Living the Carry-On Only Life for an Extended Trip

Ciao ragazzi,

Here to report on my experience of packing my carry-on for a five-week trip to Europe. I drafted this post while on the plane heading from Amsterdam to Rome but my internet situation has been a bit precarious so I’m only able to post it now. Disregard the temporal confusion. Here’s the post as I drafted it:

As I write this post, I am aboard a luxury Easyjet aircraft headed to Roma! If you know anything about budget European airlines, you’re likely drenched in the sarcasm that’s spilling from that statement. While I might not be flying fancy, I am indeed flying, which means……my carry-on made it through!! Honestly, I don’t actually know that it did. There was a bit of chaos while boarding and I just kinda slipped through without putting it in the sizer. I just told them that it didn’t fit in the sizer for guaranteed on-board but that it was of regulation size for hand luggage so I got it checked for free. 😀 I don’t really mind having it put in the hold as long as I miss out on that 50 euro fee.

Anyway, in all of my excitement about making it through my first budget airline debacle, I thought I would finally put together a post with what. I actually ended up packing. I was pretty much figuring out what I was taking right up until the last moment and then didn’t have time to update. So far so good in terms of my choices. I had access to a washing machine in Amsterdam so I was able to wash my workout clothes regularly and wash all of the other clothes right before I left.

So what did end up packing in my carry-on? I used my packing cubes to divide thing up by dresses/bottoms (large packing cube), shirts, swimwear, under garments (medium packing cube), and toiletries (small packing cube). And then I three some stuff in the inside netted zip pocket and front pockets of my bag. Here’s the run-down.

Large Packing Cube


6 dresses (4 casual, 2 for going out)
1 pair of cropped jeans
2 pairs of shorts
6 skirts (4 casual, 2 minis for going out)
2 pairs of workout leggings
1 pair of workout shorts
(In the photo, there is also a pair of skinnies but I decided they weren’t necessary)

Medium Packing Cube


1 crop top (which I hope that my abs and confidence allow me to wear at some point)
2 sweaters
3 tank tops
1 casual tee shirt
3 bikini tops
2 bikini bottoms
2 workout tank tops
1 long sleeve workout shirt

Small Packing Cube


2 bottles conditioner
1 bottle leave in conditioner
Chap stick
3 bottles nail polish along with base coat and top coat (I know, I’m absurd)
Nail polish remover and cotton balls
Nail clippers
Face scrub
Face soap (yes, I need both!)
Face lotion
Body lotion
Jojoba oil
Shea butter
Mini loofa
Shower gel

Randomly Stuffed Elsewhere

Sun glasses
Hair brush
Wristlet and wallet
Paris map
Extra pair of hipster glasses (again, I’m absurd)
Athletic shoes
Face Cloth
Jump rope

On My Person

Walking shoes
Outfit from clothes listed above

So I think that’s everything, I’m sure there’s some little stuff that I’ve forgotten and I definitely acquired a few small things while in Amsterdam but nothing too crazy. As you can see, I was able to get a lot in my bag, even some things that in retrospect I could have done without. I’m already feeling the benefits if not having a ton of stuff with me which is lovely. Getting to the airport on the train was easy since everything was on my back. It’s also kept me from buying a ton of stuff in Amsterdam. Interested to see how this will go throughout the rest of my trip. I have a few more budget airline trips to navigate before I can make the final verdict of this whole carry-on only thing. I’ll keep you guys posted. Wish me luck!

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