One Backpack for 10 Nights in Europe?

One Backpack for 10 Nights in Europe?

Yes, one backpack for 10 nights in Oslo, Rome, and Barcelona.  It happens to be my awesome Venture Pal lightweight backpack, which I am a huge fan of.  Incredibly light, incredibly versatile.  The Wanderer and I had 6 one-way budget flights with different airlines, so assuming $50 per bag, that’s a savings of $300 per person.  I’ve talked all about the benefits of traveling light, and given strategies to save space and weight, but this one was definitely my biggest (or smallest) feat.

What I Packed

My license and insurance cards, credit cards, passport, and papers with all the flights and hotels went into my money belt along with a couple band aids.  I’m accident prone, so I put a couple extra band aids into my backpack pocket as well.  My money belt was worn under my shirt for the most part.  My sunglasses, phone, charger, and headphones went into the backpack.  I had my usual one large and two small ziplock bags, as well as my drawstring bag.

I brought two books for this trip because I read a lot.  I did end up finishing one entirely, and getting half way through the second.

For toiletries, I brought 4 disposable toothbrushes (Oslo, Rome, Barcelona, Oslo – no transporting a wet toothbrush) and toothpaste, two disposable razors, a comb, hair ties, a mini nail file just in case, pins, lip balm, and an almost-empty deodorant.  The hotels and the AirBnB all had shampoo, conditioner, and body soap available.  I trimmed and painted my nails the day we left, and ended up using my stepmom’s nail polish remover two days before heading back to the US.

Weather was supposed to be in the 60s and 70s.  For my clothes, I brought the following:

  • One fleece sweater
  • Two pairs of jeans
  • Tennis shoes (I wore the one pair the whole trip)
  • Worn out flip flops (used in the hotel/AirBnB, thrown out before returning home)
  • One sleeping shirt and two pairs of leggings for sleeping and warmth under jeans in Norway
  • Eleven shirts – each one had a stain or tear, and I intended to throw them all out after using them. It was an embarrassing accident that so many of my clothes had stains, but it was a great chance to clean out the closet.
  • Two scarves to help hide the stains and add variety to the blue and white
  • Five undershirts (I tossed out three that were worn out)
  • All the undergarments I brought were worn out. Some of my socks had holes and paint stains. I threw each out after use.

It was good to clean out my closet and get rid of the things that were worn out or stained.  I’ve found that since my size hasn’t changed since college, clothes have just accumulated.

Packing for 10 days in Europe

Food for the Flight

Norwegian Air allows for one personal item and then charges for a carry on.  They also charge you for food or snacks on the plane.  However, we were able to bring a small bag of groceries on the flight.  We were prepared to toss it out (after saving the goldfish crackers) if they gave us any trouble.

Waiting in line at the airport for our first flight

During the Travels

We didn’t have to leave the bags behind anywhere while exploring, so overall we were much more efficient.  Everyone we told was quite surprised that we spent 10 days with only a backpack, especially when they offered to let us leave our luggage behind and pick it up later.

Carrying our backpacks through the Coliseum

What Made It Home

The fleece, the scarves, the jeans, the sleeping shirt, the leggings, and two undershirts.  The money belt and contents, chargers, and books.

What made it home after 10 days in Europe

What Was Acquired

  • Two magnets from Rome
  • Two magnets from Barcelona
  • A bag of sand from the beach in Barcelona
  • Two wine corks
  • Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and this pillow sleep spray from the last hotel. I don’t normally take the travel bottles home, but these have me sincerely considering switching brands.
  • Some groceries from Norway (not pictured – we acquired them on our way to the airport after our bags were packed so we knew exactly how much space we had left)
  • A somewhat large vase that was hand blown at a glass factory in Norway. The wanderer and I are going to use it for a sand ceremony during our wedding next year.  Yep! 🙂

2 Replies to “One Backpack for 10 Nights in Europe?”

  1. Haha – and I always bring my newest/favorite outfits on vaca…. maybe I’ll consider bringing and leaving a couple older items. Thanks for the tips!

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