The 'unprecious dress' and the 333 method: How to pack for your European summer.

If you've locked in your annual leave and you're currently staring down the barrel of heading to Europe for Northern Hemisphere summer, we are seething with jealousy feeling really happy for you. No, really!

But as your departure date draws nearer, we bet there's one thing that's been bugging you: what should you pack for Euro summer?

Whether you're a throw-everything-in-the-night-before kinda gal or a meticulously planned spreadsheet creator, with a few hacks, you can make this the trip you actually take exactly what you need and leave behind the 82 dresses *might* wear but almost certainly won't.

We know, we know — your travel alter ego really wants to wear those platform wedges and take seven pairs of jeans, but trust us when we say: it ain't happening. Here are our top 11 tips for what you should actually pack for Euro summer this year.

1. Use the 333 method.

Our little minds were blown and our wardrobes were transformed when TikTok influencer Rachel Spencer introduced the masses to her '333' capsule method. The idea is that you build out your capsule wardrobe with nine pieces — three bottoms, three tops and three pairs of shoes. 

The trick? All nine of these pieces have to work with each other to give you a wide variety of different outfit options.

@rachspeed Replying to @Outfit Repeater Shop for all the aspiring outfit repeaters! This is how i pick the 9 items for my 333 outfit challenge! Also skirts can always double as tops ❤️‍🔥❤️‍🔥 #333outfitchallenge #wardrobeessentials #outfitideas ♬ original sound - Rachel Spencer

This method is top-tier for your Euro summer suitcase, and is a great way to cut down on shoving in unnecessary outfits. Include lightweight pieces in neutral shades and comfortable options and board your plane knowing that, whatever you reach for in your suitcase, it will be a winning look.

Tbh, this summer vacay TikTok she created is all the Euro packing inspo we need. 

@rachspeed the secret is a scarf as a ✨top✨i can prob carry my vacay items all in a tote!! #333outfitchallenge #packwithme #vacationoutfits #capsulewardrobe #outfitinspo ♬ Murder On The Dancefloor - Sophie Ellis-Bextor

2. Choose double duty activewear.

Founders of Nimble activewear Vera Yan and Katia Santilli say that packing items for max versatility is the key to your Euro summer wardrobe — and yes, that extends to active wear. Leave your trusty old leggings at home and instead pack something a bit more multi-functional.

Nimble Rec shorts and On The Move shirt. Image: Supplied/Nimble.

"Pack items that you can wear exploring the town, on your morning hike or run, as well as casually," the Nimble team told Mamamia. "Our Rec Shorts do all this but you can also wear them going to the beach — these are super quick drying so you can layer on top of bathers too."

3. Pack your 'unprecious dress'.

If you've never heard of an 'unprecious dress', us neither — until TikTok travel influencer Jess Louise Ellis enlightened us and made packing make so much sense.

Everyone has an unprecious dress. 

"This is like an old favourite that you can throw on over anything, whether it's like a sweaty transit situation or a casual dinner," says Jess. "It's not fussy and it's not expensive."

Are you already picturing yours? We thought so.

Image: TikTok/@jesslouiseellis.

The 'unprecious dress' is a staple of any suitcase — it's durable, lightweight, no fuss and a well-worn fave that fits just right. The 'unprecious dress' will be your go-to on long, hot travel days but it will also be the item of clothing you reach for when you want to head out for an alfresco dinner. 

Throw it over your swimmers and head to the beach, pair it with white sneakers for exploring the old town, add some jewellery and a sandal for dinner... the unprecious dress will have your back in any travel situation.

4. Take bike shorts (they will save you).

TikTokker @emilylayne's top tip is one we can definitely get behind: bike shorts. Sure, they roll up nice and small, and don't crease, making them a suitcase winner. And yeah, they look cute with an oversized tee and sneakers or a button-down shirt and slides (day to night, folks). 

But you know what they're REALLY good for? 

Saving you from chafe. Which, BTW, is almost guaranteed, when you pair summer temps in Europe with all the walking while you explore.

Throw your bike shorts on under a cute summer dress or skirt and wander the days away, without your inner thighs catching fire...

5. Make washing easy.

Lugging around six weeks' worth of outfits is... a lot. Worse? Lugging around six weeks' worth of DIRTY clothes by the end of your trip. Hard pass. If you really want to master the art of packing for Euro summer, sorry, but that's going to include not taking a different outfit for every day you're there, and instead, spending a little time doing some washing in hotel/Airbnb sinks (or... coughing up for the laundry service, you do you). 

But trust us when we say you don't want to take (heavy, spillable, absolutely unnecessary) washing liquid with you.

The solution? Laundry washing sheets. They're lightweight, small, and will see that your clothes stay fresh as a daisy no matter how long you're travelling. No slippery bars of soap or bottles of detergent required.

@isofbelle #greenscreen Replying to @traveltokkers Knowing how much clothes to pack, what to pack, and even how to begin when it comes to doing laundry while traveling can be very confusing so I hope this helps it took me a while to be able to loan us I actually found out about this brand if she detergent because I was trying to be eco-friendly and then it ended up coming in so much handy and is something I will live by #travellaundry #travelhygienist #travelclothes #whattobringtravelling #backpackingessentials ♬ original sound - Isabelle L ✈️🌈

6. Charge smarter.

Okay, this isn't clothing related, but it IS a handy tip. Instead of trying to remember to pack every single charging cable you need for your phone/smartwatch/ear pods/tablet/laptop/portable humidifier (?), and inevitably forgetting at least one of them, pick up a lightweight mini charging station before you head abroad, and pop it in your carry-on.

This will save you during any long stopovers, and make charging generally easier while you're on the go. No unpacking your entire bag just to get at that one cable that you stuffed at the bottom when you've done done an eight-hour leg to Singapore and have 10 hours to kill before another 15 or so to [insert European city here]. Gah.

Image: TikTok/@sydneymeeuwsen

And of course, we all know that when heading to Europe we need to pack EU adapters, but a USB adapter can also be a super-handy little gadget to take along. While most of our current technology uses USB-C charging inputs, many aircraft, airports and hotels around the world still only have USB ports.

What's your best travel tip? Share with us in the comments below!

Feature Image: TikTok/jesslouiseellis; rachspeed.

We want to hear from you! Help us shape what you read, watch & listen to on Mamamia. Share your thoughts in the below survey. PLUS as a token of our appreciation…you’ll go in the running to win a $100 gift voucher!