The secret is out friends: Aaron and I are going on a 15 day trip to Europe this summer! We'll be adventuring through Dublin, London, Paris, Geneva, Venice, Florence, and Rome. We are BEYOND excited, and have been in the planning stages since about March (though I was in the dreaming stages since January....or basically for my whole life). We are kidless, petless, grad class-less, both off for the summer travelers who said "now or never", and we chose now! I couldn't be more thrilled. I'll be turning 26 in Paris. Seriously, someone pinch me.
With a trip like this, we are going to be doing our major flights in and out of Dublin and Rome. In between, we'll be connecting the dots with some small EasyJet and RyanAir flights, and then with trains! We'll be spending our nights in anywhere from hostels to 5 star IHG hotels that we got for free (see how we did it here). Since we will be on the move so much, we'll be walking with our stuff quite a bit. Thus, the dilemma of bags and packing.
|REI Lookout Pack from REI Outlet.|
After speaking with a few different friends who had done similar trips in the last few years, we decided to go with backpacks. My lovely friend Lauren, who is basically a pro after her 5 week long trip to Europe last year with her hubby, recommended checking out REI Outlet for a bag. She also suggested getting packing cubes. Check out her awesome blog, Sobremesa Stories for other tips and sweet stories! Thanks to her ideas, I found a few great deals on bags and Travelwise travel cubes online. Yep, I'll be fitting everything I need in this bad boy!
Like any good traveler, I needed to give this a trial run (or two, or three). I typically am not a super light packer, because we often go on "you get a 50 pound bag for free, so you may as well fill it" kind of trips. But I like a good challenge, and I recognize that I often over pack because I think "I may want options". So, with my competitive blood flowing swiftly through my veins, I decided that for our week long trip to Colorado, I would only be using my REI pack and my Travelwise packing cubes. Aaron wasn't able to get an REI pack, because the men's bag sold out while in my cart (major bummer), but we were able to find him a really great deal on a JanSport bag, also through the REI Outlet site. I figured hey, if I can shove all my t-shirts into the top drawer of our dresser, surely I can shove them into this pack using my cubes, right?
Here's what I started with:
|Step One. A girl's got needs. And I consider myself fairly low-maintenance.|
I used three of our five cubes: the smallest, one medium, and one large. Still had two left from the five piece set for Aaron to use. I packed them by type of clothing, and used one for laundry on the way home.
|Step 2: Into the packing cubes we go. Left out the shoes and makeup bags to shove in crevices.|
|Step 3: It took a bit of shoving and sliding around, but everything made it into the bag pretty easily!|
|These little guys are going to become my best buds. I'm excited for many travels with them.|
Do you have European travel tips to share? Need more packing advice? Let me know on Facebook, or by commenting below. I'd love to hear your suggestions or give you my own! Thanks, friends. May your bags be light and your packing cubes full.
Today I'm linking up with Ashley from Grace Mountain Diaries and Lori from The Boutelle Family as a part of the This is How We Do It Series on Vacations. Check out last month's post on Freezer Meals here.