Design Fixation: Essential European Travel Shopping Guide


Essential European Travel Shopping Guide

Essential European Travel Shopping Guide /// By Faith Towers Provencher of Design Fixation

Before I went to France this past summer for my honeymoon, I did a lot of research on what to bring. I asked friends, I went online, and there was a lot of trial and error involved (thank goodness for Amazon returns). But once we finally embarked on our journey I was happy I did... because I felt pretty prepared! And I thought I'd save you the trouble of doing all that research and share the items that I think are essential for a two week trip to France. Here goes....

1. Kaukko Backpack - Use a small backpack as your carry-on. It's much easier to manage than a shoulder bag since it's centered on your back (less chance of whacking fellow fliers on the face while walking down the aisle). It will also do double duty as a handy bag for day trips - so I made sure to choose one that my husband wouldn't be embarrassed to carry. Get it here. $41  

2. Sifini Crossbody Bag - This was the only handbag I brought with me, and it was perfect. The crossbody strap is detachable and it has both a top zipper and an interior zippered wallet pocket to deter pickpockets. It will fit all the essentials, plus a water bottle a small umbrella. And maybe even a light long sleeve layer! Buy it here. $22

3. The Happy Planner Snap-In Cover - It wouldn't be Design Fixation if I didn't mention something creative. I bought this snap-in cover and then filled the interior with a mix of lined, blank and grid paper. And then I wrote/sketched in it everyday (which I would highly recommend... it's really fun to thumb through once you're home). Buy everything you need here. $20+

4. Plug Adaptor - These are definitely essential because outlets are different depending on the country you're traveling to. These are great because each one has two inputs. Get a three-pack here. $12

5. Large Lightweight Scarf - You'll definitely want one of these. It can act as a light throw blanket on the plane, a cover-up on the beach, a wrap if you get chilly at night, or simply a pop of color for a neutral outfit. Buy it here. $7

6. TravelPro Skymax Spinner Suitcase - This suitcase rolls like a dream, especially after using an old non-spinner for many years. This 25" size fit all of my stuff for a two week trip plus some of Mike's (he brought a smaller bag). Buy it here. $160

7. Portable Phone Charger Power Bank - This one is crucial. Mike and I both used ours a ton since we were constantly taking pictures and getting directions on our phones. Grab this highly-rated one here. $21

8. Noise-Isolating Earphones - I ordered/tried/returned a handful of different earbuds, and these (the less expensive ones!) were the winners. They have awesome sound, especially for the price, and I find them to be super comfortable. Get 'em here. $15

9. Hanging Toiletry Bag - Until recently, I've packed my makeup and toiletries in multiple pouches and bags. But it began to seem like a very disorganized system, so I bought this hanging toiletry bag with tons of pockets and it fit the bill perfectly. Buy it here. $28

10. Wine Wings - Thanks to my friend Megan for tipping me off on this one. If you're planning to buy a couple of bottles of wine, you'll want to buy these airtight padded wine bottle sleeves. The bubble-wrap style exterior will protect the bottles from breaking, and in the unlikely event that they do break, the wine should stay contained within the bags (i.e. not all over the clothes in your checked baggage). Get a 4-pack here. $20

Hope you guys found this helpful! To check out some photos from our trip, scroll through my favorite French doors or the design trends I spotted in Paris and beyond. 


  1. i was thinking about going on the trip this weekend but had no idea what to pack and what to not. thank you so much for posting with this


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