I can't believe I'm turning 30. Taking a trip to Europe for my 30th and packing is the easiest thing to do. I've always wanted to go to Barcelona! The main thing I always make it a point of doing is to bring luggage but pack few essential items, so you can shop and fill it up by the time you return. This trip is special though, I really want to live it and soak in the experience so I'm not so focused on shopping this time. That is not to say I WON'T shop ;)
BEFORE YOU FLY
- Check the weather in your destination.
- Do laundry if you need to.
- Make time to shop for last minute items.
- Write down your packing list to check items off the day you pack.
- IN MY CARRY-ON PURSE: Travel size toothpaste, body lotion, body oil (all natural body oils), hairspray, body wash, conditioner, shampoo, mini louffa, mini toothbrush, phone charger, headphones, lip gloss, stick concealer, bronzer, thin panties, gum, all in your carry on in case your luggage gets lost (American Airlines often loses my luggage on trips abroad).
- IN MY LUGGAGE: Depending how long your trip is, and what season you are traveling - pack "thin". Especially to Europe. Packing thin is simply picking the thinnest items to roll up in your luggage as essentials. Don't take heavy bulky jeans or a thick heavy sweater / jacket. Even if you are traveling to cold weather, buy a new coat there and pack light. Personally, I found that is the best travel tip because you are not carrying heavy luggage. Also during your trip, you look great and feel comfortable.
Thin items: Dressy T-shirts, tanks, slim fitted skinny jeans, flats, light jackets. A pair of nice soft pj's and slippers. On my trips to cold places, I am usually fine with a warm scarf and slim jacket. I didn't think it would be enough either, but I was once stuck out in the island of Malta and forgot my jacket for the evening. I only had a scarf on - about 55 degree weather, the scarf did the job! Try it. Pack comfortable shoes. Dark denim can always be dressed up or down so that is a good standard to stick to. Pack 1 nice cocktail bodycon dress in a classic solid color, and one pair of heels to match.
Overall essentials on your list should include items you will use every day. You don't need your complete makeup case of palettes on any trip. Don't forget phone charger and an extra Euro plug! Carry some cash hidden in your bra (classy). Pack double the intimates. Pack body oil and use it as moisturizer. Bring sunscreen if you will need it. Unless you're photog, carry a decent slim DSLR camera. Most hotels have blow dryers, but it depends on where you are going to in Europe. Check to make sure, if you need one. I have blown out the circuit in an entire floor blow drying my hair with my American blow dryer (embarrassing), so check the watt setting to be euro friendly if you pack one. Pack pepper spray even if you are not traveling alone.
WHAT I WEAR TO THE AIRPORT
Wear FLATS to the airport or easy slip on and off shoes. Don't be that girl who takes forever and holds up the line at security check. Zoom right through the airport, looking cute.
PLAN TO MAKE IT SPECIAL
Since you're packing, write a list in your destination of a places you can go to in order to spend time introspecting. For me, it's usually a local cafe or the beach. Take your journal, write down where you are in life and goals you'd like to reach that are important to you. Tasks you need to complete when you return. People you miss and need to connect with. I also read and study scripture, and take time to thank God for my life and where I am at that point in time.
Be sure to pick up a few postcards and mail them to a few loved ones on your first day, as a throwback.