How to Pack for a European Vacation


Hanging Maxi dresses

I was feeling a little daunted as I prepare for our eighteen day European vacation to Portugal and Spain on the heels of a week in Sacramento. I just hauled out my big suitcase and I’m reviewing several previous posts on Stylemindchic Life for reminder lists of what to pack. In my post on how to pack for a tropical vacation I covered most of what I will need for this 18 day trip to Portugal and Spain. The only absolute must for international travel is that passport so pull it out, check the dates, make a copy and keep it safe.

My vibe for this trip is definitely all about maxi dresses and flats which will make for a comfortable travel experience. A must for an 18 day vacation is to minimize as much as possible. Pack basics that can be worn again and again, laundered (in the sink), and mixed up with scarves, blouses and accessories. Though my maxis are the colorful touch to my wardrobe, I’m also packing lots of black and neutrals- ivories, creams and whites-for mixing it up.  My tip for a well-organized, efficient travel wardrobe is to lay out everything before it goes in the bag. It makes for easy editing and you won’t over pack. My worst mistake has been to keep adding that ‘one more piece’ to a packed bag and ending up hopelessly over loaded.

Fragrance, candles and roses on Stylemindchic life.

Though I’m a fragrance addict, it will be travel candles and small sized fragrances, or sample sizes, for this trip. I love the roller balls at Sephora for an easy way to travel with fragrance. I enjoy seeking out new fragrances during travel. Sensory memories are powerful and remind us of that special place in time. In Barcelona I hope to return to a boutique with a memorable home fragrance I have never forgotten, though it’s been eight years since I was there.

I’m reminded of this post from last summer when our luggage was lost for four days and we ended up in New York City instead of Punta Cana for the first leg of our trip. Be prepared and flexible is my new travel motto. Yes, we can create makeup out of cover stick and a lipstick and a cocktail dress out of a bra and a belt if we must. It’s all part of the adventure.


Sandals and fresh pedi

My new Michael Kors sandals from Zappos are most definitely coming with me.

The cork base and low heel make them super comfortable.

MICHAEL Michael Kors London Thong (Black) Women’s Sandals

I did some pre-planning for my packing on Pinterest:


Follow Heather Lindstrom @ Stylemindchic Life’s board Summer Styling for Portugal and Spain July 2014 on Pinterest.    Tech stuff The more tech savvy we become it’s essential to have lists for updating and upgrading our tech before we leave on vacation. I’ve made room on all my devices for more photos, upgraded my iPhone/iPad to the latest version, made sure the cloud is connected and have selected some new kindle books for the trip (see right sidebar).  When traveling internationally it’s also smart to check out adapters for your electronics before you leave since the wattage and plug configurations vary per country. Sephora has finally arrived in Chico (YAY!) and following an hour of un-rushed play time, I have a couple of new favorites. One thing I always carry in my purse, for unforeseen delays during travel,  Nars-the multiples. It serves as lipstick, blush, bronzer, or shadow as needed. My favorite shades are laguna and bilbao for summertime glow.  


Stylemindchic Life Logo  

Do you have any tips for international travel?

That’s it for me, off to put the final touches on my packing.  

Happy trails for summer fun my friend!  

xx,   Signature Heather Lindstrom Stylemindchic Life   

I’ll be searching for here beauties on my trip.  Shopping in Europe sign  

Heather Lindstrom

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Welcome home, Heather dear! I love this post AND have loved following your trip on Instagram! Thanks for sharing!! xoxo


Ahhhhhh, thanks for following along on our travels Sandy! xx


Comfortable clothes and shoes are a must when traveling!


Heather I am so with you on the maxi dresses and flats for comfortable travel. I think from now on that’s how it’s going to be in the summer. I am always afraid of traveling with perfume as I’ve had so many mishaps with it, and I love the idea of finding something new while traveling for sense memories! My best travel tip is dry shampoo on arrival :) Love finding you via Anita, I’m also part of her lovely party and hope you will stop by.
xo Mary Jo


Heather I am joining Anita’s party and love your travel tips. Like you I lay everything out on my bed, edit and also decide on a color palette!!!
The Arts by Karena


Thanks Karena! I’m looking forward to making my rounds on the travel posts and your blog. Thanks for stopping by!


Dear Heather, it looks like you are all ready! Your dresses are gorgeous! Have a wonderful trip.


Heather Good afternoon!

  Spends a great holiday! and enjoy a lot!

Thanks to Anita today I can enjoy your pictures and this fantastic Link Party!.
I love your pictures, and I’m enjoying your photos and those explendido places thanks to you!

I wish you a great weekend.
Today I am happy to have met you, I hope you visit me

Luisa from Madrid …
personally selected products


I appreciate you stopping by Luisa and look forward to visiting your blog! Cheers!


Dearest Heather, I have you down for the party… this your post? Let me know. I believe you are still on vacation? Anita


Have a fabulous trip!! I know you will!! I pack almost entirely neutrals which is boring but allows me to bring less things. You’ll look bright and cheery, which would be much more fun!! Looking forward to seeing you when you return. xoJennifer


Heather…love the idea of the maxi dresses. Great tips. We are going on a cruise to Greece and Turkey and I will definitely follow your advice about bringing the basics so you can wear them again. Have a safe trip!


Oh have a brilliant trip! We were planning on Portugal last year as I haven’t been back in years. Will be excited to see your photos.



Enjoy your fabulous trip! You packed such a colorful and fun array of clothes. Mine are usually pretty neutral and sometimes boring…but I have never been to Spain and Portugal where I imagine everything is vibrant.


It looks like you have everything covered!!! Have a fabulous trip, Heather…and I can’t wait to hear ALL about it when you return!!! xoxo


Hey darling … wishing you and Scott a most magical adventure! You know I will be traveling vicariously with you via IG … so I hope you post often!

Safe travels my friend!



Wow, am loving your array of floaty feminine frocks for the journey and you tan so beautifully you’re going to look awesome. I always think the shoes are the most important comfort factor but I can never get the look right, those Micheal Kors ones look so elegant. Good news about Spain is you can count on the heat! So exciting!


Have a fabulous trip Heather! I will be heading for Madrid and Paris in October. I’m always interested in packing ideas from well traveled people like you. What kind of carry on bag do you like to take on international flights? Any recommendations would be welcomed.

Bon Voyage!
Karen H.


Fabulous suggestions. I’m off to the south of France and will be borrowing some of these tips. Bon voyage!


Heather dear! OH MY! You mean, you will participate in the link party? SUPER! I will put your name and link on my page, immediately! I didn’t think you would be up to it, but with your travels, you will have lots to share! I can’t wait for you to enjoy yourself abroad! And again, you always seem to be well-equipped and well-heeled to boot! OK, thanks for coming by and off I go to add your gracious name to my list! Anita


My dear Heather, you are well-equipped to travel to my dream destination, in style! Funny, I’m having a European “travel” link party and YOU are actually going! I wish you a safe and SUPER FUN TIME! Looking good, as always!


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