Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Reporting in: 10 days on the ground in Europe in a carry on

Initially I was going to do this big production post of look what I took and how I packed it, both when I left and when I came home. As I was packing, I thought hey...you should take some photos and if you know where this is going you know I didn't. As I was packing to go home, it was after midnight after a hellish night of travel with an early wakeup call for more travel, I was ready to kill MFD, and the TV was broadcasting the stress of Election night so yeah, no photos then either. I also didn't take any when I unpacked at home, but truth be told I just stowed the suitcase away over a month after traveling but since I did laundry the first day, it was a mess. The blessing and curse of spare bedrooms you never use, am I right?

What was in the checked bag - others I was traveling with were checking, and if one checks, you all check - but it was 21 inches with wheels:

What was in the carry on:
  • Medicines in an organizer
  • Electronics: power cords for iPhone, camera, kindle; adapters
  • Purse w/ wallet, passport, camera
  • One heavy fleece
  • Mini flight organizer bag to pull out before bag went into overhead with tissues, ear plugs, sleep mask, kindle, iPhone, portable charger, headphones, a pair of socks, and a pair of snoozies slippers

I wore a pair of yoga pants, a tank, a vneck, and a pair of sneakers. 

Lessons learned:
  • I could have done with one less top, one less pair of shoes, only one fleece, and none of my vitamins because I ignored them most days
  • We shop when we travel and we needed the checked bag on the way home. 
  • I can do this smaller bag thing if I do some laundry while traveling. One of the places we stayed had a washer, but it was a washer/dryer in one and I had no idea how to use it so I think my clothes got clean but I can't be sure. For those other times, there's the woolite travel laundry kit.

Are you an over-packer or under-packer?


25 comments:

  1. You inspired me soooooo we could have made this trip in one bag but my husband insisted we do two so my mom had room to bring stuff home. Let's just say that she is an overpacker... and we are feeling every bit of it. #shouldhavebroughtonebag.

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  2. If I learned anything - it's to buy those packing cubes for my next trip!! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

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  3. I am a terrible over-packer. It's so bad. Everyone swears by the packing cubes which I really need to look into.

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  4. Well done! Packing cubes are a game changer. It always amazes me what little we actually need.

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  5. Nice work! I'm definitely an over-packer! I find it harder to pack for longer trips because you dont know if you'll have access to laundry (like for our Greece cruise I knew we would through the ship, but I didn't want to pay $100 with gratuity for it lol). Im impressed!

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  6. I spent 25 years of my life being an over packer and now I'm working on being a more reasonable human. I try to follow a formula of enough socks & undies for everyday, plus one extra and then plain shirts and pants that I can mix & match to make different outfits, one nicer outfit and one travel outfit. Shoes are my biggest hurdle, I end up wanting sneakers for walking and Toms to wear out and about and a pair of flats and it just snowballs really quickly. Last winter in an attempt to pack less I ended up having to go buy a pair of black flats to wear out to dinner because I convinced myself I wouldn't need them.

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  7. I am so impressed. I vacillate between chronic under and chronic over packing. I drastically underpacked for our honeymoon 2 years ago and it scarred me so now I am at the opposite end. Even with lists I think I just anticipate changing clothes more often than I actually do...?

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  8. After extensive traveling traveling over the last 20+ years, I've got this down to a science. I never exceed my 20 inch carry on unless it's Christmas shopping time. Using an open tote as the second piece of carryon makes a huge difference. I stuff that sucker full if I have to. I also use a Briggs and Riley bag so even if you expand it, all you have to do is sit on it and it collapses back and locks in place. I never buy a spinner carryon suitcase because you lose two inches of packing space. Laundry is just a test tube of dawn detergent because it gets out every single stain and it's concentrated. I normally take a skinny clothesline in case I need to do laundry in the sink. I always use packing bags, even for three weeks travel, I never exceed the three packing bags plus a small one for undergarments. That leaves a huge space for a small hanging cosmetic bag, and all the other crap I bring. Leggings are key. Easy to wash if needed and so much less weight. I rarely pack jeans. Always wear your bulkiest shoes and carry your jacket or coat. Sneakers and flats and maybe flip flops is all I bring. I make an attempt to wear one outfit all day, even after work. The bigger the suitcase, the more stuff you take, the heavier the bag. Overweight bags cost a ton. Even stuffed to the max, a 20-24 inch suitcase should not exceed weight limits. If you go any bigger than that, you're pushing it. I don't normally have time to check bags, and unless it's a direct flight, I won't do it just because of the risk of it getting lost. Nothing is worse than not having your suitcase, believe me. A huge plug for the Vera Bradley tote! It's the best! Great job!

