We are leaving tomorrow morning for a 2-week trip from California to Europe. It’s fun to be a nomad. Here are some of my ideas for packing in a rolling 21- to 25-inch suitcase. Not too small! When moving from place to place, every few days, and a small suitcase is easier to manage. I’ll pack enough clothing for one week of travel, even though we’re travelling longer. Some clothing can be washed by hand. A 2-week supply of socks and undies doesn’t take up much space. I’ll bring comfortable clothing, having checked the weather, and planned for it.. This is May, and there’s rain. The travel umbrella is in my suitcase. For our overnight flight I will wear lightweight workout clothing. Little tip: even though my ankles never swell, they do after five days of standing. I’m going to wear support hose this time!
Here’s more info on clothing:
Tops: five to seven shirts/blouses. These can be tanks, scoop-neck t-shirts, and you can layer with a sweater or jacket. Pack at least one lightweight cotton sweater to cover bare shoulders if you plan to visit churches or places of worship in destinations such as Italy or Hungary.
Pants: three to five pair of jeans, Capri pants, and a skirt. Choose those that you can wear more than once before washing and that dry quickly. Lightweight cotton khakis and hiking pants are generally a better choice than blue jeans, which can be heavy. Have you seen a clothing tag called “moisture-wicking”? These items are typically made of materials that have “dry” or “cool” in a trademarked name on the tag.
Jacket: a lightweight windbreaker or cotton sweater. This will keep you warm in air-conditioned restaurants, and places such as Ireland can be cool in the evenings year round. If I were going in winter, I’d bring a heavy winter coat, gloves, a hat and a scarf. Germany can be cold and snowy. I’m planning for rain with a rain jacket.
A dress– one is enough for a show or upscale restaurant. My husband will bring a pair of dress slacks and oxford button-down. We bring accessories such as an extra tie or a colored scarf to change the look of the outfit so you can wear it multiple times if necessary.
Shoes: walking shoes, flip-flops for a pool, and dress shoes. Choose what is comfortable to you. Take only three pairs of shoes. Choose one pair that is comfortable for walking and hiking. Leather loafers are more common in Europe, but tennis shoes or hiking sandals are ideal as well.
Extra items: Hats, gloves, sunglasses, the fore=mentioned travel umbrella, a lightweight poncho, and a swimsuit.
Toiletry items: pack the essentials. I need makeup, deodorant and specialty hair care products. I tape the tops of bottles, but my husband like the small travel size, refillable bottles. If we run out of anything, pharmacies and supermarkets are everywhere in Europe.
Bring the PJs you like to sleep in at home. In Europe the hotel rooms have two double beds.
A 21- to 25-inch suitcase is all you need for a European trip.