by Audra Dupuis
My fist trip with David McGuffin’s Exploring Europe was a six-day trip to Ireland. When I found out that I had to pack in one little suitcase… I panicked. How on earth could I pack that many warm clothes in such a small space? After trial and error, reading blogs on packing, and talking to family members, I was finally packed. Since that first trip I have managed to take multiple trips of varying lengths, all with only one carry-on bag and a backpack, cute clothes and more then one pair of boots! How can this be done, you ask? I am here to tell you my secrets!
First, ensure that your suitcase is the right size. For this trip your carry-on needs to be no larger than 22in x 16in x 9.5in. This includes the wheels, so don’t take the manufacturers word for it. Place your suitcase, wheels down, on a flat surface and measure ALL of it.
Second, pick out all of your clothes, shoes, and accessories for the trip. Make sure you pack layers, warm socks, and warm shoes. Running tennis shoes are not the warmest shoes, because they are designed to breathe. If they are all you own, then no problem, just pack some warm wool socks.
Third, put a third of it back. We are chronic over-packers, especially women. Put back the shoes that are cute, but not warm or comfy. Put back that “just in case” outfit. And for girls, all of your makeup should fit in one little sandwich baggie. Pick your favorite makeup look and only pack the stuff for that. Each hotel has a hair blow-dryer, you do not need to pack one.
Fourth, plan to wear the bulkiest things on the plane. Wear your biggest pair of shoes, your thickest scarf, maybe a sweater, and your coat onto the plane. You can remove these items as soon as you board, but doing this will free up space in your bag.
Fifth, roll your clothes and place them in gallon Ziploc bags. Push the air out of the bag as you close it. I like to put clothes in bags by outfit so my luggage is well organized and I don’t have to search for things.
Sixth, fill your bulky shoes, if they will not flattened, with socks or underwear. You want to use every available space!
Seventh, fill it up! Time to make it all fit. This may take more then one try. If it does not all fit, find something you can live without and leave it at home.
Below is my personal packing list. Feel free to change it, print it, and use it. If you don’t use my list, find a different one you do like. A list is the best way to ensure nothing gets left behind.
On the Way
|Sun Glasses||Book, downloaded on phone|
Money and Documents
|Arrival and Departure Times||Passport|
|Driver’s license||Credit Card|
|Insurance Cards||C.C., Freeze Number|
|Cash, US||Cash, Euro|
|Skinny Jeans||2 Long-sleeve shirts|
|SCHS Sweatshirt||SCHS Long T-shirt|
|Toothbrush/ paste||Hair Stuff|
Before we go
|Tell bank/ credit cards we are leaving|