My brother, Ben, get’s here tomorrow and I cannot wait to see him! 🙂 He’s never been to Europe before and can’t wait to show him around and explore some new cities together. Here’s what the next 12 days look like for us:
- Ben arrives in Paris, France and we spend 2 days sight seeing
- Take the train to Brussels, Belgium and spend 2 days there
- The next train will take us to the Netherlands where we’ll spend another 2 days in Amsterdam
- After a quick morning trip, we’ll be in Germany where we’ll spend with next 4 days, starting with 2 days in Hamburg
- Up next, another train that will take us to Berlin for our last 2 days in Germany
- Another flight, this time back to France where we’ll fly into Paris and then take a train to Reims
- Spend 1.5 days exploring Reims, France
- Ben flies back to the USA
We’ve packed a lot into this trip, but it allows us to see as much as we can in the short amount of time we have. I’m really excited for this trip and am looking forward to seeing more of Europe!
I am a notorious over packer. The worst thing is, when I’m packing, I know that I will not use a lot of the things I’m packing. But, I like to be fully prepared for every situation that may come my way. It’s ridiculously easy for me to justify packing extra items, just in case I’ll need them on my trip. I’ve been known to pack a week’s work of clothes for a weekend away. At the start of this journey, I struggled to pack my life into 2 suitcases to move to France. I spent hours of packing as much I could into my bags, and then repacking when I weighed my bag and discovered that they were too heavy. And, after all of that, I had to do some last-minute rearranging in the airport to get my bag underweight…
Since moving to France and traveling around Europe, I’ve started to appreciate traveling light. While I still love to pack everything but the kitchen sink, lugging around heavy bags is not fun and very tiring. Between that and the small carry on limits and baggage fees that budget airlines have, I’ve started limiting what I pack. Over fall break, I spent a week traveling around the UK with just a small book bag–quite an accomplishment for someone who was used to packing more than that for a simple weekend away.
So, without further ado, here are my top 6 packing tips to help you travel lighter:
- Roll, don’t fold your clothes. This saves a lot of space in your suitcase so you can bring more clothes without need a bigger bag, a win-win.
- Pack clothes that do double duty. Clothes that can be easily washed, layered, and mixed and matched are perfect for traveling.
- Plan: Make a list and check it twice. Make a list of what you need to pack and then check it to make sure that you’re going to get more than one use out of everything you’re bringing. If you didn’t use the item on your last trip, changes are you won’t need it on this one. Don’t forget sure to stick to your list when packing!
- Pack travel sized toiletries. Packing smaller versions of everyday products (hair brush, tooth paste, face wash, makeup, deodorant…) will save you precious space in your bag.
- Take a smaller bag. By limiting the size of your luggage, you automatically limit what you can bring. Use your packing list to help you optimize the space you have available.
- Don’t forget to leave space for the souvenirs you’ll pick up along the way !
Let me know what packing tips you use to help you travel light!
I bought my one way ticket back to this USA last weekend. I know that this is my last semester of college and my last semester in France, but knowing the date I’m leaving and having a plane ticket makes everything seem so much more real. But, I’m still here until the end of June and plan on making the most of the time I have left 🙂
This semester, I’m taking one class at a time, like winter term at Elon. I have 1 class down and 5 more to go. The class I’m taking right now is Project Management. For the class, we have to plan a project and my group’s planning a month-long trip in Southern Asia. The project is so much fun to work on and is making me want to travel to Asia asap. Unfortunately, that trip will have to wait until I have a bit more time to travel, but hopefully that won’t be too long! In the meantime, I plan on seeing as much of Europe as I can–starting with the trip I’m taking with my brother. In just a couple of weeks, we’ll be visiting 4 countries in 12 days and I cannot wait!
And, lastly, a mini catch up of some traveling I did in December! Before heading home for Christmas Break, I took a day trip to visit the Christmas Markets in Strasbourg and a weekend trip to Paris. It was so nice to be able to take some time to travel and relax after exams! Pictures below 🙂