Last year when we spent 10 days in Paris and London, Scott and I took two suitcases and a carry on EACH. My cousin asked if I was moving in when he saw us (hah!). Not only were they a pain in the butt to wheel around, I found I really didn’t use a lot of the stuff I brought. So when we booked our European trip this year, I knew I wanted to scale way back. I decided I was going to pack for TEN days in ONE carry on suitcase. Woah.
It seemed really daunting at first, but I gave myself a pep talk to help me get started. I also researched and found a lot of tips and tricks I think will help you all out too! So here’s how I packed for ten days in Europe in one teeny (super cute!) pink carry on.
Give yourself a talking to. This was crucial for me. Our itinerary is pretty tight and while we will be spending the majority of our time in Italy, we do have two layovers—one in Barcelona for about 15 hours and one in Paris for 20. I knew if we had any opportunity to see any bit of either city, we would have to save as much time as possible—including not waiting in a long baggage line before trying to get through customs. I’d ask myself, “do you want to pack those shoes, or see Paris?”. That usually did the trick…Paris tops all! 🙂
Make a list (and check it twice!). I started by writing what I would NEED to pack that included everything but clothing. Toiletries, documents, medications, a book, etc. I did mine about a week in advance so I could be prepared and keep adding to it as I think of things. Other “needs” for me included my travel watercolors, water brush and journal!
Go monochromatic. To make mixing and matching my outfits super easy, I decided to go monochromatic. I packed mostly black items with a few splashes of color. For example I’m bringing black tights and a few pairs of black leggings—those three “bottoms” take up the same amount of room as a pair of jeans. I also am bringing black cardigans, black boots, a black purse…you get the idea. I did bring a few colorful shirts and sweaters to mix it up a bit, but 85% of my suitcase is black clothing.
Plan out your outfits. I tried on all my outfits before packing them. I knew exactly which leggings I would wear with which tops and which dress worked with which cardigan. I took about 6 outfits total which takes us to…
Be okay with wearing the same thing twice. We aren’t going to be doing a lot of sweat-inducing activities—more like strolling and eating. There’s no reason why you can’t wear the same outfit 2-3 times. The exception to this (for me) was underwear. 🙂 Luckily those are tiny. Also, you can always hand wash stuff in sinks if you can’t deal with the idea of re-wearing.
Bring layers. I HATE carrying around a giant jacket. I get hot and irritated. So knowing myself and knowing that the weather was going to be between 40-60 degrees, I packed a bunch of layers. For my “heavy jacket” I bought a black cape! It is pretty warm and CUTE (very Italian I think?) and it doubles as a blanket on the plane. Also, it takes up a lot less room than a jacket would!
Pack an extra bag. I know. How are you going to fit an extra bag in your limited space? Try. I knew I’d want to bring home souvenirs on the way home, so I tried to leave a bit of space as well as pack a tote bag at the bottom of my suitcase.
Try compression bags. These compression bags can hold your clothing and be rolled to take out some of the air and get you a bit more room. I made sure to fold my clothes nicely so they wouldn’t get wrinkled!
What about you guys? What are your travel tips? I’m so pumped that I actually pulled it off…Italy here we come! 😀