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  9. I always bring too much but I learned my last lesson last time I was in Europe. One time, I was overseas, I felt like I hadn't brought enough clothes and ever since then I bring too much. It's a learning process. I just got some of those packing cubes and cannot wait to use them.

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  10. Over packer ! I know I always use much less. I only go away for 1-2 nights anyway lol. And do not travel far!
    Good job !
    Love. Your. Momma.

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  11. I love this, you did AWESOME. I did 'laundry' when we went on the cruise, as in, it takes 2 seconds to wash socks and underwear in the sink and hang them to dry. The rest I didn't bother because I wear pants multiple times at home before washing, why would vacation be different? lol.
    I think my best ever packing job was a girls weekend in Vegas, Thursday - Sunday, and I packed every single thing in a tote size carry on, basically what you would take grocery shopping. The southern belles I was with were like 'OMG WHERE ARE YOUR PRODUCTS AND SHOES.' It's 4 days, ladies.
    My mom struggles with the 'shopping while there' problem, because she overpacks in the first place and then has no room to bring home her haul. She's slowly improving.

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  12. I've done 10 days in Europe in a carrier on. We're going about this May and I just keep thinking "How did I do that?!"

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  13. I think I'm just a mispacker. Even when I take loads I don't seem to have the right stuff, so I've just given up. I try and take as little as possible but invariably end up handwashing some stuff because I need to wear it again whilst other stuff goes untouched. I'm ok at business travel because that's easy, but holidays man. They're tough. And yes to the checked baggage for souvenirs!

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  14. I like your skepticism over the washer/dryer combo and whether or not the clothes got cleaned.
    I'm glad you posted this. I'm an over-packer for the most part and I always wonder what the carry on + bag travelers pack. I always check my bags, although K is starting to do more carry-on-only trips and that might change me. He's always been an over-packer so if he can change his ways maybe I can, too....
    *Smart to pack a check-able bag for the trip home. Genius, in fact.

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  15. I pack more than that to go 3 hours to Nashville. Another reason why I am horrible at traveling.

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  16. i'm a master packer! i can fit my stuff AND kayla's stuff into a single carry on and haven't checked bags since 2008!

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  17. i am so intrigued by that rain jacket. it's on my list and i *might* get it for NZ/Oz next year. I don't really think I will need it for Oz, but definitely (maybe? i have no idea) for NZ and I love the removable lining. did you get your normal size and all that jazz? i am trying to decide if i need the normal or the tall. how tall are you? i'm only 5'9 so not *that* tall. sorry for all the questions. there is a 40% off code right now, so.... bargain!
    the mini flight organiser bag is so smart!
    i love the way you did this post. very straight to the point.
    i am definitely an over packer, but i can smoosh everything into a carry-on if i plan several months in advance, which i know not everyone wants to do.

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  18. I'm a chronic over-packer and concerned about what will happen with our 3 days in NOLA followed by the 7 day cruise we're doing in March. We have laundry access in Nola at least and I bought gazillions of packing cubes. I'm attempting to remain hopeful.

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  19. I could not agree more with the "if one checks a bag, we all might as well" because you end up waiting for them. That's what happened when a bunch of us flew to Punta Cana for a friend's wedding last year. My husband and I only carried on, and ended up waiting forever with everyone anyway. And vitamins... I always have good intentions. I'm great about taking them when at home, but suck at it while traveling :-P

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  20. We needed an extra bag to go home with when we were in Europe too because we bought so much while we were over. But overall I liked having a small bag to take with me everywhere else. I'm glad that you were able to pack everything in one bag though, and found out what works for you!

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  21. I'm always a "I should've brought one less pair of shoes" person, so for Vegas this past weekend, I resisted the urge to pack two pair of shoes, and limited to wearing one and packing one. Worked out great! (Also I remembered to take the vitamins I packed, mostly because the husband's cold/sniffling reminded me, HA!)

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  23. I'm a serious OVER packer!!! I love the idea of storing face creams in the contact lens case. That's pure genius! We are traveling through Spain next summer and I promised my hubby I would keep it light. We'll see...lol!

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  24. I tend to overpack and underpack at the same time. I always have things I don't want and am missing things I do want.
    It's a real problem.

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  25. I'm a notorious over-packer and it gets even more tricky with longer trips but sounds like you got your pack list pretty accurate besides one or two things. The Mini flight organizer bag is a great idea....never though to do that!

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