The Trip: I’m backpacking through Europe for 3 months, spanning the summer and early fall. I’m travelling with a carry-on bag only, and you can read more about why I came to that decision (and find a link to the bag if you’re interested) here. My travels are mainly focused on the more balmy mediterranean countries, but I’ll still be there as it starts to get chilly, so I’ve packed enough layers to see me through different temperatures.
Great Resources: My list of what to pack when backpacking through Europe is inspired by a lot of wonderful lists I found online. OneBag is the mother of all packing lists, with great recommendations and detailed explanations for each item – definitely start there. While I didn’t pack everything he has on his list, Rick Steves knows what he’s talking about when it comes to packing for Europe. I really liked Peanut Butter Fingers’ post for inspiration about what clothes to pack – she’s more my age than some of the other blogs, so it’s a bit more of an accessible post. Her Packing List has a huge resource page for a plethora of different packing lists for all over the world in all seasons. Finally, Never Ending Voyage has a great packing list for carry-on travel.
- Three cardigans (two long-sleeved, one 3/4-sleeves)
- Two plain t-shirts (one navy blue, one black)
- Three shirts (all short sleeves)
- Five tank tops + 1 sleep shirt (not pictured)
- Bras, underwear, socks, black tights
- One long sleeved striped shirt (not pictured)
*Two Eagle Creek packing cubes
- Two skirts
- Black leggings
- Five dresses (one not pictured)
- Two pairs of pants (one pair of jeans, one pair of khakis) and a belt
- Knee-length running shorts
- Long-sleeved running top
- Bikini top
- One-piece swimsuit
- Two bikini bottoms
- Jacket: light weight and water-resistant
- Purse with shoulder strap
- New Balance Minimus running shoes
- Crocs flats: these are completely washable and quick-drying, so I’m planning to use them as shower shoes, water shoes, or flats
*The reason some things aren’t pictured is because I added them at the last minute, post photoshoot!
Top Row: Headband, bandaids, Advil, earplugs, hair elastics, floss, razor blade, matches, soap flakes
Second Row: L.L. Bean Toiletries Case, headlamp, whistle, USB drive, eye mask, Light My Fire spork, comb, toothbrush, Diva Cup, padlock
Third Row: Dr. Bronner’s Lavender All-Purpose Soap, 2 bottles Clear Care contact solution, sunscreen, Polysporin, toothpaste, Tide-to-Go pen, conditioner, Lafe’s deodorant, contact lens case, Q-tips, razor.
*Not pictured, because I forgot: concealer, blush, and mascara
- Chargers for my camera, iPad and phone
- MicroSD to iPad connector (to upload photos)
- European adaptor
- Camera remote
- ONA Roma Bag: a camera bag insert that fits into my purse and protects my camera
- iPad Mini (a graduation gift from my Dad)
- Unlocked iPhone 4
- Not pictured (because I was using it!): Nikon D90 + 35mm f.18 lens
- Waterproof bag: for carrying phone, keys, wallet while swimming if I’m at the beach on the solo part of my trip
- Sea to Summit Silk sleep sack: lightweight travel sheets (doubles as a blanket on trains)
- Travel towel
- Travel wallet and change purse
- Pens, washi tape (for anchoring memorabilia into my notebook), and a notebook.
- A small beach towel (not pictured)
I am going to be wearing one pair of shoes and packing the third. I’m also going to be wearing my jacket when travelling between cities (or at least carrying it) but if it’s too hot, it fits, folded into the front pocket of the bag. My shirts + running clothes all roll up nicely and fit into my large packing cube. All my other clothes get rolled up and packed in the bottom of the suitcase along with my travel towel and sleep sack. In my purse I’ll carry my camera and other electronics, unless their are flight restrictions in which case I’ll pack everything inside the bag.
It closes like a charm! For most airlines, you’re permitted a carry-on plus a purse or camera bag. I’ve heard that some European budget airlines (Ryanair/Easyjet) are strict about allowing only one piece of luggage. In the event of that happening, I will still have enough space in my bag to pack my purse inside. The water bottle is a Vapur bottle I can also stow away if I have to.
And there you have it: my home for the next three months! I love how compact it is, and how everything has its proper place inside.
For this trip, I’ve omitted a few things that most long-term travel blogs recommend: a rubber doorstop (I’m staying in multi-person dorms, so it wouldn’t make sense), a travel clothesline, a well-stocked first aid kit, etc.
What are your travel necessities? What have you packed and then later decided was unnecessary? Have you travelled with only carry-on luggage before? Any tips about how to make my trip go more smoothly?
Let me know in the comments below!