Packing Carry On Luggage For 2 Weeks in Italy seemed impossible, but I was willing to take on the challenge.
A couple of months before our trip, the airlines changed the size of the carry on luggage. We always take two carry on wheeled bags when we travel. With this new change, one of our bags was an inch to big. I did not want to go out and buy another piece of luggage, so we used a duffle bag that met the requirements. This ended up working out much better for us. (Especially for me as J ended up putting the duffle bag on the luggage, which meant I only had my backpack.) Now that the luggage problem was solved, I had to decide how I was going to pack for two weeks.
TIP: When I come home from a trip, I make a list of the clothes we wore. This helps me from over packing on another trip. I then use these lists as my starting point.
In order to pack light, I knew we would be doing laundry. I allowed one compression bag each, for two weeks. J was easy, as his bag contained: 5 tee shirts that wick sweat away, 1 long sleeve shirt SPF50 Columbia shirt, 2 pair zip off hiking pants, 1 pair shorts, 4 pair socks, 4 pair underwear, and a North Face Rain Coat that rolls up small. This jacket fits nicely in the backpack when you don’t need them. The only shoes J took were the shoes he wore, a pair of Keene hiking shoes.
My packing was a little more difficult. I finally settled on 2 maxi dresses, 1 long skirt, 1 short skirt, 1 pair zip off hiking pants, 2 tee shirts that wick sweat away, 1 long sleeve tee shirt (I like to layer clothes), 2 tops, 1 Adidas workout skort (which was great for hiking), sports bra, 1 tank top, 1 long sleeve dress shirt, 1 long sleeve SPF50 Columbia shirt, 1 demin jacket, 4 pair underwear, 2 bra, night shirt, 1 pair tennis shoes, 2 pair sandals (one dress, one casual), 4 scarfs, some jewelry (necklaces, earrings, bracelets, which I would not take again because I ended up not changing my jewelry), and a North Face Rain Coat.
Here is my packing once I got done. My clothes are on the left, J’s clothes are on the right. We were able to fit everything into these compression bags. The scarfs, underwear, bras and socks went into a separate compression bag (at the top in the picture). By putting these items in a separate bag, it made them easier to retrieve.
You do not need a vacuum cleaner to close the compression bags. You just sit on them to get the air out. One of the nice things about using these bags besides savings space, if you get stopped at TSA for a second search, no one is touching your clothes. They can see what is in the bag.
I take an extra bag in case I have dirty clothes, I can keep them separate from the clean clothes, or if my clothes do not dry overnight, I put them in a bag until we reach our next destination.
All of these clothes and my 2 pair of sandals along with an extra compression bag, went into the black duffle bag.
Beside the duffle bag, we took a wheeled suitcase which held the following: 2 North Face rain coats, that I put into a compression bag, 2 cameras, iPhones, chargers, Belkin mini travel surge protector (which came in handy as most rooms only had two outlets), GPS, universal worldwide travel adapters, Travelon soap sheet sets, 2 quart size plastic bag with liquids, cosmetics, bar of soap (not all places provide soap, or shampoo), small jewelry roll, compact umbrella, neck pillow for the plane, compression socks for the long flights, travel blanket, eye shades for the plane and laptop. I packed one water bottle, which broke the second day. Next time I will take two water bottles.
I purchased the Travelon travel soaps to decrease the amount of liquids I needed for two weeks.
J was so happy that I packed this light, especially after he saw different people on the trains and buses toting around much more. (A backpack is missing from the picture, as J had already put it in the car).
I was glad I had a mixture of long sleeve and short sleeve tops because it was cooler in Milan and Cinque Terre. Out of the 14 days we traveled, it rained three of the days, but never all day. We wore all the clothes we took. The only thing I would not pack again was jewelry. We did not take bathing suites, as it would not have been worth the space taken in the luggage for the couple of times we would have worn them.
How do you travel when going for two weeks?