If you’ve spent any time on social media this summer, you’ve probably noticed two things: Everyone is traveling, and the airports are a mess. From lost luggage to canceled flights to hours in security lines, summer travel is chaotic right now, to say the least. I was recently one of those people braving the chaos to visit Portugal, and thankfully, I had a smooth travel experience. While I can’t help with canceled flights or security lines, I can offer packing tips for anyone still planning to get away this summer. I highly recommend purchasing an AirTag to pop into your luggage if you plan on checking it—that way, you can track its location on the off chance it doesn’t make it to your final destination with you.
If you’re able to bring just a carry-on, that’s even better, and streamlining your packing list is the best way to do so. I spent two weeks in Europe and found myself wearing the same items over and over again, so those are the ones I would pack first if I was going back right now. Each piece was comfortable, versatile, and polished, which is why I kept wearing them despite having other options in my suitcase. From oversize button-downs to slide sandals to linen pants, these are the eight items well worth the suitcase space. Consider this my guide on what to pack for Europe in the summer if you’re trying to optimize your suitcase space.