Light packing, heavy brain

My bag for a 1-month trip

When going to Europe, especially the fashion capitals of London Paris andn Milan, one must be conscientious of clothing. Well tomorrow I start on a 23 day trip to europe. As always I will be starting in New York and jumping across the pond from there and working my way from one relative to a friend’s to another relatives. A lot of my journey in Europe itself will be by train. Now if you’re paranoid like me you don’t like being far away from your luggage at all. This is why every time I go I only take a carry-on

Packing light requires such a heavy brain at times. But the advantages are innumerable. I don’t wait for a long time and customs and I can zip to the train station so easily and throw my bag on the rack above my seat. Also with European hotel rooms being the size of my closet at home, I don’t want a big suitcase brought out.

So how does one do it? The first thing I do is lay out everything I wear in a week. And then I reduced that down as much as possible. When it’s all said and done I take about six tops three pants six socks and six underwear. I have my shoes that are versatile to wear on the street as well as in a bar, but I also have a pair of ballet flats that collapse down to nothing that I can wear to a nice dinner.

I always make sure that there’s no negative space. If there is another pair of shoes I might stuff it with my socks. I roll everything up super tight. I make sure my cocktail dress goes in the middle. The very last thing I put in are my cosmetics. I scale these down as much as possible. I have a skincare routine and a hair care routine that I stick to religiously so it’s worth the space for me. While I can’t carry on the airplane with that much liquid I can definitely check my bag still. Sometimes I am able to reduce everything down into a one quart Ziploc but for this trip I decided not to. So this bag will in fact be checked but as I’m one of the last flights entering London that night, it won’t be difficult for me to retrieve. It’s still nerve-racking though.

The biggest thing for me is getting through the train stations and so that is why I continue to go small. My final list also includes a cocktail dress that I can wear to a nice dinner at someone’s home or restaurant. My heavier items I will wear with me when traveling. This includes my wool coat my blazer my belt and my heavier shoes. I will also take the bigger of my scarves and wear it as well.

For more information I highly recommend youtubing Rick Steves for the packing travel skills. You will be surprised at how much you think you need versus what you actually use.

I do want to follow up by saying that no I’m not going to be wearing dirty clothes. Those little plastic liners that come in the ice buckets, make wonderful laundry bags. About every two or three days I will hand wash my socks and undergarments and hang them to dry. And about every week I will find a laundromat and spend an hour doing the rest of my clothing. Could I go lighter ? absolutely. Do I feel like I over packed? Yes. But in the end I feel like I’m taking a lot less than your typical American especially since my things are easily swappable and line up with the European styles. I will have my backpack with me and that I will keep one outfit along with my medications and any important things that I couldn’t be without for 2 days.

Don’t forget one of the fun things of traveling can be shopping. If I realize that there’s something I didn’t pack enough of or something that I want I can buy it. If I decide there’s something that just isn’t fitting right part way through the trip I can just leave it or donate it and replace it with something new. I once had a travel friend who would only pack clothes that she was wanting to get rid of. At the end of the day she would just leave her clothes and a donation van and fill the gaps with souvenirs. By the time she got home she was on her last outfit and had a suitcase full of souvenirs.

Well until my next check-in which will be from the TWA hotel at Kennedy airport in New York. Hugs and loves and happy travels. Kelly

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