(Closed) Can you do 2 wks in Europe with just a carry-on or a back pack?

posted 7 years ago in Travel
Post # 3
65 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I did this with my now fiance two years ago.  I definitely had to rewear some clothes but we made it work by finding a laundromat half way through our trip.  I always find shoes take up a ton of room in my bag so I brought only clothes that would go with black shoes so I could bring less pairs.

Post # 4
1446 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I guess it depends on where you’re staying. I’m actually in Europe now for 2 and a half weeks doing research for my master’s thesis, and I was able to fit everything in a carryon and my bulky purse. I couldn’t believe it-I always pack really heavy. But the catch is-I’m renting an apartment here with a washer and I’ve had to wash clothes many times already.

I say it’s totally doable if you have easy access to a washer. Also, I only packed one pair of jeans, wore them for 2 or 3 days, and then washed them, but I’m not sure how comfortable you would be with that. I’m also not sure how I’m going to get souvenirs home though since my suitcase was filled to the brim on the way over here, lol. Good luck!

Post # 5
9029 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

Why does he want you to pack light, are you guys going to be outdoors hiking and stuff? Because if not I would pack a regular suitcase.. its your honeymoon you want to be able to wear lots of cute outfits and take pictures each day, so rewearing the same clothes wouldnt be as much fun

Post # 6
1684 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

roll your clothes. get a hiking backpack (duh). 

a general rule of thumb is to take the number of days you’re travelling for, divide it, and thats the amount of pants you need. Then double it, and that’s the amount of shirts you need. Add one or two dressy outfits and a pair of heels and you should be set to go.

Also. Find a laundromat.

Post # 7
5096 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

You absolutely can, but not if you refuse to rewear pants or skirts. When I traveled to Ireland and France for two weeks, I packed a black skirt and a dress, both made out of very forgiving, non-wrinkling fabric, and a pair of jeans. Bring a sweater for layering and a rain jacket. I rolled my shirts very tightly, and they didn’t take up much space at all. I wore my jeans and sweater on the plane, so the rest of my clothes didn’t take up much space.

The things that take up the most space, in my experience, are shoes and toiletries.  Ideally you’d bring just one pair of shoes – comfortable, nice-looking shoes or sandals that you could wear out to dinner or walking around town, with jeans or a skirt.  Then you wouldn’t even need to pack them; you’d just wear them on the plane.

Post # 8
4512 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I travel a lot for several weeks at a time. I never pack more than 1 carry on (including for our 3-week honeymoon). The key is to bring clothes that are easy to wash out in the sink/bathtub and that wont take forever to dry. No “dry clean only” items! And bring clothes that coordinate, so that you can layer and create different outfits using the same few pieces. 

Shoes and toiletries are the biggest space-takers for me. If you can keep it down to 2 pairs of shoes (1 on your feet and 1 in your bag), that will help a lot. Keep your toiletries down to the essentials, and obviously transfer everything into tiny little containers. 

Packing light is awesome! You’ll become addicted.

Post # 9
236 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

@bells: Ditto.

Why does he want you to pack light? I went to Italy and France for 11 nights and packed a nice big suitcase. His was around carry-on size (he also had the backpack), and I brought the purple suitcase plus the black duffle bag.

The hardest part was in Venice, because we had to carry our stuff up and down tons of stairs, each time we walked over a canal.  We managed and it wasn’t a big deal. I’m glad I brought as much as I did because I didn’t want to repeat clothes every few days!

Post # 10
1686 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I can.

Pack stuff that coordinates, and that you can layer, and before you leave, google to find local laundry facilities. This is key. If your hotel does laundry, that’s cool, but usually expensive. If you can find a local full service laundry, that’s awesome.

No more than two pairs of shoes (or one, if you have something comfortable for walking that can also pass in a nice restaurant).

If you want less hassle, wait to pick up toiletries (shampoo, toothpaste, etc.) until you arrive at your destination. Google a local supermarket near where you’ll be staying your first night. You can pick up some laudry soap too. 🙂

Leave most of the electronics and adapters at home. Really, there’s no need for both of you to bring a laptop and a cell phones. If you can get a universal adapter with changeable plugs that can handle 110 and 220, that’s what I use. Got it years ago at Radio Shack and it has a really common electrical connector type, and I just look for a local department store and pick up a cord that fits it. (If I don’t have one already.) Good voltage converters are heavy and bulky and expensive and unneccessary for most electronics. (If your stuff has USB chargers, alternatively you can pick up a regular USB outlet adapter that fits the local outlets.)

