have the other. At all times one of the two cards should be under your clothes in your money belt, and usually both of them.

Remember that all liquids must be in small plastic bag in outside pocket of carry-on, for getting through Security.

Rick Steves’ Pack List (detailed version)

__5 shirts (cotton/polyester blend for easy drying)
__1 sweater or lightweight fleece (dark colors don’t show stains)
__2 pairs pants (one lightweight cotton and another super-lightweight for hot muggy days which
include visits to churches or other places where shorts are not appropriate)
__1 pair shorts with pockets (can double as swimsuit for men)
__swimsuit (for women)
__5 pairs underwear and socks (lighter dries quicker)
__1 pair shoes (well-used, light and cool pair with soles that have good traction)
(heavier, water-resistent shoes for winter)
__1 1 rainproof jacket (light and water-resistent windbreaker with a hood)
__man’s tie or woman’s scarf, for instant “dressy”
__money belt to be worn under one’s clothes, ricksteves.com sells a good one (as Rick writes, this is
“essential for the peace of mind it brings; you could lose everything except your money belt, and the
trip could still go on”
__money, your mix of:
__debit card
__credit card
__hard cash
__personal checks (optional)
__documents plus photo-copies of same (you can get replacements more quickly if the originals are
lost) hotel reservation confirmations, etc.
__passport
__print out of airline e-ticket
__driver’s license
__(student ID and hostel card)
__railpass/car rental voucher
__travel insurance documents
__daypack (ricksteves.com sells a good one) he does not recommend fanny-packs be used in place
of under-clothes money belts, the fanny packs are “notorious thief-magnets”
__sealable plastic baggies
__camera and related gear (digital)
__empty water bottle (buy in Europe and re-fill at hotel or water-fountains)
__wristwatch and alarm clock (at cheap hotels, wake-up calls are unreliable)
__earplugs
__first-aid kit (headache, bandages (neosporin), moleskin, motion sickness, something for diarrhea)
__medications (in original containers, prescription readable)
__extra glasses/contacts (he takes only one pair of glasses, but takes a copy of his vison prescription)
__sunscreen and sunglasses
__toiletries kit (Rick recommends one that you can hang up, as counter-space is meager in some
hotels
__soap/shampoo (cheap hotels do not always provide it)
__laundry soap
__clothesline
__small towel (the cheaper hotels and hostels do not always provide it)
__sewing kit (including a few safety pins and extra buttons)
__travel information (guidebooks, maps, phrasebooks–Rick recommends tearing out the relevant
sections of guidebooks instead of taking the entire book)
__address list and emergency phone numbers (set up group e-mail list on your lap-top before you go
if you want to send “travel-updates”)
__postcards and photos from home (great conversation-starter for chatting with locals or other
travelers)
__notepad and pen
__journal
OPTIONAL BRING-ALONGS
__picnic supplies
__packing cubes (see-through, zip-up mesh containers keep clothes tightly packed & organized
__clothes compressor bag (allows you to pack bulky clothes in less space_
__shirt-folding board (light-weight , to fold and carry shirts with minimal wrinkling)
__small packets of toilet-tissue
__nightgown or nightshirt
__light warm-up suit
__sandals or flip-flops
__slippers (especially for winter trips)
__inflatable pillow
__pillowcase
__skirts (easier for women when faced with a squat toilet)
__weather-specific variations such as silk long-johns, gloves, hat
__feminine hygeine products
__tech stuff (laptop, mobile phone, hand-held GPS device, smartphone, flash drive
__chargers, adapters and converters

Rick Steve’s Pack List (Essentials Version)

__5 shirts
__1 sweater or lightweight fleece
__2 pairs pants
__1 pair shorts
__1 swimsuit
__5 pairs underwear and socks
__1 pair shoes
__1 rainproof jacket
__tie or scarf
__money-belt
__cash and ATM cards
__documents and photo copies
__passport
__printout of airline e-ticket
__driver’s license
__(student ID and hostel card)
__Railpass/car rental voucher
__Insurance details
__daypack
__sealable plastic baggies
__camera and related gear
__empty water bottle
__Wristwatch and alarm clock
__earplugs
__first-aid kit
__medicine
__extra glasses/contacts, prescriptions
__sunscreen and sunglasses
__toiletries kit
__soap
__laundry soap/shampoo
__clothesline
__small towel
__guidebooks, maps
__address list
__post-cards and photos from home
__notepad and pen
__journal