Trotting Through Europe for Three Months

I’m not one to plan trips… I leave the dirty work up to my husband, who actually does an excellent job! I feel as though, in a past life, he may have strangely been a luxurious travel agent… which would explain a lot! Needless to say, thanks to his exhaustive attention to detail, we have a pretty robust open-ended itinerary.

We want to keep an open mind as we travel. For example, if we end up meeting locals (which would be awesome!) who have stories and suggestions of places we never thought to visit, we would absolutely love to take that opportunity to move our plans around and explore those covert spots. So, although our plans are set (in an excel document), they could change depending on what goes on while we are there.

We have hotels booked in Rome and Capri, but after that, we are going to play it by ear. We decided to do our research and have a handy list of 3-5 hotels that we like in each of the cities we plan to visit. So if there is no availability in our first choice hotel, we can go to the next and so on. We also found while doing our research, that traveling through Europe between the months of April and July is actually a fantastic time to go. Most “back-packers” and summer tourists travel between the months of June and August. That said, finding a hotel shouldn’t be as hard in April and May… our only extremely busy month might be June. But who knows…We could be surprised!

Below is a helpful map we were provided with after purchasing our EuRail Passes (the train passes we bought to get us from city to city for the three months we are traveling around Europe). We may also be flying Ryanair (a super cheap European airline — for folk on a budget, like us!) depending on how far each destination is. These maps give us a great sense of direction in terms of how we are going to get from place to place.

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Below line lists what our open-ended itinerary looks like — for now, at least!

Italy

  • Rome
  • Capri
  • Tuscany Region
  • Florence
  • Pisa
  • Cinque Terre
  • Milan
  • Bellagio / Como
  • Padua
  • Venice

Austria

  • Salzburg
  • Vienna

Czech Republic

  • Prague
  • Karlovy Vary

Germany

  • Munich
  • Bavaria / Fussen
  • Berlin
  • Hamburg
  • Lubeck

Denmark

  • Copenhagen

Netherlands

  • Amsterdam

Belguim

  • Bruges

France

  • Paris

Switzerland

  • Geneva
  • Interlaken

France

  • Monaco
  • Cannes

Spain

  • Barcelona
  • Madrid
  • Sevilla

Ireland

  • Dublin
  • Other undecided city… Open to suggestions!

England

  • London

And then back to the United States! 

Off we go to drink a lot of wine and eat lots of pasta in Italy! Wish us luck!!

Until next time, ciao!

PS. If you would like to see more sporadic photos from our adventures, follow my Instagram: jackieklein12 🙂

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)

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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.