One Suitcase, Six Weeks in Europe.

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.


OUTFITS

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.


My Steele set was so handy, particularly the skirt!

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.


DRESSES

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.


These shoes were a one off in London.

SHOES

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!).


BATHERS

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)

  • Foundation

  • Concealer

  • A compact eye-shadow palette

  • MCoBeauty Highlighter

  • Eyebrow pencil

  • Mascara

  • Eyeliner

  • 5 of my favourite lip colours

  • Blush

  • Bronzer

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.


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