So how DID that challenge to pack lightly go?

Black Dress

You might recall my earlier post about my personal challenge to pack very little on a 10 day trip to Europe in May. My idea was to pack everything in a smallish carry on. Here is what I ultimately packed:

  • black travel dress
  • white silk crinkle skirt
  • 4 dressy tee shirts (fuschia, white & black stripes, black, deep orange)
  • trouser jeans
  • black 3/4 sleeve cardigan
  • scarves -green, red
  • green Puma slips on shoes
  • black Adidas thin sneakers
  • lightweight undergarments to wash in the sink

I wore either the black knit dress or the white pleated skirt with a tee shirt most days, and didn’t even spill red wine all over the skirt. I hand-washed the tee shirts in the sink but the cotton ones took a really long time to dry. Next time I’ll just bring the modal ones. The black dress also took a full day to dry, but I’d still bring it because it’s so versatile. It was summer, so I only wore the jeans on the plane, which wasn’t a good use of my limited space. Maybe linen pants would be better next time – they’d certainly dry faster.

Green skirt, striped tee, black cardigan

I think this packing list would have worked better if we’d had easy access to a laundromat but we didn’t find one quickly in Bologna or Lucca. Having our clothes laundered was very expensive, so we both went shopping to tide us over till we found a place to do our own laundry, which wasn’t till the last day of our trip.

My choice of shoes was poor. I brought two pairs of “comfortable” but not too American-looking shoes, with which worked okay except that neither had very good tread. I slipped and fell in Madrid on one of the beautiful but very slick sidewalks in the rain. I suppose I need to find a cute pair of Mary Janes with better tread. I REFUSE to wear athletic or orthopedic shoes. I want  cute, comfortable shoes, with a bit of tread, made for narrow feet.

Puma slip-ons

I forgot a sunhat, so that’s the first thing I bought in Italy. I also bought a green linen skirt, an orange cotton sweater, and a green tee shirt because we couldn’t do laundry as often as we’d expected. Next trip I’ll look for another lightweight dress in something other than black, a pair of better shoes, and maybe a pair of lightweight linen pants instead of the jeans. Overall, I’m pleased at how little I brought with me on this trip.

Are you a light packer or do you bring everything but the kitchen sink? Is there one thing you bring no matter where you’re going?


My Challenge To Pack Light for a 10 Day Trip

We’re going on a trip later this summer and I’ve challenged myself to pack very lightly. I have a Baggalini Doctor Bagg I hope to fit most of my stuff in, and will also carry a small over the shoulder purse. I usually carry a backpack but I injured my left arm and can’t hoist it on my back at the moment.

We’re going to Italy, so it’ll be fairly warm but it may rain in the afternoons. We walk a lot on our trips, miles each day, so comfortable shoes are a must. I don’t want to look too obviously American so I’m won’t be bringing my white sneakers. Here are my basics:

Black Adidas slim lace-up shoes – comfortable and not too American looking
Red Dansko shoes – comfortable, well broken in, and cute

Orange scarf and red scarf
Trouser jeans – for the plane ride and when it’s chilly
Long sleeved black cotton sweater
Beige leather jacket
Modal tee shirts – orange, fuschia, black and white striped, beige
White washable silk skirt – lightweight, dries quickly, bringing a Tide stain stick just in case.
Black knit empire waist travel dress

And that’s it. Yikes! I keep thinking I should add either black capri pants or a pretty sundress, but I really want to challenge myself. We’ll have to do laundry a couple of times, and having to shop for clothes in Italy isn’t such a bad chore.

For more ideas on packing light, see Terri Fogarty’s article on her website, EuropeUpClose. She has lots of great European travel information too, including city guides and wonderful photos. I also like Rick Steve’s webpage on packing light.