How to pack a carry on bag for a week in Europe

MADIAN ESTELA, CONTRIBUTING WRITER

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Your friends call you and can’t contain their excitement as they tell you that they are planning a trip to Europe and they want you to join them. You hurry and look at the tickets they found and buy them in good faith. Now you stare at your closet and feel a need to stuff all of your belongings in your carry-on.

Lost and confused in all the excitement it’s hard to think, “What will I really need?” So here is a little advice from our traveling expert students at NGU.

1.Make sure you have the right size bag.

The current universal carry-on bag measurements are 9" × 21" × 14" however, make sure to look up your corresponding airline to get the correct measurements. For instance according to NGU student Clay Blackwood who recently used Spirit airlines, they only allow personal items as carry-on. This meant that all he was allowed to bring was a bookbag, a purse or a laptop case.

Last September, Blackwood and his two friends took a spontaneous trip out west in attempts to out run the hurricane season on the east coast. Blackwood went on to explain, “I stuffed everything I needed into my bookbag but my friends saw the Spirit airline only allowed personal items so they thought it was a good idea to stuff everything in a laptop cases to not raise any suspicion.” With a smile on his face he recalled how his friends had to bring their laptop cases everywhere even Venice beach.

2. Buy travel size for all cosmetics and toiletries.

Target’s mission statement since 2013 has been to “expect more. Pay less. Brand promise.” This includes their products available for fellow wonderers and explorers of the world. Before starting to pack make sure to stop by and get everything you will use on the trip like sunblock, travel toothbrush with case and so on.

You can save some cash by buying travel size empty bottles and fill them with your favorite products.

3. Separate clothes early in the process then eliminate items.

Ask yourself, "Will I really need 20 pairs of socks?” If you will be going to a colder climate and expect to wear closed toe shoes, having multiple socks is a good call but it is not a good idea if you plan to go somewhere warm. (Also 20 socks is still too many, try to minimize the number by keeping in mind that a quick hand washes in the sink are always an option.)

Think in terms of what you can do without — not what will be handy on your trip. Keeping in mind the scenario from earlier, if your friends are going with you consider splitting up special items among your bags. And ladies if you are the same size, consider sharing clothing items and accessories to give you more options on the trip.

4. Bring layers rather than a heavy coat.

Best way to prepare for unpredictable weather is by narrowing down which items can be layered together. Think about which items mix and match together, avoid planning outfits for set days.

Meghan Salinas, a senior at NGU, lived in the United Kingdom for five years before coming to study in South Carolina, found that layers were the best and smartest way to travel.

“Once you live over there it cost less than 60 dollars to travel to a different country,” Salinas explained, “so its very easy to travel constantly but you are limited to one carry-on and personal item,” Salinas suggests that wearing layers can give you more items to work with on the trip as well as wearing your heavier shoes will help with luggage weight.

5.Time to pack.

Allie Kiser, a junior at NGU, has gotten to recently travel to California and London, Paris and Cornwall. She learned that whether you're traveling for three weeks or three months, you pack exactly the same.

According to Kiser, the best packing method for her has been the “military packing.” Thrillist.com goes into details on how to achieve this packing strategy. First, you must try to pack in reverse order (meaning start with the shoes), be strategic about weight, and fold, roll and tie. Many active military families have to be ready to relocate, so by keeping things tightly packed and well organized, they are ready whenever the call comes.

Another tactic they used was the use of airtight bags to help later in the packing process to compress any clothing material as much as possible to create more room. Fold and carry clothes with minimal wrinkling with the help of one of these baggies.

BONUS

Say it out loud: "PACK LIGHT PACK LIGHT PACK LIGHT."

Go casual, simple, and very light. Remember, in your travels, you'll meet two kinds of tourists — those who pack light and those who wish they had.

Please keep in mind this was more of a general take on everything you need to know before stuffing your carry-on. Don’t forget to consider the weather and the activities you plan to do while overseas. Depending on what seasons you plan to overseas also effect fashion, so to avoid looking like a total tourist keep in mind what culture you are about to enter.