One of my major goals for 2018 is to travel more, so I’m starting it off with a bang by taking a two trip to Europe. This will be my first transatlantic adventure, and I will be visiting three countries (Iceland, England, and Germany). Not a bad way to celebrate your 25th birthday, right? But as excited as I am about being there, I’m not so jazzed about the getting there part . Airports, trains, and buses tend to make me a bit anxious—probably an artifact of having grown up in the country where public transportation was just wishful thinking. But, one way I’ve found to minimize traveling stress and be able to enjoy “getting there” is by packing light. Specifically, by limiting myself to one backpack. That way there’s no worrying about lost luggage or suitcases with broken wheels. In my natural state, I’m definitely an over-packer, so it’s taken me a bit of practice to get this strategy down. Packing everything you need for a weekend getaway in a backpack is one thing, but bringing enough clothing and supplies to keep me comfy for two weeks* across three countries in January? Now that took a little more planning. So here’s my suggested packing list and strategy for any other wannabe light packers:
*I pack enough for one week of outfits and ensure I have the opportunity to do laundry while traveling, otherwise two weeks worth of clothes could fit, but I prefer to leave extra space.
One backpack- Now when I say backpack, I don’t mean the huge “backpacking around Europe” packs, I mean a regular, run-of-the-mill, easily carried on a plane, backpack. Look for one that is sturdy, of good quality, and with lots of different pockets and compartments. This will help you keep everything organized.
Smaller bags for internal organizing: I have a TON of bright, colorful bags from Ipsy (a make-up subscription service). I use these for makeup, first aid supplies, power converters/chargers, and small articles of clothing. As a bonus, they can work as small going-out clutches!
Clothing Compartment 1: All of this fit into my first big pocket when carefully rolled.
1 pair of jeans
1 pair of colored pants or khakis
1 other pair of pants or long skirt (I threw in my favorite patterned leggings-fabric pants)
1 pair of warm tights
2 pairs of leggings (to wear under pants for cold places, days where you’ll be outside a lot)
2 dresses (One for going out, another that can double as an every day outfit)
Clothing Compartment 2: All of this fit into my other big pocket when carefully rolled
3 undershells (Layers are key to stay warm, bonus points if any of these shirts are cute enough to be worn on their own on warmer days)
7 pairs of socks
9 pairs of underwear (I like to roll these and place them within a small bag, such as from ipsy, for easy access)
1 swimsuit (if you need it)
Clothing that you wear
Leggings under joggers
Small first aid kit: I make my own in an ipsy bag and throw in a few bandaids, ibruprofen, pepto bismol, and any other traveling necessities)
Makeup- I limit myself to one ipsy bag, which can usually contain between 5-10 products.
Charger/power adapter: I keep these in a bright drawstring bag that is easy to find.
A rolled up bag or purse: That way you don’t have to bring your full backpack everywhere you go.
Front pocket 1:
Left empty for souvenirs
Front pocket 2:
Remaining small pockets/compartments:
Left empty so that bag is squishable/space for souvenirs.
And there you have it! Safe travels 🙂