Packing as Light as Possible!

Old Jun 3rd, 2015, 12:15 AM
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Packing as Light as Possible!

Hello all!

This is my first post so please forgive me if I'm posting on the wrong forum, or if my formatting is off.

I'm taking off to Europe for two weeks, from June 8th to June 22nd with some friends. We'll be visiting Copenhagen, then Amsterdam, then Brussels. I'm not positive how long we're going to be staying in each area- however I think most of our time will be concentrated in Copenhagen and Amsterdam.

I've been to Europe several times before (Serbia), but I've never been to these areas yet! My most important goal is to pack as light as I possibly can.

What would you guys recommend packing regarding clothes- and what quantity of each item? I'm a female, and my wardrobe usually consists mostly of shorts, leggings, jeans, and t-shirts. I'm worried about the weather changes so I'm really not sure if I should pack mostly warm clothes or mostly light clothes. I'm planning on going on runs while I'm there, so I will be bringing workout clothes too. We are staying in places that have washing machines, so I definitely plan on doing laundry. I will be using a carry on and a small/medium sized backpack (like the size of a classic jansport backpack) for luggage.

What I was thinking-
2 pairs shorts, 2 pairs leggings, 2 pairs jeans
2 tank tops, 3 short sleeves, 3 long sleeves
running shoes, sneakers, sandals
1 flannel, 1 jean jacket, and one heavy-duty jacket
2 running pants, 1 sports bra, 2 workout shirts
underwear & socks, small purse

of course I will bring chargers, adapters, passport, etc, but I'm really just worried about what to pack clothing-wise. I'm not sure if this is even too much to bring!

Also, any other travel and/or packing tips would be GREATLY appreciated! I've just finished up school so I have been completely overwhelmed and unfortunately not had as much time to prepare as I usually do.

Thank you!
captainbly is offline  
Old Jun 3rd, 2015, 12:28 AM
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I'd cut out one pair of jeans - they are so heavy, and if you have access to washing machine & dryer you could easily do an overnight wash & dry if necessary.

Same for jean jacket (I assume you mean denim) - weight and space would preclude that for me! Di
di2315 is offline  
Old Jun 3rd, 2015, 12:39 AM
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I'm not a specialist of clothes but I live in Belgium.
It will be reasonably warm (around 20 degrees, could be a little bit lower and could be a heat wave (we expect 30 degrees THIS friday)), but in Belgium you always have the chance of rain. Pack in consequence - always have a waterproof jacket.
Heatwave in Belgium usually means thunderstorms.
Enjoy your trip.
pariswat is offline  
Old Jun 3rd, 2015, 12:45 AM
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That would be my suggestion too. Swap the flannel jacket for a lightweight waterproof jacket.

I also find 6 bottom pieces way too many. Personally I would probably just do the 2 jeans and the 2 shorts, and even then I would think I had too many. Or how about 1 shorts and 1 leggings.

Best thing to do is follow the weather forecasts up until the last minute, so you will have the best idea of what to take.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2015, 01:05 AM
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Ditch the heavy jacket and one pair of jeans. Switch our flannel jacket for a light rain jacket.

running shoes, sneakers, sandals

Unless you're actually planning on running, don't bring the running shoes. If you are planning on running, ditch the sneakers and wear the running shoes.
sparkchaser is offline  
Old Jun 3rd, 2015, 01:12 AM
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of course I will bring chargers, adapters

All you really need is one USB travel charger and your USB charging cables.

I use an older version of this:
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Old Jun 3rd, 2015, 01:23 AM
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(This is why we need an edit function)

Somehow I missed the part where you said that you were indeed planning on working out, but I did so mentally edit my above post as applicable.

I see you are planning on taking everything as a carry-on. Try and trim down your toiletries kit as much as you can and just plan to buy soap, shampoo, toothpaste, etc. when you arrive. It will save on weight, you won't have to worry about the liquids restriction, and you get to try out some Euro brands.

Consider taking old clothes that you want to "retire" and buy some new pieces while you are there to replace them. Just remember to throw away the old clothing before you leave.
sparkchaser is offline  
Old Jun 3rd, 2015, 01:50 AM
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Exchange the heavy jacket for a light rainproof jacket with hood, plus one warm sweater (fleece) that fits underneath. This combination allows more flexibility. This plus the jeans jacket is enough in the jackets category, and one of these three is to be worn for the flight hence doesn't add to the weight.

Is your list in addition to what you will wear on the flight, or are these clothes included in the calculation? Wear the heaviest shoes and the heaviest pants. Carry a pair of warm socks so you can take off the shoes during the flight for comfort.

Toiletries: Pack just the very basics for the first night, and buy everything else on the first or second day.
quokka is offline  
Old Jun 3rd, 2015, 03:25 AM
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It's unlikely to be cold, so I doubt I'd take more than one long sleeved top. You don't need two jackets either - maybe one lightweight but good quality rainproof jacket and something fun/stylish like a biker jacket. Jeans these days are not heavy if they are of good quality - many brands use the lightweight ringspun denim.

