I’m kicking of the packing posts with recapping what I brought for myself. I’ll list out everything here, but feel free to check my Instagram Stories Packing highlight for other details and info on what I took along.We tried to pack as minimally as possible, and we loved not needing to carry around tons of stuff. And while we used this packing formula for two months in Europe, this is honestly pretty much what I’d pack for a week or two, as well. I find that after a week, the packing pretty much stays the same. If I were traveling for a week or under, I’d probably stick to 3-4 outfits instead of 5, but one of those still needs to be a travel outfit (and if you’re traveling with children, it WILL get dirty), so I wouldn’t go less than that.
I hope this packing guide is helpful to you!
- 5 tops
- Plain white tee (that I promptly trashed when we returned because it lived a good life)
- Blue Everlane linen tee (nice drape, held up great and didn’t get overly wrinkly)
- Lemon v-neck top
- Coral floral v-neck button down top
- Orange Uniqlo linen button down
- 5 bottoms
- 2 elastic waist skirts with pockets
- 1 button front Madewell skirt with pockets
- 1 pair of Madewell jeans
- 1 pair chambray pants with elastic waist
- 1 cardigan (slouchy, soft, machine-washable Madewell sweater)
- 1 pair pajamas
- 2 pairs of socks
- 2 pairs of shoes
- Saltwater sandals
- Allbirds sneakers
- 1 swimsuit
- 1 neck scarf
- 5 pairs of undies
- 1 Uniqlo foldable ultra light down jacket
- Packing cube
I tend to wear a lot of skirts and dresses, especially when it’s hot. I HATE wearing jeans when it’s warm out, so I decided at least 3 of my bottoms should be skirts (I considered bringing a dress, but skirts and tops tend to be more versatile).I honestly only wore one of my pair of pants for long-haul travel – I wanted something soft and comfortable with a stretchy waistband. I typically find skirts way more comfortable for travel, as well (bathroom ease!). But for lengthy flights where we’ll all be trying to sleep, I prefer soft and loose pants so I can stick my legs up if needed without my skirt flying up. Maxi skirts/dresses are also great for long hauls (and are my preference while pregnant!), but those are hard to find with pockets, which I really wanted this time.
I also wanted one pair of jeans for the cold weather. I was glad to have both of those, but I could probably count on one hand the number of times I wore each. It was uncharacteristically warm for much of our time in Europe, so I felt most comfortable in my skirts.
I brought 2 pairs of wool ankle socks (similar to these), which were perfect. I loved that they were wicking and warm, but also didn’t take a lot of space. I brought my Madewell bandana, which worked great either in my hair or as a neck scarf for a little bit of interest. Then I had my Uniqlo ultra light down jacket, which folded really small and was quite warm. It wasn’t waterproof, but it definitely provided a bit of rain protection the couple times we needed it.
All of this fit in one large packing cube, which was an absolute necessity. Each of our kids had a medium cube and Dan and I each had a large one, and most of us had a bit of room to spare (Dan’s clothes are bigger so he didn’t have extra space, and Nat’s clothes were the biggest of the kids, so they filled out the medium-sized cube). We had all extra pairs of shoes in a separate packing cube, and had a few extra cubes for dirty laundry. We just stuffed our jackets into the suitcase separately, which was nice for filling in gaps (and they added barely any weight at all).
We tended to do wash about every 4-5 days. This worked well for us because we stayed in a lot of Airbnb properties with washing machines (you can use the search function to filter for places with a washer). There were just a few times when we couldn’t wash within that time frame (in London, for instance, where we stayed in a hotel for 6 nights). For those times, we had a small bit of laundry detergent, and we washed undies in the sink and hung to dry (most places didn’t have dryers, anyway).
We tended to rewear clothes, anyway, unless they got super dirty, since the washing machines were tiny and we couldn’t wash everything every time. We figured, it’s travel and it’s hot and it’s Europe, no one will think twice if we need to wear an outfit twice. 😉 I also made sure to lay all my clothing out to air out after wearing just in case it needed to be reworn.
We did have enough outfits for the baby since he tended to get messier with eating, but I’ll talk about that in another post!