Packing has never been my forte… I always leave it until the last minute and as a result I panic and overpack and end up with a suitcase completely filled with random outfits I never end up wearing. But, when it came to my recent Europe trip, I knew I had to be smart about it as I had six weeks ahead of me and only one suitcase. Most of our internal flights had a maximum weight of 23kgs, so with that in mind I knew I had to try to be a bit more minimal and strategic with my packing.
Generally when I shop, I prefer to buy sets rather than dresses (i.e. a top and skirt, or a top and pants) because I know I’ll get more wear out of them by mixing and matching. This habit of mine came in handy for packing because rather than needing eight dresses, I packed four sets; in red, burnt orange, cream and white. All the sets also look good mixed with each other, so as a result, four outfits became more like twelve by mixing the different pieces together.
I have never really liked wearing denim shorts. I know they are meant to be a bit of a ‘Euro-trip staple’ but I have never felt very comfortable in them, they are usually too short and I don’t enjoy having my butt hanging out. So, before I left I was on a mission to find the perfect denim skirt. I wanted it to be high waisted, so it would look good with cropped tops, bathers & shirts tucked in. I also needed it to be long enough that I wouldn’t have to worry about anyone having a sneaky peek up it when I sat down. I found my skirt at General Pants Co, it is by Ksubi and it was definitely the thing I wore the most whilst I was away. I highly recommend grabbing one before you go!
The rest of my suitcase consisted of three basic t-shirts (in grey, black and white) to go with everything. A pair of jeans, which I mainly wore when I was in London and it was a bit cooler temperature wise. Three shirts, all of which I bought along the way and a couple of cute tops which I also bought on my trip. I took three sets of active wear, although I definitely didn’t use them as much as I had planned to (oops!). I had a denim jacket, a casual jumper and some comfy yoga pants for travel days. I also took several pairs of socks, including one long pair for the plane, two bras and lots of undies! You don’t ever want to get caught without clean undies..
I took quite a lot of accessories, including several of my fave earrings, five pairs of sunglasses, headscarves, a few necklaces and a couple of belts. None of the accessories I took weigh much at all, and they make it so easy to change an outfit to look completely different and they also keep it interesting when you are outfit repeating.
I packed a few dresses for this trip, but only ones that are floaty and lightweight. I took those which I feel comfortable in and that are great for either day or night so that I could dress them up or down & get more wear out of them.
As for shoes, I tried to be as minimal as I possibly could. When I was in London for the first week, I had a black tie wedding, so I took a beautiful golden gown and some heels for that. Once the wedding was over I posted the outfit back to Australia. It cost me quite a bit, but it was definitely worth it rather than lugging the pieces around for the rest of the trip when I wouldn’t have worn them again. I then spent the rest of the trip with just one pair of black boots (I wore these a bit in London and Paris but not at all after that) and a pair of canvas sneakers (grey ones from Seed which are SO comfortable for big walking days). I also had sneakers for working out in, havaianas and a pair of Birkenstocks. The Birks killed me the first day I wore them because I hadn’t broken them in yet. We walked 15,000 steps in Paris and I ended up with blisters all over my feet.. But once my feet had healed I literally lived in my Birkenstocks everyday. They mould to your feet so they become so unbelievably comfortable. I got them in brown so that they would go with everything, and although they aren’t the dressiest of sandals, it never stopped us from getting in anywhere. I can’t recommend investing in some enough if you are going to Europe, but also take bandaids & be careful not to slip in Greece (I had a few mishaps!).
I love taking one piece bathers on holidays, because not only can you wear them for their actual purpose of swimming, but they also look great with a skirt (or shorts if that’s ya thing). It’s another great way to have a few more outfits without packing much more at all. I took 3 one piece bathing suits and 3 bikinis. I purchased a pair of bikinis in Italy and ended up wearing them more than any of the others because I LOVE them! I found them at a little shop in the Amalfi town, they are hand painted in Italy and also had a matching headband (which I had to get too of course).
HAIR & BEAUTY PRODUCTS
Usually when travelling, I take an unnecessary amount of products which I pack ‘just in-case ’and they end up weighing me down, taking up space and don’t often get used. I decided for this trip that I needed to cut down and take the bare necessities (which I hate to admit, is still quite a bit).
For my hair, I took shampoo, conditioner and a heat protectant/anti frizz treatment. To begin with, they were quite heavy because they weren’t travel size, but this meant that they were all I used for the whole trip and there was no need to stock up at any point. I didn’t pack a hairdryer, firstly because mines weighs quite a bit but also because I wanted to take care of my hair while I was away & my hairdresser suggested reducing my heat styling as much as possible. Most of the Air BnB’s and hotels we stayed at had hairdryers anyway, but when we got to Croatia & Greece (& it was HOT!) I either let my hair dry naturally or wore it slicked back. I took a straightener to use for both straightening and curling, so I didn’t need a curling wand at all. In the end the straightener also came in handy to get rid of creases in our clothes when we didn’t have an iron (such a great multipurpose tool).
With my make up, again, I wanted to take as little as possible so I narrowed my products down & had just one makeup bag. Some beauty products I took were (a few obvious ones): cleanser, make up remover, moisturiser, spot/breakout treatment, deodorant and dry shampoo. I also took:
BB cream with SPF 50+ (which I wore everyday)
A compact eye-shadow palette
5 of my favourite lip colours
I think that’s all folks! If you’re about to set off on a trip yourself, I hope this helps with the dreaded packing & that you have the best time ever.