first time Eurpoean traveler

I am traveling with a tour group including students to Germany and Italy in mid June for 1o days. What weather should I expect? Can I really pack what I need in a Rick Steve's 21-inch carryon? What shoes will I need? My stateside packing usually consists of everything I think I might want. This will be a drastic change for me that I welcome.

Posted by Becky
St.Cloud, Florida, US
93 posts

That's really funny..we've been practiciing by using our backpacks for local trips...We bought our convertible back packs for a steal from Sierra Trading Company, they have wheels and roll like a regulary little suitcase..but you can unzip a little pocket and BAM, you have a backpack. The trick I found is to roll everything nice and tight and don't pack a bunch of far we've done just fine..and we only on occasion look like un-made beds.

Posted by BG
SF Bay Area, USA
1645 posts

Go on an internet weather site and monitor the weather forecast for Germany and Italy up until the day you leave, and pack accordingly. If you expect to be hiking, bring good shoes for this. If in cities and towns, other athletic or good walking shoes. Shoes are most important. I would bring a second pair, probably some good sandals. If you don't expect to dress up and go to nicer restaurants, presentable casual clothes are fine. If you want to go into churches, bring something other than tank tops, or shorts. I think you can (and should) limit yourself to the one suitcase, and it shouldn't be to heavy. You don't need to pack a lot of toiletries, and can't anyway, so get stuff over there!

Posted by Chuck
Holdrege, NE, USA
91 posts

The weather should be warm. I take only short-sleeved shirts plus a light gortex jacket w/hood which is as effective as an umbrella and takes up less space. I am making my 4th 3-week trip to Europe this summer and I use Rick's bag and YES, you can pack all you need. When I leave, the bag is only 80% full. Look at the "Packing List" on this site. Remember: Pack what you need, not what you want! You should take a good pair of walking shoes and/or sandals. Good Luck

Posted by Chuck
Holdrege, NE, USA
91 posts

Oh......and I will add that my sister, sister-in-law and niece have also traveled to Europe for 3 weeks using one carry-on.

Posted by JB
Redding, CA, USA
1568 posts

We used those plastic that fold up in a tiny pouch and they came in handy. It can rain anytime over there.

We traveled for 8 weeks with Rick Steves' 21-inch Roll Aboard and a small 2-compartment day back pack each.

Travel light....can always hand wash in your room.

Posted by Liz
Denver, CO, USA
75 posts

Don' forget to look at the woman's packing list on this site and there is a wealth of info on the website as well. The trick is to use a packing list; that way you don't throw in 5 pounds of "what if" at the last minute.

Have fun!

Posted by CL
Salem, Oregon, USA
1037 posts

Yes you can! Every time I try to pack light, I come home thinking I could have taken less. There are many good tips on the graffiti wall on this website, also see Pick a color theme for your wardrobe and make sure everything matches at least one other thing, if not two. If you spend some time coordinating you will find that you don't need as much. Make sure things are wrinkle free, easy care, and easily rinsed/dried overnight. Pack layers. You're going to Europe, so you can buy everything you need - shampoo, soap, sunscreen. I spent 3 weeks in Italy with one 21 inch backpack bag and a small day bag/purse. Yes, I was tired of my clothes by the time I came home but I never once regretted my light load. I also had plenty of space in my bag for gifts, etc. And one last thing - the only people that will notice your repeat outfits will be you and your travel mates. And you can pretty much bet the students won't really won't notice!

Posted by Ginger
1 posts

I did three months in Europe with four shirts-1 long sleeve,1 short, 1 sleeveless, 1 turtleneck for cold weather. 2 black slacks, 1 jacket and 6 sets of underwear and socks. 1 t-shirt to sleep in and 1 pair of shoes and 1 pair of 'birks'. Everything black, including underwear, so I could wash in one load. Ended up wearing the short sleeve shirt nearly everyday, wash at night (sometimes wore it wet in the morning). One tiny bag and total freedom. No one cares if you wear the same thing. No dressing 'decisions' either! Oh, and one dressy scarf, for many 'dress up' places. One pair of hoop earrings and no other jewelry, sparing makeup. It works and you will be very happy.

Posted by Ellen
Centennial, CO, USA
1617 posts

I leave today for 2 weeks. I've packed my carry on size bag with the following: 1 pr shorts, 1 skirt, 1 pair capri pants. 5 t-shirts,1 sweater, pj's. 5 pair panties, 2 bras, 2 pair socks. one pair sandals. I'll wear tennis shoes on the plane. Make up bag (mascara, blush, eye liner) shampoo and body lotion, sunscreen, etc. Extras in backpack: books, camera, phone, iPod, tour info -toothbrush and paste for plane and arrival!

I'm going on a bike trip, so I'm also packing biking clothes, and it all still fits in my carry on size bag!

YOU CAN DO IT! My hint: use packing cubes, it forces you to only fill them and then place in your bag. 2 large, 2 medium and you are done packing!

Posted by Adam
Fresno, CA, United States
28 posts

it is not whether you can get everything you in ricks bag. the fact is, if you cant get it in the bag, you dont need it. A bag may not seem heavy when you carry it around in the airport, but try walking a couple miles around a big city when you cant find your hotel.