I never did the European summer abroad while I was in college. I instead spent my summers earning money for tuition, working in the lab or completing industry internships. My first visit to Europe was in 2006, when the boyfriend and I took a Mediterranean cruise from Spain to Italy. Our second journey was a train trip that began in London and looped through western Europe, departing from Amsterdam.
This time we wanted to see the other half of Europe. We sat down at Starbucks with our computers, Google maps, Trip Advisor, United Airlines and Rail Europe working away. We decided on another open airline ticket and a West to East journey. Flying into Prague, we would then travel by train to Bratislava, Slovakia; Budapest, Hungary; Brasov, Romania; Bucharest, Romania and finally fly to Istanbul, Turkey. We would spend 1-2 days in each city, depending on the things that we wanted to do and the sites we wanted to see.
Planning the route, we realized that we need some luggage that was much more portable than our rolling luggage. After looking through Amazon for some time, I came across the eBags Mother Lode Weekender backpack. I wound up buying the boyfriend the full size backpack and myself the Junior size. I already owned several eBags packing cubes and they fit inside the backpack just perfectly. After planning the route, packing for the trip was the hardest thing.
Stylebook to the rescue! Again! I used the app to plan my outfits, whittle down my packing list and eventually pack my bags. My packing list usually starts off about twice as large as it needs to be. Once I realized that it wouldn't all fit into my new little backpack, some serious editing had to happen. For the ten days in Europe I packed 2 long sleeved shirts, three t-shirts, one sleeveless blouse, a pair of jeans, two pairs of capris and a skirt. I wore the bulkier items, cargo capris, long sleeved shirt and sneakers, on the plane.
I tried to keep the rest of the packing very light, because I like to buy books as souvenirs. I didn't want my bag to start out heavy and just get heavier! Here's my full packing list, in case you need a little help packing for your next trip abroad! I've included a link widget for specific items where I could find them!
3 t-shirts (Old Navy)
1 sleeveless blouse (Equipment)
2 long sleeved shirts (Gap)
1 pair jeans (7 for All Mankind)
2 pair capris (Joie & Stitchfix)
1 skirt (from Stitchfix)
2 tank tops (Gap)
Crossbody Purse (Kate Spade)
4 pair ankle socks
4 pair underwear (Victoria's Secret)
Sleep shorts & shirt
Hair ties & bobby pins
iPad - loaded with travel guides
Dropps laundry detergent
Eyemask & earplugs
I didn't bring any shower toiletries, as we were staying in hotels for the entire trek across the continent. I also brought some Dropps laundry detergent packs to wash my socks and underwear at the halfway point. It also helps to split your toiletries with your traveling partner. If you are planning on enjoying the nightlife in Europe, I might also suggest packing a cute dress! And some eyeliner.
Stop back next for details on our first stop - Prague!
European packing list, train travel in Europe, 10 day European vacation