It’s no secret that packing is on the list of my least favorite aspects of travel, ranking somewhere between sleeping in the terminal during overnight layovers and being seated behind a teething infant on twelve hour suspension-free bus rides. Even a weekend trip to Vegas can reduce me to a puddle of packing misery, so imagine what a multiple-month, several-stop, varying climate itinerary could do to me. Or maybe don’t — it’s fairly unflattering.
My summer in Europe consisted of (1) a week in London with plans of hitting the town and predictions of lots and lots of rain, (2) a week in Malta with lots of sunshine and salty swims on the agenda, (3) a week in Belgium to attend Tomorrowland and (4), three and a half weeks in the height of Greece’s steamy summer. I overpacked — I’ve lived with this addiction for so long now, I think I’d be lonely without it — but was overall happy with my choices.
As usual, clothes, shoes, toiletries and accessories went in my while gear and electronics went in my . A nice canvas purse “borrowed” from my little sister functioned as my day-to-day travel purse, and my personal item on the plane. My checked bag, the Osprey, varied between 33-37lb (as you’ll see, some stuff got tossed along the way and I made a few small purchases) while my carry-ons combined varied between 26-30lb — camera gear is heavy!
Clothes and Shoes
• 3 dresses + 1 romper (ditched the white dress in Greece after it came back from a laundry with irreparable stains)
• 11 tops + 2 t-shirts (mildly excessive)
• 4 skirts + 3 shorts + 1 pair of jeans
• 4 layering tops (one , one light sweater for evenings, one thin long sleeve t-shirt and one shoulder-covering shrug)
• 1 pair leggings + 2 workout shorts + 2 workout tops + 2 sports bras
• 6 bikinis
• 12 pairs underwear + 3 bras
• 3 pairs socks
• …and a full set of packing cubes to keep them all organized! I use two a and a . I would never travel anywhere without them.
• 1 pair running shoes
• 1 pair fake Keds (these literally fell apart upon arrival in Belgium and were promptly ditched)
• 1 pair dress sandals
• 1 pair flip flops (these cheap ones from Target barely made it through Malta before needing to be replaced — not a good purchase!)
• 1 pair black pumps (debated whether or not to bring these and then never even wore them — I brought them with nights out in London in mind, but it was cold and rainy nearly the entire time and I ended up wearing boots every night)
• 1 pair black boots (debated whether or not to bring these as well and so glad I did — they were a must in both London and Brussels)
Diving and Beach Stuff
I knew I’d be diving in Santorini and Malta, which was reason enough to bring my snorkel set but not my full set of dive gear. I also got excited about two new wetsuit purchases and decided I just had to have both with me as well!
• Mask + fins + snorkel
I mailed myself an entire packing lists’ worth of costumes and camping supplies for Tomorrowland, which was tragically held hostage by Belgium customs — and now it seems is lost forever! Note to self: never mail anything to Europe ever again. From now on, if I can’t carry it with me, it’s not coming.
Toiletries and Accessories
• Toiletry bag
• Medicine bag
• Jewelry bag
• Makeup bag
• Shower bag
• Sunglasses (a few pairs!)
• + + + John Frieda Sheer Blonde Lightening Spray (how I keep my hair blonde, salon-free!) + leave in conditioner (a must for trips involving sun and sea)
• Tote bag
• Evening bag (necessary for nicer nights out in London and in Greece)
• Umbrella (hello, London!)
• + + two novels (I didn’t bother bringing guidebooks for England or Greece as I’ve been to both before)
• Work and travel documents + notebook + backup credit card and cash pouch + calendar
• Wallet + passport
• + eyeshade + earplugs
• Headlamp + combination lock + personal alarm
Gear and Electronics
• + charger + laptop sleeve + portable mouse + + + laptop lock*
• Headphones + headphone splitter
• + charger + spare battery + leather case + +
• + charger + + +
• iPhone + charging cord + + + Mophie cord + USB charger + USB car charger (I knew I’d have a rental car and be using map apps heavily in Malta, so this was a must)
• Cheap disposable phone for locals SIM cards + charger (actually didn’t end up using until I reached Southeast Asia)
• + charger and accessories (in white bag) + *
• UK and Europe adapters
* Lesson learned! I didn’t use either of these items, because I didn’t test them before I left — and they didn’t fit my new laptop/my GoPro edition. Next time I give something precious space in my bag, I’m going to make sure I can actually use it first.
Do you find it as challenging as I do to pack for multi-stop trips?
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Please note that all Amazon and Eagle Creek links in this post are affiliate links and I will earn a small commission from anything you buy at no extra cost to you. I truly appreciate your support in keeping this site running! I was also provided with the following items in this post by the manufacturers: the waterproof iPhone case, the travel pillow, the wetsuit jacket, the water bottle, and the laundry bag.