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  1. #1
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    What to Pack and Travel Tips...?

    I am going to Europe this summer (June-July) and I need to know some things to pack. I will be there for 20 days, visiting England, France, Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy. I am only allowed to pack one suitcase and it cannot weigh more than 50 pounds. So, I need tips on how to pack pretty much your life in a 50 pound suitcase and I need a list of things to take with me. Thank you so much for your help!

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    Welcome to the Forums!

    Ideally, you're really only packing for a week or so and doing laundry as needed. In theory, you can travel forever with 7-10 days worth of stuff, if you build in some down time to do laundry -whether all at once or sink washing at night.
    Beyond that, it would be helpful to know the types of activities you are going to be doing... do you need formal wear, expedition gear, etc. or are you doing fairly standard walking/site seeing/museum/tourist type things...?
    I like all the blues and greys...and all the happy citrus colours too! My search unicorn is the Sapphire Dyneema original Small Shop Bag...

  3. #3
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    What to Pack and Travel Tips...?

    Quote Originally Posted by loydchase View Post
    I am going to Europe this summer (June-July) and I need to know some things to pack. I will be there for 20 days, visiting England, France, Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy. I am only allowed to pack one suitcase and it cannot weigh more than 50 pounds. So, I need tips on how to pack pretty much your life in a 50 pound suitcase and I need a list of things to take with me. Thank you so much for your help!
    Are you going with a tour group? Or are you going to have to carry your stuff through train stations, etc., yourself?

    One thing that jumps out at me is that you'll be moving every two or so days, so laundry during the trip might not be practical--especially if you'll be traveling at night by train (you didn't specify this but it's a possibility).

    You'll be in several countries and possibly several climates as well, so you need layers and you need every piece you bring to be versatile. So, some sort of travel/tech/wool fabric t-shirt as a base layer or an 'only' layer on hot days, and a button-down shirt you might also wear to dinner to go over it, and then a light jacket you can wear in the rain to go over that. It could be cold during your trip especially if you're used to, say, Miami or LA or Texas weather.

    Also, invest in whatever is the smallest charger/cable setup you can. You can get a multi-charging USB cable that kind of looks like an octopus, with one USB plug on one end and then eight different ones for your phone, camera, etc. (Edited to add: this style doesn't charge as quickly so take this into account)

    You'll need really comfortable walking shoes, preferably ones that are waterproof. I would wear those ones while traveling then pack really comfortable walking sandals. For your shoes, invest in summer weight wool socks. You can wear them more than once, they don't smell, and they dry quickly if you hand wash them.

    In addition to your suitcase, you'll need some sort of small day bag for when your suitcase is on a tour bus or in left luggage in a train station. Most people would probably have a small backpack for this but some prefer crossbody bags. You'd want to make sure that this bag has some protection from pick pockets, either by having security features on the bag itself, like lockable zippers or a slash-proof fabric, or by the way you use the bag, like wearing it under your jacket, or by clipping your items in to TB o-rings, etc.

    Finally (for now!), use packing cubes. You'll need to keep your suitcase organized with all that moving around. Having shirts in one packing cube and pants in another and underwear and socks in another will mean you won't be digging around in your suitcase for stuff, and you can repack easily.

    Can't wait to hear more about your trip, it sounds fantastic!

    Edited to add: now is the right time to be preparing, you'll be able to buy some items in Black Friday sales, no doubt. REI doesn't call it that but they do have a November sale, and outdoors places like them and LL Bean sell wool socks, sun hats, lightweight clothing that is good for travel, etc. If nothing else, make sure you have a nice water bottle in your day bag or you'll be spending a lot to stay hydrated on your trip. Keep us posted!
    Last edited by Cristina; 11-17-2018 at 01:55 PM.

  4. #4
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    Cristina has covered most of the stuff, but I’d emphasize the idea of investing in some “travel friendly” items. I reduced the weight and volume of my packing substantially when I bought some merino wool tops and socks. Expensive, but worth it. I wore a pair of merino socks on a 6 day bike trip and NEVER washed them (TMI but I was amazed! I had two other pairs of socks just in case, but each morning I’d get up, check out the socks, and off I’d go!)

    I pack using apps which help me to figure out what I can mix and match. I take a set of basic clothing, all one neutral color, and add items to change the looks and function. (I love some of the items from Diane Kroe and always include a few in my packing) Make sure all your items are comfortable and something you enjoy wearing! And remember, the people in England, France... have never seen your clothing, nor do they care what you’re wearing, No need for a lot of variety.

    I always include a PCSB which I use in my seat back pocket for in-flight items, but then use as a day bag/camera bag.

    Have a great time!
    Last edited by Traveltech; 11-18-2018 at 09:53 AM.

