While I was discussing my recent trip to Europe. A couple of people asked me how I packed, so I thought I would put it all in a big blog post for you!
First of all, unless I'm traveling to multiple countries in +2 weeks, I always pack everything in a rolling carry-on and personal item bag. I used to be an over packer, but with lots of experience, the easiest thing to do is to just pack lighter.
If you decide there's no possible way to pack in just a carry on, then I would suggest when you pack a checked bag, make sure there's nothing in it that would ruin your life if you lost your bag. (Be okay with saying goodbye to every thing in your bag if worst came to worst.) I have had my checked bags lost before, but luckily, I had not packed anything too valuable in them.
The other main reason as to why I only pack in carry-on luggage is because of the ease and accessibility. If you happen to be switching air lines in the middle of your trip, your bags will have to be retrieved and re-checked, and you will have to go through the security check again. If you're on a time crunch, this will put you behind, and you may find yourself missing your flight if you don't plan enough time between different plane rides. Your airline will not give any refunds if you missed your flight due to going through security again. AND if you're not at your destination when you enter the United States, you have to grab all of your bags and recheck your bags through security, no matter if you chose to use the same airline the entire way back. When you arrive to your destination, you can just leave the airport instead of getting stuck at the bag carousel waiting for your luggage.
There's also less of a chance that your bags (or anything inside your bags) will go missing if you have them on you for the entire trip. Plus another benefit is that you have everything you packed - which means you have all medications/tech/gear/toothbrush or whatever else you might need in a pinch.
I always check the forecast before I go, and it looks like the temperature while I'm in Italy & England will be around 48-65* F (9-18* C). SOOOO let's get to the pictures and examples. This is generally what I pack for a 10 day trip: 1 shirt & 1 pair of underwear for every day I'm there and 1 pair of pants for every other day.
What I normally wear on long haul flights: super stretchy jeans/leggings and a loose t-shirt. I also wear my heaviest coat and heaviest shoes on the plane.
One of the things you might notice in these images is that most of the clothing items that I bring would be considered either business casual or a step up from the t-shirt and leggings attire. Why? So glad you asked (haha) it's not because I want cute pictures but more because I want to blend in with the locals as much as possible so that I don't look like a tourist that screams "please pick pocket me." It's also why my wardrobe is mostly neutral colors because dark neutral colors are what most Europeans and South Americans wear. Also, Americans are about the only people in the world that wear gym clothes (athleisure) outside of the gym, so workout leggings any where else in the world is almost always a dead giveaway that you're American - and my goal is to blend in.
My mother in law gave me some packing cubes (from JC Penny) for Christmas this past year, and I finally get to use them! Amazon has some great ones for pretty cheap. Here's why I would recommend them: Before vs After
Before: even when I rolled up my shirts, they still took up a lot of space, but after I stuffed them into a packing cube, they took up way less space.
I also have two smaller packing cubes that I'm using for this trip. They have all my underwear and pjs in one and my socks and bathing suit in the other.
It's seriously amazing how everything fits and condenses. Another similar option that I've heard of but haven't tried is vacuum air bags.
Along with my three packing cubes and my pants, I will be packing my travel home outfit (leggings and a t shirt), my tennis shoes and some nice sandals. That will be it for my clothes!
Here's a list of all the other items that I would bring:
Dirty Laundry bag
hair accessories/fancy earrings (these really do make your simple outfits so much more dressed up)
travel size toothbrush and toothpaste and floss
Makeup remover towel (you only need water and the towel and it takes off everything - it's magic!)
Miscellar water (also takes off makeup like magic with no water needed)
Cotton pads and swabs
Tissues (for bathrooms with no toilet paper or just for your nose)
Clorox wipes (to clean your airplane seat because that thing is nasty
Dry shampoo - it always makes me feel so much better when my hair isn't greasy
Foldable brush and mirror set
Makeup bag (minimalistic: tinted sunscreen, mascara, blush, lipstick, bronzer)
Extra small cloth bags for organization
Daily medication + sudafed (helps your head feel like its not going to explode with the pressure on an airplane if you're congested,) melatonin for that good sleep, & ibuprofen (cures about anything painful)
Outlet converter! This is key because you don't want to get to a different country and not be able to charge anything because you have the wrong plug!
Inflatable neck pillow - condenses down so small and the outside can be removed
Empty reusable water bottle
Pen - to fill out travel documents
Hand Sanitizer because it's always flu season and airports are gross
Snacks - protein bars, nuts, beef jerkey
Camera & Instax Polaroid camera with film + chargers/ SD Cards
Small cross-body bag for day time
Always leave a little room in there for small and flat souvenirs.
There you have it! That is everything that I would take. Let me know if you would take anything different!