I don't think that I'm an excessive packer by any means. Robbie is actually worse than me, depending on the bag. He is a self-proclaimed "bag filler", which means he packs to the size bag he is using. No matter what. If we're going away on a quick weekend trip, he'll fill an entire duffle bag. When we went to Europe last time, he backed his bag so full, I had to carry things for him!
Although I think fondly of my packing skills, the thought of only bringing a few items for 3 and a half weeks was a bit daunting. I didn't think I would be able to do it, but guess what? I did! I managed to get away with:
- 5 shirts + 2 tank tops
- 2 pairs of pants + 2 pairs of shorts + 1 long skirt (for cathedrals)
- 2 light dresses
- 2 cardigans
- 1 scarf
- 1 bathing suit
- 2 belts
- Misc undergarments
I have to say, I'm really proud of myself. It wasn't easy to pack so light, I kept wanting to "throw in" pieces right before we left. One thing that made it really easy to stay on track: packing cubes. Rick Steves recommends separating types of clothes into the cubes so that they are easier to find in your pack (disclaimer: Robbie actually found the recommendation, not me :).
Overall, the color scheme and cube combo were the keys to my success. The color combo made it so that I could pack fewer items, but still have plenty of outfits, while the cubes restricted the amount of items I could pack purely based on space. This is a system that I will definitely be using for future trips!