As soon as Connor and I decided to go on a trip to Italy and Spain, we knew that we had so much to see that we would be on the move constantly. To us, that meant one thing in terms of the luggage we would bring: we’d be backpacking through Southern Europe.
Now that I’ve done it, I seriously think it is the best way to travel, especially when you’re constantly on the go! It sounded a little strange to us at first. We’d be in a foreign country, for two weeks, with nothing but the things we could carry on our backs. We were definitely going to need to step out of our comfort zone for this one.
Somehow I, being the clothes and shoes loving girl that I am, managed to pack all of the essentials into one small pink backpackers pack. And it worked so well!
You may be asking yourself, “what did she bring on her trip, and how could it have lasted her two whole weeks”?? Well… let me tell you 🙂
On our trip to Italy and Spain, I brought:
♥ One Light Jacket
♥ Two Button-Up Shirts
♥ Five Tops (t-shirts, tanks, and nice tops)
♥ Two Dresses
♥ Undergarments for Seven Days (enough to last a little more than half of the trip)
♥ One Maxi Skirt
♥ One Pair of Capris
♥ One Pair of Leggings
♥ One Pair of Shorts
♥ One Swimsuit
♥ One Small Makeup Bag
♥ Two Toiletry Bags
♥ One Pair of Sneakers
♥ One Pair of Flats
♥ One Pair of Sandals
♥ One Neck Pillow
♥ One (Small) Paperback Book
♥ A Pair of Headphones
♥ An iPad or Small Electronic Device (for watching movies on those long train rides)
♥ My Travel Binder
♥ A Little Extra Room for Souvenirs
The list I just wrote may look long to you, or maybe it doesn’t sound like a lot. On this trip, I became the pro at mixing and matching outfits. Even though I only brought three pants and a small handful of shirts, I managed to wear a different look everyday. Again, the power of mixing and matching clothes is pretty great! Also, in all honesty, no one other than you and your travel partners know if you’re repeating outfits. Even more than that, nobody cares! You’re there to travel and see things!
We washed our clothes about halfway through our trip. Most hotels have laundry services if you’re going to be there a few days. Or, you can do what we did: ask for an extra bottle of shampoo and turn the shower into a laundry room. No, it certainly wasn’t ideal, and we ended up wearing wet shorts part of the next day. But, I would rather have done that than carry around a heavy suitcase with twice as many clothes.
All About My Backpack
Y’all, I LOVE the backpack that I got for our European travels! It is super comfortable, big enough to hold my stuff but not so big that I’d tip over when I put it on, and it is pink!
Connor and I both found our backpacks on Amazon. Because he is much stronger than I am, Connor got a larger backpack and was able to carry more of our shared items like the computer. My backpack was a 30 gallon High Sierra Women’s Piton (in the color boysenberry, aka the same color pink as my coffee mug, water bottle, and running shoes!). Connor carried a grey and yellow 45 gallon High Sierra Summit Pack.
I know, 30 gallons doesn’t sound like a lot, and if you look a picture my backpack does look really small. But I promise it worked!
I’m a little bit shorter than average as far as height goes, so I feel fairly confident saying that the size backpack I got is probably best for novice female backpackers such as myself. Yes, a jumbo 50 gallon backpack would have held a lot more of my clothes, which would have had its good aspects. But image carrying a huge bag for as long as two hours up a hill in 100 degree weather… in a foreign country. Yeah, that wouldn’t have worked for me either. No really, I would have fallen over if my bag was any bigger. I was considering the 45 gallon version of my backpack, but in the end I think the size backpack that I got was perfect. It fit all of my stuff comfortably, and I could actually carry it around for long periods of time. Isn’t that the entire point of going the “travel with only a backpack” route? Why yes, yes it is.
Also, something that we greatly utilized was Ziplock bags. All of my clothes were organized into different Ziplock bags, and then condensed as much as possible when I squeezed the air out. That made a huge difference in regards to how much I could pack! My story is living proof that you can carry two weeks’ worth of clothes in a small backpack. You just have to do a lot of planning, organizing, and a bit of squishing 😉