Europe in a carry-on. That’s right, it’s time to travel. Off the continent again. I remember the first time Bryce and I left the continent (well, we’d been to Maui, yet that was well before the blog). We were headed to Hong Kong and then onto South East Asia with our 33L backpacks.
This time, I’m packing in a carry on that’s 40L – my Briggs and Riley carry-on traveller suitcase. And I’ll also be bringing my 20L tote. I got this tote last year when we were in Chicago and found out our our recent trip to the West Coast Trail and Victoria that two of the packing cubes we have fit ever so nicely in the bottom, leaving plenty of room for purse items on top. Bonus!
My plan was to pack that way, yet after planning all of my Europe Outfits, turns out I didn’t need the room in my tote for clothes, so I packed snacks!
I still have to stay under 10kg, yet that’s over just over 22 pounds. Totally doable. I figure if I can pack for two weeks in Mexico in a carry-on, I can manage 9 days in Europe.
So, the first question I usually get asked when I tell people we travel with carry-on luggage is why? It’s light, no need to wait for baggage claim, and it’s far less stuff to have around. I used to be one of those people who would pack the largest allowable bag and bring 3 outfits for one dinner. And then I couldn’t decide what to wear. Not now. Now I like to have classic pieces that are comfortable and stylish (or at least I think so). Since, then I can leave the energy of ‘what to wear’ for more enjoyable things like ‘look at that skyline!’
The next question is how I do it. Planning and packing cubes. I bring items that have dual purpose. Each pair of shoes (usually 3, including the ones I wear) will go with various outfits. Shoes that only go with one outfit don’t make the cut. Oh, and they must be comfortable. Packing cubes are a space saver. If you don’t have them, lay out your items and roll them together creating less space between them.
I also wear any bulky items on the plane as part of my travel outfit – even if I end up taking them off after we board. That 15 oz long sweater is easier to wear since then you can gently stuff it in your bag after you’ve gone past the attendants.
So what do I pack. I usually pack 3 pairs of pants, 3 dresses and 6 tops for 9-12 days. With various accessories – 2 scarves and some glasses, along with a few pairs of shoes and a versatile jacket, I can have up to 30+ outfits. Having pieces that can hold a bit of wear – like jeans, or quality leggings, helps with multiple wears. One outfit with a bright pink scarf and glasses looks different than the same clothes, different shoes and a blue scarf without glasses. It’s like a small capsule wardrobe.
PS – I didn’t bring any Toms shoes. When I got Bryce a pair about 6 years ago for his birthday the box they came in has about 8 ‘flag bags’ – they wash really well and I use them for travel (I pack shoes, underwear, and scarves/accessories in them – sort of like more packing cubes!).
Well – there you have it – Europe in a carry-on. So fun. Thanks for visiting and happy travelling!!