How to Pack for Two Weeks in Europe with Just Carryon Luggage! 

I was once the girl who brought 5 giant bags with her on a 3 day trip. This was during a time when my parents paid for my travel, before I understood the wonder of discount/A La Carte Airlines and had to pay for things myself. You know what guys? Luggage is EXPENSIVE and frankly no one wants to spend an hour at the luggage Carousel trying to discern if the black bags coming down the shoot are yours only to discover that your bag has been jacked by an elderly man who didn’t have the good sense to double check that he had his own bag. . . Can you tell how I learned my lesson?

Because of this experience, lack of funds, and generally reduced sense of fussyness that I have gleaned through old age I have gotten my packing down to a science. I can absolutely fit all I need plus extra room in my carry on and personal item.
So if you want to know how to go from this.

This is everything, laid out it covered more than my cow hide rug.

To this…

Then keep reading.

The 6 keys to packing light for long trips are:

1.Pack items that go together

2. Use packing cubes to organize your bag and keep your items compressed

3. Get longer wear out of your clothes by bringing lots of underwear because it doesn’t take up as much space

4. Pick clothes that compress to small sizes easily such as down jackets

5. Remember you can usually wash your clothes when you get where you’re going

6. You can buy things that you forgot or don’t to pack
The key is to pack items that go together.

In total I brought 7 pairs of pants:

2 leggings

2 pairs of jeans,

1 colored pant

1 black pant

1 print pant

6 tops:

2 white T-shirts

1 striped long sleeve tunic

1 white blouse

1 plaid button up

1 blue and white polka dot tunic

Olive green pullover

I also brought one dress- not pictured, black with woodland print, for eating out.

For jackets/ outerwear I brought:

1 olive green military style twill jacket. (Not pictured)

1 down field jacket in golden brown. ( must have for our Woodland Hunt in Belfast! Stay tuned for my article on hunting Fallow deer in Ireland!)

1 black tweed blazer

1 rust orange cardigan

1 chunky knit pullover turtleneck sweater in cream


Several hair ties,

6 decorative bobby pins

5 assorted bows

1 floral headband

And three necklaces, two statements from Charming Charlie’s and a long pendant from Banana Republic

Earings also from CC and sunglasses from Icing


Nars Foundation

Tart shapetape

UD concealer,

UD Setting Spray ( not pictured but essential)

Becca Highlight in Champagne Pop

Elf blush (no idea what color is called its just neutral)

ABH Dip Brow Pomade

ABH Brow definer

Gimme Brow Gel Benefit

Laura Mercier setting powder

2 Anastasia Beverly Hills lippies

1 Sephora Lipstick, neutral

NYX contour pallette

Lorac Neutral Matte Pallette

Lash Dominition

Mini Daisy perfume

And little grooming kit

(Not pictured beauty Blender and generic makeup brushes, this is important- dont bring your favorite brushes, they will get smushed and or lost and you will be sad. )

Finally there are the miscellaneous essentials, money, electronics, glasses, umbrella, scarves, makeup remover wipes, various toiletries, baby wipes, seat belt extender, adaptor etc.

But the real game changers for traveling light are packing cubes and underwear.

Weird right? But its true. I bring at least 2 days additional underwear and several bralettes with me. The underwear and bralettes allow you to wear your clothes multiple days in a row. Truth is your clothes dont get that dirty just walking around. But your underthings do, hence the abundance of underwears. The second piece to the packing puzzle is packing cubes! You can buy them at a range of prices on Amazon, I got mine for 10 bucks. And the results are incredible!

As you can see from this it all fit quite nicely. There is actually a ton of extra space in here and I will have plenty of room for souvenirs.

Separately I always pack my essentials in my backpack. Money, passport, electronics, makeup and 3 days worth of clothes and all my toiletries. I use the small cubes to pack it all neatly in my Timbuktu Custom Prospect Backpack. I do this in the event my bag gets gate checked and lost, this has happened to me before. That way I have 3 days worth of clothing should anything go wrong.

I was also strategic about packing my down feild jacket. As you can see I was able to roll that up roughly to the size of the makeup wipes. It’s an incredibly warm and is easily compressed.

Other tips to remember are that if you’re going somewhere like London, or Paris, odds are good that they have laundry matts. You can bring less clothing and block out an hour to wash your dirty things. You can also choose an airbnb with a washer dryer like I did for London or check with your hotel to see if they have laundry service. Then you just do laundry half way through your trip and save space!

The end result is this.

At the end of the day Packing is really about what works for you! There is no right or wrong. I would love to hear what you guys like to do to save space and pack effectively and if any of these tips have changed the packing game for you? Please comment below and let me know your thoughts! I’d love to hear some tips tricks or ideas!

3 thoughts on “How to Pack for Two Weeks in Europe with Just Carryon Luggage! 

    1. Thank you! I am so glad you found it helpful! It made traveling in Europe MUCH easier than my last trip where I took a large bag and I didn’t feel like I was missing anything.

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