Tag Archives: packing

Packing for a Month’s Trip to Europe in a Carry-On

For our travels before and after our river cruise on the Rhone on AMAWaterways, we were planning on using public transportation, mainly trains as well as subways and buses.  What we found on our train trips last year through northern Italy was that the luggage racks are above your seats and Blogger Hubby was always lifting our fully packed 26″ suitcases up to the racks.  He is in his early 70’s and quite fit but I still worried about all that lighting as well as all the stairs we had to climb up and down in some of these smaller train stations.  I vowed to pack lighter.

I was determined to fit everything into a wheeled carry-on piece of luggage.  I wanted to be responsible for my own luggage.  I didn’t want to have to ask for help from strangers and I didn’t want to take only what I could handle. I need to be able to lift it onto a train up the step or two as well as if we went up to the upper deck on the train.   If I couldn’t handle it, then I was taking too much.  My friends were somewhat aghast that I would be gone for almost a month but you know what….I did it and felt so great.

I brought with me 2 pairs of printed capri pants, one pair of nylon travel capris, a pair of shorts and three pairs of long pants and a dress.  I stayed with colors that were blue, white and black.  All the tops could be worn with at least three pairs of pants.  One of the tops I brought was a tank top that I could wear by itself if it was really hot and conversely I could layer it under long sleeve tops if it were chilly.   I brought a white sweater, a long sleeve heavier white top that would be layered, a knit outer layer quarter zipped pullover, a thin nylon raincoat/windbreaker, 3 pairs of shoes, underwear/night clothes, curling iron and a bag of meds.  My packing cubes from e-bags helped keep me organized and it made it easier to pack, unpack and repack throughout our journey.  In addition to my carry-on, I also had a LL Bean medium size tote bag that I could loops over the handles of the suitcase and I wore a backpack.

img_1368 img_1369I brought my knitting with me, my iPad that held the books I was reading and as a way to get in touch with family through the free wifi on our river cruise ship and the wifi that came with the hotels that we stayed with.  With my iPhone, iPad, Blogger Hubby’s Kindle and my camera all needing charging I found it an inconvenience last year plugging items in and then unplugging them to charge other items.  I bought for myself on Amazon an Anker 60W/12A 6-Port USB Charger PowerPort so I could charge everything at the same time  Here is a picture of it:


I did bring a small purse with me so I would have it when we would go out to dinner rather than bringing my backpack.

With a limited amount of clothing, it was never an issue of what I was going to wear.  We did make use of the laundry on the AMADagio before we left to make sure we were leaving with clean clothing.  We brought a small bottle of Woolite with us to wash out some things in our bathroom sinks but found we ran out and bought some inexpensive liquid laundry detergent to supplement.

I’ve mentioned how I brought a 22″ carry-on and you are probably wondering what Blogger Hubby brought.  He actually brought the next size up though all of his things did fit in a carry-on.  He brought the next size along so we would have room for anything we might purchase along the way.

Coordinating colors certainly helped make the packing easier, not caring if you wore the same top twice within a few days, be willing to rinse out some of your items in the sink, and not always having your shoes match your outfit gave us the freedom to move around easier as well as for me, being responsible for what I bring.  It truly felt liberating.  Try it sometime

How to Pack 3 Weeks of Clothes into a Carry-On Bag

While I am traveling this week and part of next week I will be republishing some of my older and earlier posts.  It seems that I can’t always get to a computer – it might be because the sun and surf are calling my name.  Thank you for continuing to read some of these older posts.

Blogger Hubby is ALWAYS telling me to pack less particularly when we will be schlepping our luggage from place to place, up very narrow staircases and in and out of trains.

I admit it, I am an overpacker and would go to a support group if I could find one. “Let me pack this just in case I might need it” is something he hears frequently.   At the end of every trip, I admit to myself (never out loud so he could hear it) that I brought too much and also brought home things that I didn’t wear or only wore so I could say that I wore it.

photo courtesy of blog.chegg.com
photo courtesy of blog.chegg.com

I googled about ways to pack more efficiently and learned some important tools.  Choose a couple of complementary colors.  In my case, since I was taking a fall trip, I choose black, grey and herringbone pants.  My tops were a teal, black and a black/grey/white print –  colors that would go with any of those slacks.  Also in my suitcase was a scarf that I could wear to dress up the tops, put over me as a blanket on our flight over and wear with my solid color dress that I needed.  I brought two pairs of shoes – good, sturdy walking shoes and a pair of Mary Janes.  Since my dress wasn’t overly dressy, the Mary Janes worked.  I also brought a thin roll-up water resistant jacket, a sweater (not bulky) and a thinner turtleneck sweater that I could layer under the sweater or wear alone.  Other than my 3 pairs of travel underwear (wash at night and by morning they are dry)and three pairs of Smart Wool socks and my nightgown that is all I brought for clothing.

By staying with a few colors I know that everything will match, blend or coordinate with each other.  I will admit that it made travel much easier by only having one carry-on size suitcase and I didn’t struggle everyday as to what I was going to wear – I only had so many choices.  I’ve learned to roll my clothes to keep them more wrinkle free than regular folding.  I also bring with me a small spray bottle (that I fill with things while packed in my suitcase) so I can give those clothes a quick spritz when I hang them up – perfect for getting wrinkles out.

How do you pack?  Do you have a secret that makes it easier or do you bring everything?  Please share your secrets.