Post # 12
3482 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2011

I managed it in France, Italy and England for 17 days with a large-ish hiking backpack and a messenger bag. I definitely recommend it instead of suitcases. Being able to wear everything instead of dragging suitcases around was a godsend.

Post # 13
13099 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

From what it sounds like you’re doing, I’d just pack in a regular sized suitcase.  Nothing you described requires trying to pack extremely lightly, IMO.

Post # 14
3978 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

It depends on what you’re planning. If you’re not spending more than 1 or 2 nights in any given city then packing light is really important since you’ll want to site-see without stopping at your next hotel every time, which means you’ll be carrying your stuff.

That is doable but like others have said you’ve got to wear pants mutliple times between washes and pretty much wear one pair of shoes all the time (or just have an extra light sandal). Stock up on stretchable underwear that can pack into tiny spots. Get a backpack that doesn’t have too much frame/padding too it–since that’s added weight and less space. Duffle style bags hold the most.

Light breathable t-shirts can be rolled and you can cram a bunch in a bag. If you don’t wear a lot of makeup and use the hotel provided shampoo/soap/etc. you can really cut down on your toiletries. Hotel concierges will have lists of closeby laundrettes. If you travel in summer you’ll only need one light sweater and a light rain jacket.

For 2 weeks I’d do 6 tshirts (buy one or two on your vaca and toss one of your old ones while there), 1 jean, 2 shorts/capris, 1 light sweater, 1 light jacket, 6 pairs of small socks, 7 underwear, 2 bras, 1 sandal, 1 good walking shoe, 2 sleep sets (or just sleep in the days tshirt and undies if you can), slimmed down makeup/toiletries kit.

If you bring ipods and phones and such you’ll need to bring chargers and converters which takes a lot of room/weight–get them in your FI’s pack if you can 🙂

Post # 15
389 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

Yes, packing for 2 wks in Europe in just a carry-on is do-able. Even if just for hopping on and off the train, it will be a less stresful experience if you pack lightly. I’d really try to do that. I didn’t for a trip to Italy in 2009, and I learned my lesson, so I only used a rolling carry-on suitcase for Ireland this past May.

Most of the tricks I used to make it possible for me to just use a carry-on for Ireland have already been mentioned, so I won’t repeat it all. But there were two things:

1. I brought what I needed for toiletries, in small sizes, and no more. (Your hotel may or may not provide them– I found that they usually don’t in Italy or Ireland– so plan to bring them). I can pack shampoo, conditioner, heat damage spray, hairspray, soap, several bottles of lotion, toothpaste, all my normal make up, deodorant, medication, and sunscreen in my “purse”– the giant tote I bring along with my rolling suitcase (the tote bag fits my purse inside it with my wallet, etc.). It counts as a carry on– and I had no issues fitting it all in. You could also buy what you need there– but then you’re paying more for it (exchange rate) and you’re probably only going to find it in full size– so you still need to make room for it in your luggage. I don’t think it saves you that much hassle & stres– and definitely not $.

2. I’m  surprised more people haven’t mentioned investing in quick drying (aka, travel) clothes.

Check out REI and ExOfficio websites—  REI and ExOfficio (and others I’m sure) make clothes designed to be washed in the hotel sink & then dried overnight on the hotel shower curtain rod, but anything synthetic (polyester, nylon, etc.) should be quick-drying, and thus able to do the same thing. Some travel clothing out there is hideous IMO  (um, the underwear– so not honeymoon friendly! good thing a underwear doesn’t take up that much space!)– but there’s enough cute travel clothing out there to get by just fine in other ways. To wash the clothes, both of them sell packs of 50 laundry detergent sheets that are the size of a container of floss. 

One other pointer: if the weather & your itinerary permit, bring casual dresses– they take up less room in your luggage than both a top and pants/skirt/shorts. I wore this one a lot in Italy.

Post # 16
1306 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

what if you go shopping?

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