In less than 24 hours I will be on a plane to embark on a journey across Europe. I am extremely excited for the people I will meet, the places I will see, and the photography opportunities I will find along the way.
When it comes to packing I am pretty good at pairing down how much I carry because even the thought of lugging suitcases on trains, planes, and across cobbled cities seems like a nightmare. However, I have heard of people going to Europe with just 2 shirts, one pair of bottoms, and 3 pairs of underwear and that was not the sort of alley I want to be in. Even though I have not been to Europe since I was two, I have many friends who traveled there or have lived there for long periods of time. If you don’t care about what you wear when traveling around Europe, you will standout like a sore thumb. While it would be nice to throw on what I would back home, I want to avoid offending the locals, receiving those judging stares, and simple be treated well.
Thus, the challenge of trying to be compact for two months of travel walks into the room and puts the end on any semblance of fashion. I think I have uncovered an easy recipe for success, the number 7. Simply stated and easily carried out, I packed mostly 7 items of each area of clothing. If you are planning to travel around Europe for at least two months in the spring, summer and early fall and you want to travel fashionably, here is how I am achieving compact, fashion success with an 20” suitcase and a backpack:
7 tank tops
7 shirts (mix of long and short sleeves)
7 jackets/sweaters (1 leather jacket, 2 hoodies, 3 cardigans, 1 rain jacket)
7 bottoms (3 shorts, 1 pair of jeans, 2 jeggings, and 1 skirt)
5 pairs of shoes (toms, flip-flops, 2 pairs of sandals, and1 pair of wedges)
14 pairs of socks and underwear
Other: 1 pair of pajamas, 2 swimsuits, 2 rompers, 2 scarves, 2 bras, make-up bag, laptop + charger, phone + charger, passport, money wallet, glasses, bible, jewelry, and 1 shoulder bag)
Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner bar from LUSH (they’re compact and not liquid so I can take it in my backpack)
I packed the number seven not just at random. As there are seven days in a week, I reasoned that I would be packing enough clothes for a whole month, meaning I would only need to do laundry roughly two to three times on my travels if that. For a full week, I could wear dresses. For another three weeks, I could wear all of my top and bottom combinations. I have 28 outfits in one bag. I am not limiting myself to one or two of certain items. This kind of formula can be followed for anywhere from one to four months in Europe during the warmer months of the year.
If you want to see more of what I’m up to in Europe follow me on Twitter and Instagram, because over there I’ll probably be able to share pictures and updates more often while I’m in Europe.