Packing and what I learned about it!

First of all I’m someone who does think you can travel for a long time with only a carryon IF you’re in one climate. If not I don’t know because i’ve never done it. On my trip I started with 2 bags. One with all of my clothes stuff and one that had my “carry on” stuff. I did end up with another but I’ll get into that. Also the clothes what I brought part is more for girls although I’m sure anyone could adapt it. Again this is just my opinion. This is largely what I’d bring next time more than what I did.

I’ll start with the carry on one.  I also had a smaller purse for going out and about.

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Packed and ready to leave Barcelona this is everything I had at this point. It expanded quickly but this is mainly it.

CARRY ON

I ended up using 2 different bags as my “Carry on” for me that meant a bigger purse that had some way of securing shut. The first one I had was a big black bag with a zipper and a button so it could fold over. It actually broke in Barcelona and I ended up buying a new one, a big tan boxy bag similar to this. This is the bag that I used for the majority of my trip.

What was in these bags was the stuff that I’d use when I was in transit between places along with other things that needed to be easily accessable or that I wanted to keep an eye on.

These are the main things in this bag:

  • My computer and it’s charger
  • My phone charger
  • Neck Pillow
  • A fleece blanket that I rolled up
  • A magazine or book
  • My Journal
  • First aid things (Medicines and Bandaids)

Other things like snacks were often tossed in here as well.

I have a 13inch Macbook Air. I loved having it with me. I did. However. If you’re not blogging or are as addicted to the internet as I am I’d go without it. Your phone generally has enough capabilities where you wont need a computer. But if you’re bringing one there are a few things to be aware of. First off I just weighed my computer, case, cords, and phone together and it equals out to be a little over 4 pounds. And that’s without any adapters, headphones, cameras, or anything else. Yes it doesn’t sound like much. But over time it gets to be a bit annoying. On top of that you’ve got to make sure it’s safe. It’s much less of a big deal to leave clothes unlocked than a computer. You need to be much more aware of leaving this sort of thing out. Meaning don’t. Don’t leave it out. Just don’t.

The other thing to know about electronics is that cords and adapters are the most likely things that you’ll lose. Be prepared that you’ll have to buy one or two. I actually lost both my phone cord and my plug adapter at the same time which led me to having to walk around looking for an apple store to buy a new cord for my computer and phone and a thing to plug the phone into. I ended up buying the travel adapter set for macbooks which is 29$ on their website. It came with all sorts of plugs for my computer. I’d actually reccomend it if you travel internationally a lot. It came with 7 little plug things that I can use forever. Do keep in mind that they have different plugs. The amount of people who complained about forgetting adapters and had to go out and buy them was absurd. In europe it’s two round pegs. England’s are different. If you’re going other places they might even have other different types.

That’s my elecronics advice. I had a point and shoot camera with me that I used maybe 3 times, then lost the cord and never used it again. Honestly unless you’re huge into photography don’t worry too much. My phone took good enough pictures. One of the guys I was with in Croatia and Hungary had a gopro and those I’d reccomend. I really want one. Also bring extra earbuds. They’re small and get lost easily. Also it’s nice if someone doesn’t have any to lend them some. Even if they’re the free tour ones you get. I kept them. Easy and nice to offer to people.

I do reccomend having some kind of pillow and blanket if you’re someone who wants to sleep on trains or other places. Also it’s nice to have something soft for the beds in hostels and the memory foam pillow I had was great until I lost it but that was my bad. A book or something is also nice for trains and going to bed as is having a journal or something. First aid stuff was in here just so it was easy to get to!

A very annoyed me on the train platform wating to go to Paris. I don't know if I was more annoyed that I had that bag or that my mom insisted on taking a hundred pictures.
A very annoyed me on the train platform wating to go to Paris. I don’t know if I was more annoyed that I had that bag or that my mom insisted on taking a hundred pictures.

MAIN BAG

Both bags I used were from Rick Steves and while they worked I wouldn’t neccessarily reccomend them for future use. I started with a backpack that was just too big for me. It made my balance bad and was just too frustrating. So when my mom left to go back home I traded herr bads along with sending some stuff home with her. This meant that I ended up with a rolling bag. For some people this may work better. However aside from the awesome callouses I don’t think it was worth it. It was easy because I didn’t have to carry everything. I could just put the straps around the handle and balence everything on top of it with little to know problem. However. Pulling a rolling bag is annoying. And you pack it heavier because it’s not on your back meaning when you have to lug it onto trains or up flights of stairs to your hostel or store it on a plane it gets to be a problem. Also. The wheels are no longer aligned so it tips over and leads to a lot of frustration. I yelled at it alot and kinda wanted to light it on fire by the end. Although I never did.

