4.02.2015

PACKING FOR EUROPE

I have been so excited to pack for this trip. Which is really nerdy now that I think about it. But there you have it. I've been working out how little I can bring to Europe to make it 10 days, my goal being toting just one lightweight carry-on. I am determined to be as portable as possible since I'll be spending a lot of time wandering around after check-outs and before check-ins and logging a good amount of hours on some trains. And of course I want to have a little extra room for a souvenir or two. :) Madewell kindly offered to send over a few finishing touches for a "touring wardrobe," if you will, for my little jaunt across the pond (all these phrases coming out of my mouth crack me up) and so now I am going to present unto you, ye people of the Internet, what all I am bringing! Most likely bringing. It's still a work in progress, and I'm sure I'll keep tweaking it up until the moment I leave for the airport because that's just the kind of dorky thing I like to do. (Like maybe trade those sneakers for a second pair of denim?) 

So here's what's going on in my carry-on tomorrow, give or take something or other, thanks in large part to the cool cats at Madewell (who are running an extra 30% off all sale right now, beeteedubs).

/ One pair of black denim, since black is forgiving, and probably blue as well, this remains to be seen.
/ This paperbag waist skirt for in case I feel feminine, or if a lot of cheese happens and pants and I just aren't having it.
/ A comfortable pair of boots for walking in (I might bring these instead?)
/ The barest makeup essentials in my dopp kit: mascara, tinted moisturizer and cheek gelee, (as well as, you know, my toothbrush and junk).
/ A leather jacket.
/ Paris in April is supposed to be chilly-ish, cloudy-ish, rainy-ish, so a trench coat seems appropriate. Mine is from Target a million years ago + I have yet to find anything better. Trench coat shopping is tough!
/ My favorite sweater of the year.
/ A dress for events.
/ Leggings for sleeping.
/ Lipstick! This stuff is the best.
/ A scarf and my passport. You know.
/ A striped tee
/ And chambray
/ A couple tee shirts
/ Uppers and downers
/ The tote bag of the century
/ Oxfordsloafers, and Bens (maybe, maybe not)
/ Something to carry it all in

Not shown: Phone chargers and plug adapters. They're not the prettiest.

Any tips? Those of you who've done + learned + have wisdom to impart, please! Impart! 

46 comments :

  1. I think you got it down! Take a good umbrella with because the ones that you buy in Paris, etc., suck really bad! I would take a beanie or hat also, just incase you want to explore those cities in the rain. :) I hope you have an amazing time!

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    1. I meant umbrellas that you buy on the street! Bring your own. xo.

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    2. Your suggestions were the only ones I thought of too!! Umbrella and hat!!

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  2. I went to Europe last summer for 8 days (Budapest/Vienna/Prague) and packed so much more than this. And yet, I look at what you have assembled here and can't think of anything you've missed except maybe a hat. I was thankful a few different times to have a hat...mostly for bad hair days.

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  3. I would suggest you pack a clutch that can hold your wallet and passport so that your "personal item" (separate from your carry on) can be a smallish bag that you can have ready for souvenirs. Oh, and sunglasses. I forget them no matter where I go.

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  4. I second the hat and umbrella! I just lived in Paris for four months, and pretty much wore the same thing every day, so your wardrobe looks perfect (you don't need much to look chic!) Also, I'm not sure how chilly it gets in April since I was there from Sept- Dec, but large scarves saved my life. Since it is spring, I would suggest a lighter one, just make sure it's big! Parisians wear them like they're going out of style, and they work great as a blanket on the Eurostar, airplanes, etc.!

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  5. less shoes and more money...in case you find beautiful shoes :) i never check bags and always travel with bensimon slip-ons and foldable leather ballet flats. you can hide them in your jacket pocket if you need the space for souvenirs! bring one pair of heavier shoes if you must, but wear them on the plane. remember how much feet swell while traveling and how much you're going to need your feet. take care of them and yourself and have a most marvelous time!

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  6. those are beautiful choices! I hope you have such a fantastic time in Europe!

    but curses! why did you have to tell me about the Madewell sale?!!

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  7. I'd recommend a pair of more substantial walking shoes. Hipster sneakers work wonders for running up and down stairs of public transport. Very Euro-urban, too. Also, perhaps some warmer layers. This week it's been raining, hailing and snowing here in Berlin, though next week is supposed to warm up and dry out a bit. I also recommend a good umbrella - even on days when it looks totally sunny. Happy travels!

