Big announcement!

This is my sister. She’s in Spain.  I wrote about what she packed for her semester abroad here.

I am pleased to announce that I will be joining her, for five-ish days, later this fall.  In Spain.  Way to break in my passport, eh?

My mother (who will eventually get her own tag on this blog, I think) seems to think that six days of travel (leaving on a Thursday, returning on a Wednesday) requires checked baggage.  To that I say one thing:

I will, of course, be posting an entry about what I pack and how I handled a minimalist trans-Atlantic flight.  I just couldn’t contain my excitement and had to post a little bonus blog in addition to your regularly scheduled Born Again Minimalist programming.

I intend to pack a few layerable tops, a dress, and maybe a pair of leggings, as well as socks and underwear and the like.  I will wear jeans, a tank, and my multi-functional Cozy sweater for the plane.  I’ll probably rock a pair of Converse the whole trip (maybe it’s time to get a new pair, as mentioned in my minimalist shoe post.  I have no shame about wearing the same pair of pants for a week.  Hush, mom.

Any advice for my packing list?


17 thoughts on “Big announcement!

  1. Fill your pockets with as much as you can – phone chargers, wallets, etc. Saves space in your hand luggage. Wear your thickest clothes on the plane too because you can always take layers off if you want and they don’t count towards your hand luggage. 🙂

    1. Definitely my plan! My purse is very tiny and I carry minimal “stuff” on me anyway. I feel like this trip can be successfully accomplished with a backpack. I have to decide if I’m taking my laptop or not! Thank you for commenting!

  2. Ok. So. You’re allowed one carry-on and one personal bag. Since I want you to bring me stuff, can you use one of my bigger purses I use for schoolbags? And add to your list 1 box of Cheez-its, 1 Eug shirt, and anything else you can think of since I’ll only be here for three more weeks after you leave. But I’d like to send you home with a couple things that I’ve bought and those bags are big enough for you to fit your mini-purse in. :]

  3. Carry-on-only traveling is the best way to go light and free! Check out Rick Steves’ website who does this every year and has a great packing list to reference. My two kids just went to Europe for 5 weeks backpacking and they each had a 19″ backpack that weighed just 14 lbs. I’ve done a 3-weeks adoption trip in China and an Alaskan cruise carry-on-only. The trick is to take appropriate gear (lightweight, quick drying, and color-coordinated) and don’t try to be a boy scout! Take only what you need and some cash to buy it when you get there, if you find you desperately need something. Remember that your not traveling to Mars! You can buy it there. Search the web for more tips. You’re going to have SO MUCH FUN! Have a great trip!

  4. I forgot to mention that my daughter is on a two NIGHT college visit trip right now and called to say she took less to Europe for 5 weeks and “NEVER again” would she take that much. She was still Carry-On-Only on this trip, but it was heavier in a wheeled suitcase and tough to get on trains and buses. Remember that you want to be LIGHT and FREE!!

  5. Check out my Keep Calm and Only Carry-on blog post. I listed everything I brought in my carry-on for a 6 day trip. I ended up only bringing one pair of shoes. It was all I needed!!! Have fun!!!

  6. I packed for an entire month to go back to my hometown in Alaska and only brought a carry-on. GOOD LORD. I would hope anyone could pack for a measly six days into one carry-on suitcase. You are right to accept your mom’s challenge! I was excited to get back to my regular closet when I got back to Portland, but sheesh. It can easily be done. 😉

  7. 1. Do NOT fill your pockets with chargers, cables etc. At airport security you’ll either have to empty it all into a tray for the scanner or put the whole jacket through and hope nothing falls out on the conveyor belt.
    2. For clothing there are really only two rules: everything must match everything else, and tops at least must be sink washable (take a tiny bottle of soap or get the packets from the Rick Steves website). Personally I do black, white plus a few bold colours (fusia, turquoise, purple). Three tops should do it. Wear each once, wash them the third night and rewear them all again for the rest of the trip. One each of pants, capris and a skirt (I prefer either a knit skirt or sporty golf type). Keep in mind in Europe shorts aren’t allowed in churches and some other sites, so a knee length skirt is better. If possible one pair of shoes only but if you need two, wear the bulkiest to travel. One cardigan and perhaps a light jacket if you expect cool or wet weather, and wear the bulkier one to travel. Throw in a scarf that works with everything to dress things up if you need to. The top you wear sightseeing during the day can look nice at dinner with a cardigan and scarf added. Leave flashy jewellry at home. Pick one pair of earings you wear the entire time and eliminate a jewelry case.
    3. Pluck/shave/wax before you go and leave all that equipment behind. Pack your mini bottles of liquids/gels in an airline approved size zip lock bag (1litre I believe) and keep it in an easily accessible pocket of your bag. You’ll have to pull it out at security and you don’t want to be digging through your undies for it while everyone around you rolls their eyes… If you have old undies you are ready to part with take them with you and throw them out after wearing. No washing and no dirty stuff in your bag.

    This past summer our family spent 2 weeks in the Baltics (Copenhagen plus a 9 day cruise) and we each took one carryon bag. In 2008 we spent a month their, again with carryon only, doing Italy, Germany and Greece. We each took a week of clothing and washed at the end of week 1, 2, 3 and arrived home in our last clean outfits. You really don’t want to have to drag big bags up and down over the bridges of Venice to your hotel. Our daughter was 7 on the first trip and managed her own bag everywhere but escalators and those bridges. This summer at 11 she was completely in charge of her own stuff. Travelling with kids is not big deal when everyone takes only the basics. It’s easy to make sure you have everything packed up when you leave a hotel room or ship’s cabin since you know exactly what’s missing since you brought so little. When we travel as a family we generally use a laundromat rather than so much sink washing, so we all bring medium/dark clothing only so everything can go in the same machine with no sorting.

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