What I do reccomend is trying bags on and finding one that fits and is comfortable. Also a nice one should last a while!!! I would reccomend using packing cubes and ziplocks. it just keeps things a little more organized but after a while you should repack because at least for me every time I opened it it exploded. This list is close to what I brought for a 2 month trip.

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At Mont Saint Michel with my first bag. Heavy. Pinched my shoulders and I’m leaning forward to keep from falling The black bag is my first that broke 2 weeks later.

What I’d reccomend (Not what I brought)

  • Undergarmets, I reccomend black and nothing you care about. I got a lot from target. I wouldn’t reccomend lace because even though it dries fast they don’t last long. Also not cotton because they take longer to dry. As for bras I had 3. Didn’t always wear them. Just bring things that are comfortable for you. Honestly one or 2 would probably be fine. Done talking about this. Also don’t forget this.
  • Swimwear, I had 2 bikinis. I mostly wore one of them. Unless you’re swimming everyday one is probably fine. I actually had planned to buy one on the trip but never found one I liked enough.
  • Pants, I had one pair of jeans. Comfortable. Good.
  • Shorts, I had two pairs. One dark one lighter. They worked well. Wouldn’t change them except maybe getting a size smaller. Also had a pair of cheershorts that I wore to sleep and around
  • Shirts, Go cheap. It’s easy to find more. Mine were 3$ from forever 21 and I wore them out pretty quickly. I did buy more as I went. I had a few other shirts, crop tops, a long sleeve, a band shirt. Just bring things you feel comfortable in but don’t mind losing. And keep it to probably 3-5 more if they’re small
  • Sweaters, I originally brought one and sent it home. I had two long sleeve buttonups that worked fine although next time I’d bring one just for cooler days or in hostels
  • Dresses/Rompers, I started with a lot. Ended with alot of different ones. My advice is to find one long one that you like in a LIGHT fabric can be either a romper or dress. Mine was too heavy and I didn’t end up bringing the dress home. Also black is nice but it gets hot fast. as for short dresses I started with one. I ended with 4. I prefered them and as soon as I had more they were all I really wore.
  • Sleepwear, Bring whatever you like. One pair is probably enough.
  • Shoes, less is better I had 2 pairs. a pair of knock off birkenstocks and these. I originally brought tennis shoes but they hurt my feet so I got rid of them quickly. I was comfortable in these. Also bring flip flops.
  • Going out wear, I bought one nice skirt that I could wear when going out. One or 2 things that are a little dressier is more than enough. This is really optional
  • Toilitries. Bring whatever you use. Keep it minimal. Anything else you want you can buy later. If you want to know about the makeup I’d reccomend I’ll do that another time
  • A towel. A travel one is nice but really any are fine. I had a travel one and bought one in Croatia.

My only real advice when it comes to this is bring what you know you need and if you think of something later buy it there. They have stores. It’s easy and especially in Europe there’s an H&M everywhere. You have options. I bought a lot of stuff.

Also for toiletries if you’re going for a while buy them when you get there. Especially if you’re not flying. It’s fun to find them. Mine I got in London and they lasted perfectly until the end of my trip. Same for soap and that kind of thing.

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My second “carry on bag” with my wheeled bag, Hat (I miss this hat) and day bag

DAY BAG/PURSE

This is where I kept things like my money, passport, phone, sunglasses, anti itch creme (misquitoes love me), and other daily needs. I suggest a coin purse for money and getting anti RFID pouches for your passport and creditcards with chips. My bags were crossover that were pretty small. It worked for me. I usually had one of those loose knitted grocery bags in there as well which made for a good beach bag!

Next time I think I’m going to have a different bag that’ll fit my computer as well and cut way back on the makeup, be more selective about what I bring and think more about what I’ll actually wear.

This was it! My 2nd post in a week. Go me!!! I’m pulling together pictures and video from the trip that I’m going to edit into one thing and then put other pictures up on here soon! If you think of something you want to hear about let me know!

Thanks!

Maddy

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