This is part one of a blog I’ll be working on the next couple weeks. Sad but true, until this month, I’ve never been outside North America before. The only reason I have a valid passport is because I went to Mexico with friends several years ago. But I just spent an amazing 2 weeks in Europe, and wanted to share my (limited) experience and (biased) recommendations with you.
I didn’t check a bag. Travelled with only a carry-on and a small backpack. This was partially because I’ve heard one too many stories of carelfully packed suitcases going missing mid-atlantic and women being forced to wear ill-fitting underwear cut for European people’s bottoms. And partially because I knew we’d be doing a lot of short travel between destinations by train and subway and I didn’t want to lug two big suitcases with me everywhere. I read that there was something called the “roll method” that allowed you to fit an obscene amount of stuff into a carry-on sized suitcase. You can find out more about that here. I got 17 outfits and 5 pairs of shoes in there! And the clothes are less wrinkled when they come out of the bag than if you had individually folded them.
Another cool thing I found out about was these travel wash kits from Woolite.
Basically it’s packets of detergent (they’re small enough to easily slip a few in your carry-on’s liquid Ziploc baggie) and a sink stopper. You can do laundry in the sink at your hotel and hang it to dry overnight in the shower. Since I have a tendency to spill food on myself and wanted to wear a couple of shirts/dresses twice on the trip, these were a lifesaver for me.