Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Packing for Europe

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 tried to pack within a simple color scheme (blue + white), but made sure to include a couple of vibrant pieces to mix things up a bit.

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!


  1. I have used packing cubes for years! They are the way to go!

  2. Did you get that orange zebra print dress at H&M? I almost bought it for you when we were in SF in June but I was afraid it was too bright for your taste. I am SOOO glad you found it and bought it for yourself. I'll trust my intuition next time!

    You have always been an amazing packer! I love traveling with you. And, you're right, Robbie has the more difficult time. Did he bring books this time too? I guess as long as he can carry it all!!!

  3. Sports Babe - they're genius!

    Momma Ernst - it's actually just a tank top, not a whole dress, but I do love the print. I do have to say that Robbie did a fantastic job this trip and kept his pack well within reason.


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