5 Packing Light Tips: Europe in 2 Weeks on 30 Things

I’ve built up some packing light tips over the years. I’ve had my fair share of overpacking and under packing for trips around the world through the years. Overpacking is far worse. I wish I had some of these packing light tips, then.

5 Packing Light Tips

1. It can be found locally. When something is missing from your gear, it’s almost always minor and almost always available locally. During one trip to Europe, I managed to forget a power adapter and converter. I wound up having a fun adventure hunting for a replacement in Sweden that is now permanently on my international packing list. It’s smaller and more adaptable than the one it replaced.

2. Don’t overpack. It may seem obvious if you’re looking for packing light tips, but don’t overpack. Overpacking means weight—physical and mental—every day of the trip. While you may think an additional item may not weigh much physically, it has other forms of weight. It’s remembering what’s in which bag or zipper. It’s not forgetting that extra gadget by the bed. It’s not losing one more thing.

3. Roll your compressibles. Clothes are especially compressible, so roll them up. They’ll take up less space. I find that rolling clothes tends to reduce wrinkles since you’re not making harsh creases, so you’ll look better and spend less time ironing!

4. Bring universal items. If you are thinking about packing a special blouse or pair of slacks just because you might go to that one thing that one night, don’t. Aim for universal items that are cross-functional. Shoot for color combinations and styles on individual articles that’ll work with each other so you can create combinations to make your wardrobe last.

5. If you need it, bring it. Think if you really need it before you pack it, and if it’s worth those extra forms of weight – bring it! Just make sure it doesn’t mean it’s checked bag time. Sometimes the best packing light tips enforce your need to bring it!

My Packing List for 2 Weeks in Europe

Packing Light Tips for Europe and Travel

I’ll be traveling with family from Germany to Italy for about 2 weeks in the summer weather. Here’s my packing list for the trip:

  1. Day pack – Deuter Futura 28 AC: This bag has been with me since the Peace Corps in 2008 and has held up remarkably well. I love the compartments!
  2. Random black neoprene clothes bag
  3. Neoprene black bathroom gig bag: It carries all my toiletries which are the basics you’d expect.
  4. Small cables bag: earbuds, charger, sync cable
  5. Sunglasses and case
  6. Passport
  7. Brown J-crew cotton shorts
  8. EMS blue convertible pants
  9. Cloudveil tan convertible pants
  10. EMS hiking pants
  11. Columbia long-sleeve Omni shirt: Have to love that sail color
  12. Green Icebreaker T: Gizmodo’s Greatest T-shirt in the world
  13. Orange Icebreaker T: Gizmodo’s Greatest T-shirt in the world
  14. REI short-sleeve hiking synthetic shirt
  15. Mountain Hardwear grey long-sleeve synthetic hiking shirt
  16. Charles Tyrwhitt slim-fit long-sleeve casual button down
  17. Icebreaker Tech Polo in black
  18. ExOfficio Boxer Briefs: 4-count anti-microbial synthetic
  19. ExOfficio Briefs: 2-count anti-microbial synthetic
  20. Cotton boxer – 1 pair for a breezier day
  21. UnderArmor white socks
  22. SmartWool PHD short socks
  23. SmartWool hiking socks
  24. SmartWool crew socks
  25. B&N Nook Simple Touch
  26. Sketchers brown leather casual shoes
  27. Salomon Trail Running gore-tex shoes
  28. Vibram FiveFinger Classics
  29. Columbia leather sandals
  30. iPhone (not pictured)

I hope these packing light tips for Europe and travel in general help you on your next trip. Remember, consider the real weight of everything you bring before you pack it!

on August 16, 2012
Last modified on October 3, 2017
Categorized as , ,

  • gretch

    not sure how I stumbled across here …but your posts are helpful. I wish you updated more 🙂

    • Hey, thanks! Such motivation is a powerful thing. You’re right, I’ve been a bum on updating. I’ll have some major announcements and related posts within the next month, though!

      • gretch

        excellent. I look forward to it!

        • chrisrcooper

          Finally some new content, enjoy!

  • juragankoppi

    wow … 2 weeks with only 30 items…

    • @chrisrcooper

      That’s a good ~2.2 things per day! 🙂 In recent times, I’ve managed to lighten my travel bag and reduce how many items I bring even more!