My first trip to Europe my friend Amanda gave me this advice:
Pack your suitcase. Unpack half of it. Then you’re golden.
I thought I knew how to pack light my first trip abroad when I was a student, and it was a learning experience. I remember my friend Zak was helping me load my big bulky suitcase packed for 6 weeks into the cab on the way to the airport and the handle snapped off. Before we even left for the airport! What a great start! haha and I had to deal with this enormous heavy suitcase pulling it onto boats using those skinny ramps in Venice or up into trains in Naples and when I was alone it was difficult because if I needed to let’s say use the restroom certain places it was too big to take with me so that was a dilemma.Learning to pack light has been trial and error and I’m happy to say I’m becoming quite the master at it.
I was mentally packing & unpacking for my most recent trip far in advance.
The beauty of packing light is, it can save you money, gives you freedom because you can throw your things together in a moment’s notice, and makes getting around SO much easier!
Especially for solo travel running after trains and ferries and navigating through the airport makes such a world of difference if you’ve packed light. You also realize how little you really need the more you travel.
This time I brought 2 small bags I wouldn’t have to check and I was even able to fit them on to a scooter if you can believe that! And they were light so I could easily carry them around without getting tired or if I was in between places to stay I could take them with me to a restaurant or cafe without taking up too much space.
My advice is to pack for a week even if you’re going away for a month. Wash your clothes (I hand washed things all the time). Bring pieces that go together easily. I pick a couple different colors and maybe 2 pairs of shoes that go with every outfit. I packed so light and there were still some outfits I never ended up wearing!
Would you guys be interested in my favorite products I brought with me? If so I’ll do a post on that! How do you manage packing light for your travel and what are your best tips?
****Since you guys asked… here’s some pictures of my luggage with some of my favorite beauty products I’ve been using!
Favorite deodorant. Beauty elixir mist. (I got the travel size from Sephora). GlamGlow hydrating mask. Dry shampoo love the volume this gives! Almay eye makeup remover pads. This washcloth also removes all your makeup without any product!
So this clear bag is a vacuum-sealed bag I got from Target but all you do is push air out of it and it frees up space! Then when I’m staying somewhere for just a night I don’t really properly unpack so it makes it easier for me to see the outfit I’m wanting to wear.
My travel staple is a dress like that red one. I think dresses are easier to wear because it’s just the simplest thing to me. Rather than piecing together an outfit and matching things it takes me 30 seconds to get dressed and the cotton dress I can ball up tight in my bag and it doesn’t really wrinkle. I got it for $5 at H&M in DC years ago and have probably worn it at least once a week since then! (just go to the clearance section in the store.)
Something I’ve encountered at a few airbnb’s in Europe is they don’t always supply you with shampoo, conditioner, or soap so I always bring some with me in case. Normally I keep some hotel samples in my bathroom at home so I throw a few in my suitcase before leaving!
I also always bring a couple washcloths (since you’re in someone’s home I wouldn’t want any makeup coming off on their nice towels.)
I pack a small mirror with suction cups on the back because bathrooms don’t always have great light and I prefer to find some natural light for applying makeup if I can. When travelling with someone I also don’t want to take over the bathroom so that way I can shower and then do the rest of my regimen with my little mirror and let them use the bathroom.
I never travel without my satin pillowcase. I won’t wake up with lines on my face, it prevents wrinkles and smooths my hair so I don’t have to style it was much in the morning and can get up & go!
Please ask any questions you have or if there’s something else you think I should include!