European Summer Backpacking Tips You Need To Know

Ah, backpacking Europe in the summertime is a wonderful past time for college and university students around the world. From the vibrant streets of coastal cities like Nice in France or Split in Croatia, to the cities that bask in summer’s warmth like Paris and Amsterdam – Europe in summer is a sight to behold.


Part of the fun is that Europeans themselves can’t resist being in a fantastic mood come summertime, if it’s 25 degrees and blue skies you’ll find them swarming about in short shorts and faces that are positively beaming, especially in countries such as The Netherlands and Germany where the seasons are very set in their ways. Here’s five tips to get the most out of your next June, July or August European summer backpacking adventure.

Penny Pinching Can Be Fun

I know, I know, when is penny pinching ever fun? Well, as most of my readers are interested in cost effective travel – and the best bit is that it CAN be fun. Hostels are fun. Camping can be awesome – especially in the, you guessed it, SUMMERTIME!

All throughout Europe from Spain to Germany to Croatia there are fabulous campsites where you can show up and pitch your tent. It will still cost you a bit, but not much and definitely cheaper than a hotel. You’ll meet other travellers and the campsites are often walking distance from public transport or other amenities so you can get around.

And hostels are ALWAYS social if you want them to be, a great way to meet new friends and other backpackers without breaking the bank.

It’s Warm… Pack Less

Seems simple enough. It’s harder than it looks though, trust me. Remember it’s going to be SUMMER. Bring one jumper and one pair of jeans, max. You’ll need a pair of board shorts (swim shorts) and regular shorts, and a few tees. The lighter you pack for summer the better. What’s the worse that can happen? You have to buy another pair of shorts or a shirt? Well that’s not so bad at all. Pack the bare minimum and you back will thank you as you’re migrating cities in the warmth of summer.

Another thing to note is that you don’t need a HUGE

Lookout For Festivals & Cultural Events

When the good weather starts to roll around, the festivals come alive. All throughout Europe there are festivals so do a bit of Googlin’ and see what’s going to be on near your adventuring trail. They’ll be outside, they’ll be summer orientated and they’ll be fun.

Accessing Money: Think About It

How you access your money back home can be a big deal. No-one likes to get hammered with lots of fees (well I know I don’t). There are a multitude of credit card companies such as American Express, Visa, Mastercard and on it goes… they are accepted everywhere in Europe so are a good thing to have on you. Look out for ones with low interest and low foreign currency conversion fees. There are also those that “travel hack” (this is most common in the USA) and take advantage of the rewards points offered by these cards. Look into it.

Remember if you lose the card; call your bank immediately. You don’t want to be responsible for charges you didn’t make simply because you were too lazy to find a phone.

Three Items To Bring

Let’s make this simple (oh, and I don’t need to tell you to remember your passport do I?).

Definitely bring along flip-flops or thongs or sandals or whatever you call them in your country. They are good for the beach, hostel/camping showers, walking around short distances.

You’ll need a towel of some kind if you’re hitting the coasts. Many people like to buy the microfibre towels that dry quickly, they are nice but things like sticks and sand often stick to them so that can be annoying. You can also get a “Turkish” style towel, something that is incredibly light and might not feel amazing when you dry yourself, but your backpack appreciates it.

Sunscreen will be needed, especially if you’re around Portugal or Spain. You can buy it over there of course – unless you’re particularly white and affected by the sun, then bring over some 50-60+ SPF with you as this level of sun protection can be hard to find in Europe (they like to tan).

2 Responses to “European Summer Backpacking Tips You Need To Know”

  1. Clay says:

    Great tips man! My first big trip while in university is going to be backpacking Eastern Europe for a month next May. Even though it’s so far away I can’t get it out of my mind!

  2. Erika says:

    Hey Tom, what your doing is so cool! I was always a bit skeptical about going to Europe right in the middle of summer because it’s so busy, but it actually sounds like a great idea. Nice weather, festivals and less packing which means a lighter backpack; it all sounds good to me! Thanks for letting me in on some tips, I’m going to Europe next August and everything you have shared on your website is so helpful, especially with convincing the rents that there is such a thing as cheap(er) traveling, thanks again!

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