Hey lovelies! So the Nordstrom Anniversary sale is live to the public now! I have been looking through the website and there is still so much good stuff on there at good prices. If you need to stock up for your fall wardrobe I suggest checking it out! Today I will be posting about what clothes to pack in a carry-on for a month in Europe so that I can remember why it is ok that I have no money to spend on the Nordstrom sale, hah! For reals though, our trip wiped us poor grad school students clean, and yet it was priceless and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
So a little back story on our recent trip to Europe… We visited 6 countries in four weeks, the last two weeks of May and first two weeks of June. We spent most of our time in Germany and the Netherlands, but Paris and London were BY FAR two of our favorite places to visit. I don’t know….Haarlem Netherlands was super cool too….I can’t decide! I loved every new place and experience we had!
Because we were traveling so much, G and I decided we didn’t want to lug rolling suitcases around and purchased these osprey backpack suitcases (best decision ever)! They are perfect because they can transition from backpack to duffle bag and are the maximum size for carry on luggage for European airlines. But for carry-on restrictions the most we could pack in them was 22 lbs. and 22 lbs doesn’t leave a lot of room for a wardrobe…. We also had a lot of flight trouble (and we literally sprinted through the Dublin airport to catch our connection) so we were so SO grateful we did carry-on.
Anyway, lets get this ball rolling and give you some good tips on what I did bring, what I wish I brought and what I wish I didn’t pack!
My wardrobe for a month in Europe!
1. 3 Pairs of Shoes
So I just want to start out by mentioning that my whole wardrobe was neutral in color scheme so that every piece would work together. I didn’t mind though because I love neutrals anyway!
My thinking on this was that my tennis shoes and my Sperry’s were my comfortable walking shoes (especially with good inserts! I love my Superfeet) and that I would have a pair of sandals in case it was too warm or I wanted to dress up my outfits a little bit. I would only wear the sandals on days that we weren’t walking as much though!
These shoes worked out well for me and my needs- we did so much walking!!!! I would suggest, however, bringing a pair of sandals that give your feet more support and cushion because you can feel everything on those cobblestone streets and it hurts sometimes! Also, I wanted to wear sandals on warmer days but couldn’t because I didn’t want to kill my feet with all the walking we were going to do. Plan on tons of walking as it is a major part of european life. With all our sightseeing we walked an average of 10-15 miles a day!
2. 3 Pairs of pants
This amount of pants were perfect for what I needed! I brought the black jeans because I knew that some cathedrals and museums had more of a strict dress code and I didn’t want to be in there with blue jeans or athleisure wear.
The ONE THING I wish SO BADLY I brought were a pair of shorts, a skirt or a dress!!!!!!!
Ok, when planning for our trip it looked like the weather would range from mid 60’s to highest 80’s. so you know what? I packed accordingly.
Well! It was like 10,000 degrees while we were there (Germany mostly), and the locals were commenting frequently on how unseasonably warm it was. That would’ve been fine and all….if I brought summer clothing!
(This cute little German town called Bacharach-it was so dreamy!)
I cannot tell you how many times I was so miserable in my jeans and leggings just wishing I had a summer dress or shorts. Why didn’t I buy anything you ask? Because I wanted to save my money and didn’t want to worry about packing more stuff in my tiny suitcase -still the best decision ever!!!!!
Anyway, moral of the story: be prepared for the unexpected!!! Maybe drop the black jeans and bring a dress or two, and a pair of shorts. Obviously this depends on the season you are going and what location (we were more north) but we obviously got hit with the unexpected, and you might too!
3. 7 tops total!
I know…it scared me too only having 7 tops to wear while we were going to be in Europe for a month. And it worked out great, until…..I got pooped on by a bird!!!!!!!
Ok, so funny story. I’m usually VERY wary of sitting under a tree because of all the unknowns that could fall out of it onto you. (anybody else worry about this? haha) Anyway, we were at a botanical garden in Amsterdam, like the second day we were even in the city, and my friends are all sitting under this huge tree on the benches. I think ‘what the heck. it’s probably fine.’
Next thing I know I feel something hit my back, I was leaning forward thank goodness, and I just felt the blood drain from my face. See that nice white floral shirt in the picture below? Yeah, that’s what I was wearing. Garrett even said it was super nasty, and we rush to the bathroom so he can wipe it off! Well a big gross stain was left, and I wouldn’t have laundry capabilities for at least a week so I stuck it in a laundry bag and let it sit there…. so gross!!!
(Walking the streets of Bruges Belgium)
Needless to say I wish I had had a backup top because it was getting pretty difficult. So we went and bought one at one of the thousands of H&M’s there (which I ruined as well- a whole different story) and went back and bought another shirt. Luckily i was able to get the stain out of the floral shirt when I got home thanks to my amazing MIL!
Anyway, bring an extra top or two for unexpected incidents!!!!
I had 5 short sleeved and 2 long sleeved which worked out great!
4. A hoodie/sweater
Bring a hoodie or sweater for those unexpectedly cold or rainy days. I got mine from Mindy Mae’s Market, the cutest little online boutique! It is a doublehood sweatshirt, has thumb holes, cute zipper detail, and is long and fits like a charm! Mine is a size small!
(At the Tower of London!)
5. Rain jacket is a must!
I got my Marmot rain jacket on Amazon and it is amaaaazzzingggg!!!! It is super light, and can be stuffed in its own pocket for compactness while packing. Because it was so light we carried it around in our day pack for those unexpected rainstorms! These happened a lot in Paris, London and in Ireland, so if your heading to those places definitely snag one. It acts as a sort of windbreaker, but will not keep out all the chill which is why I recommend bringing a sweater as well! Garrett also brought one, but his was North Face brand. I’ll link it in as well in case you need to get your hubby one. 😉
That is pretty much everything I brought with the exception of PJ’s, a weeks worth of underwear, and eight pairs of socks (just in case some got wet… which they did). And now for what I wish I didn’t bring and what I wish I would have brought…
(The Cliffs of Moher in Ireland! Everything was so SO green!)
I wish I didn’t bring:
-a top or two that I didn’t love so I didn’t feel like wearing them. I recommend bringing only things that you will wear!
-Long PJ Pants (They don’t really have air conditioning…)
-thin sandals without arch support or cushioning. You can feel everything on those cobblestone streets!
(At the Louvre in Paris!)
I wish I would have brought:
-An extra top or two for unexpected no-no’s. Or with the ample opportunities for shopping over there its okay to go a shirt or two short if you plan on buying something!
-I wish I brought a nicer blouse! I felt like I was wearing plain tops too much that it made me feel grungy and not so cute at times!
-Also, nicer sandals that would’ve felt better on my feet so I could have worn them more.
-Shorts or a dress!!!!!! It was so hot guys….so HOT!
(Walking/biking the grounds at the Palace of Versailles in France!)
I know that it may seem crazy packing so little for a month in Europe, but you can find laundry places as needed and packing light is totally worth it. We even had room in our bags to bring back some fun souvenirs and candy! If you plan it out and focus on the trip and not what you brought it will be great! I will also be doing a post on what makeup products I brought in the future so keep an eye out for that!
Hopefully this post can help you plan for future trips, especially if they are extended ones or ones where you decide to pack super light! My husband and I have definitely been bit by the travel bug! Next stop? Hopefully somewhere with a beach. Our trip to Europe was invaluable, and I am so grateful we were able to go! Even if it does mean I am broke and can’t buy out the Nordstrom Anniversary sale….hehe.