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 Osprey Aether 85L Backpack, while gear and electronics went in my Eagle Creek Afar Backpack. 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 Lululemon jacket, 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 Eagle Creek Pack-It Half Cubes, a Pack-It Specter Cube Set and a Pack-It Specter Compression Cube Set. 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!)
• Sun Bum Continuous Spray Sunscreens + Sun Bum Face Stick + Sun Bum SPF Lip Balm + 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
• Eagle Creek Packable daypack
• Evening bag (necessary for nicer nights out in London and in Greece)
• Umbrella (hello, London!)
• Work and travel documents + notebook + backup credit card and cash pouch + calendar
• Wallet + passport
• Travel pillow + eyeshade + earplugs
• Headlamp + combination lock + personal alarm
Gear and Electronics
• Headphones + headphone splitter
• iPhone + charging cord + Lifeproof Waterproof iPhone Case + Mophie Battery iPhone Case + 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)
• 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.