First thing you should keep in mind while packing: LESS IS MORE.
This is my real packing list my 2 months long trip to Europe during the months of April and May. And here are some things to consider when packing…
1 -Consider the weather during your visit. If you go in winter or summer your needs will be significantly different. But don’t forget that during flights (specially the long ones) can get chilly. A scarf and a jacket will come on handy.
2- Comfortable over fashionable: You will be walking, and walking and doing a little more walking. You don’t want to suffer in heels while you are suppose to be enjoying the history and rich culture surrounding you.
3- Colors: Bring basic colors. “The one shirt that goes with only one pair of pants” is not something you should bring. If you are packing light, then bring stuff you can combine and easy to wear. Stick with basic and dark colors that combine better.
4- Basics: You want to have the essential and the basics so you can put together a casual outfit or a night outfit. One simple black dress (if it will be warm when you go) could work as a casual outfit for sightseeing if wore with sneakers or with some flats and a nice scarf for a night out.
5- BRING ONE/TWO OF EACH! (with exception of underwear and socks). For example: 2 t-shirts, 2 pants, 1 sweater and 1 dress (if applicable).
1- Do not bring your whole bathroom with you. You wont need half of the stuff, and besides you should not be wearing half of what you own to begin with. A small make up pouch and a moisturizer with sunscreen will do.
2- Compact shampoo and conditioner. Try the ones from Basin or Lush. They are awesome and take little space!
3- Travel size toiletries: Deodorant, toothpaste or body lotion could be found in travel size, which will also allow you to bring your bag as a carry on (SAVING YOU TIME). Remember… They have everything you would possibly need there where you are going (Except you are going to a safari in the middle of nowhere).
4-Essentials: Toothbrush, nail clippers, tweezers, nail file, (maybe a Swiss knife?). Wet wipes, hands sanitizer. You should be able to find small sizes of everything and all that should also fit in a pouch.
- Foot wear (3 pairs YES THAT IS ALL YOU NEED)
3- Flip flops
International adapter, bottle of water with filter included, money Belt, journal and pens. Headphones and cellphone (if you decide to unlock one at home and bring it with you, you can also buy one at destination), research about this before leaving. Laptop and all the chargers!
Digital Camera, laptop, Ipad, Cellphone… How many of these things we really need? Do you work with your laptop? do you write? Then yes, it is a must. Do you love to take pictures? Then yes bring a camera. But do not go out of your way purchasing things that you won’t really need. You definitely don’t need to bring laptop and an Ipad and a cellphone all together.
You need to let your structures fall a little, you are taking a trip longer than just a vacation… And I dare to say that you are looking for more than just seeing beautiful places. I have a feeling you are looking to find yourself, or find balance, whatever is you are looking for… you are a seeker. And that what you look for will come to you when you step out your comfort zone. You need to allow yourself to step out of it, and without making a huge deal out of it… leave all your technological tights behind if you don’t necessarily need them to create something that goes along with your adventure (Like a travel blog 😉 )
I am bringing my laptop and my camera. I will get a pay as you go phone when I get there, or I would probably unlock my phone before I leave. But for the rest, I’m not concerned about Facebook, Instagram or twitter. This is a trip for me and myself. I am excited about sharing great things with my friends and family, but I will live this to the fullest. I will not be seating at the Coliseum posting a Facebook status. because my reason to be there is to live that moment with myself.
- Backpack or suitcase?
Consider the way you will be traveling. Are you mainly taking trains and walking? Moving around a lot? Or are you staying at hotels and just visiting a couple of places? On that depend if you should take a backpack or a suitcase.
If you will be walking and moving a lot, then of course pick a backpack. Or two. I will fit everything in 2 backpacks, one 50L an a 35L.
Suitcases in the other hand… are easier to push around because of the wheels (there are backpacks that come with wheels too), but those are difficult to walk up and down stairs. Also, we tend to pack more than we need if we have the space.
- A word about books… I love them. I would carry around 10 books at the time, at all times. However these are extremely heavy when every pound counts. You will be carrying your backpack most of the time, and you need to consider how heavy will it be! So leave those books behind, or download the PDF to your ipad/cellphone/laptop. About guide books… Nah, I don’t read them. I mean… everything you can possibly need is in the internet these days and it can be accessed at all times from almost everywhere. You really don’t need the extra weight on your back.
Think about what will be practical and comfortable for you.