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So I’m headed to Europe for a month-long solo trip, and I’m traveling to 6 countries! My goal is to pack as light as possible, so I’m only bringing carry-on items. I debated a lot between bringing my 40L backpack or a carry-on suitcase, but I decided to go with my (hard shell) carry-on suitcase for a couple reasons.

  1. I’ll be city-hopping, so I won’t be traveling far from the train station to my next accommodation and can quickly drop off my luggage before going out to explore.
  2. The carry-on luggage will give me more space for things I might buy in Europe. (I’m sure I’ll do some shopping in Paris and London.)
  3. Although the dream was to bring my Eagle Creek 40L backpack, I think backpacks are more suitable for traditional backpacking, like through SouthEast Asia or Australia.

I broke down my packing list into categories, and I’ve linked some items that I absolutely love. The most sustainable (and budget-friendly) way to travel is to use what you already have, and the majority of what I bought for this trip is second-hand or borrowed from friends.

Now let’s get to packing!

Clothes & Shoes

It’s easy to pack light in the summer, so I fit all of my clothes into one medium packing cube. My socks, underwear, bathing suit, and bras are in a separate (but smaller) packing cube. I packed clothes that mix and match well because I’ll be re-wearing everything. 

Also, I bought all of these clothes second hand, except the jean shorts.

My absolute favorite ways to shop second hand are through Poshmark, ThredUp, and Value Village. If you have the time to shop around and buy used for your trip, I highly recommend it.

Here’s a list of all the clothes I’m bringing.

  • 7 shirts 
  • 2 dresses
  • 1 pair of jean shorts
  • 1 pair of running shorts (to sleep in)
  • 1 tank top (to sleep in)
  • 7 pairs of underwear
  • 10 pairs of socks (small ankle socks)
  • 1 sports bra
  • 1 regular bra
  • 1 bathing suit
  • White sneakers (wearing to airport)
  • Birkenstocks 
  • There’s a pair of wedges in the photo below, but I ended up not packing them.

Outfit for the Plane

  • 1 pair of black leggings
  • 1 light jacket 
  • 1 t-shirt 
  • White sneakers with Dr.Scholl’s shoe inserts (These are the amazing for long days of city walking!)

Travel Size Liquids

I’m not checking any bags, so everything listed below is 3oz or less. I tried to keep my liquids to a minimum because I know my AirBnb will provide a lot of these items. 

  • Trader Joe’s Face sunscreen
  • Body sunscreen
  • Shampoo + Conditioner
  • Toothpaste
  • Contact solution
  • Face moisturizer
  • Body wash
  • Trader Joe’s Dry shampoo


I’m bringing enough makeup to cover the basics, since I’m getting photos taken in several cities. I linked some of the products because I love Anastasia, Elf, and Wet n’ Wild. They’re all PETA certified and cruelty free. Anastasia is a pricier brand, but Elf and Wet n’ Wild can be found at any drugstore.

Other Toiletries

  • Native Deotorant (I love this brand because it’s plastic free and aluminum free!)
  • Floss
  • Toothbrush + case
  • Daily contact lenses (2 boxes)
  • Make-up remover wipes
  • Wet Wipes
  • Hairbrush 
  • 3 hair ties 
  • Q-tips
  • Hair straightener 
  • Advil (There’s some melatonin in the bottle too, since I’m taking a red eye flight.)
  • Razor
  • Laundry sheets (So i can wash my clothes in the sink!)


I’ve spent the last several years getting into photography, so I’m bringing camera gear, along with my computer. Here’s an entire list of everything I’m bringing!

  • iPhone + Pela Phone Case (This case is compostable!)
  • Phone charger
  • SIM Card (I wrote an entire blog post about this that you should check out.)
  • Portable phone charger 
  • Laptop + laptop charger
  • Universal adapter (This is essential for being about to charge your electronics!)
  • Canon m50 (I’ve been using this camera for 2 years and highly recommend it!)
  • 2 SIM cards (for my camera)
  • 2 camera batteries + battery charger 
  • Canon m50 kit lens
  • Canon EF-S 10-18mm IS Lens (I bought mine on Facebook marketplace, which I always recommend for camera gear. So many people tell brand new lenses that they never used! I bought this lens specifically for lanscape shots.)
  • Camera tripod
  • External hard drive 
  • AirPods + case

Everything else…

  • Passport + passport case (I also took a picture of my passport, in case it gets lost.)
  • Wallet (credit card, license, vax card…)
  • Sunglasses + sunglass case
  • Glasses + glasses case
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Reusable bag (This small one folds up into a cute strawberry.)
  • Umbrella
  • Laundry bag (This takes up no space at all.)
  • Day backpack (inspired by KellyU! It’s the perfect size for a day bag, and I’ve tested it out for several months.)
  • LLBean backpack (I’ll bring it on the plane and put my electronics in it. I’ve had this backpack for SO long, but it has held up so well.)
  • 1 Notebook
  • 2 pens
  • 1 book

And… that’s everythnig I’m packing!

I’ll write another post to update you on what I love and regret about this packing list, so be sure to check my blog for that later on.

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