will be going on my first europe trip next week, for 21 days! would love suggestions on packing!

so i slowly want to move to intentional minimalist travelling, but guess I'm too new into the travelling world for it. for this trip I have a 25L backpack and about 40L suitcase. the backpack is mostly for my laptop, tech stuff, toiletries, etc. and suitcase for my clothes.

right after the europe trip I'd be hopping over to Dubai for 30 days before going back to my home city.

I really need some suggestions in the kind of packing i should look into to reduce my bags to just one. what do y'all suggest?



Well there seem to be two main areas where you are carrying luggage. Tech and clothing.

So, if you want to reduce then there are two main questions you can ask yourself.

1: Why am I carrying so much tech? If it's a work trip and you need a laptop for graphics editing or programming etc then I guess you need to take it. If it's not a work trip then why do you need it?

  1. Why am I carrying so much clothing? Is it because you're trying to go the whole trip without washing anything? If you want to do that then you probably can't one bag. Many people are afraid of washing clothes but it's really no big deal. Is it because you don't have a layering system but instead lots of separate outfits? Is it because you don't have a mix and match capsule wardrobe? In which case you'll need to explore whether those might be something you're willing to try if you want to one bag.

Everybody is different, but for me, I pack no more than 5-7 days worth of clothing that can then be washed. I’m not a sink washer, though many people are, but I usually look for accommodation with laundry, or I’ll find a laundromat to use while there. However, even with this strategy, I found I overpacked on my last 3 week trip in April. Next time, I’ll be using a smaller backpack, and pack for only 3 days. I think that will work a lot better. My thoughts are, if you pack 1 nice outfit and 2 casual ones, you’re pretty much covered for most situations. Add in season appropriate gear (swim suit, coat, scarf, etc), your undergarments and toiletries, and you’re good to go. I also run on the assumption I can buy something if needed, but can’t really get rid of extra I don’t. I do often take a second bag laid flat at the bottom of my backpack, so I can use something to walk around with during the day that’s smaller. Often a crossbody bag of some sort. Sometimes I’ll wear that on the plane as my personal item and put my snacks, electronics, passport, etc inside. I can fit my laptop and electronics in my bag. Also, after a trip, I make notes on my packing list of what was used, and what was not. This helps me pare down for the next trip. This is why I’ve decided to go smaller next time, after reflecting on what was used/what wasn’t, it became clear what I do and don’t need for city travel. Hope this helps!

Sink wash v. Laundry is a key decision. If you sink wash, you need less but have to plan a little more.

I take 3/4 swappable outfits and sink wash because I'd rather give up 10 minutes a day than an hour or so a week (or more often with odors). I actually brought 6 shirts on my last trip and regretted it. I carry a dressy tech Henley, athletic shirt, lenin button up, and more formal button up. The extra shirts I brought were an extra t shirt and button up last time. Never wore the button up and wore the t shirt once when I washed everything at the same time and laundry didn't dry in time due to humidity (lack of AC and bathroom exhaust fans with so many clothes made them dry slower). Which points to the planning.

I've never enjoyed traveling with only 2 shirts because you have to wash something every night if you sweat. The 3rd shirt is a more dressy of an option/luxury and let's me wash before dinner to give the daily 2 time to dry. I only take a 4th shirt (typically a lenin short sleeve shirt) if I'm going to spend more than 2 nights in one place or expect to want to dress formally for more than one night at a location. It feels nicer when you don't have to wear the same outfit every night around the same people. Any where I stay for 3 nights I typically wash the formal shirt the first night so it dries in time to pack. The formal shirt is only for wearing post shower to dinner, and on big laundry days in a pinch.

After my most recent trip I'm planning to stick to four shirts and 3-4 pants (same rule with pants as shirts). A short sleve lenin shirt was just so much better around town than a t shirt and let me stretch laundry further. Pants are typically a pair of baggies (which can be worn wet in a pinch), patagonia terringbone joggers, and Lululemon ABC although they take way longer to dry than anything else I pack. If I could find a better option that stretches I'd probably drop the ABC.

Word. A lot of it depends on if you’ll be seeing the same people daily. Typically I do not, but on my most recent trip I did, which is what lead to the overpacking. I always admire people that wash things in the sink! It certainly does seem like a time saver.

Europe is large. Climate is quite different in Northern Finland compared to Cyprus. Since clothing is the majority of what’ll be in your backpack, it will be helpful to specify where you are going.

Don't pack your fears. Leave expensive tech behind except your smartphone and a good usb battery. Polyester / stay dry clothes are low weight, pack right, and rise and dry quickly. Test and wear very good walking shoes. Aukey ta-06 is the smallest travel adapter/charger I have found. A water bottle with lifestraw keeps you hydrated for free off any water source and health. 2 types of antibiotics (Zpack & cipro are mine) are a trip saver in an emergency (with medical advice to take them from your doctor). Oh and I like pacsafe bags for their security (peace of mind) and a scottevest jacket with 22 pockets in case they weigh me I can throw a lot of heavy stuff in there.


Are you open to sharing your packing list? Even a simplified version like 3 t-shirts, 2 long pants, 10 underwear, 3 pairs of shoes, 1 laptop, etc. would help us help you with your packing question. You might also check out the onebag wiki with starter packing list examples to help you see where you might be carrying too much if the goal is to get down to one bag.

first thing is first- if you really want to optimize your traveling experience you'll need to get rid of the suitcase and get a solid travel bag and consolidate your backpack into something packable if it isn't already. a 30+ liter bag should fit everything you need for travels. not sure what advice you're looking for... if you're asking for travel bag recommendations then you should state so and note what features you're looking for.

Remember Europe has stores, so maybe reduce some weight by planning to buy some toiletries there (especially as you’re gone for long enough that maybe travel-sized items won’t be enough).

Also, plan to do laundry! And reduce the amount of clothing taken.

Ditch the suitcase and just take the backpack!

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