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  8. I just came back from Europe a few days ago and my luggage looked like this too. Love the leather jacket and denim shirt. Great selection!

    http://www.mintnotion.com

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  9. Packing Cubes - they will change your life. Seriously! The best $30 I've ever spent. Makes finding things and keeping my bag organized a breeze when traveling. Here's a link (not an affiliate link): http://www.amazon.com/eBags-Packing-Cubes-3pc-Set/dp/B004C0XZM4

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    1. I second packing cubes!!! I even use them when we visit family an hour way!

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    2. I third packing cubes! They are the BEST. travelfashiongirl.com has a great method for packing them to the max. Also, that eBags Motherlode junior bag that Sarah ^^^^ recommended is also AMAZING. You can fit SO MUCH STUFF in there and it can backpack and duffel. My only issue with it is the eBags logo on the front! hahaha.

      Also, that striped tee in the collage - where is it from? It's AMAZING.

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  10. Oh yes, and don't forget a scarf - something wide and light that can be used as an extra layer when things get chilly or rainy.

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  12. I loooveeee packing for trips. Madewell is definitely a favorite. Their pieces are so stylish and easy to pair with other items. We travel about 15x a year and only pack in a carry-on, no matter what the length of the trip is. I packed 22 items for my trip to Denmark + Sweden and write about travel light packing tips on my blog regularly.

    You can find the series here: http://www.teamwiking.com/category/travel/travel-light-packing-tips/

    I hope you have a wonderful time on your trip!

    Jessica Doll
    http://teamwiking.com

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  13. Defo pack the Bensimons!! Plus it's annoyingly cold in London at the moment so maybe something a little warmer? A hat plus cosy snood?

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  14. We were in London/Paris two years ago at this exact time and I found that I basically wore two pairs of shoes (though I brought more and actually left behind a pair of old brown boots in our Paris flat). I wore either gold flats or my hunter rainboots. You can probably get away with leaving the sneakers behind. You can rest your feet when you come home!

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  15. I would leave either the oxford or loafers - you already have your boots and sneakers, so you really don't need both and they take a lot of space. Treat your leather boots with water repellent for leather before you leave, so you can wear them when it rains (I love Frye's leather conditioning cream for dark leathers).

    I would bring a large scarf (as others have mentioned) and maybe a nighty instead of leggings (otherwise you'd need a top to wear at night, as well).

    Also, tights are helpful to allow you to wear the skirt and dress even if it's cold.

    Bring a sweater or cardigan that works with all your bottoms (the skirt, the jeans and preferably, the dress as well). A simple black cardigan is a good candidate.

    Finally, wear something on the plane you feel comfortable but presentable in (e.g. your jeans, a tee and the sweater plus scarf). It means you have an extra outfit you don't need to pack.

    Finally, I like rolling my clothes before packing them - it maximizes space and helps avoid wrinkling. 10 days in Europe with just a carry-on are perfectly doable (we do it regularly).


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  17. This is pretty much the exact time we were in Paris for our honeymoon, and I was chillier than expected and wished I'd brought more warm layefring options. Pretty jealous right now!
    -Emily Hansel

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  18. dry. shampoo. powder.
    large pair of fantastic sunglasses to forgive all the injuries inflicted by travel spaces, schedules, and mishaps.

    and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=so93nqxZLjM to use the least amt of bag space and maximize shopping allowances

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  19. I've been lucky enough to do a fair share of travel over the years, always with just a carry on. (ugly, but fantastic, I always use my http://www.ebags.com/product/ebags/tls-mother-lode-weekender-convertible-junior/241465 )

    My go to gift for people who are travelling soon is a sturdy & black umbrella and a sturdy & pretty watch. I always say less shoes, more tops! Because in the pictures you won't really notice if you wear the same shoes day after day, but you will notice if you wear the same few tops. I only take two pairs of shoes when I travel, understated Nike sneakers and (brace yourself, this is going to sound terrible) these crocs flats in all black (waterproof for rain, community showers, etc., but dressy enough for church (question mark?)).
    http://www.amazon.com/crocs-12300-Cap-Toe-Flat/dp/B008M0WA5I/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1428008962&sr=8-4&keywords=crocs+flats+for+women

    Wear a hat on the plane (and then stuff it in the overhead storage once you're on!). And prepare for the airplane air to dry out your skin. The Eurostar trains are freezing, use your trench as a blanket, or a large scarf as suggested above.

