Packing Challenge Accepted

My husband challenged me as we argued in the middle of the Macy’s luggage aisle to pack three months worth of my belongings for Europe into a 19″ carry-on. As much as I hated the idea of this, I finally agreed to accept the challenge. I am now finding myself in a bit of a situation. How can I, the girl who changes her outfit three times a day (sometimes four), pack months worth of clothing into a tiny rolling carry-on? I have not one bit of a clue. But I do know that it has to happen… After all, I accepted a challenge from my husband in which I am too stubborn to not succeed.

So after weeks of reading and hearing other peoples travel stories on packing light, I realized, it can and will be done. I’ve also come to notice, the more my husband and I do travel, the more I have steered away from being the over-packer I used to be. This three-outfit-a-day girl is no longer going to exist when we are on our journey through Europe!

You might be wondering, why such a small suitcase for all of my belongings? Well, it does make sense, I promise. My husband and I are going to be living out of our suitcases and taking the train from city to city almost every other day. That said, it will make my life (and Mike’s) a heck of a lot easier. With all of the cobblestone roads, staircases, and running from train to train, the lighter we pack, the easier getting around will be. I am also going to have a small Tumi weekender with me and a lightweight Patagonia messenger bag.

19" Carry-On Roller, Weekender and Messenger Bag.

What I am packing:

  • 2 pairs of Jeans (one light and one dark – Hudson)
  • 2 pairs of denim shorts (one blue and one white – Anthropologie)
  • 1 casual daytime dress
  • 2 evening dresses (one patterned – Parker. one plain black – Club Monaco)
  • 4 breathable sport T’s (colors: white, grey, blue and purple – Lululemon)
  • 3 long-sleeve breathable shirts (colors: white, black, blue – Lululemon)
  • 4 basic T-shirts (colors: black, white, dark blue, grey – Vince)
  • 1 denim shirt – can’t live without a denim shirt! (Club Monaco)
  • 2 striped shirts – because I love them (Rag & Bone, J Crew)
  • 3 skirts – to mix and match! (two patterned – Theory, Urban Outfitters. one plain black – Urban Outfitters)
  • 2 breathable tanks with built-in-bras (Lululemon, The North Face)
  • 3 tank-tops (colors: black, white, grey – Madewell)
  • 1 breathable half-zip pullover (Patagonia)
  • 1 lightweight jacket (Lululemon)
  • 1 lightweight waterproof windbreaker (Patagonia)
  • 1 cardigan
  • 1 lightweight sweatshirt (Club Monaco
  • 1 pair of black leggings (Lululemon)
  • 1 pair of hiking shorts (Lululemon)
  • 2 sports bras (Lululemon), 2 regular bras
  • 7 pairs of underwear (“Light as Air Hipsters” from Lululemon have a lightweight, moisture wicking, seamless technology that is great for traveling. Another benefit of these beauties is the fact that you can easily wash them in the sink of your hotel room… and they air-dry almost instantly! Essential.)
  • 1 swim suit (J Crew)
  • 2 hats (J Crew, J Crew)
  • 5 pairs of easy-to-pack shoes (hiking shoes – Merrell, flip-flops – Tory Burch, sneakers – Converse, loafers and a pair of tan flats (notice there are no heels… another challenge I ever-so-hesitantly accepted from my husband))
  • 1 summer scarf – to help switch-up my outfits! (Club Monaco)
  • 1 cross-body bag that will go with everything (Balenciaga)


Luckily, I’m a small girl, so all of this did fit into my 19″ carry-on along with my weekender and messenger bag! We are planning on sending our laundry out to be done ever so often, but in the case we have nothing to wear, there is always the option of buying a new piece here and there – which I did leave minimal room for! I’m also going to be light on packing haircare and makeup, just the essentials will have to do! Also, I am going to have to let go of my six-step anti-aging nighttime skincare routine which I’ve gotten so used to (I will reduce this to three steps!). I am trying to find ways wherever possible to save space and every little bit counts. I think I am ready to go!

Only nine more days until take-off!

Until then, I’ll be daydreaming about our first stops – Rome and Capri.