Please sign in to post.

Packing for Europe - Thank You!

Longtime reader here, but this is the first time I have posted. We leave tomorrow for a 19 day hiking and touring England/Ireland trip, and I just want to thank this forum for the great packing tips that I have received. The last time we went to Europe was 8 years ago on the Rick Steves Family Tour. We thought we packed light then - with each person using a 22" roll-on, and a separate carry on. Some of our neighbors had even stopped by as we were leaving to see if it was really possible to travel to Europe with just a carry on. But wow, was it all heavy, and I really brought too much stuff!

This time around, I was fortunate to be able to learn so much from this forum. My family chuckled as I whipped out my food scale, like Sarah Murdoch recommended, to weigh all my items. Boy, did it work! I also planned so that every item coordinates with every other item, color-wise. (Not rocket science - don't know why I didn't do that last time.) I used the Ebags TLS Motherlode Convertible Weekender Jr. bag as my main bag (thanks, Lee), and I have kept it unexpanded. Even my husband has been impressed at what a great bag it is and how much it holds. (He is using the Osprey Farpoint 40 and that is also a really good bag.) I also have the Osprey Daylite daypack, as we will be doing inn-to-inn hiking and will need a daypack as we are walking. I went ahead and used the ebags packing cubes to organize my clothes in the TLS bag. Since we will be moving to different b&b's on many days, I wanted it to be easy to stay organized. I have the Flip and Tumble bag that Lo and Pam recommended. It is packed inside the TLS bag, and I will use as a tote and a purse.

I "lightened" my 3-1-1 bag by using the Lush jungle conditioner and argon soap bar (cut in half like someone recommended) and the Honey House Naturals lotion bar. I tested the conditioner out at home, and fortunately, it works well on my hair. Lush also makes a tiny little solid perfume that I am using. I've got the Forever New laundry detergent and the Travelon inflatable hangers (I think Frank recommended the hangers). I have the TRTL neck wrap pillow for the plane. (It looks a little odd, kind of like a neck brace - I have tested it out on some long driving trips and it is really comfortable. Here's hoping I actually sleep on the plane!) I have the Citymaps2go app loaded on my phone, with maps already loaded and offline. I also put all the confirmations for various places we are staying onto pdf files and put them on my phone and my kindle so that I wouldn't need the paper copies. We also did test packs (even my husband got into the act on this), and walked around with our filled bags. Our 19-year old daughter gave us some eye rolls as we were doing it, but hey, the test packs helped! I could go on and on - I got so much good advice from this forum on clothing, microfiber underwear, shoes, wool socks, chargers, etc. There is such a generosity of spirit from so many of the posters here and I just wanted to say thank you, and happy travels!

Since you are leaving on Sunday, this will be a short thread. Have a great trip! I would like some feedback from you on the hiking between villages in England as my family is interested in doing this. Packing is never perfect unless a person repeatedly makes the same trip. Every trip - whether for fun or business has its own particulars. Ebags has very good quality. I have the packing cubes and etech 2.0 junior pack. The main thing is go and get OUT THERE!

Posted by
14151 posts

Laughing...but WITH you not AT you! Just moved my kitchen scale to my basement packing area in preparation for a big trip at the end of August. That scale makes a HUGE difference! It looks like you have everything so well thought out. No last minute rush to get things and no forgetting things.

All that is left is to have a wonderful time! I, too, would love a Trip Report when you get back.

Have fun!

Posted by
630 posts

I have spent my morning downsizing my travel list in preparation for our next trip. I too hope to pack light, and have learned a TON from the generosity of the people on this forum. Have an AMAZING time!

Posted by
7379 posts

Have a wonderful trip, especially now that you can concentrate on the fun and smile each time you pick up your suitcase! This Forum is a wealth of info that I appreciate, too.

Posted by
5258 posts

Sharon,

It sure sounds like you're all set, have a wonderful trip! 😊

Posted by
681 posts

This is a great post packed with good ideas! Thanks so much for sharing. I'm guessing that you'll find that you keep on refining your packing list as you travel. It's amazing how little one can comfortably travel with once you've set your mind to it. Happy travels!

Posted by
6352 posts

I've never weighed my individual items, but I did weigh my full Appenzell bag this time, and it came to 13 pounds! Very doable for a three week trip. And yes, I could have eliminated one or two items without suffering any hardships!

Sharon, have a wonderful trip. We got back from England just 5 weeks ago, and I'm trying to figure out how to get back there soon. Be sure to report back on your experiences.

Posted by
339 posts

For me, we take such small amounts of clothes, shoes for a month in Europe but when we head to the mountains for a weekend, we have a car filled with stuff. Of course there is food, etc but we still always overpack for a camping trip as opposed to foreign travel. We spend 2 weeks each winter in Mexico and that list is short too.

Posted by
985 posts

Sharon, it sounds like you are set! Can't wait to read your trip report and how everything went. Have a great journey!

Posted by
553 posts

Sounds like you're totally well prepared! Have a great trip, and I'll be looking for a trip report, too!

Posted by
630 posts

Sharon, I'm anxious to hear your trip report to see if you liked using the backpack luggage compared to RS 22" Roller. We just downsized to the RS 22" Roller, and I'm not sure how we would be able to downsize any more. Although, we do travel in October, so we usually have to bring an additional layer of vests, jackets, hats, mittens, etc (I get cold easily).

Have an amazing time! Great memories for your teenager. :)

Posted by
198 posts

Hi everyone,

Thank you for your kind replies! I will definitely write a trip report when we get back. The genesis of the idea for our inn-to-inn hiking trip came from a couple of the day hikes we did on the Rick Steves Family Tour. Our family's favorite day on that tour was the day in Wengen we spent with our tour group doing an optional hike in the Swiss Alps.

Jane, you win the prize for lightest luggage! I am sure mine weighs more than 13 lbs. Pilgrim, I will definitely let you know how we do with the non-roller bags. One of the reasons I started looking into them was that I was tired of having to gate-check our 21" and 22" rollers on all of the commuter flights out of Cincinnati. My son and I once cut a connection in Philadelphia way too close due to having to wait 20 minutes for our gate-checked bags to appear on the causeway. I do now have an Eagle Creek 20" EC Lync bag that can be a roller or a backpack bag that I really like as well. When I use it as a roller, it is small enough that I can carry it on to even the smallest domestic commuters and it also meets most international size regulations. It is the bag I use for almost all of my U.S. trips, which are usually 4-7 days. I almost took it as the Europe bag - everything fit. The only issue was that the EC Lync does not expand. For some reason, my dirty clothes seem to "explode" in size by the end of the trip! So I went with the TLS Weekender Jr. I will let you know how my arms and back feel about that decision when we get back.

Thanks again!

Posted by
733 posts

Sharon,
My hubby has the same Motherlode bag as you only his is not the JR version. I am always amazed at how much he can fit into that bag. I use compression bags for my trips, which helps with the thickness of the suitcase but not the weight. I will be buying a luggage scale for our trip coming up this November. I've never done that before but I am going to start!

Enjoy your trip!

Posted by
9763 posts

Sharon - Hope you have a great time! you have really invested the planning time, I hope it goes great for you on your trip!! Bon voyage!