Travel Packing Tips: Carryons and Clothing

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It’s my first full day in beautiful Luxembourg and so far I'm loving it! There have been a few bumps in the road - I thought my dinner last night had dairy after I had eaten a bunch of it and I had a momentary panic attack (thankfully it didn't and all was fine!), my blender caught on fire this morning and my stomach hasn't been feeling great (traveling always does that to me), BUT other than that it's been great! We stocked up on healthy food today and explored the city and w'ere finally taking a moment just relax in the apartment.

Like I talked about in my last post, I always get anxious while traveling, but I cut down on it this time by packing super early. It’s my third go-around in Europe and I feel like I finally mastered packing. Here are my top packing tips that are helpful for any type of trip, close or far!

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How to pack the perfect carryon:

I like to think of packing my carryon as a sort of art form. ;) I mean, is there anything worse than being on the plane and thinking “dangit (but probably not such a nice word), I wish I had _____ with me!!!!” I’m sure we’ve all been there. Since you’re allowed two carry-ons I always pack one with the things I want on-hand (I keep this one at my feet) and one with other items that I probably won’t need during the flight (I put this one in the overhead bin).

  1. Entertainment: Of course long flights have movies galore, but I just can’t stand to watch that many movies in a row (and then I land feeling super braindead). I always pack books (yes, plural, because I might get bored of one), a journal (for doodling, jotting down ideas and making fun lists), magazines and an adult coloring book (because I’m a child at heart). I also download new music and podcasts!

  2. Meals: In case you didn’t know, TSA allows you to bring Tupperware meals through security! To avoid searching endlessly for a healthy meal at the airport or awkwardly not being able to eat any of the plane food, I like packing my own meals to eat before or during my flights.

  3. Snacks: I also bring alllll the snacks because I know I’ll be hungry in between meals. I bring a variety of bars, dried fruit, cut up fresh fruit and veggies (in reusable ziplocks) and mixed nuts, as well as my own tea bags.

  4. All the healthy-gut products: I don’t know about you, but flying always makes my stomach all wacky. To keep my gut healthy and happy I pack Amazing Grass detox & digest powders (to mix with water), vital proteins collagen peptides (to add to my coffee or tea), stomach-ease and detox Yogi tea and digestive enzymes.

  5. Hand Wipes or hand sanitizer: Airports and planes are germy places (ew) and there’s nothing worse than getting sick the day you get to your destination. I pack all-natural hand wipes and hand sanitizer to keep the germs from getting to me.

  6. Toiletries: I hate landing and feeling all gross, so I make sure to pack certain things to help me feeling fresh. I pack chapstick (of course), natural deodorant (I love primaly pure – you can get it on my shop page!), my toothbrush and toothpaste, dental floss, eye drops, perfume, a brush, hand lotion and my makeup. I freshen up before we land so that I feel good-as-new!

  7. Essential oils: I packed my new Real Oil essential oils to have on the plane to help me relax and de-stress (because I’m quite the stress case on planes).

  8. Reusable water bottle: This seems like a big DUH, but just in case you need a reminder. ;) I make sure to drink a ton before going onto the plane and then I fill it up again before boarding. Flying dehydrates you like crazy so it’s important to drink a lot of fluids.

  9. And last but not least - things you can’t stand to lose in case your luggage is lost: To be honest my biggest fear is losing my luggage because that would just put a really big damper on any vacation. BUT at least I know I can go out and buy new clothes/shoes/swimsuits/etc. (wait… maybe it wouldn’t be that bad to lose my luggae…) The things I can’t replace? My glasses, contacts, camera, charging chords, running shoes with custom insoles, vitamins/medications, laptop, etc. Think of the things that you truly couldn’t go without and couldn’t get easily and pack those in your overhead-bin carryon!

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Okay, now onto CLOTHES! Here is my must-have list of what to pack for a Europe trip:

  1. Basic, plain-colored tops that you can mix and match and change up with accessories

  2. T-shirt dresses / flowy dresses save lives

  3. Wedges that are still comfy are key

  4. Sandals that you can easily walk multiple miles in (there is SO much walking in Europe)

  5. A sun hat because baseball caps aren’t really a thing (see my note at the bottom), but who actually wants to do their hair every day?! Plus, you don’t want all that sun on your face while you’re walking around a ton each day.

  6. Flowy pants / flowy shorts (comfy but cute is the name of the game)

  7. Shorts that you can dress up or down (I brought a pair of black shorts and white shorts that I can either wear with nice or casual tops)

  8. Even if you don’t think it’ll ever be cold, at least 2 long sleeved tops

  9. A jacket (I brought a denim one) or cardigan that matches most of your clothes for chilly evenings

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Basically, bring minimal clothes (I didn't do an awesome job at this this time around... oops), that can be worn different ways, dressed up or down depending on accessories and shoes and that are COMFY.

From my observations, if you don’t want to stick out like a sore thumb and practically scream AMERICAN avoid the following - patriotic clothes (duh but you never know), wearing workout clothes as regular clothes (that isn’t a thing in any country I’ve been to in Europe), baseball caps with sports teams and your Greek life clothes (because that’s also not a thing in Europe).

I'm off to go explore more of the beautiful city I'm in! I'll be rocking some flow pants and comfy sandals today that's for sure. ;)

XO nat

Related: Luxembourg Travel Thoughts Pt. 1: Anxiety, Being Present and Finding Balance, Getting Rid of Travel Anxiety: Food Suitcases and Planning Ahead