I hate traveling with a bunch of stuff. I do believe much of that reasoning comes from my childhood and family road trips. My mom would find any and everything to be an emergency item to bring along on the trip. Midway through life, my parents adopted my 3 cousins, so now there were 8 people going on a road trip in ridiculously big suburban, 1 dog, 5 coolers, 2 first aid kits and I cant even tell you, how many suitcases. By high school, I couldn't take it anymore. Id see families with basic things, and traveling very simply. We'd travel with some of those families, and I never understood how it was so easy for them. So I made it a point to learn how to travel minimally.
Graduating college and having a career, I'd have to travel. I looked up ways to organize and pack in a way to save space. On my last trip to Europe, I didn't check a bag. It was a 2 week trip. When I pack my things for work travel. I have one bag. I can say, at 32, I am able to pack in a way that I have everything I need. Including emergency items and extra fun luxury things. So I am going to share them with you!
1. 1 bag, one bag only. I have a Lucas.com duffle bag on wheels. Its Spacious, has compartments and is stylish. Most airlines these days will only let you have (2) Carry on items and (1) checked bag for international flights, after that you will be paying a fee. 9 times out of ten, you can pack everything in one bag, without having to worry about a second bag. You can always throw a book bag in your bag, and use it once you get over to your destination. Also, having one bag, will be far more easier to roll around, then multiple bags. You do a lot of walking in Europe, so be prepared for that.
2. Travel Size Everything: I know this might be captain obvious, but I make sure you have the essentials in travel size. The reason I say that is, 9 times out of ten, all of that will last you for 2 - 3 months. And anything you need to replace, you can purchase in Europe. You can even double up on travel size and put in your bag. It takes up less space. Here are a list of things that I brought, and didn't run out of.
1. (2) Bar's of Soap 2. Deodorant Wipes 3. Dove Deodorant Spray 4. Nivea.com Lip Balm 5. Marlowe.com Lotion 6. Chloe roller perfume 7. Clorox On the Go Wipes 8. Nail Polish Remover pads 9. Esse nail polish 10. Colgate Whitening MouthWash & Toothpaste 11. EOS Shaving Cream 12. Tinactin Foot Cream (you do alot of walking, youll need to keep them fresh) **Bonus: Baby Wipes, I love honest.com baby wipes. They leave very little residue and are organic
3. Dont pile on the makeup. This is pretty important. When you are traveling and moving around. You really need basic travel makeup items. As long as you are keeping your face fresh during the day and brows maintained. You will be fine. Trust me. There will be nights that you'll want to do a little more. And for that. Here is what I have in my one small carry on makeup bag.
1. Small makeup bag 2. Tweezers 3. Sephora Nude Lip 4. NARS Velvett Matte Lip Pencil 5. Sephora Lip Liner 6. MAC Opulas Volume Mascara 7. Lo'real Black Noir Liquid Liner Pen 8. Lo'real Eyeliner Pencil 9. Neutrogena Shine Control Primer 10. Makeup Forever Lip Gloss 11. Liz Earle Skin Tonic Spritzer - travel size 12. (2) Elf Liquid liner/highlighter colors 13. Anastasia Brow Pencil & Powder 14. Sephora travel brush set 15. MAC Foundation Stick, Powder & concealer
***Bonus. Bobby pins, pencil sharpener and (4) hair ties SIDE-NOTE: I wore braids as a protective style, so that cut out a lot of the maintenance for my hair.
4. I like my clothes like my coffee. Dark: Packing your clothes is important. You want to look cute, comfortable and in adjusted to the weather climate you are in. For me, I did a lot of layers. Layers will save you! I literally went from London, to Southern Italy to Iceland. So what you pack, when traveling across multiple climates and countries is key. I also packed all darker clothes, this way, you can throw them all in one load and keep it moving. You dont want to have to separate things and have multiple loads. Here are key clothing and jewelry items I packed:
1. Pair of Lucky Brand ankle boots 2. Pair Jordan Flex Trainers 2 3. Pair of Target Gold Sandals & black leather FlipFops 4. les nereides oriental stained glass gold hoops
5. Pair of Stud earrings 6. American Eagle Watch 7. (3) pairs of glasses 8. (3) Lightweight Long Sleeve Sweaters 9. 4 black leggings 10. (1) pair of denim jeans 11. (3) black dresses 12. (3) Long cardigans 13. Swimsuit 14. Thermal Rain Jacket 15. American Eagle Hooded Jean jacket 16. Hiking Boots 17. 10 pairs of under-ware 18. Sports bar 19. 2 Bras 20. Light Weight Scarf 21. Pair of long wool socks 22. Sling over black leather purse 23. (3) tank tops 24. (5) V Neck Tees 25. Pair of skinny black jeans
*** BONUS sheer and thick black stockings...they make anything look fancy : )
With everything packed,April 1st, 2016 rolled around, I met friends for my birthday dinner in Chicago, gave hugs and last goodbyes; with passport in hand, prayers sent up and I was on a plane to London!