They said it couldn’t be done, but for someone who usually tends to over pack, I think I did fairly well, with the help of a few tools and my bff, of course!
I was going to Europe by myself for the first time and I wanted to be absolutely prepared for everything that was coming my way, while looking cute to boot, too. Naturally, I took the bull by the horn in a number of steps:
DETERMINE WHETHER YOU WANT A SUITCASE OR A BACKPACK
A few months ago, I bought my first Away luggage. I chose the Bigger Carry On as I felt it would be perfect for all different kinds of getaways. Of course, I also had to consider the ease of using a travel backpack. I opted for my Away Bigger Carry On because I felt it was necessary I broke out this awesome piece of luggage in Europe. Looking back, with the amount of Airbnbs and lack of escalators/elevators in many country’s Metro system, a backpack would have been slightly more convenient. Lugging around a suitcase is all fun and games until you walk up and down several flights of stairs (with a twisted ankle, but more on that later).
I chose my Away luggage for this trip because of how the suitcase is actually built. The top half are for non-compressible items such as shoes and toiletries while the bottom half is for all of your clothes. With all of the items I packed, I still had extra room for plenty of souvenirs from my trip (definitely plan to bring home goodies). The luggage is also accompanied with a rechargeable battery that you can either keep in it’s little compartment in the luggage, or you can take it out and keep it with you while you’re wandering the city. One of the main reasons I love this luggage is because it also has a TSA-approved lock built into it, something my travel backpack lacks.
PLAN YOUR OUTFITS
This may seem tedious, but if you plan your outfits with versatile pieces of clothing, you can make countless combinations that will last you for a huge portion of your trip! If you have a capsule wardrobe, this will be super easy since all of your pieces are meant to be mixed and matched with one another. In total, I packed the following into my Away Bigger Carry On luggage:
- 8 tops
- 4 pants
- 4 shoes (including boots)
- 3 bras
- 2 jackets
- 2 dresses
- 1 sweater
- 1 romper
- 10 panties
- 2 pajamas
- Hair straightener
- International Outlet Converter
- Make-up Bag
- Extra duffle (for souvenirs, just in case)
Yup. I fit ALL OF THAT into a carry on luggage. The key is obviously to wash your clothes throughout the trip. What helped me was that I was with my family in Paris halfway through my European adventure, which made it super convenient to wash my clothes and pack everything back up for the rest of my trip. 9/10 there is a laundromat or laundry service wherever you’re staying, so avoid overpacking by planning your outfits.
I got an idea of how my outfits would look for each day of my trip by just taking images of everything in my closet I was planning on bringing and making different combinations of them in a word document. Of course there are “outfit planning” applications you can purchase if that seems like tedious work.
What also helped me get an idea of exactly how much I was bringing on my trip was a clothing rack I purchased from Walmart. Not only was it a great way to see what I was bringing, but it helped me organize my luggage even more. Being able to compartmentalize what I have and what I still needed helped make packing that much easier.
LEARN HOW TO PACK
If you’re anything like me, you are an over-packer. You pack things you don’t need and, surprise, you end up not wearing them on your trip. Well, this used to be me until my BFF Jasmin got me this charming little book titled How to Pack: Travel Smart For Any Trip. I owe my packing success to this book by Ms. Hitha Palepu, and Jasmin for coming over graduation weekend to help me pack.
Compressible compartments are an absolute must when shoving so many items into your luggage. That, and rolling your tops and bottoms. Everything that I packed was rolled if it could be rolled and compressed as much as possible (Away also sells ### for your packing needs).
Packing only what you need is a huge part of learning how to pack. Avoiding overpacking will help you in the long run because it will just make packing that much easier. There is a way to pack light without sacrificing cute outfits. Don’t believe me? Peep my Instagram and you’ll see all of the cute looks I came up with while I spent 21 days in Europe.
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Well, I hope this advice helps you pack for your next adventure! It certainly helped me with mine, along with these tips. What packing tips do you have? Leave your thoughts and advice in the comments below!
*Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored by Away, BUT you can click this link to save $20 on your next Away luggage!
Until next time,