  5. #5
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    A visual to show how the merino tops save bulk in my packing. (I am the luckiest person in the world, having just booked another safari!)
    On the left is the stack of tops I packed for our first trip to Africa, on the right is what Iím packing this time.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Synik 22, Truck, Luminary 12 with a MCB Freudian Slip, Daylight Backpack, EDC HLT2, Side Effect or Side Effect, zippered Large and Small Shopbags, Co-Pilot, Travel Tray, Snake Charmer

  6. #6
    Forum Member fredlet's Avatar
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    What to Pack and Travel Tips...?

    I agree, a couple of merino shirts are more than worth it. They donít smell and unless you are messy (like me) they donít need to be washed more than once every few wears.
    A few things that help me when Iím moving about a lot in a trip:
    Battery that I can recharge at night when I sleep for topping up phone during the day.
    A universal adapter that has a few USB ports in it.
    Merino socks
    My sidekick works as camera bag and day bag in most cases.

    I went to Paris with an A30 and it wasnít too full AND I didnít want for clothing or gear at all.


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    http://www.fredletsTravels.com
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  7. #7
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    Welcome!
    I'd suggest visiting the One Bag website. https://www.onebag.com/
    Make a packing list AFTER you visit One Bag. elisa

  8. #8
    Forum Member Amy's Avatar
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    Great advice from everyone here. A few tips my husband and I always follow on multi week trips to Europe:

    Only pack something you will wear a minimum of 3 times.

    Bring only fast dry clothing. We have replaced all our pants with soft shell material ones. My favorite pair are black ones from Columbia that are totally plain. They work for literally everything from hiking to evening wear to pajamas! They pack thin, have a bit of stretch, and can be washed and hung to dry overnight. You can wear thin leggings under them when it is cold. Never again will we take jeans or other materials on a trip. My husband wears his soft shell pants at home every single day. He has forsaken all other materials. He wears them with a jacket and they look like dress pants. With a T-shirt and they are like jeans. They are thin enough to wear during summer.

    Like the others recommend, get merino wool replacements for your socks and T-shirts. They are truly miracles of nature. You will need no more than 3 pairs of socks or shirts if you do this, and you may not even need to wash them for the duration of your trip. I have a long sleeved black base layer merino shirt from Icebreaker. It is the one that goes with me every time. I literally never have to wash it. I do, just because it seems to go against nature not to, but it smells and looks fresh every morning even without washing.

    My other tip is to skip heavy jackets and bring a thin windbreaker. On chillier days, wear a long sleeved shirt under your windbreaker, and if it warms up later, peel off the windbreaker. We went to Scotland during the summer where the temperature ranged from the 40s to the 80s in a single day. We were constantly adjusting layers and putting our windbreakers in our day bags. Canít do that with a heavy jacket.

    I often bring my black Scottevest trench coat on trips. I like the longer length of a trench coat. It is a light material and looks and feels good. It also gives the appearance of dressing up, even if you have your same old Clothes on. I only bring it if the temperature will be chilly or if it will rain a lot.

    As a female, a scarf is a super versatile item. It can be used for warmth or ornamentation. It can make your same old clothes look dressy. I always bring a scarf or two. Take a non bulky summer weight scarf. I have a couple of thin silk ones I love to take on trips.

    Shoes always take up a lot of room. Walking sandals is a great idea as your packed shoes, and wear your bulkier shoes each time you move between locations. Resist the urge to pack a third pair of shoes. My husband now only ever brings 1 pair of shoes and no packed ones. He adores his black leather Vivo Barefoot Ra shoes. They are thin and comfortable as slippers, good for walking (except on jagged rocks, because the soles are thin) and can pass as as dress shoes with a jacket.

    My newest discovery as perfect travel shoes: Rothys. They squash flat in a bag, are thin and stretchy, made of recycled water bottles(!!), perfect for the rain with grippy soles, can be washed in a machine, and will be dry the next day, and look like dress shoes. No socks necessary. I have the pointy toed black ones and wear them all the time. I wouldnít go hiking in them but you can wear them all day for walking around.

    We have been traveling carry-on only for multi week trips for about a decade now. Multi wear,multi use thin garments in the right materials make it possible.

    Have fun!!


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    Donít make something unless it is both necessary and useful; but if it is both necessary and useful, donít hesitate to make it beautiful. ó Shaker Philosophy

  9. #9
    Forum Member kathryn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amy View Post
    My favorite pair are black ones from Columbia that are totally plain. They work for literally everything from hiking to evening wear to pajamas! They pack thin, have a bit of stretch, and can be washed and hung to dry overnight.
    I've been looking at the Columbia site since I saw their pants recommended in another thread... can you remember what style or model you have? I love my Uniqlo Ultra-Stretch Jeans for travel, but while they're quicker to dry than most jeans I wouldn't trust them to dry overnight. Smilie
    "I'm more of a creative problem solver with good taste and a soft spot for logistical nightmares.Ē ― Maria Semple, Where'd You Go, Bernadette