    My last two suggestions are less what to pack, but how to travel: a great cross body is your best friend. Difficult to steal, and (if you keep the bag near your hip/the front of your body) less likely to be pickpocketed. It leaves your hands free, and you don't necessarily have to take it off every time you sit down somewhere, meaning less chance of it getting left behind/walking away. And lastly, lockers. All of the cities you're visiting have lockers available! They are a lifesaver and usually near the popular tourist attractions. You may also check hostels/hotels for locked/monitored storage. However, usually when you rent a locker it does not come with a lock, so I always pack a classic combination lock and a few luggage locks.

    Have fun!! I can't wait to see your pictures! :)

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  20. We were in Paris a week ago, it was freezing cold and overcast. So bundle up and have a fabulous time!

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  21. And pick pockets are rampant in Paris. I used a small cross over bag I could wear under my coat, it worked perfect.

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  22. Permit me to be the millionth person to suggest you reduce your number of shoes. Leather is heavy, and so are boots. May I commend you on your choice of a non-wheelie bag. I figure if you are taking so much that you need wheels to help, you're probably doing it wrong.
    https://youtu.be/urufdX0gthA?t=7m17s

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  23. YOU'RE ONLY BRINGING ONE PAIR OF UNDS?! hehehe ;)

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  24. Too many shoes! You only need the boots and some sneakers, but maybe some Golden Goose, they are the best (yes, expensive but sooo comfortable and nothing like a bit of stealth luxury!) and something warmer. But most of all try in the craziness to be in the moment - you're going on a European book tour for your own freeking book, how unreal!!!!!!

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  25. Shoes are everything! Definitely, definitely break in your shoes first. The longer time spent in them beforehand, the better. And if you are wanting to travel light, I would recommend bringing only two pairs of shoes. That way you have two options and if one is hurting your feet, you can switch to the other pair.

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  26. This post is worthy of appreciation, looking forward to more exciting! isabel marant uk

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  27. maybe you'll need an umbrella hahaha

    https://aspoonfulofnature.wordpress.com/

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  28. That looks like my dream wardrobe right there! Have fun, how incredibly exciting!

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  29. Perfect….just add SCARVES!

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  30. Check out the Hi Sugarplum blog. I followed her advice on packing a carry-on for Europe and it was all I needed for 12 days in Italy. Also, if you have any time for sightseeing, you could download the Rick Steve's tours on your phone to follow later, maps included! Have fun! So proud of you!

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  31. P.S., I also used and loved packing cubes, just throw them in the dresser at the hotel. They are sold at REI.

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  32. Girrrl, throw in some sequins!

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  33. Wear all your chunkiest layers, boots, etc. on the plane. That way you have more room in your bag for other essentials!

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  34. The greatest trench coat ever made. Waterproof. Has a liner to keep you warm and comes out when you don't. Price is not insane. Best of all: machine washable.

    http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/london-fog-heritage-trench-coat-with-detachable-liner-regular-petite-nordstrom-exclusive/3396685?cm_mmc=Google_Product_Ads_pla_online-_-datafeed-_-petite_women:outerwear:raincoat-_-622720&mr:referralID=389f0e57-da42-11e4-8635-001b2166becc

    Have a wonderful trip!

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  35. Oh honey, the scarf is a very good choice but you should let yourself buy a really nice one as a memento. Yet, I'd only bring two pair of shoes, one extremely comfortable and one lightweight dressy. And don't forget to bring a tiny container of laundry soap to wash things and a little net bag to air dry them. Oh have a great time and enjoy a pan au chocolate and a cafe creme at a sidewalk cafe for me.

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  36. an umbrella and a big old scarf...but that's too late because you're on the way!! So very excited for Sunday :)

    The Awkward Blog

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  37. All you really need are walking shoes and a warm coat. I hope you don't freeze in Berlin. It's cold in Northern Europe right now.

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  38. Love all of the pieces, so classic and practical! Agree with others two pairs of shoes max. I would choose boots (which you could dress up) and your loafers if they are comfortable and you're not planning a LOT of sightseeing over the time. Bon voyage!

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  39. Would love to see a follow-up to this post. What did you actually wear? What did you wish you brought instead or left behind?

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  40. I love that leather jacket! I want one! Xo

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  41. This is a great list as we are leaving for Europe in few days. So how much more do we need to pack for a Europe in Winter? Last year when I was on San Francisco tour I had a great help from internet. Thanks for helping me this time.

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