I just arrived in Bosnia and Herzegovina to start a one-month workation in Europe. The first 1.5 weeks I’m on vacation with my husband to celebrate his birthday, and the rest of the month I’m workationing my way to the Czech Republic.
I always love seeing how others pack, so I thought I’d share a peek into my travel backpack and what I’ve packed for 1 month in Europe in May.
One of the things I love about traveling is that I don’t have to spend much time thinking about my clothes (once I’m abroad). Since I’m not working on site with any clients on this trip, I only had to pack for personal comfort and weather. Here’s what I took with me (including what I wore on the plane):
- 1 short-sleeved shirt
- 2 long-sleeved shirts
- 2 dresses
- 2 skirts
- day bag and clutch
- 1 scarf
- 1 pair tights
- 1 pair leggings
- 2 pairs walking shoes
- 1 pair sandals
- 3 tanks
- 1 pair jeans
- 1 pair shorts
- 1 sweatshirt type jacket
- 4 t-shirts
Here’s everything (bras, underwear, and socks are in the packing cube) rolled up and ready to go into 3 small packing cubes.
When I look at the pictures I think is that all I’m taking? But when I look at the list I feel like I could still pare it down. A few thoughts…
- I roll my clothes but I use packing cubes. I love packing cubes! They keep me organized and make packing and unpacking my travel backpack a breeze.
- I never used to travel with jeans. Now I always take a pair.
- I could get by with one pair of walking shoes and one pair of sandals. But since I haven’t broken in the black shoes yet, and since it’s May and it might rain, I’m bringing two. It’s nice to change your shoes if one pair gets wet or gives you blisters. And the sandals don’t take up much space in my backpack.
- I probably won’t wear the shorts much but I wanted to have something to wear to the laundromat. And, in a pinch, it’ll work as a swimsuit (as I discovered last summer when I went to the lake and forgot my swimsuit).
- The blue skirt is one that I can wear a bunch of different ways. We’ll see if I wear it a bunch of different ways.
- I looked and looked and looked for comfortable sandals that weren’t really ugly. I read a lot of great reviews for Naots, so I’m giving them a shot.
- I’ve traveled with that orange bag since 2012 and I LOVE it. It’s the perfect size to carry around all day, it has lots of pockets and zippers, my laptop fits in it, and I love the color.
- I could probably get by with just one dress. But that polka dot dress is super comfortable. I bought it in Paris last summer, so it’s been field-tested. 😉 It was cheap, and it’s already falling apart, so there’s a good chance it won’t be coming home with me.
- I’m also taking my mobile office and toiletries. With everything in my backpack it’s less than 3/4 of the way full. I used to stuff my backpack to the brim, but now I like starting out with room for a few souvenirs (usually jewelry, a scarf or a notebook).
How much would you take for 1 month abroad? What are you must-pack items?
Halfway though my travels I’m happy with what I packed, though there are a few pieces that have positively and negatively stood out.
On the positive side: I LOVE the Smartwool tank that I bought the day before I left. I’d heard that merino wool keeps you warm when you want to be warm, cool when you want to be cool, that it dries very quickly, and that it doesn’t smell.
It’s all true! No joke, I’ve worn this tank every single day since I arrived. It keeps my outer layer cleaner, and it’s so comfortable. I’ve hand washed it and machine washed it, plus I swam in it one day, and it dried super quickly each time. I’m sold on merino wool and am now going to save my pennies for a t-shirt and long-sleeved pullover.
The shorts have come in handy for hiking, a spontaneous swim, and working in my AirBnB. I’m glad I brought them.
On the (slightly) negative side: The yellow shirt that I thought would be so great for traveling is not at all great for traveling. It wrinkles terribly, so I’ve hardly worn it. The white shirt, that I almost didn’t bring, has been wonderful, though. It keeps me covered in the sun but doesn’t make me hot, washes easily, dries in no time, and goes with everything.
I also don’t love the Naot sandals I bought. They’re ok, just not as comfortable for walking all day on cobblestones as other sandals I’ve had.
Even though I can fit everything in my travel backpack and still have empty space, I feel like I could have left one of everything at home (shoes, skirt, dress, long-sleeved shirt, t-shirt, tank, socks). On the other hand, I’d have to do laundry more often. As is, I’ve done some hand wash a few times (mostly the merino wool tank and the white cotton shirt) and I’ve been to the laundromat once.
All-in-all, I’m happy with what I packed for this trip!