I’m notorious for being a weeks-long packer. I sit my suitcase out and start making lists and piles for a week at minimum before the trip (usually I’ve been doing it in my head for a lot longer so the listing goes faster). For the honeymoon trip we took in July – 3 weeks across Europe – I felt the pressure. I watched YouTube videos. I Pinterested hard. I think I nailed it. So here’s what I learned (so I don’t have to pack for 3 weeks over 3 weeks next time).
Our trip was taking us to 3 countries over 3 weeks and included hot humid weather, potentially cool rainy weather, lake swimming, long cobblestone street walks, casual outings, and a 3-day acupuncture conference. Varied much? Despite this, I was determined to not only pack light and do laundry along the way (something I’ve done with varying success on my last 2 two-week long international trips to Japan and China), but to pack smart. I’ve been wanting to try the capsule wardrobe thing and this seemed like a great test.
Between the two of us, we stuffed everything into my red and black Baggallini Wide-Mouth Dr. Bagg. No purse, no backpack. This was our only bag once we each checked our suitcases. Packing light? Check!
Verdict: The bag was heavy when fully loaded and I worried the whole time about breaking the shoulder strap. But we carried it carefully and it worked. The sleeve that allowed it to slide over the suitcase handle was a lifesaver for getting around planes, trains, and town.
- Black Fossil wallet (similar)
- Travel itinerary (print out with confirmation numbers, etc) in sealed folder with all train tickets, hotel reservations, etc.
- Klean Kanteen to fill once through security (similar)
- Bag o’cords (similar)
- One plug (used iPhone plug for space efficiency)
- International adapter
- iPhone charger wire
- Fitbit charger wire
- Kindle charger wire
- Camera charger
- Scarf (similar)
- Bose Noise Canceling Headphones
- Eye mask with molded cups (similar)
- Cabeau neck pillow
- Kiva collapsible tote bag
- 3 ziplock bags of different trail mixes from grocery store bulk bins
- 2 Cliff bars
- Bag o’small toiletries (Dr. Bagg’s attached tiny bag)
- Travel tissues (similar)
- Travel size Burt’s Bees facial cleansing towelettes – good for face and underarms
- DoTerra travel pack of essential oils
- JetZone Jet Lag Prevention Homeopathic Formula – not sure if this worked, but I didn’t have jetlag in either direction so…
- Two pens (for forms)
- Pill case for Aleve (similar)
- Clinique Black Honey Almost Lipstick
- Chapstick (one of my two favorites)
- Mints (only took one! Forgot a whole roll or box)
- Travel spray bottle of Witch Hazel for face freshening
- Josie Maran Argan Milk sample for intense-moisturizing of hands
- Travel size hand cream
- Extra ziplock bag for taking liquids and gels through security (pre pack them in this so you don’t have to do much shuffling)
I was also carrying his passport, book, and Bose Noise Canceling headphones so things got heavy, especially after I filled up the water bottle for the flight.
Hotel samples are the best for hand cream, obviously, and I have a box full of them. But in retrospect I didn’t need both hand cream and the argan milk. I didn’t like the argan milk sample for my face, but it’s the perfect intense moisturizer for hands and cuticles during travel. I would replace hand cream with that little bottle next time since it’s so efficient. Can save the hotel samples for office life and my various purses and bags in daily life.
Only having one set of wires saved us a lot of space and headache. We were fine switching off using the same iPhone charger wire and plug. I didn’t end up needing to charge my Kindle, but I’m glad I took the wire just in case. And I didn’t use either my point and shoot camera or its charger at all. Guess the transition to iPhone as camera is totally complete. Even a year ago I shot hundreds of photos on my standalone camera in China. Having all the wires in a little bag was one of those simple, but deeply satisfying organizations on this trip.
Despite the hype, I was not in love with the Cabeau neck pillow. I didn’t use it for the return flight since I felt like it pushed my neck forward and it didn’t help me sleep on the way over. Ended up being the biggest space waster. Not sure if I’ll give it another try or not.
The collapsible tote bag was a little life saver at the airport and throughout our trip. Great for last minute shopping, I-don’t-want-to-carry-my-jacket-anymore, or snacks.
I decided not to do a face mask on the plane (so I didn’t pack one), but having the face wipes and witch hazel made me feel a lot better than I usually do during and after a flight. And wiping your underarms is just enough like a little shower to make you feel like a human upon deplaning. My usual reaction to getting off a plane is GET ME TO THE NEAREST SHOWER so that was nice.
The DoTerra oils kit is amazing. I use lemon for acne at night and either lavender or melaleuca (tea tree) during the day. The others are great for sore muscles, cold prevention, nausea, and sore throat treatment, to name a few. One of my teachers had this little bag for our China trip and it came in handy nearly daily for one of us. Since I got one for myself after the trip last year, I can’t live without it.