Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Packing List for Six Weeks in Europe in a Carry on!

Do you enjoy packing for vacation? No surprise, I adore it. Packing for a trip helps me visualize myself in that place. I imagine what I'll be doing (Sipping cappuccino? Strolling through Pompeii? Taking a scooter ride along the sea?) and then what I'd like to be wearing while doing it. I like to try to blend with the locals too, and in Europe that means looking a little more polished than usual.

For this trip across Europe, we have many stops and flights, so I decided to pack in a carry on. I've used a backpack for long trips before but they don't jive with the way I travel. A small rolling suitcase is better for me for so many reasons- you have easier to access when packing horizontally instead of vertically and I'd rather wheel something behind me (like a chic air hostess!) than haul it on my hunched over back (like a peasant woman taking potatoes to market).

My inspiration for accomplishing this feat was Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday. For most of the film, she's wearing only the clothes on her back the day she runs off. It's a simple cotton blouse, a circle skirt, a tiny scarf, a pair of kitten heels and one great haircut. Watch the movie again and note all the ways she changes it up.

Image from Thoughts on Film

In her biography, someone on the set of that film said she did the same thing in real life- with only three simple pieces, she could make a thousand different looks. Scarf on head, scarf round neck, scarf tossed over shoulders, scarf as belt. (Lesson learned. Scarves are your secret weapon!) Shirt tied at waist, tucked in, sleeves rolled up, collar down, collar flipped and so on and so forth. (Who knows what one can really do to a skirt or pants?)

If she could do it, so could I. (Okay, not in three pieces, but baby steps!) I packed items that don't rumple or wrinkle easily and could serve dual purposes. They also had to be easy to wash and hang in a hotel sink if need be. (I find chiffon & microfibers are the best for this!)

Here is my packing list for this trip:

Tops: One striped shirt (It's Europe after all!), Coral Pink Cardigan, Floral Print Cardigan (don't you miss Isaac Mizrahi for Target?) Blue, Pink & Black Tank top (for overtime as workout gear, pjs & layering pieces!)
Bottoms: Skinny Blue Jeans, Khaki Skirt

Dresses: Denim sheath dress- can double as skirt, Black & White polka dot chiffon dress- can double as a top if you are really determined to stuff it into jeans!

Accessories: Assorted Baubles, Black & White Skinny Belts, Red & Blush silk flower pins, Rainbow Striped, Floral Print and Blue Ombre Silk Scarves

Shoes: Black Ballet Flats, Black Heels, White Sandals, The Requisite-But-Irredeemably-Ugly-Tennis-Shoes-That-Immediately-Brand-You-"Tourist!" I'm glad I had them, especially on our day trip to Bratislava.

Misc: 2 pairs yoga shorts for Bikram class (doubling as pjs), 2 pairs sports bras, 1 swimsuit (as yet, only item remaining unused!), bras & undies & pretty camisole romper pjs Not pictured: 1 hot yoga towel, toiletries, Foldable tote bag, Fancy Camera, Passport

Things I wish I'd brought:

Pair of sweatpants for lounging around in after a long day of hoofing it from sight to sight. A jacket was a major oversight- my white denim jacket would have been ideal, but a blazer would have worked too. The girls here are all wearing theirs a bit over-sized with the sleeves rolled up nonchalantly. I love it. A sun hat was especially missed in Rome.

One Blonde Girl mentioned that a carry on leaves me no room for acquisitions. Never fear! This light list actually left me a bit of wiggle room in my luggage and some books I've ditched along the way also cleared out space. I'll share my purchases in another post.

What are your go to pieces when you travel?


Jennifer said...

Hi Becky! I'm so happy to hear you're enjoying your summer in Europe! And I feel lucky to follow along :) I loved this post. I'm a terrible packer because I can be very indecisive. I loved the visual layout of everything and your approach to more than one use - I never thought of repurposing a dress like a skirt! This was the perfect tutorial! Thanks for sharing.

Momma D said...

I can't believe that you got all of that in a carry on, you are such an experienced traveler.

The Fab Miss B said...

Jennifer- I'm so delighted to know this packing list will be helpful. I can be indecisive too and it took awhile to pair down to these pieces. My main rule of thumb was that anything going in my suitcase had to work with several other things or it couldn't come.

Momma D- It looks like more than it is all spread out like this. My other trick is to wear the bulkier items on the flight leaving more room free in the suitcase!

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