Guide to Packing Light

IMG_2172 (1).JPG

The biggest challenge for me when planning any of my backpacking trips was fitting two weeks of my life into one backpack! And making sure it was still light enough to pass carry-on restrictions, and not break my back. Keep in mind my trip was at the very end of spring, so we were approaching summer conditions. 

A few basic tips:

  • Use packing cubes
  • Roll your clothes
  • Neutral colors for mix and matching

I had a hard time finding the right backpack for the type of trip we were doing. Between my friend and I, I think we went through 7-8 backpacks that we ordered and returned before finally settling on the 46 Liter Osprey pictured above. I love this backpack for travel, its very lightweight and durable. There are larger options if you want/need to fit more, but we found that 46 liters was just enough.

The specs:

  • Style: Ozone Travel Pack 46 Hoodoo Red O/S
  • Color: Hoodoo Red (available in other colors)
  • Size: O/S
  • Weight: 2.36 lbs / 1.07kg
  • Volume: 2807 cu. in. / 47 L

To find the backpack at REI click image: 

For similar backpacks on Amazon click here

To find the packing cubes at REI click image: 

I bought my packing cubes on Amazon

What I packed for clothes: 

  • 2 pairs of shorts
  • 3 tank tops (1 would be enough) 
  • 1 pair of jeans, and 1 pair of leggings (which I wore for the flights and train) 
  • 3 dresses
  • 1 romper
  • 3 pairs of sandals, 1 pair of sneakers 
  • I brought 5 or 6 pairs of underwear 
  • 1 tan, 1 black, and 1 strapless bra
  • 1 bikini
  • 1 sweatshirt
  • 1 Under Armour zip-up
  • 1 jean jacket
  • 3 pairs of socks 

From the above list what I wore on the plane: leggings, tank top, Under Armour zip-up, Sweatshirt, socks, sneakers. I also brought a tote, in the tote I had my scarf, smaller cross-body purse, wallet, magazines, makeup, and iPad for reading and entertainment. 

Shoes: you must bring/wear a pair of sneakers in case you do a hike, or if your feet get tired. I wore my tennis shoes for the plane, hiking, and while in Iceland. Its important that at least one of your sandals are comfort sandals. I found a really cute pair at DSW, they are cute and comfy. The brand is Me Too, also sold at Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack

Below are pictures of what I packed, how I wore it, and some random information :). I took pictures of my clothes as I packed to send to my friends so that they knew what to pack. I never intended to use them for a blog, so please don't mind the poor quality and mess in the background. The pictures are in a carousel format, so click or tap to see all images, and zoom in for a better look... 

I wore the black shorts with  the "LOVE" tank top from Krochet Kids Intl. Check out their website to learn about the company, its very interesting. They provide jobs for woman in need in Uganda and Peru. With every purchase you make, you help provide a job for those in need. You will also be introduced to the woman who hand stitched your piece of clothing. 

The white shorts I wore with a cold shoulder black t-shirt and also paired them with a plain gray tank top for a hike we did in the Swiss Alps...

The three dresses that I packed are pictured above. I also bought one in Milan, which I'll post towards the bottom of my post. You can kinda see the "comfy sandals" in the far left picture below. 

How I wore the dresses: 

I flew in leggings and brought one pair of jeans. I only wore the jeans in Iceland (it was chilly) and on the plane from Iceland to Switzerland. The rest of the trip was pretty warm and I wore shorts and dresses. For the flight and Iceland I wore lots of layers. The jeans, tank top, Under Armour zip-up, Under Armour hoodie, jean jacket, and a scarf.  

 Reykjavik, Iceland

Reykjavik, Iceland

The black romper is easy to pack and great for repeating. I also brought two sheer tops in cream and black. They are very light and when rolled barely take up space. I used the cream one to layer over the plain gray tank top. I brought the black sheer shirt because I could wear it over tank tops for when we walked into cathedrals (most require covered shoulders, at least with sheer fabric or a scarf), and it rolls up small enough to carry in my purse. 

 Here I layered the sheer white shirt over the tank top and under the jean jacket. I did wear the jacket a couple times in the evenings in Switzerland, but for the most part it was also pretty warm. The picture was taken in Zurich. 

Here I layered the sheer white shirt over the tank top and under the jean jacket. I did wear the jacket a couple times in the evenings in Switzerland, but for the most part it was also pretty warm. The picture was taken in Zurich. 

 This was the door to our Venice Airbnb. The keys in Europe are giant and old fashioned, but can be tricky :)  Wearing my handy big scarf. 

This was the door to our Venice Airbnb. The keys in Europe are giant and old fashioned, but can be tricky :)  Wearing my handy big scarf. 

I highly recommend packing an over-sized scarf! I loved using it as a blanket on the plane, and since we were traveling late spring, it was nice for the evenings. 

 This is the dress I bought in Milan. Selfie was taken in our Milan Airbnb, which was SO cute!

This is the dress I bought in Milan. Selfie was taken in our Milan Airbnb, which was SO cute!

I will be posting more details on lodging and how to make it affordable without staying in hostels, as well as details on each destination and attraction. So stay tuned! And feel free to leave comments and ask questions. 

For more about how I planned the trip visit Planning For Europe 2017

To read about my trip to Iceland visit One Day in Iceland