I really can’t believe that we leave for Europe today, the date arrived so quickly! By the time this is posted hubby and I will already be on the rode to the airport.
I really wanted to get this post out before the start of the travel season and remind people of the benefits of packing light and how to do it. I always see people in the airport overpacked and most of the time it’s really unnecessary. Unless you’re moving your family across the ocean, do you really need 2 checked bags for yourself? I’m here to tell you how I managed to pack for Europe, for 2 weeks in just my carry on.
Benefits of Packing Light
Before I get into how to pack light, I wanted to really breakdown why traveling this way is so great! First and the most obvious reason is that you don’t have to worry about lugging around heavy luggage. Don’t be that person, that needs an entire trolley to get their luggage from the hotel entrance to their room. If you can’t easily carry it up a flight of stairs (if you’re able) then it’s too much. By packing light you also never have to worry about lost luggage! I’m not sure where it goes or how it manages to get lost, but if you travel a lot and always check your luggage it’s bound to happen sooner or later. Packing light also allows you to take the public transit to and from the airport. This is a money saver and you get to see a bit more of the city and the locals. Taking the trains and subways can also save you time depending on what the street level traffic is like.
First things first, figure out what your flights carry on restrictions are. Most flights allow you to bring a carry on free of charge as long as your bag meets their dimension restrictions. We’re visiting several countries, and flying with several different airlines so I had to take the time to figure out what each flight’s restrictions were. Quite a few of them also had weight restrictions that I had to be under. After crunching all the numbers, to make everyone happy, my bag had to be 21″ x 14″ x 8″ and 18 or less pounds. Luckily every airline that I’ll be using also allows for one small personal item that is not weighed. I was able to find the perfect bag by Targus on Amazon. I love the fact that this bag has wheels and backpack straps, so I don’t have to always carry it, but if I’m in a hurry or going through a wet area I can easily wear it on my back until I make it to my destination.
One Small Personal Item
If your flight allows for one, be sure to take advantage of it! Pack in your heavier items, such as electronics and laptops to keep your actual carry on light. I’ll be using a small faux leather backpack/purse that I purchased from Amazon to carry my important documents folder, wallet, laptop, external hard drive, camera, phone, portable charger, all of my charger cords, snack foods and a tote bag. Why a tote bag? Because it takes up barely any space once it’s folded and it can be used to carry groceries once I reach my destination.
Watch The Weather Man
This is very important. I actually added every city I would be visiting to my weather app so that I could keep an eye on what the forecast was looking like in my destinations. Forums said that a light jacket would be enough for Europe in May, but my weather app told me different. You also need to take into account where you currently live. Being from Texas I can still wear a light sweater when it’s in the 80’s and the 70’s is light jacket weather in my eyes. If it’s below 60 I need to pull out my winter coat! A few days before my flight, the weather pretty much turned dreary and lots of rain showed in the forecast, so I had to make a few last minute packing adjustments.
Now down to why you’re probably here. Packing light isn’t as hard as you may think, if you’ve already created a capsule wardrobe you’re basically already done. If you haven’t, then I recommend you give that post a read because it will help you long term when it comes to knowing what to wear or pack. But to make a long story short, once you have figured out what color clothing you gravitate towards and what cut of clothing you love and feel great in, you can get away with having fewer items that you can mix and match to create countless outfits. Personally, I packed : 1 pair of blue jeans (that I’m wearing on the plane), 1 pair of black jeans, 1 pair of comfy but versatile athletic black pants, 2 t-shirt dresses in blue and maroon, 1 little black midi dress, 1 black midi skirt, 6 t-shirts in different colors and shapes, 3 dressier shirts, 1 sweater for layering on the chiller days, 1 piece of shape wear for that little black dress, 1-pair of leopard print shower shoes, a packing cube of underwear and night shirts, my travel makeup bag, and my bag of liquids. Everything mentioned can be seen below! This is more than enough to last me a month actually, but I wanted options lol. I’ll do laundry at least once while I’m traveling to keep clean clothes in my luggage.
I hope you find this helpful and that these tips will help you with packing light for your future trips.