Packing List: Western Europe, August

a.k.a.: Check the frickin’ weather report!

Seems simple enough.  August is like, as summery as summer gets, right? So, obviously, pack for summer.  Except that I didn’t actually bother checking much in depth and consequently, got a little cold and wet.  Extremely obvious lesson learned!

This 2 week trip took us through Amsterdam, Dubrovnik, Montenegro, and parts of Italy.  (Coming Soon: Planning Too Much)


6 Everyday Tops:

1 nice lace tank, black

1 sleeveless v-neck, black

1 blue racerback tank*

1 printed T, modal blend

1 black T, modal blend

1 blue T, quick-dry poly/cotton*



1 pair black past-the-knee length shorts

1 pair grey past-the-knee length shorts

Many religious sites will either not allow you access, or at least give you disapproving looks, if your knees are exposed.  Let’s face it, you’re not going to be that much cooler in shorts that are a few inches shorter, so just bring what’s appropriate and you’ll never have to head back to your room to change.

1 pair black leggings

1 printed skirt

(Note the lack of actual pants**)


Layering items:

1 black print shrug/wrap thing

1 warm longsleeve, black

1 ultralight, pocketable windbreaker***



6 thongs

3 regular bikini briefs

1 regular bra*

1 sports bra

1 cami bra


1 tank with built-in shelf bra

1 pair lightweight bottoms



1 bathingsuit coverup dress

1 towel (Coming Soon: Why Turkish Towels are the Best Travel Towels)

1 bikini

1 Dress, black/cream print*




Crocs Huarache Sandals



                                          *A note on starred clothing items:                                                         I DIDN’T WEAR ANY OF THESE DAMN THINGS EVEN ONE DAMN TIME*

Trust me when I say that you can pack less than you think you might need. Although…

**I found myself freezing in Amsterdam the day we got there.  I popped into an H&M and bought a pair of black jeans for 8 EUR.  If I can get through not bringing pants, don’t worry too much about what you might forget.  In the future, I’ll always bring a pair of my super lightweight Anatomie pants (review coming soon!)

For toiletries, I have specific needs for my skin to keep from breaking out massively.  In my 30s, it feels unfair to have to pay this much attention to acne since I was promised by the world I’d grow out of it, but there you go.  Bringing the right skincare is a must for me, and not eating dairy helps as well. Although try going to Amsterdam and NOT eating your body weight in Gouda. Can’t be done.

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400lbs of everything, please, thankyouverymuch.



In my liquids bag:

3 oz bottle facewash

1 oz bottle face cream

1 oz bottle night cream Hey, for a single ounce, let’s pamper ourselves, right?

3 oz sunscreen for face

0.25 oz bottle contact lens refreshing drops

2 oz deodorant

1 decongestant nose spray

(check back soon for suggestions on the best travel bottles for your liquids)



Concealer stick

Mineral makeup powder

Powder bronzer



I didn’t use any of this even once, probably because I look so FOINE with a tan. Not because of laziness, certainly.


Other Toiletry Items:

Toothbrush, 1 battery-powered “sonic” (Eh. Don’t expect these to replace your Sonicare)

Disposable contacts, x50 (I can only tolerate these daily kinds unfortunately)


Small hairbrush

Assorted hairbands

1 hairclip

1 claw-style clip


Nail file

Nail clipper

Ear swabs



(Coming Soon:Taking stuff just in case  and Traveling When You Have Difficult Periods)

Tampons: I highly recommend using a menstrual cup if you can find one you like.  My box of tampons weighed over a pound and took up a good-sized portion of my backpack, whereas this cup collapses into itself and weighs only 2 oz.

Pads Necessary either way on heavy flow days


Chinese herbs for menstrual pain



Mosquito Zapper


Alcohol Swabs

Band Aids Or “plasters” if you speak the mother tongue

Antibiotic ointment packets



iPhone/lightning cable/earbuds

In-ear earbuds for the plane

kindle/mini USB cable

Backup USB battery

Bluetooth Speaker (
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***UL windbreakers make terrible makeshift curtains, get yourself an eye mask if you plan on staying in a 16th century castle in Montenegro. And probably some other places.



Welcome to my outlet for my neuroticism blog!
I obsessively carefully and rigorously research in order to travel light, and it has been requested of me more than once to share my tips; I haven’t checked a bag in 5 years*.

I know it’s helpful to know exactly what someone has brought on trips similar to yours, and I love packing lists!

While my husband and I have jobs that mostly keep us at home, we do like to get out of the country a couple times a year, and hate paying for it. Travel hacking is my other great love.

I’m vegetarian and have also had a bunch of crap meals gained a bit of wisdom on traveling with dietary restrictions.

While I work on more posts, enjoy this picture of my adorable zombie dog:

*Ok, so I have checked a bag twice in the last 5 years. If someone wants to send you home with a gallon of homemade scorpion-pepper hot sauce or freshly pressed olive oil, go ahead and check your bag.

Life Changing Salad (or: A Lesson In Packing Light…

…and I’ve clearly watched too much TV)

Turkey, 2012.

A girl and her boy hop on a bus for a scenic drive along the Turkish coast, taking in sweeping views of the Mediterranean Sea, relishing the air conditioning and free cold bottled water after a long rideshare to the bus stop, completely carefree.

The open road is like, a metaphor, or something

After a few hours, the road dips closer to the sea, and as their bus hugs the edges of the highway’s curves atop dramatic cliffsides, they are able to spot small beaches below; Turks on holiday swimming, barbecuing on the beach.

Their bus driver makes an announcement in Turkish. Asking his assistant for a translation, they find they have 3 hours to spend in Kaş, a traditional fisherman town now only becoming known to foreigners for its beautiful beaches and fine dining. Great timing, it’s past lunchtime!

But this is not a story about how my husband and I enjoyed a nice meal and relaxing beach stroll in a beautiful seaside town.

Could that be us down there? No. No, it could not. Because we were stupid.

This is the story of how we spent 3 long hours at a bus stop, eating bus stop food, so we could babysit our stupid luggage. I’m vegetarian, so this involved bus stop salad, and alternating between complaining about being hungry and complaining about how bad the salad was.

Lunchspot. Looks promising, right?

I love to eat, and my meal was so bad, I vowed to never be in this position again.

That meal is one of many reasons why, for as long as I am physically able, I will always try to travel with a lightweight backpack and nothing else.

Can’t check in yet? No probs. I can walk aimlessly up and down these stairs in the meantime! Watch me go, stair-sitters!

Got some extra time? With only a backpack, you’re free to head out and socialize, like my husband tries to:


On our next trip to Europe, we had 3 hours to kill before our ferry left Croatia for Italy. Our food options were significantly better with only a single bag each, even if the maitre d’ was a little snitty about them.

Black truffle pasta with award-winning olive oil, Dubrovnik: an option made possible by our easily stowable bags.

Pack light, stay mobile. Don’t eat bus stop salad.

SuperHans agrees:


Stopping with the TV references now.