Luggage

Packing for 23-Days in Europe

August 9, 2019The Impatient Tourist

I have to admit, I’m in a different situation that I am just not accustomed to with this upcoming trip.

Today I embark on an adventure that won’t end until Labour Day and I feel less prepared than usual. You want me to pack just a carry-on for Carnival? Sure. You want me to pack just a carry-on for 12-days during winter in Europe? No problem.

So now, you want me to pack checked-in luggage to go through Italy, Bosnia, Croatia and Turkey? Shit. I’m not sure what I’m doing here.

I rarely travel with checked-in luggage, in fact, I fucking hate traveling with it. Why? The airlines can (and have) lose luggage, I have to wait in ticketing lines to drop the bag like the other peasants, I have to wait to pick up the bag after I land etc. It really is a nuisance traveling with a large bag, ESPECIALLY if you’re going to multiple places like I am. It’s totally fine when you’re going to lay your ass on a beach for a week in an all-inclusive, but anything else totally sucks.


For every trip I bring my travel must-haves, so that is pretty straightforward. Now I also have a tripod and a laptop to add in the mix because I intend on posting to the blog in between gorging on food and swimming. I wanted to do this trip with just a carry on, I really did. But my mom kind of hit me with the ‘you can’t look like a bum coming home‘ so I knew I had to prepare actual outfits for this journey. When I pack just a carry on it’s so simple to me because I don’t have much space so okay a one-two shorts, four tops, two sandals, two bathing suits, some toiletries and a Dr. Bronner’s so I can bathe my skin and also wash my socks in a sink with it.

Now you want me to choose things for a WHOLE ASS BAG? 23 Kilograms? FML.

The way I mapped things out in my head was like this:

  • I need to be comfy for Naples and Dubrovnik because I am doing day trips, so jean shorts and comfy tops I can sweat in.
  • I have to (HAVE TO) look like a baddie walking through Baščaršija in Sarajevo because the women there are always done up, so okay a nice dress and, sigh, I guess I’m bringing makeup on this trip.
  • The 9-days in Turkey I will spend time being in pain from dental work so I need comfy clothes and bathing suits, bet.
  • The trekking through northern Croatia requires little clothing so bathing suits and tiny shorts will do, fantastic.

During this packing I also realized I own a million more bottoms than I do tops, so if you see me repeating outfits while abroad – mind your business. One of the first posts I wrote for this blog was about why people are terrible at packing, well, at least why I think they are. Vanity. That shit will have you messed up because you’re worried about your things to post instead of what is happening in front of you. The only time I need to worry about looking decent is really for Sarajevo, so I think I will be fine for any vain thinking.


As it looks right now, my list is something like:

  • 8 shorts of different lengths
  • one pair of long, thin pants
  • 10 tops
  • 5 bathing suits
  • two maxi dresses
  • two rompers
  • three sandals
  • water shoes (DAMN YOU PEBBLED BEACHES)
  • makeup
  • toiletry stuff
    • this also includes sunscreen, insect repellent, after-bite
  • Sudafed and EarPlanes so I don’t risk my hearing (if you, like me, have serious sinus issues or get sick easily while traveling – I really recommend buying these to help alleviate the pressure and damn near deafness after you land. I used the EarPlanes during my December trip through about nine flights and I didn’t experience that typical descent pain at all)
  • undergarments
  • bag for dirty clothes
  • a rain poncho
  • 2 stud earrings / 2 big ass hoop earrings
  • shitload of electronics for charging, voltage converting etc. (this will likely be in my carry-on though)

+ my ‘travel outfit‘ which is usually leggings, t-shirt, running shoes


The goal is that even though the limit is 50lbs, I want to keep it to under 30lbs so I can buy things when I am abroad to bring home and still remain under. I managed to keep it under that weight, a whole 23lbs lighter (10.6kg)!!! The bag does look super duper full, but that is because everything I packed is very light and my arms got tired rolling. I’ll probably be able to repack it again and not make it look so stuffy.

For the first time ever I am also traveling with one of those big camping-looking-bags. You know the ones that identify you as a teenager backpacking through Europe during your gap-year? That. It is both top and bottom loading so I think I’ll have an easier time accessing my clothing, it’s just very different to me. Previously when I did take checked-in luggage with me, it was the typical rolling bag that you just lay flat and pack whatever into.


So there you have it, my packing list for being away in Europe for over three weeks during summer and trying to not embarrass my family for looking a mess.

Wish me luck…..

  • Mirna

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