Okay, I just downloaded Rick's suggested packing list, after reading the article about packing everything into a carry-on bag. I mean seriously he fits ALL this stuff into ONE carry on? (I'd like to see that!)
So he suggests all the basic clothing, jackets, sweaters, shoes, underwear, and toiletries PLUS:
first aid kit
gifts for your hosts
He even suggests a laptop if you need to get work done.
Okay, well, I don't know what kind of magic is used to fit all that into a carry-on, but I don't think I can pull that off. LOL
I'm trying to plan for a two month trip, and my problem is that I'll be starting in Southern Italy in September where it will be hot, and ending up in Northern France in November where it will be cold. It is overwhelming to think about packing clothing for basically two seasons - plus all the other items I need - and getting it all into one carry-on bag. At the same time, there will be a lot of traveling (planes, trains, and automobiles!) between Italy and France and I don't want to be lugging around more than I have to.
The last time I went to Europe, I stayed in France for five months, and I packed an extra-large suitcase (I mean a SERIOUSLY big suitcase), plus a carry-on, plus a backpack. It was very difficult carrying that big bag through the airport, on and off the trains and metros, etc. But once I got settled, I only took my carry-on bag for other trips while I was there. Then I just had to haul that big bag back to the airport and home again. I also ended up buying cold weather clothing while I was there (I arrived in Aug and left in Jan) and I had to leave some stuff there to be able to fit it all in going home. But honestly, I don't think I packed one thing more than was necessary, I wore/used everything I brought.
This time, I'll be on the move and carrying my bags with me for at least the first 3-4 weeks until I reach a place I can leave them. I need to travel light but I'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around fitting it all into one bag. I think I'll probably end up with a medium sized piece of luggage (one I'll have to check, but not the BIG one) and a good sized backpack to take on the plane. I have to have enough clothes for two months and different climates plus gifts for all the friends I'll be visiting and souvenirs I'll bring home.
As for short 2-3 day trips, I could maybe use the back pack or even one of the larger packing cubes to carry like a small suitcase. Has anyone done this? Any real world advice for a packing list that meets my requirements?