Twas the night before I leave for a trip to Croatia and Slovenia and here I am; sitting on the couch, relaxing and writing a blog post after packing for Europe in the fall. Who am I?
This never happens. Usually at this point before a trip, I am scrambling to finish laundry and packing. It is common for me to be putting stuff into my suitcase as I am walking out the door en route to the airport.
So what is different this time? A few things. The main thing is I did my laundry last weekend and made myself wear what was left in my closet for work this week. This allowed me to pack last night without having to account for unfinished laundry. Also, in general, I am very relaxed about this trip. While I am going solo, I booked it through a tour so they do all of the planning. All I have to do is show up, which means no second guessing myself tonight about whether I booked hotels and day trips correctly.
Speaking of packing, I am turning over a new leaf there. I am packing for Europe in the fall with only my backpack and a carry on suitcase. You read that right – no checked bag for me on this trip! I am so proud of myself!
I am a big fan of Sarah Murdoch. Sarah works with Rick Steves and also plans and guides her own tours. She always stresses packing light in all of her blog and social media posts. I know how practical and correct she is so I am taking it to heart! While I’m not at her level of light packing yet (she travels with just a backpack), I have definitely downsized and am looking forward to how much easier I know it will make this trip.
So how did I do it? Here is a complete list of what I packed. (Note: Some of the Amazon links below are affiliate links which means that if you purchase anything through the use of my links, I receive a small commission).
In my suitcase…
- 5 tops
- 2 jeans
- 3 dresses
- 2 pajamas
- Lots of socks and underwear
- 2 bras
- A rain/trench coat
- 2 cardigans
- A pair of athletic shorts and a T-shirt for lounging around
- A swimsuit
- My Cubs sweatshirt in case of cold hotel rooms
- 4 pairs of shoes (my sneakers, a pair of ballet flats, a pair of nicer flat sandals and my flip flops for moving about hotels)
- 3 pairs of fun earrings
- Zuca bag with my toiletries
- A ziplock bag with my shower supplies
- Outlet converters
- A guidebook
- Money belt (not sure if I will use it but I bring it just in case)
I *think* I included enough clothes so I will not have to do laundry while I’m traveling if I don’t want to. I wear clothes multiple times between washings at home so why not do the same when traveling? The list above includes key pieces I need to dress up for a nicer dinner or dress casually for every day activities.
There is a key to getting all of that in my suitcase and keeping it organized: packing cubes. These are the ones I have and they make a big difference for me. I love them and don’t like to travel without them anymore.
In my backpack…
- My DSLR camera
- Medicine (mostly allergy meds and some Advil)
- A light fleece jacket for the plane
- Noise canceling headphones
- My Trtl pillow (the best travel pillow! I highly recommend it!)
- A small crossbody purse with my phone, currency, passport, mints and chapstick
- A book
- Toothbrush/toothpaste, contact solution and case
- My iPad
- Compression socks for the plane
- A folder containing our itinerary and Flat Stanley (courtesy of my 9 year old niece)
And that is it! I am happy with this list. It is minimal but complete. I cannot wait to take off tomorrow and explore Croatia and Slovenia over the next week and a half!