Packing for Europe using only a carry-on bag can be a smart choice, as it saves you time and money on baggage fees, and it makes it easier to navigate crowded European cities with your luggage. Two years ago I was stuck in the very crowded LAX airport and when I was offered a hotel for the night I was so happy that I had my carry on bag with me-no waiting for luggage for me.

Here are some tips on how to pack efficiently for your European adventure

Choose the right carry on bag: Make sure your carry-on bag meets the size requirements of the airline you’ll be flying with. Different airlines have different size limits for carry-on bags, so check their website or contact them for specific guidelines.

Create a packing list: Before you start packing, make a list of essential items you’ll need for your trip. Be realistic about what you’ll use and what you can do without.

Stick to a color scheme: Choose a color scheme for your clothing to make mixing and matching easier. Neutral colors like black, gray, navy, and white are versatile and can be dressed up or down.

Pack light layers: Instead of bulky items, opt for lightweight layers. For instance, pack a few lightweight sweaters and shirts that can be layered to accommodate varying weather conditions.

Minimize toiletries: Toiletries can be heavy and take up space. Consider packing travel-sized versions or buying items like shampoo and body wash when you arrive. Remember to comply with airline regulations regarding liquids and gels.

Leave non essential behind: Be ruthless in your packing decisions. Leave behind items you can easily purchase or borrow in Europe, such as umbrellas, guidebooks, and extra chargers.

*Weigh your bag: Before heading to the airport, weigh your carry-on bag to ensure it meets the airline’s weight limits. Airlines may have both size and weight restrictions for carry-on luggage.

Some of my favorite travel items

Carry on expandable roller bag

3 pack clear toiletry bags

Tumi travel tote bag    (pictured)

This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something we may earn a commission. Thank You.


Receive the Life Happens Monthly newsletter plus bonus updates. Join the email list today.