If you're planning a road trip through Austria in summer, you'll have to pack for a wide range of activities. At least, that is, if you plan to combine city tripping with nature as we did.
While you'll feel great in your hiking clothes when you're out in the mountains, you might want to bring something a bit more “general” for the cities or in case you're going out fine dining in the evenings.
Another thing to take into account is the weather. While it was warm and dry on my first summer road trip through Austria in June, it was quite a bit cooler and wetter on my trip through Vorarlberg in July.
Below you can find my packing list for Austria for an eight-day road trip in summer, with options for both warm and dry and wet and cool weather.
What to pack for an active road trip in Austria: my list
As we had both city outings and hikes in nature planned, I packed clothes that could serve both as hiking attire and as casual dress around the cities. The best hiking clothes, like quick-dry trousers that you can turn into shorts, are great in the mountains, but they're not that versatile as regular shorts, for example.
- a rain jacket
- a zippered fleece jacket
- my Quechua warm hoodie with zipper
- 1 dress
- 1 pair of leggings
- casual dress trousers
- 1 short jumpsuit
- 1 skirt
- 2 bras
- 3 sports bras
- 4 shorts – I switched two of those for long trousers for my colder week in Vorarlberg
- 2 t-shirts to sleep in
- 1 Icebreaker lightweight Oasis Henley 200 g base layer, for when we went on our sunrise hike
- 6 tops
- 4 t-shirts
As you can see, I did bring some sporty clothes, but I didn't pack real hiking wear and I don't feel like I really missed it. If I ever go on another trip that is mostly focused on nature and being in the mountains, I do think I'll bring some “convertible trousers” though.
Shoes and socks
If you're wondering what to wear for hiking, you could see I did just fine with “normal” clothes. I do, however, recommend taking a pair of proper hiking boots. Make sure you've broken them in before the trip as to avoid blisters.
In terms of socks, I packed:
- 6 pairs of hiking socks
- 4 pairs of normal socks
- 4 pairs of mini thin socks
Toiletries and things
- Travel size hair brush
- Lush solid shampoo
- Lush solid conditioner
- Aromaco solid deodorant
- Body lotion
- Facial cream
- Makeup remover
- ExtremeMascara from Rimmel
- Clinique's “Stay Beige” mattening powder
- Eye pencil
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Nail file
- Dental floss
- Lip balm
- Pre-sized bandages for sensitive skin
- Compeed against blisters
- Small travel containers that hold all of my liquids
- USB-rechargeable headlamp – for our sunrise hike
- My HP Folio 1040 laptop
- Fuji camera
- Samsung Galaxy S8 phone
- Gear360 camera
- a power bank
- all the cables
- WD Elements external hard drive
- a Skyroam mobile WiFi device
You'll see I took a lot of different bags with me to Austria. This had mostly to do with the fact that I wanted to be able to leave my big camera safely in the car while going on a hike but also being able to take it with me in a proper camera bag when we were visiting other places.
- my >PacSafe CitySafe anti-theft handbag – for the evenings
- Tatonka padded backpack – used as a daypack
- Lowepro Slingshot Edge AW 150 camera bag – a second day pack option with more space saved for my camera gear
- Thule Subterra check-in duffel – to hold all the things
- HP laptop sleeve
- Quick-dry towel
- Insulated outdoor thingy to sit on
- Refillable water bottle
- Quies ear plugs
- Paper tissues
- Eagle Creek Specter Pack-It cubes
- Dynomighty wallet with credit cards, money etc.
- A mountain hut sleeping bag – for our night in a hut./li>
What to take hiking: my tips
I'm no hiking pro by any means, so these tips are for people who are just starting out hiking and are wondering whether they can just pack some basic hiking gear, or if they need to go out and buy the whole shabam.
A few tips:
- Ladies, don't wear a skirt or a dress. Not unless someone's walking behind you. You'll be going up and down a lot.
- Do wear good hiking shoes or boots.
- Use sunscreen a lot. The higher you go hiking, the larger the chances are that you'll get a sunburn.
- Bring water.
- Know your limits, both physically and mentally
- Bring foods. I don't know what the best hiking food is, but unless you're doing a multi-day hike and really need to picknick along the way, some fruits, nuts and even a cookie would work.
- Have fun!
Practical information for travel to Austria
As I spent two days in Vienna before joining the others in Innsbruck to learn to waltz and visit some Vienna sights, I flew from Brussels to Vienna and then I took the train from Vienna to Innsbruck. To go home, we flew from Salzburg directly to Brussels. It's possible to book flights to Innsbruck as well but there are no direct connections from Brussels. You'll have to change plans somewhere.
Before booking, it's best to compare flight prices across different airlines and see which price / time / connection combination works best for you depending on where you're coming from.
Check here for various flight options to Austria.
The car we drove around in was a rental from Sixt. To compare rental car prices, use Rentalcars.com. This site compares the offers of hundreds of companies to give you the best deal.
Lastly, it's aso possible to travel to Austria by train, though it will be much harder to move around the mountains and the valleys than by car. Click here for train timetables and prices in Europe.
Don't forget travel insurance
Plan for the best, prepare for the worst. Travel insurance has you covered in case (part of) your trip gets canceled, you get sick or hurt abroad, and sometimes even when your electronics break or get stolen. I always make sure I'm covered on every trip I go on.
Don't have travel insurance yet? Check out SafetyWing. They offer super flexible plans that you can even sign up for while you're already on your trip. On top of that, they were the first travel insurance to cover COVID, and when I got COVID, they reimbursed all of my expenses without making a fuss. Their customer support team is great and I can personally recommend them.
Pin for later
I was invited on the #Austriantime road trip by the Visit Austria tourism office. As always, I was free to write what I wanted.