10 Apr How we Plan to Travel 5 Weeks in Europe with a Carry on – 2 Forks in the road
When we started planning our Italy and Greece trip about 18 months ago, we never thought to travel with only a carry on for a 5 week trip. The idea scared me, I’m the type to pack overweight for an All inclusive vacation! The more I researched and looked at other blog posts, I realized that backpacking was really the way to go in Europe.
When you think of it, it makes a lot of sense. Cobble stone streets, cliff sides, on and off trains and flights, and the extra charges to check luggage… it really doesn’t sound practical to carry a big suitcase around for 5 weeks. So, here’s how we plan on travelling for 5 weeks with a 40 litre backpack.
1- You gotta pick a good quality backpack! We did tons of research before choosing! It’s not recommended to bring a hiking/camping backpack. Why? Imagine having to dig through to the bottom of your drawstring backpack for a toothbrush! We had to pack things tight to be able to fit the most we could while remaining under the 8kg weight limit! (Ugh I know! What a challenge!)
We ended up picking the Farpoint 40L by Osprey! It meets size requirements for most airlines, and it opens all the way around with a lockable, durable zipper. Plenty of pockets and it doesn’t have a ton of straps that might get caught along the way. The most important thing is comfort, it comes in two sizes, and has multiple adjustable straps to get the perfect fit.
2- We used packing cubes! These things are pretty neat. At first I didn’t see the point of having bags within another bag. But really, think about it! You need a new shirt…? Pull the bag that contains shirts and don’t mess up the rest of your bag! Because we all know that the bag would never close up the way it did when you originally packed it.
3- Get it all in miniatures! We stay in apartments during our trip and have no way to know if they will provide toiletries. We went out and bought miniature shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, hairspray, toothpaste and dry shampoo. Any pharmacy or large surface retailer sells those. You have to pack them in a plastic 1 quart sandwich bag. And you’re only allowed one baggy per person! We plan on buying full size bottles once we get settled in Venice. At least, you don’t have to run around looking for a store before jumping in an “Oh so needed” shower. I even bought a miniature hair straightener, I refuse to look trashy in Italy! Haha!
4- Rent apartments with washer & dryer! We booked most of our apartments through AirBnB. We planned apartments with laundry, free laundry within the apartment! No waiting around at a laundromat or digging around to find the appropriate change to pay for it!
6- Lastly, pack a great hand bag. Yes, even Richard! He got himself a “Satchel”. He even made sure his shoes matched with it! Your hand bag will serve as extra space for electronics, and everything you would carry in your purse during flights and trains, but it will also double as a great day bag to carry maps, snack and a water bottle during your whole trip! Most airlines allow a handbag per person, on top of your carry on, as long as it is small than your carry on and lighter.
There you have it! Now we just have to wait and see if we packed enough! We will make sure to update you as soon as we are back!