I've mentioned a time or two that I packed for my 2 month Euro-trip in one carry-on, and I have received quite a few questions about what I packed and how I managed to fit it all in. I must admit that there was a lot of practice, and quite a few times that I sat on my bag to make it zip (...minor details!). Also, I took a backpack as my carry-on, which allowed me to pack my
"must have" items without adding a piece of luggage. First, I'll outline my strategy, and then I'll share my packing list.
I learned from the travel guru herself, KJ (check out her blog for her tips). KJ is one of my closest friends and she constantly travels for work. I used a lot of her tips, mixed with a ton of other travel vlogger ideas. One rule is consistently clear: luggage is key. I chose a hard shell case so that I cannot over-stuff, and cause my bag to exceed carry-on sizes (although, a hard lesson-learned is that European airlines have much smaller limitations on baggage). Because of this, I chose to purchase the Delsey Helium Aero in Cobalt Blue. The hard shell, 3 compartments that seal off from each other, and the multi-direction spinner trolley made this my perfect luggage pick!
Next, I started finding the best ideas for how to create space and use the minimum amount that I had. I chose the Shacke Pack set because it would allow me to divide my luggage up in a way that would keep my bag organized and cram in a lot.
Lastly, I purchased some space bags for my larger (and flat) items. Since I am traveling at a time of year that ranges from summer to winter temperatures, I knew that I would need a way to make my coat shrink down when I was not wearing it. If you're interested, I chose these, but definitely found that I did not need all of them!
Since I wanted to have multiple options of things to wear, I knew that I would need to pick a color theme. True to my normal style, I chose tans, blacks, creams, and olive. I thought that a neutral palette would easily transition into most of the cities that I would be visiting. All of my items can be worn together or separate and with one color scheme, it has been incredibly easy to mix and match all items to create new combinations. There is one rule that I have found to be the most accurate piece of advice yet: if you don't wear it at home, you won't want to wear in on the road.
So without further ado, here is the packing list broken down by category.
- 1 tan leather jacket
- 2 shift cotton dresses (one in black, and one in olive)
- 1 black nice tank top
- 1 pair of boot leg jeans (to go with sandals, wedges, or boots)
- 1 pair of jeggings
- 1 pair of patterned shorts
- 1 maxi dress
- 1 pair of chinos in olive
- 1 romper
- 1 pair of black exercise leggings (that can double as regular leggings)
- 1 pair of running shorts
- 2 t-shirts that can be worn for casual wear or sleep (black and pink)
- 1 black long-sleeved shirt
- 1 camel sweater/poncho (similar here)
- 1 khaki trench coat
- 1 pair of pajama pants
- 1 sweatshirt
- 2 bras (nude & black), 1 sports bra, 2 lace bralettes, & 14 pairs of underwear
- 6 pairs of socks (combo of tall and no-show)
- 1 pair of black tights
- Slip-on sneakers
- Leather boots
- Walking sandals
- Gold sandals purchased from a boutique in Rome
- Nike sneakers
- Nude wedges
- Belkin power pack
- Nikon D3300 & charger
- 1 European adaptor & 1 British adaptor
- Selfie stick
- Travel tripod
- iPhone 6s
- 1 toiletry bag
- Travel shampoo/conditioner
- Travel hairspray
- Dry shampoo
- Travel toothbrush
- Travel perfume
As for how to pack, I used my large Shacke Pack cube and packed all my clothing in one side of the suitcase. I used the other side to pack my shoes (I always wear my boots on flights), and stuffed smaller items in between and inside the shoes. So that I was always within possession of my most precious items, I packed my technology, my mini jewelry bag (not mentioned in an above category), toiletries and one change of clothing within my backpack (this way, if they make me check my carry-on, I can still get by in the event of lost luggage).
If you are getting ready for a long trip, I wish you the best of luck in packing efficiently! I am proud to say that I have only picked up a couple clothing items (those that you may have seen in this post) and they are fitting perfectly among my other clothes so far! For my skirt seen in this post, click here!
Do you have tips or tricks that I missed? Please share!