So I would take maybe 3 pairs of jeans
1 pair of capris
1 smarter pair of trousers or a skirt or a dress (in case we ate out anywhere upmarket)
Mix of tops - lightweight cotton or bamboo tees including some sleeveless and at least one smart.
One very comfortable pair of flat shoes or trainers for walking/sightseeing, and one smarter (but probably still flattish) pair of strappy sandals for evenings.
Underwear for a week, then rinse out and rewear.
I'd seriously consider ditching the running/fitness gear and maybe just take a swimsuit.
RM67 is offline  
Old Jun 3rd, 2015, 04:25 AM
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You are going in the summer. Both a heavy jacket and a flannel will be way overkill unless you are used to no temps less than 80 degrees. Would also dump jeans for something cooler.

I would bring a tissue weight hooded rain jacket, sturdy folding umbrella and make sure you have waterproofed walking shoes that are well broken in.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2015, 04:39 AM
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So far it has been cold,rainy and very windy, you can never tell what the weather will be like in Copenhagen. It might warm up, it might not. I certainly hope it does warm up. Going in the summer is no guarantee of anything, which anyone who has really been to this part of Europe will know. Pity you will miss midsummer night festivities in Denmark (23 June).
Odin is offline  
Old Jun 3rd, 2015, 05:38 AM
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Thank you everyone all of the advice!
Luckily the jeans I am thinking of bringing are made out of relatively thin, more stretchable denim material (they are somewhat close to leggings, actually) and roll up very nicely.

I have pretty severe lung problems and since I won't be able to bring the machine that helps me strengthen them, running is very important as it will help me with my breathing- I usually don't bring workout clothes on vacation but I just want to be sure to look out for my body since I will be gone for two weeks as opposed to 4-7 days.

I will definitely bring a lightweight rain jacket- maybe I could bring that and a flannel/light hoodie something along those lines that fits underneath it? I'll make sure to wear the heavier stuff on the flight- most likely the denim jacket, or a puffy jacket. (either or, not both)

For toiletries I'm just bringing some stuff I may not be able to get elsewhere (moisturizer & makeup wipes) because I'm pretty prone to breaking out when trying new products on my face. Besides that, I just want to bring a small toothbrush & toothpaste, and I'll get everything else there!

I'm also getting some packing cubes (like this: ) and hopefully that will help compress everything.
All of my clothing items besides the heavier jacket are all really lightweight (cotton, spandex, light/thin denim) and I can pack them in pretty tightly.

If I seem to be missing anything, please let me know!

I really appreciate all of the advice from everyone. Thanks guys!
captainbly is offline  
Old Jun 3rd, 2015, 05:40 AM
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Oh and I also will have a backpack in addition to my carry-on that is a medium-sized duffle bag. So the space is relatively generous for packing light Thanks again!
captainbly is offline  
Old Jun 3rd, 2015, 10:10 AM
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You could probably even get away with one check-in sized rollercase and a standard crossbody bag, rather than a backpack, since you are going to have laundry facilities.

If you roll stuff rather than fold it I have found it creases much less, if at all. Bags that compartmentalise things like the ones you are considering can also be handy, especially for delicates like lingerie and dirty things like shoes. Socks and other small bits and pieces can be packed inside shoes.

You can get multi-cables that will allow you to charge different types of devices (see Amazon) or a USB cable if applicable as suggested above.

I am not a fan of decanting toiletries - the empty bottles you can buy for this purpose are almost always quite hard plastic that doesn't flex much and it can be hard to squeeze stuff out, plus they have narrow necks and are a right mess to fill. I general like to think green but in my book this is the one time it's ok to buy mini sizes and discard when empty.
RM67 is offline  
Old Jun 3rd, 2015, 10:11 PM
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This is a GREAT video to get you motivated to pack lightly:
or if the link doesn't work, search for "rick steves packing light sarah murdoch.
I'm going to Amsterdam for 8 days and doing a half marathon while there. I'm just taking:
1 skinny jean (has some stretch)
1 black legging
1 linen pant (probably dumb)
1 skirt ( w/ optional ankle tights)
1 nike tempo short
1 running capri
1 running short sleeve + arm warmers (cut off socks)
1 super lightweight running jacket (the kind that folds into nothing, treat yourself if you don't have one of these)
Several short sleeve tshirts
couple sweaters
couple ls blouses
couple light hoodies
Proper jacket from Eddie Bauer
old running shoes (that I'm throwing away after the race)
new tennis shoes
ballet flats
2 scarves

I have most of it rolled and put in Rick Steves large packing cubes. These are the lightest and cheapest I've found.

I got a braided clothes line from amazon, so I can wash my running stuff as needed. The technical stuff dries so quickly.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2015, 11:10 PM
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Good advice above. Agree you can't be certain of weather so check the 10 day forecast right before going.

Some great packing threads here maybe in the Tips forum.

I like the idea of ditching one jeans, one heavy jacket, one shorts, one leggings. I like thin packable dark jacket.

Just not sure with laundry facilities that you need duplicates. Maybe as noted above one slightly more dressy black pants/slacks for dinner out?

However be sure to check on the *drying* situation (does the washer also dry (a combo) or do you hang clothes up?).

I pack a good closed shoe (walking shoe or ballet flat) and a good sandal; sounds like running shoes are on top of that.

I do carry on only and roll clothing tightly and pack in the cubes.

If you use special cosmetics consider getting samples for your trip.
annw is offline  
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