Europe is at the top of most people's lists when it comes to travel destinations. When touring Europe, it's important to budget and to carry only necessities so you can get the most out of your European adventure. I traveled to Europe in the Summer of 2016 with only a carry-on. Only bringing a carry-on made going around Europe easier and ensured I wouldn't have to worry about my luggage being lost on the plane. Here are a few tips and tricks for traveling around Europe with only a carry on:
1. Only pack necessities:
Only pack things you will need and wear. Packing just one dressy outfit, and one pair of running shoes will cut down on the amount of clothing and shoes you bring. If you are a jewelry or a makeup person, I would suggest only bringing things you can not live without and leaving the rest at home. It will be a pain to pack up all your things constantly, and the less stuff you bring, the fewer things you can potentially lose. Win-win.
2. Pack outfits that you can mix and match:
Traveling Europe with only a carry-on means that you will become an outfit repeater. Packing neutrals and clothes that can go with other things can cut down on your outfit repeats.
3. Find a laundry mat:
Only bringing a carry-on means that you will at sometime through your travels need to locate a laundry mat to keep you smelling clean and fresh. If you pack seven outfits in your carry-on, you will only need to wash your clothes once a week. It will keep your luggage smelling clean and give you the luxury of wearing fresh, clean clothes while in Europe.
4. Become a pro carry-on folder:
The better you can fold your clothes and make them compact in your carry on the more things you will be able to fit in your carry on. A great tip is to stuff your shoes with socks. Socks inside sneakers will make sure the shape of your sneakers don't give way and will save space. Just make sure you put your shoes in a plastic bag before packing it in your carry on to keep your clothes clean.
5. Bring a backpack or large bag as your personal item:
Bringing a backpack or a large bag/purse as your personal item will give you an added bag to store more necessities, and you will avoid the added bag costs on airplanes. I usually bring a large Lululemon tote as my personal item. In my tote I like to store my curling iron, straightening iron, makeup, contacts, and a coat or a jacket. Usually, these items would take up quite a bit of space in your carry-on, so keeping them out of there and in your personal bag is a great tip for traveling with only a carry-on.
6. Take advantage of Hotel Amenities’
If your hotel you are staying at provides towels, shampoo, soap, etc. there is no need to bring these items in your carry on. You can always ask your hotel for more shampoo and conditioner if you go through the samples provided faster. Usually hotels are happy to give you another bottle of shampoo and conditioner during your stay free of charge. Taking advantage of freebies is a great way to save extra space in your carry on.
7. Don’t buy big souvenirs
Souvenirs for friends and family are great but making sure you have enough space for them is even better. The last thing you want to have to do is buy a suitcase for your souvenirs. Pick something small and meaningful to bring back. One of my favourite souvenir gifts are postcards that you write your adventures on from each place you visit. Postcards are generally pretty cheap and don’t take up a lot of room. Postcards can also be a meaningful souvenir as you can write a personal message about your experiences you would like to share.
Hope you found these seven tips on how to travel with only a carry-on helpful. Good luck on your adventures!