I'm heading to Europe for a classic backpacking trip and this is what my life is going to look like for the next two or so months.
Of course, travelling to Europe during the winter is going to be a little more difficult than in the summer because now I'll have to bring heavy jackets, boots, scarves and heavy sweaters. In the summer, I wouldn't need all of that, which would cut my packing essential list to about half the size.
For my trip, I'm bringing a 30 L backpack and a small day purse. At weighing time, the pack came to just over 12 kilos, which isn't terrible, but not as light as I would have liked my pack to be.
The point of packing light is so I can hop out of each airport/bus station/train station and just get on with exploring the city without ordering a taxi or first dropping off my things at the place I'm staying at. I want to be mobile and efficient.
Here's what I'm bringing:
1 pair of pants, dark blue and quite functional- matches with everything
(I plan to do laundry frequently throughout the trip)
1 grey hoodie
3 dresses (all very versatile, can be work to a professional environment or a casual environment, or even worn to go out to nice places)
2 pairs of wool socks (necessary!)
2 pairs of tights
1 t-shirt for sleeping in
3 casual tops
1 pair of combat boots (my main choice of footwear, as it will be snowing)
1 pair of flats (in case it's warm. The flats I chose are black and match with everything. They are also two years old (purchased in Australia!), and somewhat worn in. If I need to make space in my pack, these will be the first to go)
1 pair of lounge pants (for sleeping in)
1 pair of gloves
1 microfiber towel and one face cloth
1 pair of flip flops (for walking around hostels or hotels)
1 winter hat
Besides, experiencing European culture, and visiting friends, the purpose for this trip is to take photos and develop my portfolio. I do plan to travel light however. My photography kit is minimal, which will force me to be creative.
I am only bringing:
1 Mark 5D SLR (and charger)
1 24-70mm lens
1 tripod (which was purchased specifically for this trip)
I have a nice, quality tripod which I use in Toronto on professional shoots and for events. I can't bring that one though because unfortunately, it's built well and quite heavy.
This Polaroid tripod I bought for the trip was only $20 on Amazon and made of really light materials. It's broken on me twice already just while I was packing it in my backpack. I don't mind though as it still works and because of the cheap price, it means I can throw it away at any point during my trip if it becomes too heavy. It was mainly purchased so I can get good Northern Lights photos.
I packed essentials such as shampoo, face wash, lotion, body wash, toothpaste, etc.
An item some may find strange is a 100ml container of tea tree oil beauty mask.
The story behind the beauty mask dates back to 2012, on my study exchange to Sydney, Australia
, where I met my housemate Myra. We started doing these masks together as a girly way to bond and now since I'm visiting her (she's doing a study exchange in Sweden), I had to keep up the tradition.
Make-up for this trip is also minimal. Everything fits into a small pouch. I have basics such as lip balm, foundation, black and brown eyeliner, mascara, lip stain... and for those days I'm feeling wild, shimmery violet eyeliner (purchased in Korea) and gold eyeshadow.
I also brought lots of bobby pins and hair ties.
I packed all liquids in a plastic bag for easy airport security access.
Odds and ends:
2 notebooks (one journal, and one travel planner)
2 language guides (French and German)
1 small London guidebook
1 tea tumbler
1 day purse
Lock and keys
This section started off with three books, but I couldn't close my backpack initally, so I took out two. I plan to exchange books with people I meet or buy a new one and drop off the finished one during my trip now. I have a E-reader, but I'm still not comfortable with it and it would be another thing that I would worry about getting stolen.
1 book (Richard Florida's Who's Your City
, which I find fitting since I will be travelling to so many)
1 laptop (for blogging, work and keeping in touch with friends)
1 harmonica, which I plan to get really good at playing during my trip
What do you think? Would you take any items out? Put anything in?