4 countries. 5 1/2 weeks. 1 carry-on.

Let’s be honest: the whole time that I’ve been rehashing our trip, what you really wanted to know was did I manage to do the carry-on thing? Yes, yes indeed I did.Paris-2You had probably already figured that out on your own, as I have been outfit repeating like a champ. That polka dot top? Yep, you did see it in almost every post, meaning it was worn at least once a week. Did it seem like I looked the same in almost all the Germany posts? That’s because my cold weather options were limited to pretty much the same scarf-coat combo. But you know what? It was so nice and easy to get ready every day when my options were so limited and carefully curated in advance. It was also nice to only be dragging a carry-on and a purse through metro stations, through tight connections, up endless flights of stairs and down steep Italian streets. It meant that my suitcase didn’t take up my whole room and that I could pack and unpack quickly. Without any furthur ado, all those packing details you just didn’t even know you wanted.Paris-3What I carried//  I carried my purse/camera bag and my carry-on sized suitcase. As I had a direct flight, I did actually check the carry-on to avoid having to haul it around. I will also freely admit that I unzipped everything I could to use the full space in that little suitcase. For my purse, I carried my trusty Ona bag. I’m going on 4 years with this bag and I can’t say enough good things about it. It held my laptop, camera (I only brought one lens), notebook, pencil case, Kindle, wallet, and map. I always make sure when I’m in Europe that I bring a big zipper wallet (it’s actually a little clutch) to lug around all those Euro coins.Paris-6Paris-7In my bag// Y’all, packing cubes. They are a game changer. Not only did they help me capitalize on every  last inch of space, but they meant that all my stuff stayed organized. As you can see above, I put shoes, umbrella, and random odds and ends in the zip pocket and then let the cubes hold the rest. I used 4 medium ones, a small one, and then two little make-up cases for my toiletries, many of which I just bought once I got to France. Here’s how I used my cubes:Paris-8What I packed // It was surprisingly difficult to pack for all the different climates that I knew we would hit. Chilly in Paris, hot in Montpellier, hiking in Italy, cold in Germany. I could have easily eliminated 1/3 of our stuff by picking similar climates for our travels, but that just didn’t happen. Here’s what I hauled along, and the things in italics show what I wish I had left home/never wore:

  • 1 pair of ballet flats, 1 pair of sneakers, 1 pair of flip flops
  • navy blazer and jean jacket
  • 4 pairs pants, 1 pair shorts (wish I had brought another pair of shorts, one less pants)
  • 1 sweater, 2 long sleeved-tees, 2 long-sleeved shirts (should have left one of the tees and one of the shirts at home)
  • 2 dresses
  • 8 short sleeved shirts (could have cut 2), 5 tanks/tees (could have cut 1)
  • swimsuit, pjs, underwear, socks, 1 pair tights
  • 2 scarves

I picked one color palate and stuck pretty close to it, trying for tops and bottoms to have as many combos as possible. In theory, I was going to spread out all the clothes artistically and take pictures so you could get an idea… Montpellier-351 Montpellier-352… but that got old after 2 cubes. Just comfort yourself knowing that there was lots more navy, white, solids, denim, and punches of red/orange where that came from. Thanks for all your tips back on the original post! I also made my way through a bunch of your book selections, either on the Kindle or via audiobook. So… anyone planning on traveling far and packing light this summer? Where are you headed?

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11 Responses to 4 countries. 5 1/2 weeks. 1 carry-on.

  1. streckerme says:

    bravo! that is the prettiest packing job i’ve ever seen. packing cubes for the win! xo

  2. WOW!!! I am impressed!!! I literally suck at packing!!

  3. This is the kind of packing solutions that make me so, so happy. 🙂


  4. E.H says:

    Scott and I are hoping to travel to Europe next summer! I am going to follow your tips for packing! This is utterly brilliant!

    • Hannah says:

      It makes such a difference in how much time and energy you exert lugging stuff around! And if you pick places with similar climates, you could take even less!

  5. Pingback: Mad Hatter | The Art in Life

  6. Pingback: Traveling [to France] with your [13.5 month old] baby. | The Art in Life

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