By: Lauren Egger
Packing for a summer in Europe is a daunting, seemingly impossible task. How do you perfectly pack the right amount of clothes for the combination of casual, dressy, fancy and practical? As I near my month in Italy, I can’t stop thinking about the outfits. I want my Instagram grid to be the best it has ever been, (which I don’t think will be difficult as I’ll have some of the most beautiful backdrops in the world) but my mom keeps trying to bring me back to reality.
“Pack light” “You have to carry your suitcase yourself” “You need multi-purpose clothes” blah blah blah.
And yes, she is right. I do need clothes that are comfortable, light-weight, appropriate and wrinkle-free. And I do need them to fit in one suitcase that I can carry myself. But, that doesn’t mean I can’t strategize how to fit as much as I can while still being able to manage my suitcase. Here are my packing tips for fitting every Italy-worthy outfit into your 26 x 19 inch, 140 pound suitcase:
- Buy packing cubes
When I visited Europe for the first time, my family bought packing cubes to keep our suitcases organized, and I have been hooked ever since! They really are life changing when it comes to packing. When you’re traveling for a long period of time and moving from city to city, it is easy for your suitcase to start to fall apart and look like something exploded in there. With packing cubes you can keep this from happening—it’s amazing!
Links: Amazon Packing Cubes, Target Packing Cubes
- You can re-wear your clothes!
I think it’s easy to get fixated on all the outfits you have to pack and prepare for. I feel like I have to step up my fashion in Europe, but I don’t need a different outfit everyday. I’m packing some staple items that are neutral and can be mixed and matched with different tops or pants, and then some patterned, pretty dresses for nicer dinners. And I will wear these outfits multiple times, and that’s ok! If you try and pack for about two weeks, you can wear everything 2-3 times which is perfect! And, if you forget something or want to shop you can buy something new in Italy.
- Wear your heaviest, bulkiest items when you travel
If you want to make carrying your suitcase a little bit easier, just wear the biggest items while you travel! I’ll be on the airplane in my sweatshirt, pants and my heaviest sneaker. It saves you room in the suitcase and your energy.
- Leave room for your souvenirs
You’re probably going to buy something while you travel! There is so much to see in Italy and all of Europe, so it’s highly likely you’ll pick up some clothes, art, bag, wallet, shoe or anything else along the way. Make sure you have room in your suitcase on the way there so that you don’t have to choose between a souvenir and your favorite pair of pants.
- You don’t need as much as you think you do, and it’s all going to work out
Packing is stressful. I always over analyze every item I put in my suitcase and end up overpacking anyways. Just remember if you forget shampoo, a razor, a pair of shoes or even underwear, you can grab some there and everything will work out! Other items to consider packing:
- Water bottle
- Rain coat
- Charging adaptor
- Small bag to walk around with (and keep hidden from pickpockets)
- Backup debit or credit card
- Extra copies of your passport, vaccine card, drivers license etc.
Have a safe flight—you’re going to have an amazing trip!