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Tips for Packing Light

I’ve just returned from a two and a half week Euro trip to three countries, where the only suitcase that made sense for such an on-the-go adventure was a roller backpack.  Who knew these existed?  My little red pack rode/wheeled on planes, trains, buses, metros, boats…all with ease.  Here are my top suggestions for pulling off a fast paced summer/early-autumn trip (not for the lay-on-the-beach-all-day types) without all of the extra baggage:

  • Pack in one roller backpack (this one is from Macys) and take one regular sized or mini pack (love my yellow Fjallraven Kanken—available in regular size and mini, and so many colors)
  • Choose a comfortable but stylish sneaker that you can wear over and over and feel cute enough in them to pair with a skirt.  I went with a New Balance retro style.  I only packed two other pairs of shoes, flip flops (for the beach part of the trip) and an embellished pair of flats (can’t be climbing cathedral steps or walkin’ across cobblestone in heels).  I accidentally bought a red pair of heels at the very end of the trip, but I didn’t NEED them (ha!), and I had to then carry them in a plastic bag or jam them into my daypack.
  • Embrace athleisure. This trend in wearing workout type clothes for everyday/night activities is a wonderful thing!  I packed two pairs of leggings to dress up or down—wear with flats or sneaks.
  • Tank dresses and tennis skirts are so packable and easy to wear.  If you aren’t comfortable with tight dresses, tie a long sleeved shirt or your sweater around your waist for more coverage.  I like to wear spandex shorts under my tennis skirts.
  • Take a lightweight rain jacket that you find attractive enough to wear on cool evenings.   
  • Don’t forget an external battery and cable to keep your phone charged all day (and the proper converters for the countries you are visiting)—I’m a huge fan of Anker PowerCore 10000 external battery (found on Amazon)
  • Decide on one or two sweaters that go with everything (try using one as a scarf)
  • Limit yourself to ONE of the items that you really only need one of… swimsuit, sunglasses, pjs.
  • Pick up tiny containers to transfer your favorite products into (face creams, face wash, shampoo, conditioner), and go with a travel brush, toothbrush and paste.
  • Pack tops that you love so much you don’t mind repeating.
  • If you need to pack a hair curler, go with the travel size—they look too small to be effective, but actually work well!  (Conair was my choice)
  • Take a small purse that doesn’t take up much room, to use in the evenings

Other tips for the journey:

  • Take a water bottle that fits in your daypack (it can be hard to find water abroad, and if you’re hiking up to castles, biking in wine country, or exploring towns all day, it’s essential.)
  • Go by your bank prior to the trip to exchange dollars for Euros or whichever currency you will be using (and don’t forget to let them know the dates you will be using a credit card abroad).  You can always go by banks along the way, but it’s nice to start off prepared.
  • Only take a handful of underwear and socks, and be prepared to hand-wash these along the journey.

Pack large ziplock bags or zip packing cubes to organize clothing within your pack…undies, tank tops, leggings.

 

If you want to read up on my trip, I will be posting segments on BlazersandBubbly.com.  The three parts of the trip will be covered:  Wine biking the Mosel Valley, Germany; Exploring Lake Como and Milan, Italy; Tanning & bread-and-cheesing in the French Riviera.  Hope these tips  are helpful!

Julie Holland

Julie Holland

Fashion Blogger

Julie Holland received her Bachelor of Fine Arts at Virginia Commonwealth University, with a major in Fashion Design. she maintains a fashion and lifestyle blog where she shares style tips, recipes and local fun/travel experiences, and also offers an online boutique of interesting consignment finds she comes across.