Monday, July 12, 2010

Euro Trip Tips: Packing for your Europe Trip

Packing for a trip to Europe can be a challenge, even for the most seasoned traveler.

I'm not saying that I mastered the Europe Trip packing challenge, but perhaps my fellow travelers can learn from what I did right and wrong.

1. Size of luggage.

The Mr. and I brought two small backpacks (the size of a Jansports you used in college) and two pieces of luggage between the two of us. Our two pieces of luggage were a 24" and a 26" Kenneth Cole upright expandable roller. Like these two:

This was the ideal amount of luggage to carry since we knew we'd be getting on and off trains and anything bigger and bulkier just would not have worked. Also having soft luggage was an advantage in squeezing it the train luggage racks.

This also meant that we could carry-on the smaller bag on the plane going to Europe so we would have our essentials in case there was a volcanic ash delay or some other baggage mishap.

This made squeezing in all of our stuff a bit more challenging but we definitely got the size of our luggage right!

2. Shoes

I had heard that site-seeing in Europe is one of the most painful things your feet will ever endure. That was an understatement. 8-10 hours of walking around and standing left my feet aching at the end of each day, even in the most comfy shoes.

I packed 1 pair of tennis shoes, 1 pair of running shoes, 2 pairs of sandals, 1 pair of high heals, and 1 pair of ballet flats.

Do you think that's too much? It was.

Here are the shoes that I really needed...

I mainly wore the tennis shoes rather than the running shoes (I did a couple of workouts in Tuscany, but just walking around all day was usually workout enough for me!)

In So Cal I rarely wear tennis shoes. I wear sandals about 90% of the time if I'm not at work. And the other 10% is dressy heals or boots.

The Mr. kept laughing at me wearing tennis shoes and jeans and tennis shoes and skirts because those are looks I NEVER do in So Cal. But I liked these shoes a lot!

These gold shoes were a lifesaver! They're by Aerosoles and they may have gotten the most use. They went from day to night easily and worked well with jeans and dresses.

I also brought my trusty old back Reefs. They are a generally comfortable standby that I wear all the time in so cal. They were small and easy to pack. I wore them out site-seeing a couple of days as well as just casually around the hotels.

The ballet flats gave me a horrible blister on the first night because my feet were so swollen from the airplane. So, I only wore them twice out to dinner in Munich. I wish I had brought more comfy ballet flats.

And I never wore the heals. Even out to fancier dinners. My feet just could not stand the thought of putting on a heal. Should have left them at home!

So shoes were an item that I got right and wrong. If I could do it again I would just pack the tennis shoes, the gold shoes, the black reefs, and a more comfy ballet flat.

3. Clothes

I can't give you the exact breakdown of what kind of clothes I packed, but I pretty much wore every single thing I brought.

I did laundry 1/2 way though the 19 day trip, as planned, which worked really well.

I said before that the weather was really unpredictable. We froze in Munich and then roasted in Rome. We had enough cooler weather clothes, but I ended up buying two dresses at an H&M in Rome. If it had just been a bit cooler in Rome (like we thought it would be) I would have gotten clothes packing 100% right.


Lindsay said...

These posts make me ready for a European vacation! I thought I'd put in two cents on shoes -- on our recent honeymoon in Chile/Argentina, I wore Dansko Sissy sandals daily. They are so soft, moisture wicking and while they look wooden, they are foamy instead. These saved me - jeans, shorts, skirts and dresses! I wish Dansko were paying me for recommending these...

Jessica @ Acting Adult said...

Thank you for this post! We are starting to plan a two week trip to England and although I'd love to not check bags, I have no idea if I can make that work. We're thinking laundry halfway through might be a good idea, too. Thank you!

Kristin said...

What a fabulous PSA. I am ALWAYS guilty of overpacking!

Crazy Shenanigans said...

I am the worst at packing! I always over pack and take way too much stuff!

Katie said...

LOVE my reefs!

Fatty said...

These posts have been so helpful! I stalk your blog all the time via google reader and am leaving for Europe for 19 days in two months! Thanks so much for posting these!

Blog Widget by LinkWithin