If it doesn’t collapse or fold, I don’t want it!
We’re 6 months out from our 36 day European excursion! Since my last post, We’re going to Europe! Part 1: Planning, we’ve added two more countries to our itinerary: Germany and Switzerland!
While it’s far too early to pack our bags, it’s never too early to start collecting the items we will need for our trip. We just bought our backpacks and we’re starting to gather the basics for a month in Germany, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Greece, Italy, Switzerland and France. The weather should be pretty warm, keeping our packs light (we hope).
Keeping in mind that we want to use RyanAir to fly from country to country, my husband and I decided to go with 40L backpacks that measure 21 x 14 x 9 inches. RyanAir’s specifications are 55cm x 40cm x 20cm. After doing a little conversion, we discovered that as long as our bags aren’t filled to the brim outwards, we should be able to meet the maximum dimensions and avoid checking our bags. This will save time and money. My husband went with the Osprey Farpoint 40 Travel Pack in black, I went with the same in Rainforest Green (above).
We’ve been instructed by other travelers to have a TSA Travel Lock (left). This one is thin enough to slip through our zippers and lock our entire backpack – which will come in handy when we are sleeping on the train with our luggage by our side. We can also use these for hostel lockers to keep our luggage safe while we’re out for the day.
We plan on using no-vacuum-needed compression bags to fit more in our backpacks. We’ll purchase these for $15.99. You get 2 small, 2 medium, 3 large and 3 jumbo storage bags that save space by compress all of your clothing. (Keep weight restrictions in mind, just because it’s smaller, doesn’t mean it’s lighter!)
It is recommended by other travelers to use travel size toiletries for prolonged journeys. This will be a tough one for me because I wash my hair daily. My solution: dry shampoo. I am loving this brand of dry shampoo that allows me to go another day without washing my hair. As a blonde who suffers from oily hair, dry shampoo is a lifesaver. We’ll be on our trip for 36 days so we will likely need to replenish our supplies once or twice. I will be packing shampoo, conditioner, body wash, face wipes, sunscreen and dry shampoo.
I like the idea of these Sht. Shower. Shave. pods for my husband. He shaves twice a week and the one-time-use pods are ideal for travel. Otherwise, all he needs is some soap and sunscreen. Men are so lucky!
My sister bought me this handy-dandy Sea to Summit clothing line, used for hanging laundry on the go! We will start shopping for clothes a month or two out from our trip. I’m relying on a color palette (below) to ensure that all clothes will go together nicely. Currently, I’m planning for:
One pair of shorts, one pair of leggings, one pair of black jeans, two dresses, six shirts, one rain jacket, one jean jacket, one swimsuit, one swimsuit cover-up, one scarf, one pair of sunglasses, one cross-body bag, one pair of pajama shorts, one pajama shirt, one long gold necklace and one short silver necklace. Plus undergarments, obviously.
In many ways, I am a total girly-girl, but when it comes to shoes I am a wreck. I hate shoes. They are the bane of my existence and I am extraordinarily picky. Right now, I have my eye on a pair of Flip flops (right) from REI that will be used for the beach, hostel showers and lighter walking days. Next, I need to pick a pair of street shoes that double as hiking shoes, and a wedge or sandal that takes up little space and dresses up any outfit. Recommendations would be awesome, I need to buy these soon and start breaking them in!
Our itinerary is packed so we better get some seriously great sleep if we want to stay on schedule. We’ve heard wonders about these Jet Lag Rapid-Reset tablets that help you adjust to a new time zone in two days, rather than one week. Fingers crossed they work! As a light sleeper, I will also rely on ear plugs, a travel pillow, and this Cocoon sleep sheet (left). A sleep mask is another great option for some light sleepers, but not for me. Does anyone else have dreams that they’ve gone blind when they’re wearing a sleep mask? No? Just Me? Okay.
For the beach
I am stoked beyond reason about our Pocket Blanket. This thing is tiny and folds out to a large 63″x 44″ blanket. It literally fits in a back pocket, so it’s not just a clever name. My husband had it on his Christmas wish list and I couldn’t resist. It’s already come in handy for wine and cheese picnics. We also received these handy fold-up bags from my sister which are perfect for grabbing a few groceries or packing a simple beach bag.
We’ve been going back and forth about purchasing a collapsible water bottle. I admit, I’m getting a little fold-up/collapse obsessed and love the idea of a water bottle that I can fit in my back pocket! My husband thinks it’s lame, and says that if our water bottle is empty, we are likely on our way to fill it up. Therefore, the collapsible feature is completely useless. Let me know if you’re #teamcollapsible in the comments below.
Microfiber towels may be unnecessary for some travelers, but we will be spending a lot of our time beach hopping in Greece and will want our towels to be large enough for lounging on the beach and able to dry quickly while we head to our next destination. Ours are from REI, another great option can be found here.
Ya’ll don’t even KNOW how obsessed we are with our new Sony, RX100 V! We have been searching high and low for a camera that does everything that our DSLR does, but in an itty-bitty package. This camera is perfect for travel. It’s lightweight, takes crazy good photos, takes 4K video, is great in low light, AND can be paired with our smart phones so they act as a remote control – perfect for those breathtaking far-distance selfies.
Once again, my sister hooked us up and bought this Dual Converter Kit from REI. Thankfully this one is fairly lightweight, compared to other bricks I’ve seen on the market.
We also have a headphone splitter on our list of things to buy. We will be bringing my husband’s tablet, and will have a couple of movies downloaded just in case we’re stuck in a train station for a few hours. The headphone splitter will allow us to connect two sets of headphones to one jack (no more of that one headphone in each ear nonsense).
Years ago my mom bought us headlamps for camping. You never know when you’ll need a head light to navigate through dark, European streets. Plus, we’ll get mad street-cred for our dope tourist style.
What do you guys think? Are we forgetting anything? Let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear from my fellow travelers!
Thanks for reading,