Friday, August 2, 2013

Head Over Heels DIY Friday: How to do Two Weeks in Europe with a Carry-On

I think I've recovered from my terribly busy birthday thankfully, all that crazy prep is starting to feel worth it!  Now, I am ready to let go of everything and embrace our big European Vacation Part Duex!

Since the only thing I've been working on is figuring out how to pack for two weeks in Europe only using a carry-on, I figured I should share the experience.  Not only is it easier hauling around smaller carry-on luggage, but with how much airlines charge to check a bag these days we knew we'd save extra cash with the carry-on luggage approach.  Here's all the crap-o-la I'm bringing...
5 tanks, 3 tee-shirts, 6 shirts/blouses, 5 pairs of shorts + 1 skirt, 8 dresses, 1 swim cover-up, 1 swim suit

2 pairs of jeans, 2 sports bras, panties are in the blue zipped pouch and bras aren't photographed (that just seems to personal and weird to show), 4 additional shirts (one accidentally show twice but not counted), 2 sweaters, 4 undergarment tanks + 1 slip, 2 sets of PJ's, 2 scarves

1 pair of flat sandals, 1 pair of wedge sandals, flat iron, 2 belts; other items like make-up, hairbrush and toilets not photographed
 After gathering everything, I rolled up the dresses, shorts, and shirts then placed them into large Hefty zip storage bags.  Once in the bag I rolled the empty top space and let all the excess air out resulting in some densely packaged clothing which saves a TON of space in a carry on bag!  I took a couple photos of my carry-on luggage all packed an ready to go shown above.  I know it's a little OCD crazy organized but that's how I roll!   

It was a little challenging and I had to sort of map out what I planned to wear each day on the trip but I'm Head Over Heels for this minimalist approach for a long vacation!  Who wants to spend time sifting through tons of clothes and luggage when you could be out exploring instead anyway?

I will be sure to share photos from my Europe trip and if I was able to make it through easily with what I packed for Prague, Milan, Rome, and Dubrovnik!  At least the hot summer weather helped since I didn't need big bulky stuff for cold weather too!

What do you think of my crazy approach to packing? 
Do you have other suggestions for making through a long trip with only a carry-on too? 
Please share, I'd love to know before I go!

Have a great weekend everybody!


  1. Holy shit girl, that is AMAZING you fit all those clothes!! And good job only packing a few pairs of shoes. I'm the worst at filtering out shoes and they take up the most space. Have so much fun!!!

  2. Glad I am not the only OCD packer out there!

    I always use a large tote as my 'purse' on the plane; then pack regular purse, extra clutch and other misc. things I may need on the plane inside. I also wear boots or heels to airport & throw a pair of slip on sandals into my tote so don't have to fuss with buckles & what not through security. It looks like you have everything under control already though! Can't wait to see some photos!

  3. My mother taught me to place my clothing in zip lock bags. She traveled a lot and said one time she saw someone's suitcase drop and spill clothing and personal items all over the place. She thought how embarrassing and after that she used zip lock bags to pack all her clothes and accessories in. She said at least if her suitcase breaks and everything falls out, it will all be safe in the bags. So whenever I travel, even if not on an air line, I do this. The trick though is have clothing that is not too bulky. It does make for easier packing in the suitcase.

  4. You did such a great job, but I think that you should pack another swimsuit! Have a great vacation!

  5. I went to Europe for an 8 day trip and was actually able to do it with just a carry on as well, and that was for colder weather! But that doesn't make that much of a difference, bc you wear a jacket on the plane and don't need a ton of layers. The biggest part I find difficult, but a great space saver is to keep changes of shoes to a minimum (no real need for heels in Europe unless you enjoy the risk of walking in them on cobblestone!) and make use of the toiletries the hotels offer!


I love to hear from you! What's on your mind?