Why I’m taking my oldest underwear to Europe

LogoToday is packing day, the day that I’ve been waiting for ever since February when we purchased our teeny tiny suitcases and booked our flights! I’ve been asked to reveal what goes into my tiny suitcase and today I’m going to do just that, but first I have to share a packing tip that I never would have thought of on my own. When I decided that we should try traveling with carry-on luggage only, I searched for tips online and that’s when I decided to take my oldest underwear to Europe!

Because we’re traveling light, I’ll be doing laundry in hotel sinks and hanging it to dry. Instead of washing that old ragged underwear the last time before we fly home, I’ll simply drop it in the trash! Less laundry to do and a wee bit more space in my suitcase to bring home a small memento or two! Genius!

And now, what else is in that suitcase? The photo and list below include what I’ll be wearing on the plane. Initially, I was thinking about taking only four tops instead of the six that are shown, but after packing Richard’s bag (yes, I pack for both of us) I realized that our little suitcases will hold more than I anticipated and I added a couple more.

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Packing list:

  • 1 pair jeans
  • 2 pairs lightweight long pants
  • 1 pair capris
  • 1 pair leggings
  • 2 camisoles
  • 6 tops – 1 long sleeved, 3 with 3/4 length sleeves, 2 short sleeved
  • 1 little black dress
  • 1 dressy black jacket
  • 1 ultra light down vest
  • 1 scarf
  • 1 lightweight hoodie
  • 1 windbreaker jacket
  • 1 hat
  • 3 pairs shoes
  • 1 swimsuit
  • sleepwear, underwear, and socks

There are two keys to successfully packing light. The first is coordinating colours. As you can see from the photo, every top I packed can be worn with every bottom. I can easily visualize about 30 outfits coming out of that little suitcase and we aren’t even going to be gone that many days! The second key is layering. For example, the little black dress is simple, sleeveless, and very lightweight. It can be worn over the black leggings or without and it looks good worn under several of the tops and/or the dressy black jacket. Depending on the weather, the hoodie, down vest, and windbreaker jacket can each be worn individually or I can layer them if we encounter chillier temperatures. The swimsuit is on the very bottom of the suitcase where it will probably stay as I don’t actually anticipate using it. I never travel without one though, just in case.


Another key to successful packing is utilizing space wisely. For example, my extra pairs of shoes are filled with small items like our spare pairs of eyeglasses and our sunglasses. There’s even a pair of socks stuffed in that bottle of medication!

Many travellers swear that you can fit more into your suitcase by rolling everything instead of folding, but that hasn’t been my experience. I prefer to fold basics like pants and tops, but I rolled a lot of the other items.

We expect to have wifi in each of the places that we’ll be staying, so I plan to share some travel posts along the way. I’m not sure if Fashion Friday will appear every week or not, but I’ll do my best!