Thursday, September 5, 2013

Packing For a European Vacation!

Today's the day my friends. Today I leave for France! I am super excited, but don't actually fly away until later tonight (we have an overnight flight) but I am pretty much all ready to go. Since there was interest in a post about packing I thought I would share some info about what I packed!

A quick note before we get started, lucky for me there was no size restriction on our tour for our suitcases. I did not have to have a carryon which made me very happy, since 11 days worth of clothes and personal items can definitely add up (I am for sure not a pack-lightly type of girl). I know many tours require a carry on suitcase, but luckily our tour did not.

My first tip about getting ready for vacation is make lists lists and more lists. One of the first lists I made was my to do list. I simply used the notes app on my iphone. I added all sorts of things to this list, things I needed to do around the house, errands I needed to run, and technology-type things I needed to get done before I leave.

My mom graciously printed off a packing checklist off the internet for each of us. The first thing I did when I received mine was cross off all the items I knew I would not be bringing with me. I also started a second list to write down all the clothing I am bringing.

In order to decide what clothing I would be bringing I decided to create outfits for each day. I pulled outfits out of my closet and listed them 1 through 11. These are not necessarily the day I will be wearing each outfit, but I wanted to make sure that I could use some items more than once. This way I know I have every piece to each outfit packed safely away.

As you can see on the bottom of the sheet I listed other items I wanted to include such as a fleece, running  shoes, etc. As each item was packed away I checked them off.

Here are all the items before I packed them away...

Then packed neatly inside...

For clothing I chose to pack:
1 north face fleece
2 pairs of jeans
1 pair of capris
3 dresses
7 tops
4 cardigans
4 bras
12 pairs of underwear
3 sports bras
3 workout shorts
2 workout tops
1 pair of pjs
running shoes
12 pairs of socks
3 pairs of flats
1 pair of flipflops
1 raincoat

I was about halfway through my packing ordeal when this picture was taken...

One of the things on my to do list was to change dollars into Euros, which was done yesterday afternoon thank goodness!

I made yet another list called my "Last Minute Packing List". This list was all the things that I didn't want to pack until right before I leave. Items like medicine, my laptop, my camera, etc are things that I may need before we leave this morning. I don't want to pack anything away and not be able to find it later. As the morning continues I will add these items to either my suitcase or my carry-on bag.

One of the items on the above list that I have completed is my jewelry. I used the case below that my mom gave me a few years back. It was a free bag and has a plastic lining on the inside. Sometimes i use it for makeup, but I decided to use it for jewelry this trip.

I ended up taking 4 pairs of stud earrings (5 including the ones currently in my ears), my Alex and Ani bangles, and two long necklaces. I don't want to take too much jewelry but definitely want the opportunity to dress up any of my outfits for a nicer dinner.

and all the jewelry inside the bag...

My suitcase is starting to look fuller!

The next bag holds my bathroom items.

Here are the things I included in this case:
body wash
contact solution
body spray
2 small toothpastes
2 small shampoos
2 small conditioners
a bunch of Q-tips

I placed all these items inside their case. (Deodorant will also be in here, but I hadn't packed it yet when I took these pictures!)

My makeup bag is stuffed, but I won't pack it away until after I do my makeup this morning!

I decided to include:
eyelash curler
eye cream
eye makeup remover
eye shadow

For my carry-on I've chosen to take my Vera Bradley tote.

Inside these bag is: my phone charger, my camera, glasses, kindle, and my passport/ trip information.

I set out my plane outfit the night before. Comfy black pants with a Jacoby Ellsbury t-shirt (GO SOX!). I've also laid out my flipflops next to it.

I also kept my straightener, brush, and CHI spray so I can straighten my hair this morning, but those will be packed in my suitcase.

I also have my crossbody Vera Bradley and my sunglasses (in the case) ready to go.

I'm using my crossbody bag as a wallet for plane travel. Inside it (but removed for pictures) is my license, my health insurance cards, my debit card, euros, and american dollars.

One of the last items I will be packing is my trusty laptop. Yes, I will be attempting to blog while in France. I'm not sure about my wifi situation, but know that I will be writing posts daily (or so I hope) and will be posting them as often as I can!

Some other quick tips. 

  • We are bringing one converter for our room (purchased by my mom)
  • I will be binging soft socks for the plane so I can get nice and cozy and hopefully sleep through the flight.
  • I downloaded two books for my trip, JK Rowling's new book "Cuckoo's Calling" and Ellen Degeneres' book "The Funny Thing Is..." I like to have a couple of books to read in case I finish one quickly.
  • If you can, exchange your dollars for Euros at your local bank. They don't charge you for the exchange which is much nicer then paying a fee at the airport. 
  • Make two copies of your passport, one to leave at home with your family and one to take with you.
  • Make copies of your license and credit cards to leave at home in case anything is stolen.
  • I also bring a trash bag with me in my suitcase where I put all my dirty clothes. This way they are separated from the clean clothes and I don't end up doing extra laundry when I get home!

I be back after my trip to let you know what I did use and what I didn't use from my packed items. I will also let you know if there was anything I wish I had brought that I didn't end up taking with me!

Au Revoir!

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