Two Weeks Backpacking Europe: Packing your Backpack

Two Weeks Backpacking Europe: Packing your Backpack

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Hi, my name is Debbie and I am an over-packer. If there were such a group as over-packers anonymous, I would definitely need to attend meetings, but alas there is not and I am forced to confront my overpacking problems on my own with no help by the endless supply of packing lists and tips on the internet. As I said in my earlier post about the planning of this trip, I have elected to go carry-on only because it makes life easier and travel cheaper so I have taken on the task of packing for 15 days and 14 nights in my Osprey Porter 46L Backpack and trust me when I say I struggled. Below is a detailed account of my packing struggles and what all I decided to pack for 2 weeks in Europe in Spring.


Step 1: The Bag

The Osprey Porter 46L Backpack is everything I could have wanted and more when it came to packing for this trip. It fits within carry-on  size restrictions, has compression straps, has more pockets than I can count(seriously, I find a new one every time I open it) and has a front loading panel for easy access to all your stuff.

Step 2: Clothing

After spending many hours on Pinterest and sites like Her Packing List, I developed my own list of what I thought I would need and then as I lay things out I slowly eliminated things that were either very similar to other items, not very functional(i.e. white jeans and heels), or would only be worn once. I ended up with the following items and I have included links to some similar items if you link the styles.
Not pictured are two pairs of tights(one black and one beige), socks, underwear, bras, an infinity scarf and a plaid blanket scarf(the really large ones).

All of this fit nicely into my backpack without issue. Now I realistically should have packed less but for me, getting it down to this much was an accomplishment. I once filled a full sized suitcase for a four day weekend.

      
   
     

Step 2: Shoes and Accessories

This was the easiest part for me because I really only wear two types of shoes: boots and TOMS so the decision was more which pair of each would I bring. I decided my brown leather Frye boots(one of the best investments I have ever made in a pair of shoes) and plain black TOMS made for the best choices. I also added in my pair of Vibrams Five Fingers Sneakers because as ugly as they are, I love them because they make it easier to walk long distances without any pain(note for those considering these: I wear the men’s version because I have wide feet). As for accessories, I went with a variety of Necklaces and earnings(a lot of which I got from ModCloth because I ADORE everything they sell, but especially their jewelry) that all work well together and then added a nude belt that goes well with all the outfits I packed.

Step 3: Miscellaneous items and making it all fit

My final step was starting to pack everything into the bag and adding miscellaneous items like my hair straightener, toiletries, first aid kit, towel, and electronics. I actually packed and re-packed my backpack three times slowly eliminating items that were extraneous until everything fit nicely into the bag. The final packed product is pictured below. Ideally I should have eliminated a few more articles of clothing, but my desire to always look fashionable won out over my sensible side and soI will have to deal with a larger than ideal backpack. Below is a picture on the loaded main pocket of my bag

Final Thoughts on the Process

Here are a few tips for making the important decisions about packing: Run your outfits and clothing choices past friends to help you decide what really is and is not worth bringing, always take the weather into consideration. Make sure everything matches, but try to avoid items of clothes that are almost identical(you don’t want to look like you wore the same outfit every day), and remember that less is more when it comes to packing.
Now that I have gone through the struggle of packing, I am ready for my adventure to begin! From one misguided millennial to the world, this has been my advice on packing for two weeks in Europe!

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