How To Pack for 3 Months in a Carry-On Size Bag

Packing for 3 months in a carry-on size backpack is a HUGE undertaking!  Especially as a girl. And especially if you want to look halfway decent in your future blog posts! So it’s no surprise that this has been my biggest focus as we prepare to leave.

I have researched packing lists from other travelers that have done extended trips to Europe during the same time of year, and while they certainly have been helpful, I feel most of them lacked any commitment to style and also left a bit to be desired in functionality.  So I have chosen to take the advice that I liked from a number of contributors, have found some solutions of my own, and am crossing my fingers that I have made the right clothing choices.  I will let you know in a couple weeks how it all pans out!

Packing light has been attainable because most retailers have introduced athlesiure clothing lines, also known as the best thing since sliced bread and my current fashion obsession.  Athleisure lines are designed for both athletic and leisure wear; which basically means that I have found a way to wear yoga pants every day while (hopefully) not sticking out like a sore thumb (read: American) when traipsing through Europe.  It also helps that I already owned a vast collection of said items which I had justified with my previous work-from-home job and love for working out.

As for functionality, the pieces I have chosen are designed to be durable against dirt and grime and possess fast-drying features which will be helpful for all that sink washing (or to combat my profuse sweating).  As you’ll see from my detailed list, I am clearly a brand advocate for Lululemon and Athleta, but these two brands have provided some great stylish options for my trip and are also functional.

And if you’re interested, Dan will be sure to share his travel clothing finds for guys in a later post!

And without further ado, here’s my (short!) list of what I decided to bring…

Comfy layering t-shirts built with stink-stopping Silverescent technology!

Lululemon Run Swiftly T-Shirt. These are comfy layering shirts built with stink-stopping Silverescent technology!

Tops
Lululemon racerback running tanks (x4)
Casual long sleeve shirts: (x2)
Lululemon Run Swifty Tshirts (x2)
Lululemon Zip Up Jackets (x2)

Purchased in gray herringbone and black, this comfy jacket doubles as a blazer when left unzipped.  Will be wearing this a LOT!

Purchased in gray herringbone and black, this comfy jacket doubles as a blazer when left unzipped. Will be wearing this a LOT!

Affixed with grommets and belt loops, these YOGA pant jeggings are made to look like black skinny jeans and are a perfect addition to the packing list.  I even stumped my sister at a nice dinner when wearing these!  And they don't stretch out after multiple wears; a huge ASSet (pun intended) for those of us who are curvy.

Affixed with grommets and belt loops, these YOGA pant jeggings are made to look like black skinny jeans and are a perfect addition to the packing list. I even stumped my sister at a nice dinner when wearing these! And they don’t stretch out after multiple wears; a huge ASSet (pun intended) for those of us who are curvy.

Pants
Athleta La Viva track pant
Athleta black jegging
Lululemon speed running short (x1)
Lululemon Cropped work out tights (x1)
Sleep shorts

Dress Up
Athleta Short-sleeved Black Dress
Dressy tops (x2)

Beach
Swimsuit (x1)

From left to right: foldable ballet flats for walking around and dressing up, Crocs' sexiest sandal for hostel showers and warm weather, and my Reebok Nanos for CrossFitting and seeing the sites.

From left to right: foldable ballet flats for walking around and dressing up, Crocs’ sexiest sandal for hostel showers and warm weather, and my Reebok Nanos for CrossFitting and seeing the sites.

Shoes
Crocs sexi flip
Crossfit tennish shoes
Hush Puppies Black ballet flats

Undergarments
Under Armour underwear (x7)
Sports bras (x2)
Regular bra (x1)
Strapless bra with removable straps (x1)
Socks (x5)
Black tights

Outerwear
Columbia Waterproof black trench
Sports watch with alarm clock
Lululemon vinyasa scarf
Baseball hat
Gloves
Sunglasses

Miscellaneous
Laundry detergent
Clothesline
Quick dry towel
Money belt
Small black crossbody purse
Crossfit jump rope
Sunglasses
Eye mask
Ear plugsSmall medical kit with monthly prescriptions
Softsided bag for shopping
Extra compression bag for dirty clothes
Toiletries
Journal and pen
Small hair dryer
Padlock(s)

Electronics
Kindle Fire
MacBook Air
iPhone 6
Chargers
Camera

This is everything all laid out:

This is everything!

Here is my full wardrobe!

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This is my loaded pack!

So how did I get that all to fit?  Ziplock EZ Pack bags and REI Packing cubes.  IMG_1392

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The contents of my day pack

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My daypack ready to go!

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My new cool hanging toiletries bag; a good call for keeping things dry and organized!

If you can’t believe this is all I’m taking, neither can I!  I will be sure to check in again in a couple weeks into the trip with any feedback on whether this will actually be possible…or if I will be requesting my Mom to bring me a spare suitcase when they meet us in Spain!

Once it gets warmer, I will probably pick up a couple cheap sundresses or skirts to round the wardrobe out.

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