Okay, I MIGHT could get everything into a carry-on and a backpack if it wasn't for the shoes. But I would be miserable taking only one or two pairs of shoes to Europe for a two month trip. When you're visiting Rome, the Côte d'Azure, Paris, and London you want to dress stylishly. I don't want to look like a student backpacking through Europe with my all-purpose walking shoes and my rumpled khaki cargo pants. I have friends in Nice and Paris, and I want to go out in the evenings wearing a nice outfit with nice shoes. And I'm starting out in Rome in mid-September (hot!) and will end up in northern France in mid-November (cold!) so one or two pairs of shoes can't possibly go the distance for me.
This is what I want to take:
Black leather sneakers. They are the ones I'll wear on the plane, and also for heavy-duty walking while wearing jeans or a casual skirt. This is my basic, all-purpose pair of shoes.
For the southern/late summer portion of my trip:
Flat black sandals (Naturalizers) which are comfortable enough to wear for a moderate amount of walking. I'll wear these to the beach, and sightseeing on very warm days with shorts or a skirt.
Wedge sandals with a natural colored woven upper to wear with light little dresses that don't go with the black sandals. These are Skechers and can be worn for a moderate amount of walking like strolling around a town square in the evening. They are cute enough to wear to a nice restaurant for dinner.
Then, for the northern/autumn portion of my trip:
Stacked heel black ankle boots to wear with black leggings, or with a skirt/dress and black tights for dressy occasions.
Flat brown ankle boots to wear with blue jeans, or with a skirt/dress and brown tights for more casual occasions (Both these boots fall into the "comfortable for a moderate amount of walking" category.)
A couple of notes:
First, I will only have to carry around ALL my luggage for the first two weeks (the Rome to Paris part of the trip.) Once I get to Paris, I have a friend I can leave my large bag with, and travel from there with the fold-up duffel bag I'm bringing.
Second, my husband goes home from Paris in early October, and I can send the summer shoes and clothing home with him in the duffel bag and lighten my load for the rest of my trip.
So given these factors, who else would dare to bring that many shoes? Why or why not? Who has really gotten by in Europe for two months with one or two pair of shoes and felt both stylish and comfortable in every situation? (Ladies only!)