Travel Log

The Pack: Packing a Carry-On for 3 Weeks

In recent years, lost luggage has become a reality for my family. It happens with alarming regularity, so much so, that my husband and I have recently decided that it’s a top priority for us to not not check luggage, unless we absolutely must. For my upcoming trip to Spain, Israel, and Belgium I’ve decided to stick to this rule, tiny carry-on and all. It’s even more important when traveling with smaller and cheaper airlines within Europe, since any checked bag costs money and time that I’d rather not spend.

Getting ready to pack this Delsey trolly for the first time.
Getting ready to pack this Delsey trolly for the first time.

My packing goals were:

1. To choose clothes that can  be worn day and night, or transition easily between the two. I love t-shirts that I know I can dress up with a nice structured jacket (I plan on purchasing one), but I also wanted to make sure I could create an evening look with a pair of black pants and a dressier shirt.

2. Pack only items I love. I never wear dresses and rarely wear maxi skirts, so I didn’t pack any. Why take something I may not want to wear?

3. Directly relating to 1, I know what I intend to buy, so I wanted to make sure I didn’t “double up
on some larger items. For example, I’ve been debating packing my yellow platforms for quite sometime, but I’ve decided that I’d prefer to leave some space in my carry-on for new shoes, instead.

Oh, my Jimmy Choo platforms... I love you, but you fill up half my suitcase.

So, here’s my packing list:

3 pairs of pants (2 jeans, and one 3/4 pants) + 1 extra comfortable pair of pants for the flight (seriously, this one is like wearing a PJ)

Pants I can dress up or down, and that I can stand to wear for a full day.
Pants I can dress up or down, and that I can stand to wear for a full day.
RTA and Genetic Denim jeans, one super-comfortable black Paige pants, and one 3/4 white Zara jeans/pants for warner days.
RTA and Genetic Denim jeans, one super-comfortable black Paige pants, and one 3/4 white Zara jeans/pants for warner days.

1 long sleeve shirt + a thick 3/4 shirt for flights

Soft and light white long sleeve shirt that I can layer a cozy cardigan over.
Soft and light white long sleeve shirt that I can layer a cozy cardigan over for international flights.
A really thick and structured 3/4 striped shirt for shorter flights.
A really thick and structured 3/4 striped shirt for shorter flights.

4 T-shirts

Seriously, Splendid makes the most comfortable T-shirts ever. They're actually on sale now, too!
Seriously, Splendid makes the most comfortable T-shirts ever. They’re actually on sale now, too!
Going casual with this white t-shirt.
Going casual with this white t-shirt.
Is this grey enough?
Is this grey enough?
Notice all the dog hair on my black clothes! Not to worry, I always pack a roll to remove them! I’ll miss my giant pooches, but they’ll be in good hands with our house-sitters :)
Notice all the dog hair on my black clothes! Not to worry, I always pack a roll to remove them! I’ll miss my giant pooches, but they’ll be in good hands with our house-sitters 🙂

3 basic tops to wear under see-through shirts or use as a top

Packing Blog 10Packing Blog 11

H&M makes these basic tops, and I find that they are super easy to wear layered.
H&M makes these basic tops, and I find that they are super easy to wear layered.

4 nicer looking shirts for outings or looking slightly more put together

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Favorite lace shirt for warm weather! It's also cropped, which works great with my super high-waisted RTA jeans.
Favorite lace shirt for warm weather! It’s also cropped, which works great with my super high-waisted RTA jeans.

1 warm cardigan for the flight

It may not look so great, but it keeps me warm. To be replaced eventually with a cashmere version.
It may not look so great, but it keeps me warm. To be replaced eventually with a cashmere version.

3 casual cardigans

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Dog hair again. Such is life with a Great Pyrenees.

Packing Blog 18Packing Blog 8

1 PJ set that can also be used for lounging around. Siesta, anyone?

1 pair of pink Tieks 

1 pair of Gizeh Birkenstocks (will be wearing these on the plane)

IMG_2860

And that is it for clothes and shoes.

As you can see, I am not packing too much or too little. I can actually avoid doing laundry for about 11 days, but I am assuming I will do laundry at least once. I’ve thought about outfits that would transition from day-time to night-time, and I’ve kept my shoe choices really limited.

Packing Blog Suitcase 3

This is the first time I’ll be using my Delsey trolly, and so far it’s still quite light with all my clothes packed in. That’s a great sign, since there’s nothing worse than carrying a super-heavy suitcase around after a long flight.  I hope to report back that it made it though the trip, with many more years of service ahead.

Funny enough, this packing list feels like an experiment with a capsule wardrobe, something I’ve been considering and adapting lately. Since my clothes are mostly monochrome, I find it easy to mix and match all these pieces together. I’ve always been worried about feeling like I have limited clothing options or getting board with what I have to wear, so this feels like a perfect opportunity to see if that’s the case.

New trolly!
New trolly! Still super light fully packed.

Post Trip Update:

  • The Delsey trolly held up beautifully throughout my trip! I traveled to 3 different countries, and took a total of 7 flights using it as a carry on. It fit in the airplane bins, and took some abuse through the pebbled streets of Europe. I never felt like I needed more space with this trolly, too. Overall, I recommend it and has a great time twirling it around.
  • My choice of clothes seemed to be mostly spot on! I did do laundry about 3 times, and only purchased one pair of shorts since Spain was just so hot. I also bought a big handmade Merino wool scarf, so I only used my big cardigan during my two initial flights. I will not pack it again, but rather opt for a warmer thin cardigan and a heavy scarf next time.
  • The Birkenstocks truly proved themselves as amazing walking shoes. I wore them the whole time, with the exception of one day in which I swore I would never wear my pink Tieks again after walking in them for about 7 hours.

What do you pack for a 3 week vacation?

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2 thoughts on “The Pack: Packing a Carry-On for 3 Weeks

  1. At first I had to take a break from them, but by day 3 I only felt slight discomfort when first walking with them. Now, though, they are very comfortable and I’ve been walking about 5-6 miles daily. I’m quite pleased with them 🙂

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