I’m the girl who packs like the apocalypse is coming and I’ll never find another store again. I pack 3 outfits per day because I don’t know which mood I’ll be in that day. We go on a weekend road trip; hubby has a small duffel with a change of clothes, some shampoo, and a razor, while I have the largest size roller suitcase that competes for space with the golf clubs in the back.
And then I traveled around Italy for a week with a backpack, and I didn’t hit up a laundromat once.
Yup, you heard that right. And no, I didn’t walk around in sweat-soaked clothing… although there was that 2.5 hour hike from Monterosso to Vernazza in 30°C… but I digress.
When I planned my trip, I knew I would be trying to juggle catching trains and planes as well as heading to a village with cobblestone streets and no access to a car. Ditching the huge roller suitcase was a no-brainer. And I thought, what if I finally lived out my minimalism while travelling… and did it all with one backpack? I was up for the challenge!
It took me a few weeks to arrange and rearrange and figure out what was important and what just wasn’t going to work. I wanted nothing with me that I would not reach for at some point, so every item was carefully thought out. In the end, I had 18 items of clothing, not including underwear, plus my electronics – laptop, phone, European adapter, portable battery charger – and very limited cosmetics.
Here’s the breakdown (Note: a few pieces were changed after I snapped this pic):
- 2 pairs shorts (solid black and mint green eyelit)
- 2 breezy kimonos (black floral and solid black)
- 2 short summer skirts (light denim and grey chambray)
- 1 t-shirt dress (solid black)
- 1 long t-shirt (muted black tribal print)
- 1 pair scallop-hem leggings (black)
- 2 dressier sleeveless black tops
- 1 knit fit and flare dress (black with bold flowers)
- 2 Lululemon tanks
- 1 bikini
- 1 pair black and white Nike 5.0 running shoes
- 2 pair dressier black and gold sandals
I found that by creating a mostly black palette, I could mix and match, creating new outfits without a lot of extra bulk. As you can see in the photo below, during my 5 hour layover in Amsterdam, I had the t-shirt, the leggings, the black kimono (best idea ever for flying – doubles as a blanket!), and the sandals. And that little 33L Dakine backpack is all I had for the entire week. If we’re not counting the bags under my eye – gah! This was after a 9-hour flight, and my brain was convinced it was the middle of the night at this point.
And that’s it for the clothing. I’ll post more on cosmetics and makeup later. Oh, and that little tidbit about no laundromat? I wasn’t kidding. I washed underwear in the bathroom sink, and tank tops. That’s it! I think I’m breaking up with my oversize roller…