Fall always makes me wistful for European travel. The weather is slightly overcast, the temperatures are crisp but not cold and you can enjoy cities without tons of summer tourists around. Shoulder season is definitely a fantastic time to visit Europe.
So, HOW do you pack in a carry-on for Europe? Well tune in tomorrow because I’ll go into more detail on that. Today let’s focus on WHY you want to pack light for Europe. Avoiding baggage fees and avoiding the dreaded luggage carousel and avoiding the risk of lost luggage are some of the top reasons to pack light.
However, European travel generally keeps you on the move and packing light helps you be more prepared for that. Traveling between European cities will mean frequently packing and unpacking your luggage, the fewer items you take the less time consuming this is and the more easily you are able to easily keep track of your travel items.
European travel generally means you will be visiting more than one destination. You’ll most likely be taking planes, trains, buses or ferries to get from place to place. This means you will be handling your luggage a lot and you don’t want to be struggling to find room for it on a train or in a small taxi.
If you will be flying any European discount airlines, be forewarned, they only allow you ONE CARRY-ON. That’s not one carry-on plus a personal item, it’s ONE carry-on. So you have to be able to be completely self contained in your one carry-on or pay big penalty fees and loose out on the savings of the the discount airliners. Speaking of carry-ons, if you want to grab my Europe Carry-on Capsule Planner you can get that right here below!
Another reason to pack light, European hotel rooms are generally small and you don’t want to hog up any available space with excessive luggage. In general when you travel in Europe you might also find that you’ll be walking a lot more with your bags than you are used to. Some charming and older pensiones also don’t have lifts so you need to be able to “lug” your luggage up several flights of stairs.
Packing light in a carry-on can help you avoid lots of these travel hassles and help you get the most enjoyment out of your European trip. Fewer options does not mean you’ll be any less fabulous. On the contrary, you might feel your best because you’ve taken the time to co-ordinate outfits instead of stuffing everything in your suitcase and hoping for the best.
The carry-on capsule I put together is full of layers and stand alone pieces to get you through tricky and ever changing fall weather in Europe. If you want more details on how to layer clothes for travel, read here. This capsule is meant to take you from anywhere to 7 days to 30 days if you are doing travel laundry. Adjust the items based on your particular European destinations and the range of the temperatures you will be expecting.
Even if the items represented aren’t your style you can take away what the general categories are. Which for this capsule include:
2 Outerwear (I like to pack a functional and a “fashiony” option: one trench, one blazer)
2 Mid-layers (one drapey cardigan sweater, one pullover)
4 Tops (one short sleeve tee, one long sleeve tee, one button down, one blouse)
3 Bottoms (one jean, one black pant, one denim skirt)
1 Dress (one versatile black dress)
1 pair comfortable fashion sneakers
1 pair versatile booties
1 pair loafers
Water Repellent Trench, Fitted Jacket, Ruffled Black Dress, Upside Down Arrowstack Necklace
Blue Topshop Buttondown, Wrap Choker, Walter Baker Chiffon Top, Splendid Draped Cardigan, Tassel Necklace
Black Split Side Tee, Printed Skinny Scarf,Breton Stripe Top, Classic Blue Bandana, Merino Wool Sweater,Black Wool Wrap
Straight Cropped High Jeans, Black Pants, Black Wash Denim Skirt
Seychelle Imaginary Boots, Stan Smith Originals , Franco Sarto Valero Loafer
Madewell Transport Crossbody, Metallic Clutch, Watch
Are you planning a European trip this fall or this year? Please share where, when and how long you will be going in the comments or in the Facebook Group/Facebook Page. You can find Part 2 of this post here.
I’ve also released my latest guide for helping you pack a travel capsule wardrobe for European travel. Click HERE or click below to get more information!