  10. #10
    Forum Member kathryn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fredlet View Post
    A universal adapter that has a few USB ports in it.
    Seconding this recommendation--the charger I have doesn't seem to be made anymore, but it's 4 USB ports (1-2A) and has plugs that swap out for different style outlets. If you've seen the Apple international charger, you'll have the idea, just add 3 more USB ports Smilie It's turned out to be one of the best $30 I've ever spent on travel accessories.
    "I'm more of a creative problem solver with good taste and a soft spot for logistical nightmares.Ē ― Maria Semple, Where'd You Go, Bernadette

  11. #11
    Forum Member Amy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kathryn View Post
    I've been looking at the Columbia site since I saw their pants recommended in another thread... can you remember what style or model you have? I love my Uniqlo Ultra-Stretch Jeans for travel, but while they're quicker to dry than most jeans I wouldn't trust them to dry overnight. Smilie
    I found them at a Columbia outlet a few years ago. I will see if they are still around or if there is a new replacement. Key thing is the thin soft shell material. My husband has some from Prana with the same fabric.


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    Donít make something unless it is both necessary and useful; but if it is both necessary and useful, donít hesitate to make it beautiful. ó Shaker Philosophy

  12. #12
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    I really like my Railraiders Adventure Khakis. Very light and abrasion resistant., for colder seasons I am using my X-treme Adventure Pant. They will dry in few hours and withstand a lot of abuse.
    My second choice is Prana Zion Pant. The alternative for female wearers is Prana Halle Pant.

  13. #13
    Forum Member fredlet's Avatar
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    What to Pack and Travel Tips...?

    Quote Originally Posted by kathryn View Post
    Seconding this recommendation--the charger I have doesn't seem to be made anymore, but it's 4 USB ports (1-2A) and has plugs that swap out for different style outlets. If you've seen the Apple international charger, you'll have the idea, just add 3 more USB ports Smilie It's turned out to be one of the best $30 I've ever spent on travel accessories.
    I think I have the same one! I agree!
    Hereís a similar item but not the one I had:
    Multiple USB Wall Charger, [22W/4.4A] LENCENT 4 Port USB Travel Adapter, All in One USB Charger Plug with UK/USA/EU/AUS Worldwide International Travel Phone Charger for iPhone, IPad & More - White https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077VFGNYZ..._H-W8Bb2GWSEF2

    fredletsTravels
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    Last edited by fredlet; 11-19-2018 at 12:32 PM.

  14. #14
    Forum Member northerngypsy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traveltech View Post
    Cristina has covered most of the stuff, but I’d emphasize the idea of investing in some “travel friendly” items. I reduced the weight and volume of my packing substantially when I bought some merino wool tops and socks. Expensive, but worth it. I wore a pair of merino socks on a 6 day bike trip and NEVER washed them (TMI but I was amazed! I had two other pairs of socks just in case, but each morning I’d get up, check out the socks, and off I’d go!)

    I pack using apps which help me to figure out what I can mix and match. I take a set of basic clothing, all one neutral color, and add items to change the looks and function. (I love some of the items from Diane Kroe and always include a few in my packing) Make sure all your items are comfortable and something you enjoy wearing! And remember, the people in England, France... have never seen your clothing, nor do they care what you’re wearing, No need for a lot of variety.

    I always include a PCSB which I use in my seat back pocket for in-flight items, but then use as a day bag/camera bag.

    Have a great time!
    Two questions: what are the apps you use and what brand of merino do you like? All the ones I find are so technical-looking...

  15. #15
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    Don't be afraid to leave those "just in case" things at home. Sometimes its way more fun to bring home a practical souvenir than something to set on a shelf. I travelled with a lady who travelled with just a big purse, and she didn't bring a coat because she wasn't sure she would NEED it enough to justify the space in her bag. The weather ended up being unseasonably cool, and she bought a beautiful red wool dress coat in France that would fit right into her wardrobe at home. On that same trip, I fell in love with scarves for accessories, and purchased a silk scarf that has begun a tradition of buying fancy local scarves while travelling.

    I once watched a packing video that I think forms a great theory to packing smart. Pick your suitcase first, and force yourself to pick and small as you think you can get away with for that trip. For example, instead of a 30" rolling checked bag, maybe try to pack into a 24" checked bag. Lay it out (on the bed or table, or wherever you prefer to pack) as well as an empty bin or laundry basket. Pull everything out that you might want to pack, and sort it into two piles; into the suitcase goes the bare minimum that you NEED to get by on that trip, and into the basket or bin goes everything you WANT to take on that trip. Roll/fold/pack the stuff in the suitcase, and then begin to bargain. You really really want that pair of shoes that's in the basket, so are you willing to give up some socks and underwear (and therefore maybe have to do sink laundry every few nights) to make space/weight for them?

    Might help you decide what to pack.

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