You know what I hate about a lot of these travel blogs? They appeal to people that think flats & tanks tops are appropriate “dressy” clothes for going out. The 2-shoe rule for carry-on bags I see regurgitated over and over drives me nuts. Any trip, even with just one carry-on, I always have (1) pair of running shoes, (2) pair of loafers and (3) a pair of high heels.
This trip was 8 days of exploring & 2 days of transit, broken down into:
Days 1 & 2: En route — extended layover in the UK
Day 3: Amsterdam pt 1
Day 4: Prague
Days 5 – 6: Paris
Days 7-10: Amsterdam pt 2: tulip festival & more!
My packing List:
Quick Summary: 2 pants, 1 skirt, 1 dress, 7 tops AND… OMG, 3 pairs of shoes! Flats, Sneakers & Heels.
*If you’re not fancy, the number of tops can be cut down to 4. Two worn on plane, Two packed.
Front pocket: liquids bag, foldable tote bag, mini flat iron, travel antibacterial wipes
2nd pocket: 2 pairs of men’s socks, water bag/ plastic bag flask
3rd pocket: 1 pair of chinos (Rolled & Banded with rubber bands), 1 thin skirt (R&B), 1 LittleBlackDress (R&B), tiny travel towel
Main compartment: heels & flats
Laptop space in main compartment: compression bag of 3 lgslv shirts, 1 turtleneck & 2 sweaters [each day 1 sweater/turtleneck with lgslv shirt underneath]
Update: Wanted more flexibility in storage arrangement, so i R&Bd the tops & ditched the compression bag [both methods work equally]
On top of shoes & space saver bag: Lingerie Bag
Mini Mesh zip pocket: tampons, bar soap, face scrub brush, shower cap
2 small side pockets: 1 specialty shirt, 1 gator tank for running
—2 large binder clips, clipped anywhere — can be used to hang scarf as privacy in hostel & hold up cords
*All items packed in my Tote can fit in a much smaller bag for extra-light travel. Also, I’m bringing a large plastic Target bag to wrap my purse in when I leave them w/hostel front desk for the day & will tie plastic bag to my backpack ( I carry a small clutch & foldable grocery bag through the day) — my purse is Coach so I don’t want to attract any potential thieves.
- 1 light running jacket (R&B)
- ziploc sandwich bag: eyebrow kit, liquid eyeliner, blending sponge, eyeshadow mini palette & brushes, powder foundation & brush
- ziploc bag: mints, antacid, aspirin, gum, bobby pins, emery board
- passport, USB (with backup info), 1 packet of premixed instant coffee
- ziploc bag: necklaces/extra watch
- ziploc bag: cords & batteries
- snacks & extra ziploc bags
- Champagne large & lightweight scarf(wide & long enough to be wrapped around your body like a towel / worn as a skirt)
- **a MacBook Air can fit in purse but was not brought on this trip
-smartphone tripod (carry bag hooked onto outside of purse or placed inside)
Wear On Plane:
- 1 pair of Spanx high waist shorts (worn underneath)
- 1 black pullover sweater
- 1 short, light leather jacket (Europe is freezing–I’m from Florida)
- 1 (or 2) long/short-sleeved cotton shirt(s) underneath
- 1 pair of chinos
- Turquoise large & lightweight scarf
Liquids bag (front pocket of backpack) – basically all hair products #naturalhairproblems:
- .3 ml bottle of hair serum (cut & taped label from original bottle)
- 3fl oz bottle of conditioner
- .3 ml bottle of lotion (I refilled one from a hotel with cocoa butter)
- travel-sized hair spray
- mini squeeze bottle of hair oil / (can be used for sustain oil or dry shimmer body oil)
- Heat Protectant (for blowdrying/flat ironing)
- 25ml spray bottle for liquid foundation (yes, it works like a pump bottle) [pink] & mouthwash [green]
- .3 ml plastic balm jar/container for solid, whipped shea butter [to carry around in my day clutch as a lotion substitute]
- .3ml plastic balm jar of toothpaste
- Mini Shampoo
- “poo” cover-up spray
- 25ml spray bottle for liquid makeup primer
- travel hand sanitizer spray stick
- travel sized hair gel OR other hair styling product of choice
*Used a $20 DYMO label maker to keep everything labeled
*The Dollar Tree & The Container Store are some of the best places for bottles – TCS is really good for special sizes that you don’t want to buy in bulk online
Underwear, 2 camisoles (R&B), 1 pair of compression pants (R&B), leggings (for bed) & pantyhose
Compression bag: 3 long slv (black, gray & olive), 2 short SLV/tank (Gator shirt, Maroon sleeveless faux mock neck)
- Stick to neutral colors & fabrics —> simple & chic
- Hand wash some light items; do laundry 1x — I’ll do mine Paris since it’s the midpoint
- Items in packing bag were laid flat & folded once.
- Items in other pockets/nooks/crannies, rolled & wrapped with a rubber band (R&B).
- I tried a balm jar before w/liquid foundation but too much foundation ran out and made the jar hard to open, so now I only use spray bottles.
- In hostels, I dry with mini-towel, but wrap scarf around body if not able to dress immediately. Scarf is also used as a coverup for religious sites & the beach.
- For colder climates, if a coat is necessary, wear it on the plane. If not, just layer multiple shirts & sweaters — saves space by avoiding bulky items.
Will update with photos of my outfits after the trip! Happy packing. 🙂
2 thoughts on “Does packing light have to = looking basic? 10 days in Europe: a backpack & tote bag”
So many thanks for sharing your blog and I will be recommending your page to my friends for some tips.
Thank you! Much appreciated! I’ll be more active in the 2020 year now that I’m finishing my graduate program. ❤