Sunday, February 9, 2014

Cram It In: Eurotrip in One Bag

Packing Light: European Vacation

To save money on our upcoming trip to Europe, we bought tickets that only allow for one carry-on. The entire trip spans 10 days, but I'm not worried about fitting everything into a small, easy-to-carry bag. (This one pictured, by the way, I just got from Forever 21 for $35.) It doesn't hurt that we'll be staying in apartments with laundry facilities (through Airbnb).

Without further ado, my tips for fitting everything you need for Europe in one bag:
  • Wear your heftiest items on the plane: Your jeans, a trench coat (for any chilly/drizzly days), and your heaviest shoes.
  • Think black for bottoms. One pair of skinny black jeans and a skirt can get you through the entire trip. Bonus: Black camouflages dirt.
  • Clothes should be in neutral colors that are easy to mix and match. Not only will you fit in with the chic locals, but you'll have a lot more outfit options.
  • Find a pair of cute, classic shoes that you can walk in for miles. Make sure they're broken in. Wear them everywhere. Bring a lightweight pair of sandals for dressier occasions. 
  • Scarves double as blankets on airplanes and trains, they perk up even the most basic outfit, and they take up almost no room in your bag.
  • Leave your big everyday purse at home and carry a small cross-body bag with only the essentials. For me, that's money, my camera, my phone, and lip balm.
  • Undies: Bring a lot. More than you think you'd need. You really don't want to run out of these. 
  •  I hoard toiletry samples (the ones that come in little packets, not bottles) throughout the year because they're so light and easy to pack. I also use the makeup remover wipes to avoid spillage/liquid restrictions on flights.
What you should leave at home:
  • Heavy guidebooks (bring your phone instead)
  • Impractical shoes (you'll only wear them once or twice anyway)
  • Your laptop (if you can help it)
P.S. Rick Steves' guide to the most useful travel apps

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